Sudanese Cabinet Supports UAE Mediation in Ethiopia Dispute | Ethiopia News
Tensions over control of farmland in the border town of al-Fashqa have recently witnessed a deadly escalation, while talks over GERD are at an impasse.
Sudan’s transitional cabinet has backed an initiative by the United Arab Emirates to arbitrate in a border dispute with Ethiopia, as well as over a controversial large dam built by Addis Ababa on the Blue Nile.
Tensions over control of farmland in the border area of al-Fashaqa have intensified in recent months, while talks over the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which will affect the volume of water downstream on the Nile in Sudan and Egypt, is deadlocked.
Sudanese Information Minister Hamza Baloul said on Tuesday that the cabinet had supported the Emirati mediation proposal after its review at the ministry level.
She came as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed insisted on Tuesday that his country did not want war with Sudan, calling for a peaceful resolution of tensions around al-Fashaqa.
Ethiopian farmers have long worked in the fertile border area, but the agricultural area is also claimed by Sudan.
In recent months, Sudan has sent troops to al-Fashaqa, a move Ethiopia deplores as an “invasion”. A series of deadly clashes followed, with both sides exchanging accusations of violence and territorial violations.
Abiy, already grappling with Ethiopia’s internal conflicts, including in the Tigray region, said his country “is not ready to fight.”
“Sudan in its current state is not in a position to fight with a neighboring country, it has a lot of problems. Ethiopia also has many problems. We don’t need war. It’s better to settle it peacefully, ”Abiy said.
The UAE has also offered to mediate on GERD, a hydropower megaproject that Egypt and Sudan say threatens their vital water supplies.
Ethiopia says the project is essential for its electrification and development, but Egypt, which depends on the Nile for the vast majority of its freshwater needs, sees the dam as an existential threat while Sudan fears its own dams are not damaged if no agreement is reached.
Last month, Khartoum suggested mediating a quartet of the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations and the United States, a proposal welcomed by Cairo but rejected by Addis Ababa.
Sudan said on Thursday that the four potential mediators had signaled their willingness to take on such a role to help resolve the ten-year-old dispute over the mega-dam.