South Sudan, Juba,
June 10th, 2021 – The Sudanese and Egyptian governments are seeking to persuade Ethiopia to sign a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
This comes not less than a day when the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohammed Abdel Aty went to Khartoum on Wednesday 9th, June 2021, and discussed with their Sudanese counterparts how the two countries can bring Ethiopia to the negotiation table.
In a statement seen by Nyamilepedia, the government officials issued a joint communique discussing the developments of the GERD, after the failure of the African Union efforts to persuade Addis Ababa to sign an agreement with the downstream countries.
“They further agreed to coordinate bilateral efforts at the regional, continental, and international levels to press Ethiopia to negotiate in good faith and true political will to reach a comprehensive, fair, and legally binding agreement on filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam,” says the statement.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi who chairs the African Union told Al Jazeera on 20 May that he would organize a meeting between the leaders of the three countries in June to reach a consensus over the GERD issue.
Tshisekedi added that he made “great progress” with the leaders of the three countries during his visits to Khartoum, Cairo and, Addis Abba last May.
As Ethiopia prepares to hold national and regional elections on 21 June, such a meeting appears disruptive.
In a related development, Ethiopian scholars said on Wednesday that Egypt and Sudan have to contribute financially to support the natural resources conservation works carried out in the Blue Nile Basin.
A reliable source from Ethiopia revealed that one of the contributions that the GERD makes to Sudan is minimizing the recurrent flooding and sedimentation on its hydropower dams.
“Protecting the source of the river should not be left only to Ethiopia. Since Sudan and Egypt are the major beneficiaries of the Abay River, they have the responsibility to protect the water from drying up,” said Gete Zeleke Water and Land Center Director at the Addis Ababa University.
The issue of the GERD has been the cause of conflict between the two Countries Egypt and Ethiopia. 90% of Egypt’s water comes from River Nile. With the filling of the dam, that percentage could fluctuate.