Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Osama al-Saeed

How Will the Conflict in Sudan Impact Egypt's Stance over GERD?

A view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). (Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy)

The fighting between the Sudanese military and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has raised concerns that it may affect the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file as Ethiopia prepares for its fourth filling of the dam on the Nile River.

Observers and experts told Asharq Al-Awsat that the fighting will have a "direct impact" on a number of regional files, including the GERD crisis.

The fighting will "weaken Sudan's reservations" on the filling of the fourth reservoir that is set to begin in summer.

The weakened Sudanese position will only create a greater burden on Egypt and its international efforts to tackle the crisis, added the observers.

A spokesman for the Ethiopian foreign ministry declared last week that his country was determined to complete the construction of GERD.

Addis Ababa does not need anyone's permission to kick off the fourth filling of the dam, he added, stressing that the move will not harm Egypt and Sudan.

Ethiopia had completed the second filling in July 2021 and the third in August 2022. Just days ago, it announced that it had completed 90 percent of the dam.

The developments have deepened the dispute between Ethiopia with Egypt and Sudan that oppose the filling the dam and who have accused Addis Ababa of acting unilaterally.

Former Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Dr. Nasreddine Allam said the fighting in Sudan was unfortunate.

Sudan's stability is in Egypt and the region's strategic interest, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Any unrest in Sudan will have deep repercussions on vital strategic files, including water security, he remarked.

He added that the united Sudanese and Egyptian positions were a "real guarantee" that ensures the historic and legal rights of the Nile basin countries.

Cairo and Khartoum fear that the GERD will impact their share of the Nile waters. They have been demanding that Ethiopia join them in signing a binding legal agreement that manages the filling and operation of the dam.

Negotiations over the issue have stalled since January 2021.

Deputy Director of the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies Ayman Abdulwahhab told Asharq Al-Awsat that the unrest in Sudan will directly impact several regional files, including the GERD dispute.

As Ethiopia nears the fourth filling, Sudan will unlikely make any protests or express any reservations amid its internal turmoil, he noted, throwing an added burden on Egypt to handle this vital file.

He urged regional powers, starting with Egypt, to act to put a stop to the internal fighting in Sudan to "avoid a repeat of painful experiences in history", such as those seen in Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen and Syria, where internal conflicts flared out to have regional consequences.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.