Following the March 30 visit to Egypt by Sudan’s Sovereign Council President General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi announced the approval of an aid package to the country, officially intended to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis.
However, the aid package granted by Egypt is seen as support on the eve of the season when floods caused by the Nile are most frequent, in an attempt to prevent more active cooperation with Ethiopia through the management of GERD dam flows.
No new progress has been announced in the management of the tripartite negotiation on the dam, while Ethiopia has confirmed that it will proceed with the third phase of filling the reservoir starting next July.
Although Sudan and Egypt have announced that they intend to move forward through mutual coordination on the dam issue, the Egyptian government believes that Khartoum’s position has become more ambiguous and malleable towards Ethiopia over the past few months. The political and economic crisis underway in Sudan does not seem to suggest that the Khartoum government should take an uncompromising stance with Addis Ababa, while from a technical point of view the dam’s capacity to contain the waters of the Nile has been positively evaluated by the Sudanese authorities, especially during periods of heavy rainfall, when floods cause considerable damage to crops and along the banks of the river.
On April 17, instead, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, Ali Al-Sadiq, met in Khartoum the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General Hanna Tetteh.
During the meeting, the Sudanese minister reiterated how Sudan considers the al Fashaga area – disputed with Ethiopia – as an integral part of the Sudanese territory, and fully under the sovereignty of the Khartoum government.
The Minister added that he considers dialogue and diplomacy as the best means to settle the ongoing dispute with Ethiopia, while reiterating how the Sudanese government has had to deploy since December 2000 a large deployment of troops in the region to prevent the violence could increase and allow a de facto control of the area by Ethiopia.