Sudan and Ethiopia commit to resolve the Nile row with Egypt

Friday May 4 2018

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) meets

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) meets with Sudanese President Omar Bashir following his arrival in Khartoum for an official visit to Sudan on May 2, 2018. PHOTO | AFP 

By MOHAMMED AMIN
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Sudanese and Ethiopian leaders have confirmed their commitment to resolving the disputes with Egypt over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) peacefully.

President Omar Bashir and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, at a meeting in Khartoum, reiterated their commitment to the 2015 tripartite principles they signed with Egypt.

“Our two countries are committed to the declaration of principles on the GERD and the importance of the tripartite committee in this regard,” President Bashir said.

Mr Abiy re-affirmed Ethiopia's commitment to the win-win principle regarding the Nile water sharing in general and the GERD issue in particular.

Border demarcation

He further commended the stance of Sudan regarding the dam.

President Bashir said the border problems between his country and Ethiopia have been resolved, adding that only technical work was needed to implement the agreement.

He added that the two countries had finalised the border demarcation.

“Regarding the border demarcation between our two countries, we have no differences on the maps. We only need to accelerate the technical work on the ground to avoid any disputes in the future,” President Bashir said.

He also said that the two sides would go further with the formation of the joint defence forces at the border, pointing out the two leaders had ordered their Defence and Interior ministers and governors of the border states to meet and push those efforts forward.

Mr Abiy disclosed that Ethiopia was considering opening the common border for more bilateral trade and engagement between the two nations.

He further noted that his country and Sudan were working for the peace in South Sudan, under the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad).

“The ongoing cross border cooperation between our two countries and the consultation for peace and security matters at all levels is commendable. Our joint efforts to bring about lasting peace to the conflict in South Sudan is also a case that demonstrates our commitment to see harmony and prosperity in the horn of Africa,” Mr Abiy.

A breakthrough

Mr Abiy arrived in Khartoum on Wednesday for a two-day visit.

He is accompanied by Foreign Affairs, Defence and Water Resources ministers and the governors of the border states.

The talks held in Khartoum between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt last month failed to achieve a breakthrough on the Addis Ababa and Cairo dispute.