Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said that Ethiopia’s intention to fill the Renaissance Dam without an agreement threatens 20 million Sudanese, equivalent to half the population of Sudan, stressing that his country is seeking to involve more international mediators.
The Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) quoted Abbas as saying today, Monday, that Ethiopia’s announcement of its intention to fill the dam reservoir – which is located on the Blue Nile River near the Sudanese border – poses a direct threat to the operation of the Sudanese Roseires Dam, and thus threatens all irrigation projects in the Blue Nile to the city of Atbara in Kassala State (eastern Sudan).
The minister added, “Nearly 20 million people are under threat, and we hope to reach an agreement before filling it as a serious threat to the Sudanese national security.”
He added that his country is taking technical and diplomatic precautions in anticipation of the filling process that the Ethiopian authorities intend to carry out next July.
Abbas said that his country is seeking during these days to strengthen the mediation of the African Union, and to introduce the United Nations, the European Union and the United States to play the role of mediators in the Renaissance Dam crisis that has existed for years.
A way to collaborate
Abbas expressed his hope that the Renaissance Dam would be a means for regional cooperation instead of being a focus of political conflict between the three countries (Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan), calling for serious thinking about the basic philosophy of the Ethiopian dam, which calls for regional cooperation, generating electricity from Ethiopia, and increasing agricultural production and food security from Sudan. , And the industry from Egypt.
Amid mutual accusations of intransigence between it and Cairo and Khartoum, Addis Ababa confirms that it will continue to fill the reservoir of the Renaissance Dam, whether or not it has reached an agreement with Sudan and Egypt on the rules for filling and operating the dam, whose cost exceeds $ 4 billion, and its works have progressed by more than 70%.
After reaching a dead end, negotiations between the three countries stopped in November, and a consultative meeting last month, sponsored by the African Union and with the participation of the foreign and irrigation ministers of the three countries, did not result in any progress towards getting out of the current impasse.
At a time when Egypt fears that the operation of the Renaissance Dam without a binding agreement threatens its share of the Nile water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic meters annually, Ethiopia affirms that it will contribute to the growth of its economy and will not negatively affect Egypt and Sudan.