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Sudan has legitimate concerns about GERD unilateral filing

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April 9, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan has legitimate concerns about the unilateral filling of the Ethiopian giant dam, said a South Sudanese minister during a visit to Khartoum.

Manawa Peter GatkuothSouth Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Manawa Gatkuoth met with his Sudanese counterpart on Thursday to discuss bilateral cooperation and ways to update a framework cooperation agreement between the two sides.

Gatkuoth "affirmed Sudan’s legitimate concerns about the unilateral filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)," said the Sudan News Agency after the meeting.

"He called on the parties to the negotiations to reach a legally binding agreement on the GERD," further reported the official agency on Friday.

The visiting minister requested technical assistance from the Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation to build water harvesting pits and small dams, in addition to providing technical support in rehabilitating and maintaining pumps for Renk schemes.

Technical teams from the two countries will exchanges visits in the coming weeks.

On 2 April, the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported that Minister Gatkuoth received the Ethiopian Ambassador to Juba Nebil Mahidi.

According to the official agency, the South Sudanese minister said Ethiopia reaffirmed Ethiopia’s full right to utilize its natural resources for its development.

"According to the Minister, amicable negotiation will be the key to resolve the issues with the downstream countries on the GERD," further said ENA.

Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt again failed to strike a deal on a mechanism to finalize an agreement over the outstanding issues including the exchange of data related to the filling process with downstream countries, conflict resolution mechanisms and a legally binding agreement.

"The tripartite talk on the GERD within the framework of the African Union is the key to resolve the issue sustainably," said Ambassador Mahidi, expressing the rejection of his government of a four-way mediation led by the African Union including the United Nations, the US and the UK.

(ST)

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