KHARTOUM

Sudan warned Wednesday that the filling of an Ethiopian hydro-electric Nile dam without an agreement with downstream countries would pose a risk to the country’s dams.

The warning came after talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) collapsed earlier this month.

Egypt fears that the Ethiopian dam would reduce its water share, while Ethiopia maintains that the project is necessary for national development and regional electricity interconnection.

Negotiations between Cairo and Addis Ababa center on the pace at which Ethiopia fills the 74 billion cubic meter reservoir behind the dam and the impact that could have on water supplies downstream in Egypt and Sudan.

Sudanese Minister of Irrigation Yasser Abbas said filling the GERD without an agreement would pose a risk to the Sudanese dams, especially Alrosiaris dam, which is only 25 kilometers from the Sudanese-Ethiopian border.

“Sudan conditioned the signing of an agreement before the beginning of filling the GERD as the safety of Alrosiaris dam is directly connected to the operation of the Ethiopian dam,” he told a press conference in Khartoum.

The Ethiopian minister said Khartoum has received an invitation from Khartoum to return to the negotiations on the dam project.

He, however, said that the return to the talks is linked to the breakthrough the prime ministers of the three countries can make in the coming days.

The minister went on to say that Sudan will submit a report on its concerns about the Ethiopian dam to the UN Security Council.

Last week, Egypt requested the UN Security Council to intervene to resolve the dispute with Ethiopia over GERD.

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