Sudanese Delegation Visits DRC for Ethiopian Dam Talks

A map showing the location of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Kinshasa — Foreign Affairs Minister, Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, and Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Yasir Abbas, travelled to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), yesterday to participate in three-day talks about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

DRC President, Félix Tshisekedi, took over from South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, as the chairman of the African Union (AU) on February 7. The chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, is also expected to attend.

The Sudanese delegation is participating in the current round of talks to identify and agree on the negotiation methodology and paths to ensure constructive negotiations that go beyond the stalemate which has dominated the negotiations since November, according to the Sudan News Agency.

The meetings will focus especially on the Sudanese proposal to have international parties join a quadripartite mediation to assist the three parties to reach a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the GERD.

On March 13, Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok wrote a letter to the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, and the USA to request formation of a 'quartet committee' to mediate in the negotiations of the GERD. In the letter, Hamdok suggests changing the method used in the negotiations, which led to the failure to reach an agreement between the three parties during the past negotiation period, as well as establishing an approach based on the presence of the main international partners.

The EU and the USA have both affirmed their willingness to mediate in the negotiations on the GERD, between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan.

Hamdok's letter follows an agreement reached in Cairo earlier this month between Hamdok and Egyptian President Abdelfattah El Sisi, who said "nobody will be permitted to take a single drop of Egypt's water, otherwise the region will fall into unimaginable instability," on Tuesday.

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