Addis Abeba, January 05/2021 – Sudan failed to attend planned virtual meeting of Ministers of Water Affairs of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan scheduled for January 04, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy said.
Sudan on its part says it received no response to its request to “hold a bilateral meeting with the African Union experts and observers” in the evening of the same day the January 03 meeting ended, prompting it to “reserve participation in Monday’s meeting.”
The virtual meeting of Ministers Water Affairs of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan scheduled for [Monday January 04] could not be held due to the non-attendance of the delegation of the Sudan. The Delegation of Egypt, AU assigned experts, and observers attended the meeting following the invitation extended by Ethiopia – the chair of the meeting.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopia, while communicating its reservations to the chairperson of the AU Executive Council, had agreed to adopt the document drafted by the AU assigned experts as an input to the trilateral negotiation.
Nevertheless, the meeting planned to take stock of agreed and outstanding issues could not be held due to the absence of the Sudanese delegation. Ethiopia notified this development to the chairperson of the AU Executive Council.
Full statement from Sudan Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources
Based on the outcomes of the tripartite ministerial meeting between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, which was held on, Sunday, January 3, Sudan submitted a request to hold a bilateral meeting with the African Union experts and observers in the evening of the same day.
Sudan did not receive a response to its request, and instead Sudan received an invitation to continue the direct tripartite negotiation, which prompted Sudan to reserve participation in Monday’s meeting, confirming its firm position on the need to give a role to the African Union experts to facilitate the negotiation and bring the apartment closer between the three parties.
The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources affirms its adherence to the negotiation process under the auspices of the African Union in compliance with the principle of African solutions to African problems, provided that experts play a more effective role in facilitating negotiations.