The Liptako-Gourma Charter and the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia has completed filling the largest African reservoir at the Grand Renaissance Dam located on the Blue Nile. The dam, over 1,600 m long and 145 m high, whose primary purpose is to produce electricity for Ethiopia, is located in the north of the country, 30 km from the border with Sudan. 85% of the Nile’s water flows through there. The Blue Nile flows into the White Nile at the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and heads north through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt, which has over a hundred million inhabitants and relies on water from the Nile for its agriculture, including cotton, has accused Ethiopia of threatening its water supplies. Talks between the countries resumed three weeks before Ethiopia announced it had completed filling the dam.

The presidents of France and the Central African Republic – Emmanuel Macron and Faustin-Archange Touadéra – met to resume bilateral relations after years of tension caused by the appearance of the Russian Wagner Group in this African country in 2018. Four years later, the French withdrew their last soldiers from the Central African Republic, which intends to continue its partnership with Russia.

The military leaders of three countries in the Sahel region: Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, signed the Liptako-Gourma Charter – a mutual defence pact establishing the Alliance of Sahel States (AES). It obliges the signatories to provide mutual assistance if any of them are attacked and to act to prevent and mitigate armed rebellions. The Liptako-Gourma region – where the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger are located – has been ravaged by jihadists in recent years.

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