The Spanish newspaper Elbais said that the curse is chasing the Renaissance Dam that Ethiopia is building on the Nile, especially as it relates to Egypt's concerns, and indicated that Cairo and Addis Ababa are seeking to win the sympathy of Sudan in order to reach a settlement on that conflict.
She added that time is running out for the parties concerned with the crisis that reached a dead end, and quoted the website of the Egyptian newspaper "Mada Masr" that Cairo and Khartoum recently rejected a proposal submitted by Addis Ababa regarding the initial stage of mobilization, which is already scheduled this summer, and demanded to negotiate a final understanding.
Egypt totally opposes starting the dam without a prior agreement, but Addis Ababa insists that it will continue its plans with or without an agreement with Cairo.
Ethiopia is building the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, to be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, and says it has been completed by 73%, and is counting on it to increase its capacity to generate energy by 115%. However, Egypt - which depends 98% on the Nile water - fears that the construction will harm its share of that precious resource.
The newspaper pointed out that the three countries were scheduled to sign last February, a US-sponsored agreement on the filling and management of the dam, but the Ethiopian delegation withdrew at the last minute.
|The Ethiopians are accelerating the pace of construction in the Renaissance Dam, with the aim of gradually starting to fill it (Al-Jazeera)|
Addis Ababa wants to reopen negotiations, but Cairo refuses to bury the text of the agreement, which was sponsored by Washington and accuses Ethiopians of obstructing negotiations to impose a fait accompli on other countries.
The newspaper quoted the Egyptian ambassador, Mohamed Hegazy - former assistant foreign minister and close to the negotiating team - as saying that "what Egypt is now trying to do is to work with Sudan and Ethiopia through direct and indirect diplomacy, to return to the negotiating table."
Since the collapse of the American initiative, Ethiopia and Egypt have intensified their diplomatic activities to mobilize support for their position, while Sudan's position - which is going through a fragile democratic transition - is more complicated, due to the lack of consensus among its leaders.
The newspaper explains that while Sudanese army leaders are inclined towards the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, civilians - represented in the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdouk - tend to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed.
According to the newspaper, Ethiopia and Egypt have made noticeable concessions to Sudan in recent weeks, with the aim of winning their hearts in the struggle over the Renaissance Dam.
In mid-April, Addis Ababa ceded to Khartoum a border area that had been the subject of conflict between the two sides for years.
On the other hand, the Sudanese government announced a few days ago to connect its electrical network to the Egyptian network, after Cairo invested $ 1 million to ease the electricity supply shortage that Sudan suffers from. Addis Ababa offers Khartoum to bridge this gap as soon as the dam is at full capacity.
As if all this was not enough, the outbreak of the Coruna virus represented an additional challenge for the parties involved in the dam crisis.
The newspaper quoted the official in charge of Ethiopia's affairs in the International Crisis Group, William Davison, as saying that Corona had caused those parties to be largely preoccupied with other issues now, and prevented any meeting that would push the negotiations forward.
Although Ethiopia has confirmed that it will not stop construction work on the dam, Davison indicates that the epidemic may cause further delay in its construction, as Ethiopia imports some of the materials necessary to complete it.