DR Congo to host Nile dam talks from 3 to 5 April


Foreign ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet in Kinshasa from Saturday for talks on the controversial Ethiopian dam on the Nile, DR Congo officials said.

The three-day meeting will be hosted by President Felix Tshisekedi, who took over the chair of the African Union last month, officials at the foreign ministry and presidency said on Wednesday, confirming a report in the publication Jeune Afrique.

The chairman of the AU's Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, is also expected to attend, Jeune Afrique said.

Egypt and Sudan earlier this month urged the Democratic Republic of Congo to steer efforts to relaunch negotiations on the contested dam.

The dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), built across the Blue Nile, has been simmering for around a decade.

The Nile, the world's longest river, is a lifeline supplying both water and electricity to the 10 countries it crosses.

Upstream Ethiopia says the hydroelectric power produced by the GERD will be vital to meet the energy needs of its 110 million people.

Egypt, which depends on the Nile for about 97 per cent of its irrigation and drinking water, sees the dam as a threat to its existence.

Sudan, also downstream, fears its own dams will be compromised if Ethiopia proceeds with filling the GERD before a deal is reached.

On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reiterated his country's concerns, saying, "Nobody will be permitted to take a single drop of Egypt's water, otherwise the region will fall into unimaginable instability." (AFP)

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