Sudanese authorities have made their first official response to Ethiopia beginning Renaissance Dam hydroelectric power generation.
On Monday, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Ethiopia operating the Renaissance Dam’s turbines to generate electricity as a “violation of international obligations.”
This week, Ethiopia announced it had begun producing electricity from the dam located near the Sudanese border.
A statement issued by the official spokesman for the Sudanese Renaissance Dam negotiations team, Omar Al-Farouq Sayed Kamel, said that Ethiopia’s actions were “contrary to the spirit of cooperation, and constitutes a violation of Ethiopia’s international legal obligations.”
He stressed that the step violates what was agreed upon between Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt in the Declaration of Principles Agreement.
The statement reiterated Sudan’s supportive position for reaching a binding legal agreement on filling and operating the dam, far from unilateral solutions.
The statement urged the African Union to play a role in changing the methodology for negotiating the dam crisis, according to specific timetables.
Khartoum and Cairo fear that Ethiopia will be able to control the waters of the Nile once it completes the giant dam project.
Sudan and Egypt base their opposition to the dam on agreements obligating the latter to obtain their approval and share information with them in any of their water projects.
On the other hand, Ethiopia says that the agreements made during the colonial era are not binding.
Ethiopia built the Renaissance Dam on a territory annexed from Sudan as a result of a colonial agreement in 1902.
In exchange for the territorial transfer to Ethiopia, the agreement set a condition for Ethiopia to obtain the consent of Sudan and Egypt before establishing water projects on the Nile.
The dam is geographically located at the end of the Blue Nile, in the Benishangul Gumuz region, about 20-40 km from the Sudanese border.