. Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan to continue AU-led discussion.
. First phase of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) filling is completed

Ethiopia confirmed on Tuesday the first phase of filling of the GERD is completed as the country received heavy rainfall in the past two weeks.

4.9 billion cubic meters of water needed to be retained for the first phase of the filling.  Egypt has been requesting “urgent clarification,” after Sudan reported that the volume of water received has decreased.

A statement from the office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on Tuesday said that Ethiopia has achieved the first phase of the filling of GERD.

“It has become evident over the past two weeks in the rainy season that GERD first year filing is achieved and the dam under construction is already overtopping,” it was said in the statement.

Ethiopia’s confirmation came after the conclusion of the heads of state-level follow-up virtual meeting, which was African Union led, was underway on the same day. An agreement has been reached between the three countries (Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan) to continue technical level negotiation on the filling of the dam.

“Heads of State level extraordinary meetings concluded with all the parties reaching a major understanding which paves the way for a breakthrough agreement. Accordingly, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan agreed for further technical discussion on the filling to continue in the AU led process,” said the statement from the office of the Prime Minister.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the virtual conference. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Sudanese PM Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and Egyptian president Abdul-Fatah al-Sisi have participated in the meeting. The leaders of Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mali and AU Chairperson Moussa Faki were in attendance at the meeting.

After the meeting, President Ramaphosa tweeted “The Bureau of the AU Assembly has just concluded a constructive Extraordinary Meeting on issues relating to the #GERD. The trilateral negotiations remain on track, and I wish to thank all the parties involved for their commitment to finding African solutions to African problems.”

Ethiopian State media said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his appreciation for President Ramaphosa for “the African solutions to African problems,” initiative. He also expressed his appreciation for Sudanese and Egyptian counterparts for reaching an agreement to continue the technical discussion on the filling of the dam.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that Egypt is still working on getting military footholds somewhere close to Ethiopia. Somaliland is the latest country, with a need to get international recognition for statehood, where Egypt attempted to secure a military base.  Somaliland authorities have reportedly confirmed that a high-level Egyptian delegation recently visited the country. However, it did not disclose if an agreement was reached with Egypt.