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04.07.2020 Egypt

Sudan says talks on Nile dam resumed with Egypt, Ethiopia

By AFP
Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been at odds after multiple rounds of talks over the years failed to produce a deal on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, pictured in December 2019.  By EDUARDO SOTERAS (AFP/File)
LISTEN JUL 4, 2020
Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been at odds after multiple rounds of talks over the years failed to produce a deal on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, pictured in December 2019. By EDUARDO SOTERAS (AFP/File)

Sudan announced Friday the resumption of talks with Egypt and Ethiopia to resolve the long-running dispute over Addis Ababa's construction of a mega-dam on the Nile River.

The three countries have been at odds after multiple rounds of talks over the years failed to produce a deal on the operation and filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Ethiopia says the project is essential for its development, while Egypt and Sudan worry about access to vital water supplies from the Nile.

"The negotiations over the renaissance dam between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan were resumed this afternoon via video conference," Sudan's water ministry said in a statement.

Talks last month broke down after the three countries failed to reach any compromise.

The ministry said Friday's talks were held with the mediation of South Africa, the current chair of the African Union.

Downstream Egypt and Sudan are under pressure to reach a deal before Ethiopia goes ahead with plans to fill the dam.

Last week, Cairo and Khartoum said Addis Ababa will delay filling its dam until a comprehensive deal is reached.

Ethiopia however said it was on schedule to begin the filling within weeks but vowed to try resolving its dispute.

Egypt, which views the barrage as an existential threat, has last month appealed for the United Nations Security Council to intervene.

Khartoum recently said in a letter to the council that millions of lives will be at "great risk" if Ethiopia fills its mega-dam without a deal.

Ethiopia says the hydro-electric dam is indispensible for development and electrification. It also insists that downstream countries will not be harmed.

Ethiopia began construction of its barrage in 2011. Upon completion, the structure will be Africa's biggest hydroelectric facility

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