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From deadlock to progress – Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan

From deadlock to progress – Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan

In an unexpected turn of events, the three negotiating countries over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) announced that they have reached a milestone agreement regarding the negotiations over the dam’s impacts on downstream countries.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, who discussed on the sidelines of the 30th Heads of State and Government Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa announced on Monday that they have reached an agreeable point to deal with issues arising in the dam’s construction.

"Congratulations, we solved our problems," Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi told reporters after holding discussions with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and Omar al-Bashir.

The said agreement, although not pronounced by the discussants, involves the completion of the dam’s impact assessment which was contracted to the French companies BRL and Artelia within a one month period.

GERD discussions were said to have reached “deadlocks” and no way forward for additional dam discussions. But, the recent consensus among the leaders of the three countries comes as a surprise to many.

The dam “was never intended to harm any country but to fulfill vital electricity needs and enhan­­ce development cooperation in the region,” Hailemariam told the state broadcaster the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).