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AfricaNews.com: Three-nation Nile talks on disputed Ethiopia dam end in deadlock

Posted by: Berhane.Habtemariam59@web.de

Date: Saturday, 07 April 2018

Three-nation Nile talks on disputed Ethiopia dam end in deadlock

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Friday that a fresh round of talks to respond to Egypt’s concerns over a mega dam being built by Ethiopia on the Nile has failed

A 17-hour discussion between foreign ministers and intelligence officers failed to resolve differences over Ethiopia’s $4bn (£2bn) Grand Renaissance Dam being built along the Nile.

“We spent the whole day talking as ordered by the leaders of the three countries, but we didn’t reach an agreement… I can’t specify what the disagreements were, but they were technical issues,” Mr Ghandour told reporters.

Talks on the controversial dam were suspended in February amid political turmoil in Ethiopia which led to the sudden resignation of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

A new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, was sworn in this week on 2 April. Hopes for stability are pinned on Ahmed, the country’s first prime minister from the large Oromo ethnic group, whose members have been protesting for a number of years for better representation.

“The disagreements are technical in nature,” added Mr. Ghandour without providing further details and without giving a possible date for the next meeting. His counterparts in Ethiopia and Egypt refused to talk to reporters.

The Renaissance dam is supposed to become the largest hydroelectric power station in Africa. It was originally scheduled to start operating in 2017, but according to Ethiopian media, its construction is only 60% complete.

Egypt insists on its “historic rights” on the river, guaranteed by treaties dating from 1929 and 1959 that grant nearly 87% of the flow of the river to Egypt and Sudan.

After initially opposing the project, Sudan now supports it.

Egypt fears that the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile which started in 2012 will reduce the flow of the river which it depends 90% for its water supply.

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