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Khartoum Catches Addis Filing Up Controversial Dam

Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas has warned Addis Ababa against a planned phase second filling of a controversial dam reservoir without signing an agreement with the stakeholders, adding that the move threatens the safety of Sudanese citizens who live on the banks of the Blue Nile River. Ethiopia has held several rounds of talks with Sudan and Egypt, which fear that the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will lead to water shortages in their countries. His remarks on Monday were made during a meeting with the Head of the European Union mission to Sudan Robert van den Dool, and his deputy Daniel Weiss, Sudan’s state-run news agency SUNA reported. The meeting comes within the framework of informing foreign ambassadors in Khartoum on the developments in negotiations between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia over the long-running dispute involving the filling and the operation of the $4.6bn mega-dam. According to SUNA, Abbas provided an explanation on the progress of the talks and the proposals submitted by Sudan to push African Union experts to take on a larger role in the negotiations. A new round of talks between the three neighbours began last month, but quickly broke down without crucial breakthroughs. Earlier attempts at resolving the dispute were also rendered fruitless.