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Sudan calls on UN Security Council to break GERD negotiations deadlock

April 20 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (File photo:
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (File photo:

The Sudanese transitional government has called on the UN Security Council to intervene to help break the current negotiations deadlock between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), after the latest round of talks in Kinshasa earlier this month produced little progress.

A letter addressed to Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam, who holds the presidency of the UK Security Council for April 2021, signed by Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi Foreign Minister, warns that the “the latest developments related to the GERD negotiations… may have serious negative impact on the situation in Sudan, the neighbouring countries, and would cast a negative shadow over the peace and security of the region as a whole”.

The Sudanese government has made its position clear regarding the GERD. In a statement covered by Radio Dabanga yesterday, it asserts that “while Ethiopia negotiates for its right for socio-economic development, and Egypt for the right of its water share, Sudan negotiates to safeguard the lives of more than 20 million people living downstream the GERD”.

In her letter to the UNSC Presidency, Minister El Mahdi points out that “The AU-led process, which started in June 2020, has been of no significant progress due to lack of good will explore efficient methods.”

El Mahdi’s letter lays out Sudan’s arguments on its position, and asks the UNSC to “take note of the stalled negotiations under the auspices of the African Union… to encourage all parties to refrain from taking unilateral actions…” and “to support the efforts of Sudan calling for a mediation process… to negotiate an amicable agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD and to immediately resume negotiations in good faith with the aim of resolving the outstanding issues and concluding a final comprehensive agreement as soon as possible.”


On March 13, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok wrote a letter to the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, and the USA to request formation of a ‘quartet committee’ to mediate in the negotiations of the GERD. In the letter, Hamdok suggests changing the method used in the negotiations, which led to the failure to reach an agreement between the three parties during the past negotiation period, as well as establishing an approach based on the presence of the main international partners.

The EU and the USA have both affirmed their willingness to mediate in the negotiations on the GERD, between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan.

Hamdok’s letter follows an agreement reached in Cairo earlier this month between Hamdok and Egyptian President Abdelfattah El Sisi, who said “nobody will be permitted to take a single drop of Egypt’s water, otherwise the region will fall into unimaginable instability.”

Read the full letter here

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