Skip to main content

Ethiopia, Egypt dam feud drags on

The future of the negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the New Renaissance Dam is hazier than ever as the political and technical deadlock persists.
A man walks over a bridge by the construction of Ethiopia's Great Renaissance Dam in Guba Woreda, some 40 km (25 miles) from Ethiopia's border with Sudan, June 28, 2013. Egypt fears the $4.7 billion dam, that the Horn of Africa nation is building on the Nile, will reduce a water supply vital for its 84 million people, who mostly live in the Nile valley and delta. Picture taken June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri (ETHIOPIA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) - RTX115K9
Read in 

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Negotiations between Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum have entered a decisive stage in which the parties must express their final stance concerning the controversy and disagreement caused by Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, which threatens Egypt’s annual share of the Nile waters. Meetings involving the parties’ foreign affairs and water ministers have intensified, as Ethiopia and Egypt are preparing by finding alternatives that speed up the implementation of the studies should the feud deepen and the negotiations fall through.

On Dec. 11, the foreign affairs and water ministers met in six-party talks in Khartoum, after the failure of technical initiatives to break the deadlock over a mechanism to reduce the dam’s repercussions on Egypt and Sudan. These talks represent a new attempt at direct political negotiations to reach an agreement or a mechanism guaranteeing no harmful effects for Egypt and Sudan will come from the dam. However, construction is underway regardless of the results of the negotiations or studies, which are supposed to modify the construction standards if needed to mitigate the damage.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.