UN ready to facilitate Nile dam agreement

United Nations:  The UN is ready to facilitate an agreement between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile river, according to a spokesman of the world body.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the UN has received a letter from Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on the issue, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We reiterate our readiness to support all efforts toward reaching an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

“Guterres welcomes initiatives to move the negotiations forward and awaits agreement from all the parties as to how the UN can best support the process,” he added.

Before any UN engagement, all the parties involved in the dispute need to agree on mediation, the spokesman further said.

Ethiopia, an upstream Nile basin country, started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile water.

Sudan has recently been raising similar concerns over the $4 billion dam.

Over the past few years, tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating the GERD, with a total capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, have been fruitless.

Ethiopia carried out the first phase of filling the dam in July 2020 and is expected to start the second phase later this year.

(IANS)

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