Sudan seems more dependent on the Congo Presidency of the African Union than South Africa, in the direction of getting Ethiopia to accept the internationalization of mediation on the Renaissance Dam, according to official sources who spoke to Al Jazeera Net. Although Khartoum is likely not to agree to Addis Ababa, it believes that “internationalization will expose its positions to the world,” according to the sources.
And Sudan’s negotiating team on the Renaissance Dam has long complained in closed rooms that Egypt, in calculating the damages, is not concerned with reaching an agreement before Ethiopia begins the second filling of the Renaissance Dam in next July.
However, a spirit of optimism possessed the Sudanese delegation at a meeting held yesterday, Sunday, one day after the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to Khartoum.
After talks with the head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council in Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sisi announced Egypt’s support for Sudan’s proposal to adopt quadripartite mediation that, along with the African Union, includes the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.
Sudan says that the second filling of the Renaissance Dam of 13.5 billion cubic meters poses a threat to its dams in the Blue Nile and threatens the lives of 20 million Sudanese living on the banks.
The chief Sudanese negotiator, Mustafa Hussein Al-Zubair, head of the technical staff at the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, says the Quartet mediation is a full-fledged Sudanese proposal.
Al-Zubair assures Al-Jazeera Net that after Egypt adopts this proposal, this represents a beneficial development and constitutes pressure on Ethiopia, given that two of the 3 parties want to expand the mediation because the old approach has proven to be ineffective.
If Ethiopia rejects the quartet mediation, the chief negotiator indicates that Ethiopia will then face pressure from the international community, and its positions will be exposed to the world, and then Sudan could escalate international complaints.
He notes that Sudan, through the quadripartite mediation, wants to give more influence to the experts, because during the past negotiations they did not have the supreme word, although they are more able to reach an agreement because of their knowledge of international law.
With the transfer of the presidency of the African Union from South Africa to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the latter became a new player in the marathon Renaissance Dam negotiations.
Last February, the President of the Congo, President of the current African Union session, Felix Tshisekedi, his Special Adviser to the African Union, Ntumba Luaba, sent to Sudan, where he met with Prime Minister Abd Allah Hamdok and Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas.
Sudan formally asked Tshisekedi to form a quadripartite mediation to oversee the talks between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt on filling and operating the Grand Prix dam under the leadership of the African Union and adding the United Nations, the European Union and America.
According to official sources who spoke to Al-Jazeera Net, Sudan is more dependent on the Congo than South Africa, which led the mediation last period by virtue of its presidency of the African Union.
However, the same sources expect that Ethiopia will stick to rejecting the Quartet mediation, and add, “In general, it would be useful to expose its stances internationally and regionally.”
The chief Sudanese negotiator in the Renaissance Dam negotiations says that Sudan has reassured the Congo, within the framework of the principle of African solutions, that it does not want the Quartet mediation to pull the rug from under its feet, but rather everything that it wants to expand the mediation headed by the African Union, considering that the intervention of others would be useful.
The legal advisor and a member of the Sudanese negotiating delegation, Hisham Abdullah Abdo Kahin, confirms that the Khartoum proposal does not deviate from the African mediation, but rather to expand it under the presidency of the African Union.
In light of the refusal of the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Dina Mufti, to internationalize mediation and his country’s adherence to the agreement of principles, Kahin explains to Al-Jazeera Net that the expansion of mediation does not deviate from the declaration of principles because Article 10 of the declaration states that if the parties “Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia” do not succeed, mediation can be resorted to with the consent of The three countries.
He adds that the United States, the European Union and the African Union were part of the Renaissance Dam negotiations as observers, and what is required now is to upgrade their capacity as mediators, provided that the new player in these negotiations is the United Nations.
He says, “There is a need to develop mediation. This is the best solution, because returning to the old form of negotiation is unacceptable after 8 months of negotiations in which positions diverged.”
As soon as Sudan secured Egypt’s support for the quartet mediation proposal, it approved on Sunday activating and intensifying ongoing contacts with the European Union, the United States and the United Nations, as well as the African Union.
At the conclusion of the talks of the foreign ministers of Sudan and Egypt, last week, Cairo announced its support for Khartoum’s proposal to develop the negotiation mechanism for filling and operating the Renaissance Dam into quadripartite mediation.
And confirms the chief Sudanese negotiator, “Now there are contacts with all parties to the mediation.”
It is reported that Khartoum, with the testimony of the US Treasury, has always presented proposals and initiatives, as Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malabas sponsored talks in Washington between the three countries that reached in January 2020 a preliminary agreement to define the procedures for filling the Renaissance Dam in stages, but Ethiopia rejected it.
Last February, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, an envoy of the European Union, arrived in Khartoum to hold consultations on the border tension between Sudan and Ethiopia and the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
# Khartoum_After_Minions, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ended a visit to Sudan – yesterday, Saturday – that could be added to the gradations of the transition …
Posted by Muhammad Hamed Juma Nawar on Saturday, March 6, 2021
Journalist and political analyst Mohamed Hamid Gomaa said that Cairo believes that Khartoum concurred with the issue of the Renaissance Dam with positions it considered closer to its position, because it expressed its concern and fears about the second filling process.
Jumaa confirmed on his Facebook account that Sudan suddenly changed his proposal, which was described as the closest to the Ethiopian position, to a request to add partners to the African Experts Committee, while Cairo was insisting on Western experts and observers.
He continued, “This is necessarily the form of a new situation from which it can be seen that the visions of Sudan and Egypt will be two for one, which is a new transition, and naturally it will mean a lot to Cairo.”
And he expected Egypt to support Sudan in its border crisis with Ethiopia, as it is the closest party, along with other factors related to the Sudanese interior that oblige it to attend strongly.
“With the peace agreement between the transitional government, armed factions, normalization, and the project to develop the transition in Sudan that is supported by the Arabs and the West, Cairo is first to be present in the scene, and this may lead in the coming days to a strong political and economic Egyptian openness,” Jumaa added.
He stressed that “the features of the recent military understandings between the Sudanese and Egyptian armies definitely mean that any shock in Khartoum confuses the situation, and according to those agreements, the Egyptian army will have a legitimate cover to tip the right party.”