Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a statement to the Sudanese and Egyptian people on Thursday, two days after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok called for a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) once the second filling was completed.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister stated he kept his promise to fill the dam during the rainy season to prevent floods in downstream countries. “I would like to assure you once again that this filling will not cause any harm to any of our countries, and GERD will remain a real gain and a symbol of mutual cooperation and development,” he stressed.
On Tuesday, Hamdok stated that his administration will make every effort to urge Ethiopia to sign a tripartite agreement on the filling and operation of the massive hydropower project near the Ethiopian border. According to Sudanese officials, the filling impacts around 20 million people in the downriver basin and poses a threat to the Roseires Dam’s safety.
Egypt will not be directly affected by the filling, but authorities have expressed concern that a lack of agreement will reduce the quantity of water they receive in the future. The latest UN Security Council illustrates the international community’s limitations in resolving the crisis, while the African Union, as proven by the South African and Congolese mediations, has had little leverage to broker a deal.
According to previously announced plans, Ethiopia would be able to store 13.5 billion cubic meters in the second filling, up from 4.9 billion cubic meters in the first filling in July 2020.