Ethiopian Dam talk postponed for a second time

Sudan asked for Ethiopian Dam Talk to be postponed for the second time

Ethiopian Dam _ Sudan
Seleshi Bekele, Minister for Water, Irrigation, and Energy (file/ENA)

August 10, 2020 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) talk that was supposed to resume on Monday, August 10, 2020, is postponed again.

The Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy announced that the talk is postponed with the request of the government of Sudan. However, the ministry did not specify why Sudan had to ask for the postponement of GERD talk again. 

After Ethiopia submitted a document on the filling of the Dam about two weeks ago, Sudan and Egypt asked for the talks to be rescheduled for August 10, 2020.  The two countries said that they needed more time to respond to Ethiopia’s proposal. 

Now, the talk is expected to resume on August 17, according to the statement from the Ministry. 

Ethiopia reiterated its commitment to continue to work relentlessly for the success of the negotiation. 

The three countries are not on the same page when it comes to points related to the filling and operation of GERD, especially on issues regarding extended drought management whenever that situation arises. 

Egypt and Sudan want a binding negotiation on the amount of water to be released from the Ethiopian Dam while Ethiopia declines to sign that kind of water arrangement. 

Also, Ethiopia is standing on a position that it will not sign an agreement that would limit the rights of the next Ethiopian generation from undertaking other development projects on the Abay river which constitutes about 70% of the country’s basin system. 

In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principle in which they agreed to use the water equitably and fairly.  Egypt gets the lion share of the river over 85 percent of which originates from Ethiopia. Sudan too has been using a portion of the water. Ethiopia’s use of the river has been zero through the ages. 

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