Sudan says Ethiopia has no justification for rejecting mediation

Sudan says Ethiopia has no justification for rejecting mediation
Sudan's water and irrigation minister Yasser Abbas gives an interview with AFP at his office in the capital Khartoum on February 6, 2021 [EBRAHIM HAMID/AFP via Getty Images]

Sudan ‘s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources said on Monday that Ethiopia does not have strong arguments to oppose mediation by the proposed Quartet over the Renaissance Dam, Anadolu has reported. Yasser Abbas made his comments on the fringe of events to mark World Water Day, 22 March, which were broadcast on state television.

Earlier this month Sudan proposed that the UN, the US, the EU, and the African Union should mediate on the issue. The proposal was backed by Egypt.

« Ethiopia cannot justify the rejection of mediation, » said Abbas. « We have been insisting on giving the African Union’s experts a chance to bridge the gap between the disputing parties, but Addis Ababa refused to do it. » This was, he added, a surprise. « We believe that this proposal is excellent for bridging divergent views. »

The Sudanese official called on Ethiopia to accept the principle of mediation to reach a fair, legal, and binding agreement on the Renaissance Dam, meet the requirements of the three countries — Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan — and prioritise cooperation over the dispute.