The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose country holds the presidency of the African Union, Felix Tshisekedi, announced on Tuesday that negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will resume in the “near future”.
This came in a speech by the Congolese president at the opening session of the general debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, in the presence of more than 110 heads of state and world leaders.
Egypt and Sudan exchange accusations with Ethiopia of being responsible for the failure of negotiations on the dam, sponsored by the African Union for months, within a negotiating process that began about 10 years ago, due to differences over its operation and filling.
On April 6, a round of negotiations ended in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, without “progress,” according to statements by Khartoum and Cairo.
In his testimony, Tshisekedi said: “Since assuming the current presidency of the African Union, I have sought to facilitate the settlement of the dispute between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam.”
He added, “I took a number of initiatives, including organizing the Kinshasa negotiations last April and direct consultations with the heads of the three countries during my diplomatic tour last June.”
“This approach made it possible to identify a few (he did not disclose) points that still require coordination between the parties in order to conclude a fair and binding agreement, taking into account the interests of each of them,” he added.
The Congolese president stressed that “improving a climate of mutual trust is necessary, and the three countries have been informed of these points, and discussions will resume in the near future,” without specifying a date.
He stressed that “the presence of observers and any country or institution accepted by the parties would be welcome,” referring to Sudan’s adherence to Egyptian support for strengthening African mediation with a European, UN, American presence.
About a week ago, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a presidential statement (15 countries) calling on the three countries to resume negotiations led by the African Union in order to reach a binding agreement.
Addis Ababa says that it does not aim to harm the interests of the downstream states of the Nile, Egypt, and Sudan, but rather to generate electricity from the dam for development purposes.
While Cairo and Khartoum are calling for the conclusion of a legally binding tripartite agreement, to preserve their water facilities, and the continuation of the flow of their annual share of the Nile water.