The Minister for Irrigation and Water Resources says Ethiopia’s unilateral move in July would ‘threaten the lives of half the population in central Sudan’.
Sudan has said that neighboring Ethiopia should not move unilaterally by filling a large dam on the Blue Nile River, saying such a move would threaten its national security.
Saturday’s comments by Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas marked the latest expression of Sudanese concern about Addis Ababa’s clear determination to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) without reaching the first agreement of Khartoum and Cairo. to be done.
Abbas quoted the Reuters agency as saying, “One-way reconnaissance dam filling in July next year poses a direct threat to Sudan’s national security.”
In a separate interview with the news agency AFP, Abbas said that filling the dam would threaten the lives of half the population in central Sudan, as well as irrigation water for agricultural projects and electricity generation. [Sudan’s] Rogers Dam ”.
There was no immediate response by Ethiopian authorities.
Ethiopia is building GERD on the Blue Nile River, which is close to its border with Sudan, and says the dam is critical to its economic development. Sudan hopes the hydroelectric dam will control annual flooding, but fears that its own dam, including Rogers and Mervo, will suffer damage if no agreement is reached.
Meanwhile, Egypt considers the GERD a major threat to its freshwater supply, of which more than 90 percent comes from indigo.
Ethiopia began to fill the reservoir behind its dam last summer, despite demands from Egypt and Sudan that it should first reach a binding agreement on the operation of the dam.
The latest three-way talks were held last month in the presence of observers from the African Union (AU) and the European Union, but failed to make the top.
On Saturday, Abbas said that Sudan was proposing a mediation role for the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and the AU as a way to break the deadlock in talks about the dam between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. .
The Blue Nile flows north into Sudan, then Egypt and the main tributaries of the Nile River.
The world’s longest river, the Nile, is a lifeline that supplies both water and electricity and crosses 10 countries.
Its main tributaries, the White and Blue Nile, flow into the Mediterranean Sea through Egypt at Khartoum before flowing north.
Tensions between Addis Ababa and Khartoum increased in recent weeks amid Abbas’ warning, following skirmishes in the al-Fashaq border region, where Ethiopian farmers cultivate fertile land claimed by Sudan.
In December last year, Sudan accused Ethiopia of “armies and militias” ambushing its troops along the border, leaving four wounded and more than 20 wounded. Both sides have been advancing tanks and heavy weapons ever since, pressuring each other to contest.