Sudan wants international quartet to mediate GERD process
February 24, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan will propose to the new African Union Chairperson to form a quadripartite mediation to broker the stalled talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
On Thursday, a delegation headed by Alphonse Ntumba Luaba from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which recently took over the presidency of the African Union will arrive in Khartoum to explore the Sudanese position on the filling and the operation of the giant hydropower dam.
“The Sudanese government hopes that DRC President Felix Tshisekedi will persuade Ethiopia and Egypt to accept quadripartite mediation that includes the African Union, the European Union and the United States in addition to the United Nations,” a senior Sudanese government official told the Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.
The official who preferred anonymity further said that the African Union, under the presidency of South Africa, failed to make tangible progress in the talks and also failed to bring Ethiopia to coordinate with Sudan in the first phase of filling the dam in July 2020.
Sudan calls for a mediation that can help progress and break the stalled process pointing to the failure of the direct talks between the three riparian countries which continue for more than nine years.
The Sudanese government says that rapid progress should be made in the talks before the start of the second phase of filling next July with about 13.5 billion cubic meters.
In July 2020, the unilateral first filling of the Renaissance Dam with about 4.9 billion cubic meters affected drinking water stations in Khartoum.
Also, the uncoordinated filing or release of water from the GERD which is located at 15 km from the border threatens electricity generation from Sudan’s Merowe Dam and Roseires Dam as well as the safety of the Roseires Dam and of 20 million Sudanese.
Egypt welcome the proposal
Before to arrive in Khartoum, Luaba held talks on the GERD in Cairo with the Egyptian government delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sameh Soukry.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez that Minister Shukri voiced his support to the Sudanese proposition of the quadripartite mediation.
“Minister Shoukry discussed with the Congolese delegation the Sudanese proposal which is supported by Egypt, to develop the negotiating mechanism of the Renaissance Dam through the formation of an international quartet includes, in addition to the African Union, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations,” said Hafez.
He further added that the multilateral mediation would be working under the auspices of President Tshisekedi.
Egypt previously was opposed to the mediation of the African Union and resisted Sudanese efforts to give the African experts a leading role in the process.
The European Union and the United States are already involved in the process as observers.
Observers believe that a greater international role in the process is needed after the deterioration of relations between Sudan and Ethiopia. Also, Ethiopia accused Egypt of instigating the border standoff with Sudan.