Sudan asks U.N. Security Council to meet over Ethiopia’s Blue Nile dam


KHARTOUM (Abaypress) – Sudan requested that the United Nations Security Council convene on Tuesday to discuss a disagreement over Ethiopia’s construction of a massive dam on the Blue Nile, according to a government statement.

Ethiopia is banking on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) for economic development and electricity generation, while Egypt and Sudan, the dam’s downstream neighbors, are concerned and want a firm agreement on the dam’s filling and functioning.

Egypt relies on the Nile River for up to 90% of its fresh water and views the dam as a threat to its existence. Sudan is concerned about the operation of its own Nile dams and water treatment facilities.

According to a government release, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi has requested that the Security Council hold a meeting as soon as possible to examine GERD and its “effect on the safety and security of millions of people.”

In a letter to the head of the council, she urged him to push Ethiopia to halt the “unilateral” dam filling, which “exacerbates the issue and constitutes a threat to regional and international peace and security,” according to the statement.

Ethiopian officials did not respond to requests for comment right away.

Sudan and Egypt agreed earlier this month to collaborate on all levels to pressure Ethiopia to negotiate “seriously” on a deal after African Union-sponsored negotiations stalled. Both countries have appealed to the international community to step in.

Arab governments called on the UN Security Council earlier this month to consider the dispute and Ethiopia’s plans to proceed with the dam’s second filling this summer despite the lack of an agreement with Sudan and Egypt.

Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry stated emphatically that it rejects the Arab League resolution in its entirety.

Egypt and Sudan had previously requested that mediators from outside the African Union be brought in.

Sudan had previously stated that it was open to a temporary interim deal on the multibillion-dollar project provided certain conditions were met.