Sudan Formally Requests Four-party Mediation over Ethiopian dam

ADDIS ABABA – Sudan’s prime minister has written to the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States to formally request their mediation on the Nile water being used to fill Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Sudanese foreign ministry said on Monday.

In the letter, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok expressed concern over Ethiopia’s stated intention of adding more water to the reservoir behind the hydropower dam for a second year in letters sent on Saturday, reuters news agency reported.

Despite the ongoing African Union led talks, Sudan has been floating the idea of the four-party mediation with Egyptian support for several weeks. Ethiopia has already rejected the proposal.

“The tendency to invite various parties as mediators to the issue while the AU-led negotiation has not been finalized is demeaning the efforts of the AU,” said Dina Mufti, spokesperson of Ministry of foreign affairs, during a press briefing earlier this month.

“We have been negotiating in good faith and in deep belief that we have got the right to utilize our water resources without significantly harm the downstream countries, in accordance with international law principles of fair and equitable utilization of the water resources,” he said.

Ethiopia, which contributes more than 80 percent of the water to Nile River, is building the multibillion US dollar dam on its own. It plans to conduct its second filling of the dam’s reservoir for July, this year.