Nine-year-long dispute between Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt likely to end in Upcoming Weeks

On 26th June 2020, Ethiopia’s Water Minister has stated that a consensus had been reached between the three countries(Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt) over the USD 4.5 billion worth Giant Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the dam will not be filled unilaterally by Ethiopia. Three countries have been involved in continuous negotiations over the years to reach an agreement.

Over the last couple of months, there were serious clashes and unprecedented escalations reported for the border between Ethiopia and Sudan. Now with the tripartite agreement likely to be signed in upcoming weeks, regional stability at the Horn of Africa might improve significantly in upcoming years.

Background

In 2011 when Ethiopia started construction for the dam on the Blue Nile, Egypt immediately protested. As the Blue Nile which originated from Lake Tana in Ethiopia flows downstream through Sudan to Egypt. Egypt is dependent on the Nile River for freshwater estimated that the dam might block its annual share of water resources of 55.5 billion cubic meters.

Nile River

The Nile River is the longest river in the African continent. There are two major tributaries of the river- the White Nile and the Blue Nile. These two tributaries of the Nile River meet near the capital of Sudan, Khartoum. The White Nile and the Blue Nile enter Sudan from South Sudan and Ethiopia respectively before converging to the north of Khartoum. From Khartoum, the river flows downstream to enter Egypt.

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