Faki in Khartoum to diffuse Renaissance Dam tensions
The Chariman of the African Union, Moussa Faki, arrived to Khartoum on Saturday in an attempt by the Union to diffuse Renaissance Dam tensions between countries of the eastern Nile river basin.
On Saturday, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maryam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission held discussions focused on the Renaissance Dam crisis.
Faki arrived in Khartoum for a two-day visit, discussing the Ethiopian dam crisis and the transition process in Sudan.
In the meeting, Al-Mahdi reiterated Sudan’s position, calling on the importance of reaching a legal and binding agreement on the dam’s filling and operating rules.
For his part, Faki explained, “their readiness to provide any possible assistance to facilitate reaching an agreement between the parties.”
Sudan calls for expanding the umbrella of negotiations to include the United Nations, the European Union and the United States, while Ethiopia adheres to the African solution.
The delegation accompanying Faki included the Chairperson of the Commission for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ediwe Bankolé, Senior Adviser to the Chairperson of the Commission Mohamed El Hassan Wad Labbad, and the Head of the African Union Liaison Office in Khartoum and the Commission’s spokesperson, Ambassador Mohamed Bel’aiche.
Moussa Faki stressed on the Commission’s keenness in stabilizing the situation in Sudan in order to help present a model for a successful transition to democratic governance.
He also praised the transitional government’s efforts in facing challenges, especially economic ones.
According to the Sudan News Agency, on Friday, the delegation will meet, during the visit, with Transitional Sovereignty Council chairman, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, his deputy Lieutenant-General Muhammad Hamdan Daglo, Prime Minister Dr. Abdullah Hamdouk, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Maryam Sadiq al-Mahdi.
Last month, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, presented an initiative to remove the deadlock in the negotiations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Both Khartoum and Cairo fear that Addis Ababa will be able to control the waters of the Nile once it has completed the giant dam project.
The dam holds 74 billion cubic meters, which is an amount of water approximately equal to the annual share of Sudan and Egypt in the Nile River.
Sudan and Egypt base their opposition to the dam on agreements that obligate Ethiopia to obtain approval and share information before operating any of its water projects.
In contrast, Ethiopia argues that colonial-era agreements are not binding.
The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced Ethiopia’s efforts to repudiate previous agreements in an earlier press statement.
Ethiopia is building the Renaissance Dam on territory lost by Sudan to Ethiopia as a result of a colonial agreement in 1902 AD.
Weeks ago, in a similar attempt to diffuse Renaissance Dam tensions, the United States of America called on Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia to resume negotiations on the Renaissance Dam, in the first serious and direct move since Joe Biden’s administration assumed presidency of the White House.