Sudan threatens legal action if Ethiopia dam filled without deal

Sudan threatens legal action if Ethiopia dam filled without deal

Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas says Ethiopia rejected invitation to three-way summit to discuss stalled negotiations over GERD.

Ethiopia has said it planned to complete the second phase of filling the dam during the upcoming rainy season [File: Eduardo Soteras/AFP]

(Aljazeera)—A Sudanese minister has warned that his country could take legal action against Ethiopia if the latter goes ahead with plans to fill a mega-dam on the Blue Nile without first reaching a deal with Khartoum and Cairo.

In a series of Twitter posts on Friday, Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas also said Ethiopia had “objected” to an invitation for a three-way summit to discuss stalled negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been locked in inconclusive talks for nearly a decade over the filling and operation of the massive dam, which broke ground in 2011.

The Ethiopian government says GERD is crucial for economic development and power generation, but Egypt fears it will imperil its water supply. Sudan is also concerned about the effect on its own water flows.

Ethiopia has said it planned to complete the second phase of filling the dam during the upcoming rainy season, a move Sudan and Egypt rejected before a binding legal agreement was reached.

If Ethiopia goes ahead with the filling, Sudan “would file lawsuits against the Italian company constructing the dam and the Ethiopian government”, Abbas warned.