Prof. Abbas: Information on Filling and Operation of Renaissance Dam is Right

The Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Prof. Yasser Abbas, pointed out that obtaining information and data on the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam is a legal right and not a grant, according to the international Law of Transient Waters.

At a press conference he held Wednesday at the ministry, Prof. Abbas said that the media handling of the issue of the Renaissance Dam must be accurate and balanced in the information and data, stressing Sudan insistence that negotiation is the best solution to reach a binding legal agreement regarding the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam.

He affirmed the need to achieve an exchange of information to maintain the safety of the Sudanese dam system from Rosseires up to Khartoum and Atbara.

He pointed out that the information and data achieved by the technical team working at the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources are better than the information sent by the Ethiopian Prime Minister to Sudan on the second filling, saying that “the exchange of information between Sudan and Ethiopia will not affect the operation of the Renaissance Dam and will not pose a threat to progress of the construction, despite its importance to the security of Sudan.

He pointed out that the Ethiopian Minister of Irrigation and Electricity stated in his message to Sudan on July 5 that Ethiopia will reserve 13.5 billion cubic meters, while the total stored water in the Renaissance Dam’s Lake in the current year was four billion cubic meters.

The Minister of Irrigation explained that the Renaissance Dam benefits Sudan in the field of electricity generation, reducing floods and silting, and operation of the Rosseires dam, provided that there is a legally binding agreement and the exchange of information and data, noting that the lack of agreement on filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam threatens half of Sudan’s population.

He called for a change in the previous negotiation methodology and giving a greater role for the International Quartet and giving them a greater role to reach a binding and legal agreement.

Prof. Abbas indicated that the failure of previous negotiations to reach an agreement led Sudan to address the UN Security Council, as the sitting was held at the request of Sudan on June 21 and was supported by Egypt on June 25, explaining that the insistence for holding serious negotiations aims to preserve the right of everyone but not to waste time, especially that 90% of the technical items had been reached, and the remaining is 10%, represented the legal issues.

He stressed that the Blue Nile is an international river that is shared by three countries: Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, and that Ethiopia wants to impose a fait accompli in the second filling unilaterally without reaching an agreement.

He referred to the American position in the Security Council, which he described as positive and urged the African Union to continue negotiations and rejected the unilateral filling of Ethiopia.

He pointed out that the mission of the Ministry of Irrigation is to forecast floods and to help other sectors to take precautions.