Sudan on Sunday, will engage in new round of talks with Ethiopia and Egypt to look for ways through which peace can reign as a dam is constructed over River Nile.
There has been a long-running dispute over a Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile and the three countries have held multiple rounds of talks since Ethiopia broke ground on the project in 2011 but they have so far failed to produce an agreement on the filling and operation of the vast reservoir behind the 145-metre (475-foot) tall dam.
These countries in November 2020, held talks by video-conference but it broke up without making any headway.
Late last month, Egypt called in Ethiopia’s charge d’affaires after its foreign ministry spokesman claimed the dam dispute had become a welcome distraction from domestic problems for the Cairo government.
Sudan’s state news agency SUNA said that officials from current African Union chair South Africa would be involved in the new round of talks.
Citing an unnamed official, SUNA said Sudan would propose granting African Union experts a “bigger role” in the negotiations for a binding agreement on the dam’s filling and operation.
Cairo has expressed fears that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will severely reduce the Nile’s flow, with devastating effects for the more than 97 million Egyptians dependent on it.
Ethiopia says the hydroelectric power produced at the dam is vital to meet the power needs of its even larger population.
The Blue Nile, which meets the White Nile in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, provides the great majority of the combined Nile’s flow through northern Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean.