Tripartite negotiation between the Nile Basin countries Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt failed once again after Sudan refused to have the bilateral meeting that was postponed from last week after the country’s refusal to hold trilateral meetings. Sudan refused to have the bilateral meeting with the AU assigned experts as proposed by the AU Chair putting enhancement of the TOR of the experts as a prerequisite. The ongoing meeting was formulated according to previous demands of Sudan and now, the country is urging the negotiations to stop.
A press release from Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was issued uncovering the vital details of the virtual tripartite negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on January 10, 2021. The meeting was assembled by the Ministry of International Relations and Corporations of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the AU Council.
The meeting was led by the countries Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Water Affairs as part of ongoing tripartite negotiations aimed at finding a middle ground on the usage of the transboundary river Nile and the building of GERD.
Although in previous times, Sudan proclaimed to have the roles of negotiation facilitators increased as discussion continues, Sudan declined Chairperson of the AU Council's suggestion to further elongate the tripartite agreement to a three-day bilateral meeting assisted by AU experts followed by another three-day meeting and outcome report.
“We cannot continue this vicious cycle of circular talks indefinitely,” Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasir Abbas said in a statement. Sudan refused the continuation of the tripartite dialogue and completed ending such meetings once and for all. Furthermore, Sudan submitted yet another prerequisite that the meeting TOR provided by experts be modified.