Sudan, Egypt issue statement over South Sudan’s plan to build dam on Nile
South Sudan recently announced its plan to build a new hydroelectric generating dam on the Nile river. This development has come as the dispute between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has escalated.
Speaking to the media, South Sudan’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Deng Dau Deng has said that the dam will help the country in preventing floods and generating electricity. Responding to the announcement, Sudanese Irrigation Ministry spokesperson Osama Abu Shanab said that the country received no information from South Sudan about their plans to develop a dam on the Nile river.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of it. I have received no information on plans to build dams in South Sudan. They would have notified us if they had such plans. South Sudan will not implement plans to build dams on the White Nile without first notifying us and the Egyptians,” the spokesperson said in a press statement issued on June 24.
Furthermore, Mamdouh Antar, head of Nile water affairs at the Egyptian Irrigation Ministry, extended support to South Sudan for any projects, as long as they do not affect Egypt’s share of the Nile water and do not prejudice its water resources. “There are close relations with South Sudan and there are several Egyptian projects currently being implemented there,” Antar said in a televised statement on June 26.
In recent years, Egypt has expanded its presence in South Sudan by providing economic and developmental assistance to the country. Egyptian Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Aty also visited South Sudan from June 21-25 to hold meetings with key officials of the government.
“He (Mohamed Abdel Aty) explored with senior officials in South Sudan the developments on the Nile waters issue and the current stance vis-a-vis the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations,” a statement released in the matter said. Significantly, South Sudan has also been trying to mediate border dispute with Ethiopia and Sudan.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is likely to meet next week to discuss the ongoing dispute between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt over GERD amid stalled efforts to reach a solution.