Sudan has expressed its concern about Ethiopia's announcement of its intention to proceed with filling the Renaissance Dam with more than 13 billion cubic meters of additional water by next July without coordination or agreement with Cairo and Khartoum.
Sudanese Minister of Irrigation, Yasser Abbas, said in a letter to South African Minister of Cooperation Pana Dora, whose country is chairing the current session of the African Union, that "this operation poses a threat to the Sudanese Roseires Dam and to the lives of the residents on the banks of the Nile."
The Sudanese minister pointed out the negative impact of the first filling of the Renaissance Dam in July of last year, and it caused problems in drinking water stations in the capital, Khartoum.
Abbas affirmed Sudan's commitment to continue negotiations on the Renaissance Dam under the auspices of the African Union at any time, if the methodology is modified to give a greater role to experts.
He stressed Sudan's commitment to the African Union initiative and awaits the scheduling of bilateral meetings between experts, observers and each country, before the ministerial meeting on January 10.
This is the first comment since Sudan refused to participate, on Monday, in a tripartite meeting, which was held through a video conference technology, with Egypt and Ethiopia on the Renaissance Dam negotiations.
The three countries have been engaged in stalled negotiations over the dam over the past 9 years, amid mutual accusations between Cairo and Addis Ababa of intransigence and an attempt to impose unrealistic solutions.
Egypt and Sudan want to sign a binding agreement on filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, while Ethiopia rejects such an agreement.
Addis Ababa insists on filling the dam with water even if it does not reach an agreement on it with Cairo and Khartoum, while the latter two insist on the need to first reach a tripartite agreement, ensuring that their annual share of the Nile water is not negatively affected.
Cairo is concerned about the potential negative impact of the dam on the flow of its annual share of the Nile water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic meters, while Sudan gets 18.5 billion.
Addis Ababa says it does not aim to harm anyone, and that the purpose of building the dam is primarily to generate electricity.