ADDIS ABABA – African Union has welcomed the three Nile basin countries’ decision to resume negotiation over the filling of Renaissance Dam that has been a source of tension between Ethiopia and Egypt.
Officials of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt last held their talks over the filling and operation of the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) at the end of February in the United States.
On Thursday, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and hist Sudanese counterpart, Abdalla Hamdok, held a virtual meeting where they agreed to continue a technical level talks through their Water Ministers and called for Egypt to be part of it.
Hours after that, Egypt too expressed it readinessto enter into negotiations.
The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, “welcomes the recent developments related to the GERD,” the pan African bloc said.
“Mahamat commends… Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan for agreeing to resume technical level engagements through their Water Ministers to resolve outstanding differences and reach an amicable solution,” said the African Union in a statement on Saturday.
The Chairperson also encouraged the three nations to pursue their engagements in good faith, guided by principles of cooperation, common understanding and transparency, as stipulated in the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the mega-dam.
He also said the AU Commission will assist all parties in finding a peaceful resolution and achieving a mutually beneficial agreement.
Ethiopia is building the dam near its border with Sudan on the Blue Nile, which flows into the Nile River.
Cairo wants for Addis Ababa to delay its schedule to start filling the mega-dam Ethiopia is building from its own pocket. Ethiopia insisted that it would not delay filling the hydroelectric Dam, which it began constructing in 2011.
The dam is the centerpiece in Ethiopia’s bid to increase Electricity access to its citizen and also become Africa’s biggest power exporter.