African diplomacy: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Niger and Algeria

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have resumed negotiations on Ethiopia’s construction of a dam on the main tributary of the Nile. The talks aim to agree on the operation of Grand Renaissance Dams on the Blue Nile, worth USD 4.6 billion. The Blue Nile joins the White Nile at Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and then heads north through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt fears that the dam will be operated without considering its needs. The Arab world’s most populous country relies almost entirely on the Nile, which supplies water for agriculture and more than 100 million people. Approx. 85% of the river’s flow comes from Ethiopia.

General Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan, chairman of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, and Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi met in Egypt to discuss efforts to end the conflict in Sudan. The country plunged into chaos in mid-April this year when the growing tension between the army led by al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces commanded by General Dagalo turned into open fighting in the capital, Khartoum and other places in the country.

The political crisis in Niger is a growing problem for countries in the region. After a coup at the end of July this year carried out by the presidential guard against President Mohamed Bazouma, he was replaced by Abdourahamane Tchiani, the previous commander of the guards. To avoid military intervention by Niger’s neighbours, Algeria proposed establishing an interim government there and introducing a six-month transition period between military and civilian governments.

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