Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Sadiq said on Friday that Ethiopia “stabbed Sudan in the back" with the first filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in July 2020.
In a lecture held at Qatar’s Doha Institute for Graduate Studies on Friday, Al-Sadiq said that Ethiopia wanted to use its power over water sources to pressure Sudan.
She added that Khartoum won’t give up its national sovereignty, nor its water security.
The statements of the Sudanese foreign minister come as Ethiopia gears up for the second filing of the GERD in July despite Egypt and Sudan’s complete rejection of the filling absent a legally binding agreement on the dam’s operation.
The second filling will collect around 18.4 billion cubic metres of Blue Nile water, up from the 4.9 billion cubic metres withheld during the first filling last year.
Sudan fears the GERD will put the operation of its Roseires dam and the lives of its citizens – approximately 20 million people – at “a very high risk” if an agreement regulating its operation and filling is not reached before the second filling.
During the lecture attended by diplomats and reporters in the Qatari capital, the Sudanese foreign minister criticised the populist and out-dated polices that Ethiopia has tried to promote, pitting Africans against Arabs.
Regarding the Declaration of Principles signed in 2015 between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, Mariam Al-Sadiq stated that the declaration can be built upon given good intentions, but it also has gaps that can be exploited by parties with bad intentions, giving no further details about the specific gaps in the agreement.
The foreign minister also called on the United Nations Security Council to launch negotiations between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt within a certain time frame in order to reach a legally binding agreement on the filing and operations policies of the dam.
She added that Sudan has legal, political and diplomatic options to make Ethiopia sign a legally binding agreement, without revealing those options.
In previous statements, Sudanese officials said that they would pursue international legal action against the companies participating in construction of the dam.
Despite her criticism of Ethiopia, the Sudanese foreign minister reiterated that the solution to the GERD issue must focus on cooperation and must involve an agreement between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia that doesn’t force its will on the others.
“The GERD should be a factor of stability and cooperation as Sudan owns vast fertilised land, Egypt owns technology and Ethiopia has manpower,” She said.