Any unilateral step by Ethiopia to fill its hydropower project, called the Renaissance Dam, in July would directly threaten Sudan’s national security, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas said on Saturday, reported Reuters.
Sudan is also proposing a mediation role for the United States, European Union, United Nations and African Union as a way of breaking the deadlock in talks about the dam between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, Abbas told Reuters in an interview.
His comments come at a time of increased tension between Sudan and Ethiopia over disputed farmland near their shared border.
This is on top of tension over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, close to the border with Sudan.
Ethiopia began filling the reservoir behind the dam after the summer rains last year despite demands from Egypt and Sudan that it should first reach a binding agreement on the dam’s operation.
Egypt views the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as a major threat to its fresh water supplies, more than 90% of which come from the Nile. The Blue Nile flows north into Sudan then Egypt and is the Nile’s main tributary.
Ethiopia says the dam is crucial to its economic development.