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Blue Nile Dam Negotiations to Reopen

A new round of trilateral talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia is scheduled to begin anew today as the three countries aim to work toward solving a myriad of issues surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River, according to Sudan’s state media. The 745-foot dam – to be used by Ethiopia for hydroelectric power – will affect downstream Nile River water used by Sudan and Egypt. The Blue Nile meets the White Nile at Khartoum, from which it flows to Egypt and then out to the Mediterranean Sea. Since September 2020, floods have inundated Sudan, leading to the displacement of hundreds of thousands, disruption of agricultural activities, and famine for millions. Khartoum hopes that the dam will help regulate water flow, whereas Cairo is worried about the amount of water that will flow down its section of the Nile. According to Sudan’s state-owned news service, SUNA, Sudan will propose that African Union experts take a “bigger role” in the negotiations as the sides seek to agree on the dam’s filling and operation. The last round of talks in November 2020 did not make any headway toward an agreement.