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News: Sudan asks UNSC to discourage Ethiopia from filling the GERD before comprehensive deal

“The construction reached 73.7%. We are on active work of installing the two turbines, conveyance systems, bottom outlets & raising the lower blocks. Revised work schedule is being delivered as planned,” Dr. Seleshi Bekele on May 27.

Please click here to download the document Sudan submitted to the UNSC

Addis Abeba, June 03/2020 -In a June 02 letter addressed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Sudan’s Foreign Minister Asmaa Mohammed Abdalla asked the SC to “discourage all parties from taking unilateral actions including filling the GERD prior to concluding a comprehensive agreement.”

Sudan’s 15 pages letter followed suit of similar letters sent to the UN in the first two weeks of May first by Egypt followed shortly by Ethiopia.

Sudan’s letter to the UN urging to discourage Ethiopia from unilaterally commencing the first stage of the filling of the GERD is consistent with its earlier position after it backtracked on accepting Ethiopia’s April 2020 proposal and said the three countries should reach at a tripartite agreement “before the start of the first filling of the Renaissance Dam.”

Ethiopia’s proposal of April 10/2020 outlines plans for the first stage filling, which is scheduled to take two years to complete, will see the dam up to 595 meters above sea level and allow its reservoir to retain 18.4 billion cubic meters. Ethiopia has continued to maintain its position on its scheduled first stage filling beginning from June 2020. The letters sent to the UN further affirmed its position that Ethiopia “does not have legal obligation” to seek Egypt’s approval to begin the first stage filling of the GERD.

In its letter the tn UN Sudan highlighted its benefits from the GERD including electricity supply, irrigated agriculture and other benefits such as decrease of sedimentation in its own dams hence longer lifespan, decrease in damages caused by exceptionally high floods.

However it said that “for the above benefits to materialize closer cooperation and coordination is prerequisite in the way GERD is operated,” and raised dam safety, social impacts, and sediment reduction, among others.

Sudan also asked the UNSC to support its efforts and “call upon all parties to resume negotiations in good faith immediately.” The call comes in the backdrop is a stalled negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan
both due to the effects of COVID-19, but more so after Ethiopia has refused to take part in the US mediated talks.

Unlike Egypt’s letter however, Sudan’s letter refrained from pleading to continue with the US mediated talks. AS

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