African Union-mediated Ethiopia Nile Dam Talks Collapse

KINSHASA (Somaliguardian) – Talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the Nile dam in Congo’s capital have collapsed on Tuesday after foreign ministers of the three countries failed to issue a final statement.

It was earlier expected the joint communiqué to be issued on Monday, but due to differences over a number of key sticking points the talks were extended for another 24 hours.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Samih Shukri said “no progress was made at the end of this round” on the controversial dam, adding that Ethiopia was stubborn despite a flexibility shown by Cairo and Khartoum.

In addition, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement that Ethiopia rejected all proposals and alternatives put forward by Egypt, adding that the Ethiopian position revealed the absence of a political will to negotiate.

Egypt accused the government of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of refusing to return to the negotiations and of being intransigent, complicating the Renaissance Dam crisis.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Asma Abdalla stressed that Addis Ababa’s efforts to impose a fait accompli policy on the mega dam ‘constitutes a violation of the international law’, shortly after foreign ministers walked out of a meeting in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Egyptian and Sudanese governments are pursuing an international quadripartite mediation, though Ethiopia had earlier rebuffed similar proposals, insisting on African Union-mediated talks to end the long-standing dispute over a hydro-electric dam it is constructing on the Blue Nile River.

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