The former Sudanese Minister of Irrigation, Othman Al-Tom, said that he never supports any military action to strike the Renaissance Dam, because what will lose is Sudan, not Egypt or Ethiopia.
Sudanese Minister Irrigation former: No never support any military action because it is who will lose # Sudan # Evening # Egypt # Ethiopia # Sd_alnhih pic.twitter.com/CQsSFwt4MR
– Al Jazeera Mubasher (@ajmubasher) June 9, 2021
This came in his speech to Al Jazeera Mubasher, commenting on the joint statement issued by Egypt and Sudan regarding the emphasis on the danger of Ethiopia’s unilateral filling of the Renaissance Dam because of its dire effects on the two countries.
Al-Tom said: “I never support taking military measures because the one who will lose is Sudan. If this dam is hit, Sudan is affected, and neither Egypt nor Ethiopia is affected. Ethiopia is affected economically, but Sudan is directly affected because the water that will flow from the dam, even if it is 7 or 8 billion and maybe It will reach 18.5 billion cubic meters if Ethiopia can complete the second phase.”
He added: “This water will flow into the Rusairis dam, which has a capacity of 6 billion cubic meters, of which there are now 2 billion cubic meters, and the remaining 4 billion cubic meters only. That is why I never support any military action to strike the Renaissance Dam.”
Al-Tom said: “Secondly, I do not think that in all of history, water issues have been resolved by military means. Water issues are resolved by negotiation and agreement on a compromise solution that will benefit all.”
its not the right time
In response to a question, what prevents a compromise?
Al-Tom said: “For several reasons, first, the short period remaining until the date of the start of the second filling, which is only 21 days. Secondly, the three countries are suffering greatly, and their citizens are suffering very great suffering, which represents pressure, especially for Ethiopia, the subject of the elections and the issue of the Tigray region, and the time is not appropriate to reach an agreement.” .
He added, “I hoped that there would be an interim agreement that includes all the points agreed upon in Washington, and a detailed program for the second phase will be added to it, and I think that this is not the right time to pressure Ethiopia on the issue of negotiation.”
Regarding Ethiopia’s continuation of the process of filling the dam’s reservoir, despite the fact that it harms Sudan, Al-Tom said: “There is a fact absent from many people is that the first phase and the second phase were agreed in principle more than 3 years ago, in principle, and there was no objection from the three countries.”
He added: “An independent scientific committee of experts from the three countries set up and agreed to this, and the matter was submitted to the ministers in September 2018.”
He continued, “Unfortunately, at that time, Egypt asked to be given a chance, and they could have signed the agreement, but they were absent for a whole year, and the discussion returned to how to negotiate and not discuss the points that were not agreed upon, and Ethiopia came with new proposals, including that there should be rules indicative and not a binding agreement.