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Sudan ask UN Security Council to meet over dam dispute

Mohamed Ali Fazari
Press TV, Khartoum

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi has called on the United Nations Security Council to hold a session as soon as possible to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and its impact on the safety and security of millions of people.

In a letter to the council’s head, Almahdi asked him to urge Ethiopia to stop the “unilateral” filling of the dam which he said exacerbates the dispute and poses a threat to regional and international peace and security.

Sudan's Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas warned that if the second filling is completed without a binding legal agreement, Sudanese legal teams backed by international legal firms would file lawsuits against the Italian company that is executing the project and demand compensation from the Ethiopian government.

According to experts, Sudan wants Ethiopia to commit to a legally binding agreement rather than guidelines on the amount of water retained and the timetable for filling the reservoir. It also wants clarity on how disputes will be resolved in the future.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been locked in inconclusive talks for nearly a decade over the filling and operation of the massive dam which broke ground in 2011.

The Ethiopian government says the project known as GERD is crucial for economic development and power generation, but Egypt fears it will imperil its water supply. Sudan is also concerned about the effect on its own water flows.

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