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Ex Negotiator Warns of the Nile Water War

From his office in central Khartoum, Ahmed al-Mufti prepares every day for what he believes is the water war to come. This conviction led Mufti, a prominent human rights lawyer and water expert, to quit the Sudanese delegation that is negotiating Nile water issues with Egypt and Ethiopia. Ethiopia is due to begin filling the dam’s reservoir later this year, following a decade of fraught negotiations between the Nile Basin countries. In early April, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, declared that construction would be completed despite the challenges of the pandemic, with the reservoir to be filled during the rainy season that starts in June. Mufti left Sudan’s delegation to the talks in 2010 after Ethiopia declared it would continue building. Now, in addition to his human rights work, he spends his days touring farming communities to warn them of the risks of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and working on a newsletter that follows dam developments in minute detail.