January 23, 2021
Risking the safety of 20 million Sudanese whose lives depend on the Blue Nile is unacceptable, Sudan said
Sudan’s Information Minister Faisal Saleh (Photo courtesy of the Sudanese Information Ministry)
By Ahram Online
Sudan’s information minister Faisal Saleh reiterated on Saturday concerns over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) before Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia reach a binding agreement, Al-Arabiya news channel reported.
Saleh voiced out Sudan’s concerns amid Ethiopia’s unwavering intention to embark on the second filling of the dam’s reservoir in July despite the absence of a binding deal with Egypt and Sudan.
“Sudan does not accept the imposition of a fait accompli,” Saleh said, noting that Sudan “has the means to respond in case a fait accompli is imposed on us.”
He warned that Sudan will be the most affected country in case a binding deal was not attained.
Saleh described the ongoing African mediation as “no longer useful in its old form,” affirmed at the same time that negotiations are the only means to resolve the issue because Sudan does not seek escalation.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok met last week with Sudan’s higher committee for following up on the GERD developments, where it was stated that risking the safety of 20 million Sudanese whose lives depend on the Blue Nile is unacceptable.
The meeting highlighted the consequences of the second filling of the dam, if it were to take place, on the safety of the operation of the Sudanese Roseires Dam, which is located close to the GERD, and other water facilities in Sudan.
In a step that angered Sudan and Egypt, Addis Ababa declared last summer that it had achieved the first-year filling (4.9 billion cubic metres) during the rainy season flooding of the Blue Nile.
A few days later, Sudan announced that it had recorded a decline in water levels on the Blue Nile coming from Ethiopia.
Both downstream countries have repeatedly voiced out their rejection of taking any unilateral action without reaching a binding agreement.