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Second GERD filling will impact lives of millions in Sudan: Sudanese FM

Zeinab El-Gundy , Monday 3 May 2021
Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi
Sudanese foreign minister Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi Reuters
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Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi said on Monday that the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) would impact the lives of millions of people in Sudan, the Sudanese foreign ministry stated.

In a meeting with Congolese president and current chairman of the African Union Félix Tshisekedi, the Sudanese foreign minister stressed the importance of reaching a legally binding agreement between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the GERD before the start of the second filling in June.

President Tshisekedi told Al-Mahdi that he completely understands Sudan’s position and the country’s clear demands concerning the GERD, and that he would exert efforts to find a solution to the GERD issue in a way that achieves security and stability in the region.

Al-Mahdi arrived in Kinshasa on Sunday in her fourth stop in a tour to discuss the GERD issue with African leaders.

Tensions have mounted in recent weeks after the latest round of trilateral talks in Kinshasa in April failed to produce an agreement to re-launch deadlocked negotiations.

Ethiopia’s rejection of several proposals by Egypt and Sudan on the negotiation mechanism, which includes an international quartet mediation, led to the collapse of the Kinshasa talks.

The three countries have resorted to diplomacy in recent weeks, briefing regional and international counterparts on their stances and developments on the latest deadlock in negotiations.

All three countries have sent letters to the UN Security Council (UNSC) to clarify their positions with regards to the dam issue, as well as exchange accusations over who is responsible for the collapse of the talks.

Egypt has sent its foreign minister on a six-nation tour in Africa to clarify the country’s stance on the GERD dispute.

Addis Ababa plans to move ahead with the second filling of the dam despite the objections of Egypt and Sudan to the move in the absence of a legally binding deal.

The second filling is meant to amass around 18.4 bcm of Blue Nile water in the GERD reservoir, up from the 4.9 bcm secured during the first filling last year.

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