This time because of Sudan as it rejected Ethiopia’s and Egypt’s position on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiation.
January 11, 2021
The tripartite negotiation meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan which was called for January 10 is stalled again. The three countries have been negotiating Ethiopia’s mega dam project which is expected to generate well over 6000 MW of power when completed — a portion of which would be up for export to Sudanese consumption.
From the Ethiopian point of view, the negotiation has mostly been difficult because of Egyptian position which goes to the extent of having an office at the project site to monitor the dam.
However, in the last two meetings it was stalled because of Sudan — according to information released by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy.
The meeting on January 4 was cancelled after Sudan skipped without adequate prior notice. The three countries were expected to have the meeting again on January 10, but it ended without agreement after Sudan had a different position about the role of AU mediators which Ethiopia and Egypt declined.
The virtual meeting between the three countries was chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, and the Chairperson of African Union Executive Council.
According to a report by Sudan Tribune published on Sunday, the meeting was because of Egypt and Ethiopia. “Sudan had suspended its participation in the direct negotiations calling to agree on the African experts before to resume discussions,” wrote ST. Its position is the establishment of “a mediation team from Africa experts appointed by the African Union.”
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry is cited by ST as saying that, “Egypt and Ethiopia made reservations about this proposal, stressing on the ownership of the negotiation process by the three countries to preserve their right to draft the texts and provisions of the agreement on the GERD filling and operation.”
A report released on Sunday by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, the chairperson of the AU executive council was tasked with assisting the three countries in the negotiation effort. A Three days trilateral meeting was which Sudan rejected.
It is unclear when the three countries are meeting again.
Ethiopia has completed the first phase of the filling the dam in July of last year and is planning to undertake the second phase in July of this year.
When Egypt mobilized members of Arab League countries against Ethiopia, Sudan was the only country that opposed to sign a document that Egypt managed to win the support of the rest of member states.
Why Sudan’s position is changed on GERD negotiation is unclear.
Sudan has invaded Ethiopian territory with a claim that it belongs to her but until now, the two countries are not in a state of war as Ethiopia is pursuing the diplomatic option to get back its territories which the Sudanese army controlled in the last two weeks. For Ethiopia, there is a third-party behind Sudanese military occupation of Ethiopian territories. In some parts of the border area between the two countries, Sudan is said to have entered up 40 kilometers inside Ethiopia. Hundreds of Ethiopian farmers are said to have been displaced. Ethiopia still opting out of military response to Sudanese occupation.
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