July 20, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan will continue to call for a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GRED) despite the completion of the second filling, said Prime Minister Hamdok on Tuesday.
On 19 July, Ethiopia has completed the second year filling of the GERD reservoir by impounding 13.5 bcm.
In a speech broadcast to the nation on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, Hamdok stressed that the dam issue remains at the top of the priorities of his government.
“Despite the announcement by the Ethiopian government of the completion of the second filling in continuation of its unilateral actions, we continue to call for refraining from unilateralism and conclude a legally binding agreement under the international law,” said Hamdok.
“We will spare no effort to achieve this goal to preserve Sudan’s national interests,” he further stressed.
Officials in Khartoum say the hydropower dam, which is located near the Sudanese border, cannot be filled or operated with no binding agreement under international law to coordinate the reservoir operations.
But the Ethiopian government believes that such an agreement aims to prevent future projects to develop the country.
Yilma Sileshi a member of the Ethiopian negotiating team stated that the second filling has been achieved without harming the downriver countries. He called on Sudan and Egypt to cooperate with his country to achieve the dam which would benefit the three countries, as he said.
During a meeting with the EU envoy for the Horn of Africa on Tuesday, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said the second filling took place during the wet season as provided in the Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries in March 2019.