The Interview

Sudanese PM urges Egypt, Ethiopia counterparts to attend summit on Nile Dam dispute

THE INTERVIEW
THE INTERVIEW © FRANCE 24

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he had called for a summit with the prime ministers of Egypt and Ethiopia to "break the deadlock" over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Talks on the issue are currently at an impasse and he urged his counterparts to respond favourably to his offer. The Sudanese premier said that Ethiopia's plan to fill the dam "unilaterally" in July made a resolution of the dispute all the more urgent.

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The Sudanese prime minister dismissed any risk of military confrontation over the issue but vowed to ask the UN Security Council to take it up if necessary.

Hamdok also expressed hope that tensions at Sudan's border with Ethiopia would be solved in a peaceful manner.

With regard to the normalisation of ties with Israel, Hamdok said the move was part of the "process" of bringing back Sudan into the international community. He stressed that the decision by the US to take Sudan off the terrorist list was a "game-changer" and he did not rule out a visit to Israel.

Asked about former Sudanese ruler Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown two years ago, Hamdok said his country was talking to the International Criminal Court and that Bashir's handover to the court was part of those discussions. He stressed that it was important for the victims to see justice served.

Hamdok said he hoped the recent violence in West Darfur, in which more than 130 people were killed, would subside thanks to the dispatching of additional security forces to the area.

He admitted that while there were sometimes tensions between his civilian cabinet and the military, he was confident the "Sudanese model" would usher in a truly democratic regime.

Finally, he held out hope that a donor conference to be held in Paris on May 17 would provide "sizeable" debt forgiveness and attract new investments to Sudan.

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