Africa Talks in Sudan over controversial Nile dam fail

Talks in Sudan over controversial Nile dam fail

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Ibrahim Ghandur

A new round of talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in the Sudanese capital Khartoum over Addis Ababa’s massive hydroelectric dam project along the Nile have failed to achieve a breakthrough, Sudan’s minister of foreign affairs said early Friday.

Addressing the media after more than 12 hours of meetings, Ibrahim Ghandur admitted that the three countries had failed to achieve any significant results, adding that the ministries of irrigation in the three countries will meet to look into the technical disagreements.

“We sat for long hours, discussing many issues, but we failed to reach any consistency to make a joint decision regarding our differences,” the top Sudanese diplomat disclosed.

However, he declined to elaborate on the areas of the technical disputes.

The talks resumed Thursday after a two-year suspension.

In 2011, the Ethiopian government began construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile (a tributary of the Nile River) near the border with Sudan.

In the seven years since, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have held several rounds of talks on the dam’s anticipated impact on Nile water resources.

Addis Ababa says electricity generated by the dam — which was originally slated for completion this year — will help eradicate poverty and contribute to the country’s development.

Egypt, however, fears the dam could adversely affect its historical share of Nile water as defined in a colonial-era water-sharing treaty.