Home | News    Wednesday 11 December 2013

Nile basin countries fail to agree on dam construction


December 11, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Water ministers of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt failed to reach an agreement on the disputed Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project and decided to refer the sticking points to a third meeting.

JPEG - 19.2 kb
Planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (file/AP)

The second ministerial meeting which was held in Khartoum on Monday sought to reach an agreement on forming a joint mechanism for implementing the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) regarding the dam.

The IPoE is composed of six representatives each drawn from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, and another four international experts and was established to assess the impact of the dam project on downstream countries.

The report which was submitted by IPoE to the three countries last June is believed to show that the $4.7 billion dam will not have any major effect on lower riparian countries of Egypt and Sudan. However Egypt assert that the deficiencies mentioned by the report need to be addressed before carrying on with the dam project.

The Sudanese water minister, Muattaz Musa Abdallah Salim, told reporters following the meeting that they have addressed a significant part of the issues on the follow-up of the implementation of the IPoE recommendations.

He added that they concluded the second meeting successfully, pointing that remaining issues would be addressed in Khartoum during talks which will be held from January 4 to 5.

The Egyptian water minister, Mohamed Abdel-Mutalab, for his part told reporters that they reached an agreement on some items but others are still pending.

Sources close to the meeting said that Egypt and Ethiopia presented two papers on the points of contention, while Sudan’s paper attempted to reconcile the two positions.

The same sources said that Egypt wanted international representatives on the committee but Ethiopia preferred national delegates.

The Sudanese daily newspaper Al-Ray Alaam quoted sources on Tuesday as saying the Egyptian delegation suggested that Ethiopia should only complete the first phase of the dam to store 14.5 billion cubic meters to produce 1200 MW of hydroelectric power to meet its energy needs.

The member of the Egyptian delegation, Alaa Al-Zawahri, earlier said that Egypt would suggest during the meeting that Ethiopia build a smaller dam and suspends the ongoing construction for six months until the completion of the studies.

He described in an interview with the Egyptian CBC TV the Sudanese stance with regard to the dam as "puzzling", pointing that Sudan turned from a strategic partner of Egypt into a biased mediator.

Egypt demanded Ethiopia to agree with it and Sudan on the dam’s operating and storage rules through a technical mechanism formed by the three countries besides implementing the necessary projects to avoid the negative effects of the dam.

When the dam project, which will have power generation capacity of 6,000 MW, goes operational, it will generate up to 2 million Euros per day from exporting hydro-electricity.

Egypt believes its "historic rights" to the Nile are guaranteed by two treaties from 1929 and 1959 which allow it 87 percent of the Nile’s flow and give it veto power over upstream projects.

But a new deal signed in 2010 by other Nile Basin countries, including Ethiopia, allows them to work on river projects without Cairo’s prior agreement.

Both Sudan and Egypt have not signed the new Nile Basin deal.

Sudan also relies on Nile resources but has said it does not expect to be affected by the dam.

On Wednesday Sudan and Ethiopia inaugurated a cross-border electricity linkage. Media in Khartoum said Sudan will initially buy 100 MW from Ethiopia through the 321-kilometre (199-mile) line.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 11 December 2013 12:06, by Jalaby

    Frankly speaking, we’re not hurt by Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project at all but in fact we’re getting very cheap electricity from Ethiopia now and that proposed dam will benefit us a lot, apart from the cheap electricity we will get, this dam will offer us a permanent runny water in Blue Nile river over the whole year and we don’t need to worry much whether it rains

    repondre message

    • 11 December 2013 12:47, by Jalaby

      in Ethiopia highland or not!
      It’s true that our interest with Ethiopia is much bigger than Egypt for now!
      Al-Sisi should give back what he stole from Egyptians people and restore the democratic process in Egypt before talking about water and dams and then report himself to ICC because of the crimes he committed against civilians by killing them with cold blood!

      repondre message

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Who was behind the killing of civilians in Bor? 2014-04-22 06:50:43 By Peter Gai Manyuon "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death", from unknown author. (...)

Embracing victimhood to celebrate victimisation 2014-04-22 06:28:12 By Juliana Bol April 21, 2014 - It was a bit disturbing to hear news of our citizens in the IDP camps (where they are seeking protection and shelter) celebrating the recapture of Bentiu -in (...)

South Sudan: Revenge Killings is not the basis for building a modern nation 2014-04-21 05:39:31 By Steve Paterno April 20, 2014 - The theme of this article develops as a result of my extensive research and writings on a culture of revenge killings among South Sudanese communities, (...)



Latest Press Releases

Sudan: No justice for protest killings 2014-04-23 21:06:10 Human Rights WatchRelease Detainees and Punish Abusive Forces (Nairobi, April 21, 2014) – Sudanese authorities have failed to provide justice for scores of civilians killed in anti-government (...)

SDFG mourn the loss of a Sudanese activist 2014-04-20 09:02:39 The Sudan Democracy First Group mourns the loss of Osman Hummaida, a towering figure of the human rights movement in Sudan, and a tireless campaigner for democracy and peace in the country. Osman (...)

UNICEF supports emergency response for children in Sudan with 89 tons of life-saving supplies 2014-04-19 09:47:06 Khartoum, 18 April 2014 --- Today in Khartoum airport, UNICEF received 89 tons of life-saving supplies to support the humanitarian response to children affected by emergencies in various hot (...)


Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.