Sudanese Water Minister Yasser Abbas said Ethiopia declined an invitation to attend the trilateral summit to discuss stalled negotiations on the GERD.
A Sudanese minister warned that his country could take legal action against Ethiopia if it continued its plans to fill a large dam on the Green Nile without reaching an agreement with Khartoum and Cairo in advance.
In a series of posts on Twitter on Friday, Sudanese Water Minister Yasser Abbas also said Ethiopia had “opposed” the tripartite summit invitation to discuss Negotiation stalled through the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been locked in inconclusive negotiations for nearly a decade on the filling and operation of the massive dam that broke ground in 2011.
The Ethiopian government says GERD is important to economic development and power generation, but Egypt fears it will affect its water supply. Sudan is also concerned about its own water flow.
Ethiopia said it planned to complete the second phase of the dam’s filling during the upcoming rainy season, a move that Sudan and Egypt rejected before reaching a legally binding agreement.
Mr. Abbas warned that if Ethiopia continues to fill, Sudan “will file a lawsuit against the Italian company that built the dam and the government of Ethiopia”.
Failure to reach an agreement will pave the way for a complaint to the Security Council, arguing that the GERD is a real threat to regional peace and security.
– GS. Yasir Abbas (@MinY_Abbas) April 23, 2021
He said the lawsuits would emphasize that the “environmental and social impacts and dangers of the dam” were not fully considered.
“As the environmental and social impacts and associated risks of GERD have not been studied, various options are being considered, including the International Court of Justice, the Human Rights Commission and the COMESA Tribunal. . “
There was no immediate response from the Ethiopian government.
Talks in Kinshasa overseen by the African Union (AU) collapsed earlier this month, after which Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok invited the leaders of Ethiopia and Egypt to Khartoum. He gave them up to Friday to attend.
Meanwhile, Abbas said that while previous negotiations Between the three countries has reached an agreement more than 90% of the issues still exist, that progress is currently under doubt.
“AU did not perform its leadership role,” Abbas wrote on Twitter. “They are just observers and we see that there is no serious methodology for reaching an agreement,” he said, adding that nine months “have been wasted in futile negotiations, and we will not waste any more time ”
Sudan and Egypt have proposed to include the European Union, the United States and the United Nations as mediator in the dispute in addition to the AU continuing to facilitate negotiations. Both countries said that Ethiopia had rejected the proposal.
Ethiopian Water Minister Seleshi Bekele told Reuters news agency Addis Ababa does not believe negotiations between the three countries have ended or has failed, adding that the appropriate next step is for heads of state. will meet under the umbrella of AU.
Tensions over the dam come as Sudan’s relations with Egypt warm up while its relations with Ethiopia are affected by a dispute over the use of al-Fashaga farmland near their common border.
In March, Sudan said it had accepted the United Arab Emirates’ offer to mediate with Ethiopia over the GERD and the disputed border area.
Abbas said the UAE’s initiative includes investment opportunities in the al-Fashaga region as well as an “informal attempt to close the perspective gap on the GERD”.