Multiple meetings over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the tense relationship between Khartoum and Addis Ababa took place on Wednesday and Thursday, in preparation for the expected filling of the dam in July by Ethiopia.
On Wednesday, the GERD committee, headed by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, discussed in a meeting about the necessary precautions which must be taken in the event that Ethiopia begins filling the dam, as it did last year.
During the meeting, Hamdok warned that Ethiopia will start the second filling of the GERD next July regardless of any agreement. Various national agencies and institutions must prepare for the negative effects on Sudan’s irrigation systems, electricity networks, and drinking water along the Blue Nile and Nile rivers up to the city of Atbara, if the dam is filled.
The meeting participants agreed that this event poses a direct threat to Sudanese national security. In a press statement on Wednesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, said that Ethiopia's allegations that Sudanese armed forces invaded Ethiopia’s territory are untrue and contradict the agreements signed by the two countries. She also stressed that the re-demarcation of the border cannot be postponed.
Mohamed Al Hassan Lebatt, an envoy from the African Union (AU) Commission, held separate meetings with Hamdok and Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ on Thursday.
The meetings followed the visit of Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Jamal El Sheikh, and discussed regional developments in light of the border tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia, as well as issues of common concern between the AU and the transitional government.
The President of the Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Abdelfatteh El Burhan, also received a letter from the AU Commission President, Moussa Faki, about the border tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia, and the issue surrounding the GERD.
In a press statement, Mohamed Al Hassan Lebatt stated that the AU has kept pace with developments in Sudan since April 2019 and exerted “all means possible” for the transitional government to be effective, harmonious, and representative of the will of the Sudanese people.