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Sudan wants a confidential leaders meeting over Ethiopian Dam

Sudan sees the confidential meeting as something that does not violate the provision of the declarations of principles to which Ethiopia and Egypt are signatories

Sudan _ Ethiopia _ Confidential meeting
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdella Hamdok (Photo : SM Abdella Hamdok page)

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Sudanese Prime Minister Abdella Hamdok reportedly called for a closed-door leaders meeting over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). 

According to a report by Sudan Tribune, which was published on April 13, Sudanese Cabinet sees its invitation for a confidential heads of state meeting does not violate the Declaration of Principles (DoP) which was signed in March 2015. 

The meeting aims to assess the stalled talk over GERD and explore alternatives to end the deadlock between the three countries (Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt).

Apparently, Sudan planned it all. It is going to be a Prime Ministerial level meeting which means that Egyptian president will not be part of it.

According to the source, Sudan hopes the meeting will happen within ten days. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia is yet to react to the Sudanese call for a confidential meeting.  Egypt did not respond either. 

The last negotiation was held in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the leadership of the African Union. The talk failed as Egypt and Sudan proposed to take the negotiation outside the AU platform by way of changing the observer roles of the United States and European Union (EU). 

Earlier this week Ethiopia offered Egypt and Sudan on information exchange for the second filling of the Dam poised to happen during the rainy months July and August.  However, the offer was declined by both countries who demanded what they call a binding agreement before the filling. 

They see the second phase of dam filling as a national security threat if it happened without a binding agreement – and the binding agreement they are looking for in not just on the operation and filling of the dam but on the use of the Nile river as a whole.  

The two countries already entered into a military pact and have recently been carrying out joint military training including with their airforce. 

Ethiopia seeks to retain about 13 billion cubic meters of water during the second phase of filling. And that is seen as part of the construction process which is said to have reached about 80 percent. 

This week, Ethiopia accused Sudan of jeopardizing peace and security in the Horn of Africa.

It remains to be seen if the confidential meeting will bring about a change, if Ethiopia accepts it at all.
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