Trilateral Talks over Ethiopia’s Dam Suspended for a Week

ADDIS ABEBA – The renewed talks on Ethiopia’s giant hydropower project has been suspended at the request of Sudan and Egypt late Tuesday.

The decision came after a meeting of technical and legal committees from the three countries aimed at finding a deal on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

On the same day, Ethiopia’s ministry of water and irrigation had sent its version of the guideline and rules of the dam.

The proposal is in line with the communiqué of the African Union Assembly Bureau dated 24 July 2020 and the understanding reached by the Ministers of Water Affairs on Monday to work on a common document, Ethiopia’s ministry of water said in a statement.

However, Egypt and Sudan requested to adjourn the meeting to be able to hold internal consultation over the guidelines, Ethiopia said.

According to the statement, an agreement has been reached to resume the negotiation once the two countries complete their consideration.

The Dam, which is being built near Ethiopian border with Sudan on the Blue Nile, has become a major sticking point between the three countries.

Both Egypt and Sudan fear the $4.6 billion hydroelectric dam project could lead to affect the flow of the Nile River. Ethiopia downplays this and saying the dam is a hydroelectric project which will generate electric power to its energy-starved economy.

The three nations are expected to reconvene on Monday, August 10, to continue the negotiation.