Al-Burhan, Mohammed bin Zayed discuss Sudan-Ethiopia border dispute, GERD talks


May 10, 2021


By Sudan Tribune


KHARTOUM – Abdel Fattah al-Burhan Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed discussed the Emirati initiatives on the border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia and the stalled Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Al-Burhan arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday accompanied by the Sudanese Cabinet Minister Khaled Omer Youssef.

He and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince held a meeting to discuss the two issues after his arrival to the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement released after the meeting, the Sovereign Council said the meeting dealt with developments on the eastern borders of Sudan with Ethiopia and the GERD issue.

“Al-Burhan stressed the need to continue negotiations to reach commitments regarding filling and operation issues,” further said the statement.

The UAE had last March put forward an initiative to address the Sudanese-Ethiopian border crisis and proposed to establish Emiratis funded agriculture schemes in the Al-Fashaga area using Ethiopian manpower.

On the GERD, the UAE proposed a road map providing to sign a Declaration on Future Comprehensive Agreement on the Blue Nile which is not part of the 2015 declaration of principle and to start talks from the scratch.

The Sudanese government had already made a detailed response to the UAS proposal on the GERD.

Al-Burhan’s visit mainly focused on the border standoff with Ethiopia.

Sudanese officials told Asharq newspaper that Sudan stressed the border markers must be posed first before any agreement with Ethiopia brokered by the UAE to settle this dispute.

Sudan stressed that the border markers should be based on placing border markers between Sudan and Ethiopia based on international agreements of 1902, border demarcation in 1903, exchanged notes of 1972, and joint border field surveys signed in 2010, stressed the Emirati newspaper

Sudan further stressed deploying its forces on the border after placing border markers on the Al-Fashaga border area.

On the GERD, Sudan rejected the proposed Declaration on Future Comprehensive Agreement on the Blue Nile. A proposal that means including the Ethiopian demand for a water-sharing agreement as part of the agreement on the GERD filling and operation.

“The problem with this proposal is that it introduces an issue that is not included in the 2015 Declaration of the Principles and has not been part of the negotiations,” reads the Sudanese response to the UAE initiative seen by the Sudan Tribune.

The Sudanese government also stressed the need to link the UAE initiative with the African Union efforts to settle the conflict and the other international initiatives in this respect.

The Congolese president who chairs the African Union wrapped up his visit to Khartoum and flew to Cairo for talks with the Egyptian officials on a new proposal he elaborated on the GERD talks.

Following a meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the Egyptian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that his country “will not accept compromising its water security” and called for a legally binding agreement that preserves Egypt’s water rights.

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