Sudan reaffirms adherence to AU leadership in Nile dam issue

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has reaffirmed the country’s adherence to the leadership of the African Union (AU) over the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile river.

“Our official position continues to adhere to African Union’s leadership in the Renaissance Dam issue,” Xinhua news agency quoted Hamdok as saying at a press conference in Khartoum on Monday.

Sudan and Ethiopia are discussing about Khartoum’s return to the GERD negotiating table after it decided not to participate in a ministerial meeting on November 21.

Sudan demands the GERD talks go beyond the level of irrigation ministers to the leaders of the three countries and the AY and US observers be given a status of mediators, changes in which Egypt and Ethiopia apparently find no interest.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been negotiating under the AU over technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the project.

But Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its fresh water, are concerned that the dam might affect their water resources.