Appeal For ‘Fresh Start’ As Nile Dam Talks Kick Off In Dr Congo

Foreign ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan kicked off negotiations in Kinshasa over Addis Ababa’s contested Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.

The dispute over the giant dam, built across this treasured river, has been brewing for around a decade.

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Félix Tshisekedi who became chairman of the African Union in February, urged the foreign ministers “to launch a new dynamic”.

For Tshisekedi, “The human dimension must be at the heart of these tripartite negotiations.”

Upstream Ethiopia says hydroelectric power produced by the GERD will be vital to meet the energy needs of its 110 million people.

Egypt, which depends on the Nile for about 97%of its irrigation and drinking water, sees the dam as an existential threat.

Sudan — also downstream, fears its own dams will be compromised if Ethiopia proceeds with filling the GERD before a deal is reached.

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