Egypt and Sudan both rejected Ethiopia’s plan to share data on the Renaissance dam.

Egypt and Sudan refused an Ethiopian request to exchange data on the operation of its massive hydropower dam on the Blue Nile on Saturday, after talks between the three countries in Kinshasa this week ended in failure.

Ethiopia is banking its economic growth and power generation aspirations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Egypt fears would jeopardise its Nile supply. Sudan is also worried about the consequences for its own water flows.

“Ethiopia invites Sudan and Egypt to nominate dam operators for data exchange before the filling of GERD in upcoming rainy seasons,” the Ethiopian foreign ministry wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

But Cairo and Khartoum maintained that they are seeking a legally binding agreement over the operations of the dam, which Addis Ababa says is crucial to its economic development.

“Sudan believes that exchanging information is a necessary procedure, but that the Ethiopian offer to do so in the manner indicated by their letter implies suspicious selectivity in dealing with what has been agreed upon,” the Sudanese irrigation ministry said on Saturday.

After the Kinshasa meeting, Ethiopia emphasized that the second-year filling of the dam reservoir would be carried out as scheduled.

Sudan will hold 600 million cubic meters (785 million cubic yards) of water at its Jebel Awliya reservoir to “ensure the continued operation of the pump stations on the White Nile and the Nile river to meet agricultural and drinking water needs” in preparation for Ethiopia’s second fill, Sudan’s state news agency SUNA reported on Saturday.

The Egyptian irrigation minister told a local television talk show on Saturday that although reserves at the Aswan High Dam might help mitigate the impact of a second fill, his main concern was drought management.

Sudan and Egypt suggested that the European Union, the United States, and the United Nations serve as mediators in addition to the African Union’s current facilitation of the negotiations. Ethiopia, according to both nations, opposed the suggestion during the Kinshasa conference.


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