Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan agree to US-brokered deal over Nile dam

16 January 2020

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan said they reached an agreement on
the operation of a giant dam on a Nile tributary, a sign of easing tensions in
the region.

The countries issued a joint statement along with the US and
World Bank, which had participated as observers at meetings in Washington this
week. The pact lays out a plan to fill the reservoir in stages – a process
crucial to ensuring a reliable flow to Egypt, which depends on the Nile for
almost all of its fresh water.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin intervened
late last year in the long-running dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance
Dam, known as GERD, which threatened freshwater supplies and had put two of
Washington’s most prominent African allies at odds with each other. David
, president of the World Bank, was also involved in the talks.

The deal “addresses the filling goals of Ethiopia and
provides electricity generation and appropriate mitigation measures for Egypt
and Sudan during prolonged periods of dry years, drought and prolonged
drought,” the US Treasury said in a statement released Wednesday after three
days of negotiations.

The agreement for what is set to be Africa’s largest hydropower project will be finalised in Washington on January 29, according to the statement.

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