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CAIRO (Sputnik) – Sudan is preparing to take legal action against Ethiopia and an Italian company that implements the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) if Addis Ababa will carry out a second filling of the dam, the minister of Sudanese irrigation Yasser Abbas.
The GERD is a large-scale initiative that has been running on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia since 2011 and is expected to become the largest dam in Africa once completed. The project has raised water security concerns from Egypt and Sudan, with talks between the three countries reaching a standstill. Ethiopia plans to proceed with the second phase of refilling the reservoir during this summer’s rainy season in July. Sudan has warned that the initiative would damage the country’s electricity production.
“Several teams of Sudanese legal experts, with the help of international law firms, are preparing legal actions against the Italian company undertaking the project and the Ethiopian government to obtain compensation for the damage that will be caused to Sudan,” said Abbas. in an interview. with Sudan TV.
The minister added that several scenarios have been developed for the implementation of the second phase “without reaching a legally binding agreement [on filling and operating the dam between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia]. “
The lawsuit will focus on the risks posed by the initiative, including the lack of assessment of the impact of the dam construction on the environment and social activity in the region.
Khartoum is opting to appeal to the International Court of Justice, human rights courts and the Common Market Organization for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on the matter.
Abbas also said that Ethiopia has rejected a recent initiative put forward by Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to hold a trilateral summit on the controversial dam project. Earlier, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry had said that negotiations could resume around the third week of April.
In early April, the Egyptian foreign ministry said no progress had been made during the latest round of talks on the dam, which took place in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This round was the first under the presidency of the Democratic Republic of Congo of the African Union and a new US administration.