Sudan Wants Talk While Ethiopia Seeks To Fill Dam

Sudan has warned against escalation and urged further negotiations with Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of a controversial dam on the Blue Nile river by Addis Ababa.

The three countries have been at loggerheads over the filling and operation of the $4.6bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

“We do not want escalation. Negotiations are the only solution,” Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas told reporters recently.

“Signing an agreement is a prerequisite for us before filling the dam. Sudan has the right to demand it,” he said.

However, Ethiopia has been anxious to have the dam up and running regardless of whether a deal can be made.

The dam is more than 70 percent complete and promises to generate much-needed electricity for the country.

On the other hand, Egypt views the massive hydroelectric barrage as an existential threat. It has urged the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the dispute, citing Ethiopia’s “non-positive stances.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi recently said in a televised address that his country had remained committed to a political solution.

“When we resorted to the Security Council … it stemmed from our keenness to take the diplomatic and political path until the end,” he said.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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