Ethiopia Attempts To Tie Border Conflict With Sudan To Deadlocked GERD Issue - Sources
Ethiopia tries to put pressure on Sudan during the talks over the deadlocked Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue, while making attempts to link it with the border disputes between the two countries, Khartoum's government sources told Sputnik
KHARTOUM (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 07th April, 2021) Ethiopia tries to put pressure on Sudan during the talks over the deadlocked Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue, while making attempts to link it with the border disputes between the two countries, Khartoum's government sources told Sputnik.
In late March, Sudan's government backed an initiative by Abu Dhabi to mediate the border conflict with Ethiopia, as well as the stalled situation around the Nile-based Renaissance Dam. The step reportedly came as Ethiopia's prime minister insisted that his country was not seeking a war with its African neighbor, calling for tensions over the eastern Al-Fashaqa border area to be resolved in a peaceful manner.
"We do not accept any preconditions that are considered unacceptable, or any steps, and the Sudanese armed forces will not leave the territories that they have regained in the eastern border areas," the source said.
According to Addis Ababa, the Sudanese military also took advantage of the situation in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region and advanced far into the nation's territory, while the Ethiopian forces were busy to restore order in Tigray following an armed escalation this past fall.
"The installation of boundary markers on the border with Ethiopia is an issue that has been already resolved before the start of any talks," the source added, specifying, among other things, that the UAE initiative's goal is to pressure Addis Ababa so that Ethiopia makes no attempt to link these two different cases.
Ethiopia initiated the controversial dam project, set to become Africa's largest dam, in 2012, but its construction has been challenged by Egypt and Sudan fearing the project might jeopardize their water security.
The African nations have held multiple rounds of negotiations but have so far failed to reach an agreement on how soon the dam should be filled and begin generating power. The talks have been mediated by the African Union. Tensions escalated in summer 2020 after Ethiopia began the first stage of filling the reservoir without prior agreements with interested parties.
Fighting in Tigray broke out in November after the Ethiopian government accused the local ruling party the Tigray People's Liberation Front of attacking a regional military base to hijack weapons and arm the anti-government militia. Since then, the conflict has pushed thousands of Ethiopian refugees to neighboring Sudan. International human rights groups have alleged possible crimes in Tigray, including those committed by Eritrean troops.