KINSHASA, 10 April 2021 – African Union-mediated talks between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan over the Ethiopian mega-dam on the Nile River have collapsed, according to Sudan’s independent newspaper Al-Intibaba.
The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Felix Tshishekedi, who holds the rotating presidency of the African Union (AU) was hosting the talks in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.
The delegation from Khartoum reportedly left the talks shortly after they started, according to Al-Intibaba.
Sudan is accusing Ethiopia of “intransigence”. Pointing to Addis Ababa’s insistence to begin a second phase of the filling of the reservoir of the dam with or without a deal being concluded with the other two stakeholder countries to the dam.
Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, who attended the talks, accused the other Nile downstream countries – Sudan and Egypt – of obstructing the talks and having a “rigid stance”, according to a statement published on the pro-Ethiopian government Fana website.
So far, Ethiopia has rejected a request by Sudan and Egypt to involve the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and the African Union.
Another round of talks are expected to open during the third week of April 2021.
Sudan and Egypt have expressed fears that the filling of the dam could jeopardize their water supply.
Egypt depends on the waters of the Nile for about 95 percent of its water needs for drinking and agriculture.
Sudan seeks a say in the management of the mega-dam in the hope that it can use the project to better mitigate the impact of recurrent floods and droughts.