Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to Resolve Dam Dispute in January

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Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to Resolve Dam Dispute in January

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on Wednesday made a commitment to resolve their dispute over the massive Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam project in Ethiopia by January 2020 after holding talks with the US.

Foreign Ministers of the three nations issued a statement saying they would continue negotiations in talks to be held in Washington on December 9 and January 13 hoping to find a resolution by January 15, 2020.

“The ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and to establish a clear process for fulfilling that commitment in accordance with the 2015 Declaration of Principles,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass also signed the statement.

This Dam project has been in works since 2011 and runs along the Nile River. Ethiopia plans to fill and operate the reservoir in 2020. On completion, the dam will become Africa’s biggest dam generating about 6,450 megawatts of electricity which doubles Ethiopia’s current output.

The Nile River supplies electricity and water to the 10 countries it passes through.

Egypt fears the filling of the dam reservoir on the Blue Nile tributary will restrict already scarce supplies of water from the Nile, on which the country is almost entirely dependent. Egypt has suffered water crisis in recent years and relies on the Nile river for 90% of its drinking water.

Sudan is also downriver from the project and fears the dam could cut its water supply as well.

Ethiopia says the hydroelectric dam, which will be Africa’s largest, is crucial to its economic development.

The three countries had already been in talk but after it broke down earlier this year, Egypt invited the US to mediate in the dispute.

Water ministers of the three countries will attend the meetings in Washington, as well as the US Treasury and World Bank.

If by January 15 an agreement is still not reached, the Ministers agreed to involve an international mediator to resolve the dispute.

Culled from

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