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Ethiopia - Egypt: Water diplomacy or water war?



  11:24:42 pm, by admin   , 2781 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Egypt: Water diplomacy or water war?

Water diplomacy or water war? Which way?

By Memar Ayalew Demeke

The politics of the Nile is full of tension, mistrust, anxiety, mystery and diplomatic confrontation among the downstream and upstream riparian countries since time immemorial.

The basin has never seen cooperation until recent times. However, there has been cooperation between the two downstream countries (Sudan and Egypt) with the decoration of the 1959 water sharing agreement. The upper riparian countries (Tanzania, DRC, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Eritrea, and Ethiopia) which generate 100 percent of the Nile waters, were neglected from any negotiations and agreements on the utilizations of the river by the colonial powers.

Historical records have shown evidences that demonstrate the occurrence of diplomatic struggle and direct military confrontations between the upstream and downstream countries. This is partly because of the unfair distribution and utilization of the Nile waters among the basin countries. Egypt has been attempting to ensure the continuation of the zero-sum game politics on the Nile waters by undermining the rights of the lower riparian states. Relations between Ethiopia on the one hand, and Sudan and Egypt on the other, have been characterized by love and hate depending on the continuity and the change of the colonial status quo on utilization of the Nile waters. Besides, their foreign policy orientations have been drastically shaped and reshaped by the political dynamism in the Horn region. Generally, and in Nile politics particularly. In fact, the upstream countries have exploited the Nile water resources for their socio-economic developments by calming the 1929 and 1959 colonial agreements and by weakening the upstream states. The net effect of these treaties was to deny the rights of the upper riparian countries from using the waters of the Nile without prior approval of Egypt. What is surprising is that these colonial agreements have excluded and downgraded the right of Ethiopia which contributes 85% of the Nile waters from getting its legal share from the Nile. The 1959 agreement has allocated 55.5 billion cube meters of water to Egypt, 18.5 cubic meters for Sudan, and 10 cubic meters to evaporate in the Sahara desert to keep the ecological balance of the environment. This has been the status quo of the Nile politics in the past. However, due to geo-political, security and environmental transformations in the region, the colonial status quo has been challenged in a way that generates mutual benefits to the basin countries. Hence, the basin countries have strengthened their cooperation for regional joint planned growth under the framework of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) for the last decades.

The NBI provides a wide-basin framework to fight poverty and to promote socio-economic development among the ten Nile basin countries. It is a historical phenomenon in Nile politics in the sense that it is the first institutional regime on a shared and equitable use of the Nile Waters and for meaningful negotiations as well. Apart from real negotiations, the signing of the Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) by the upstream countries in 2010 became instrumental in bringing new dynamism to Nile politics that significantly changed the colonial status quo and the zero-sum game politics. This dynamism which challenged Egyptian apartheid policy on the utilization of the Nile waters has led to new political and diplomatic development. Issues surrounding the Nile have become the agenda of the Egyptian public after the official announcement of the diversion of the normal flow of the Nile water by the Ethiopian government. Following the redirection of the water, discussions among Egyptian politicians and policy makers in Egypt indicated possible foreign policy strategies and approaches to the Nile to quickly respond to the new dynamism. These possible foreign policy and security strategies that Egypt will put in place have direct or indirect implications to Ethiopian. Egypt may resort to either water diplomacy, water war, or the combination of the two strategies simultaneously to tackle the new development in Ethiopia.

Egyptian strategies

Egypt, in spite of its geographical location in the Sahara desert and its absolute dependence on the Nile waters for its very existence, has been following a foreign policy and security strategy that ensures the uninterrupted flow of the Nile waters. The Nile water has been a key national interest concern of Egyptians, and thus is the central element in the circle of Egyptian foreign policy towards the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia as well. With the recent diversion of waters by the Ethiopian government, Egypt may take the following foreign policy and security strategies which have solid messages to the people of Ethiopia.

Water Diplomacy

Diplomacy has been described as the weapon of weak and poor states. In fact, it is important to transform the emotions and positions of opponent parties by imposing all possible diplomatic pressures. This includes sanctions at political, economic and diplomatic levels. Many states used to apply diplomacy in matters of national interest before resorting to war. In this regard, hard diplomacy has been frequently used by Egypt to ensure the perpetuation of the zero-sum game politics in the Nile basin. However, Ethiopia has been insisting on a win-win approach in dealing with matters of the Nile.

Egypt may use the hard diplomacy to react to the current diplomatic and security developments in Ethiopia as part of their propaganda. For instance, it may:

•Attempt to divert the diplomatic negotiations by presenting a distorted image of the dam and by magnifying its negative socio-economic and environmental impacts. Egypt may also present the construction of the dam to the Arab world and the international community at large as a planned strategy by Ethiopia to damage its national interest. By doing so, it will create confusion and ambiguity.

•Take the matter to the Arab League using its influential position as the seat of the League, so as to impose diplomatic sanctions on Ethiopia and to reduce the flow of foreign currency income by disconnecting its trade ties. It may also convince the Arab countries not to export oil, which will gradually aggravate inflation and living expenses and could be translated in to a political crisis.

•Submit the case to the AU, UN, UNSC and ICJ arguing that the construction of the dam severely reduces its “historical share” of the water, for the sake of bringing hard diplomatic pressure on Ethiopia.

Water war

Successive Egyptian governments have had a negative perception of Ethiopia, and have been engaging both in diplomatic battles and proxy wars to damage the economic and political potential for Ethiopia not to exploit its resources. This negative perception is rooted in their idea that “peace in Ethiopia means war in Egypt”. As a result, they never want to see an economically strong and politically unified Ethiopia. This is because they fear that a strong Ethiopia will deny Egyptian access to the Nile waters.

Proxy war

Evidence has shown that destabilizing and weakening Ethiopia through proxy war has been one of the Egyptian security strategies in the past in order to ensure the sustainable flow of the Nile waters from its source. To this end, instead of directly confronting Ethiopia militarily as it did during the reign of Emperor Yohannes IV in 1875 and 1876 at Gundet and Gura respectively, it has opted to support anti-Ethiopian government dissident forces operating in Somalia and Eritrea. Needless to say, Egypt has been extending its diplomatic and financial assistance to Islamic extremist groups and opposition political movements in Somalia and Eritrea. Above all, Egypt never wanted to see the formation of a pro-Ethiopian government in Somalia.. because peace in the war-torn country will have its own trickle-down positive effect on Ethiopia.

Egypt fear that any peaceful relationship between Ethiopia and the government of Somalia would negatively affect its regional interest. Thus, it has been actively involved in Somali politics, directly or indirectly, to turn the outcomes of peace negotiations on its side. Moreover, it has been working to change the political equation of Somali politics to counterbalance Ethiopia’s influence in the region. To mention “Egypt was the main lobbyist in the Arab world in favor of granting financial assistance to al-Ittihad” as Medhane Taddesse clearly stated in his book “Al-Ittihad: Political Islam and Black Economy in Somalia (2002)”.

I strongly argue that Egypt will continue backing, training and equipping heavy military weapons to dissident political movements operating in Somalia and Eritrea to put Ethiopia in the bottle of challenges and to divert its development energies to war. Even the current public debates in Egypt reinforced that Egyptian politicians have the interest to attack Ethiopia by supporting rebel movements. Associated Press and the BBC reported that radical pro-Morsi Islamic Wasat Party leader, Abu al-Ila Madi, suggested a rumor that “Egypt planning to destroy the dam could scare the Ethiopians into cooperating with Egypt on the project”. A liberal politician, Ayman Nour, proposed spreading rumors about “Egypt obtaining refueling aircraft to create the impression that it plans an airstrike to destroy the dam”. This clearly proves that Egypt has intentions to attack Ethiopia through proxy war. I don’t think that Egypt will keep its hand away from Ethiopia as long as there are political forces that are willing to attack Ethiopia. Hence, Somalia and Eritrea could be used as a springboard.

Therefore, the government of Ethiopia has to continue its positive contribution in the construction of peace and political stability in Somalia in order to counter balance Egyptian influence. In addition, it has to strengthen its trade and commercial ties more than ever in a way that integrates the two countries economically. Supplying cheap electric power and connecting the people of the two countries by establishing infrastructures can also be one way of keeping its diplomatic and political relations fresh. This eventually minimizes the possibility of threats coming from the Somali side. And the position of Eritrea has to be examined as the government officially recognize the “historical rights” of Egypt to use the Nile waters even after the signing of CFA. As a result, the government in Asmara may give a green light to Egypt to use its territory to attack Ethiopia. Eritrea may use this opportunity to seek revenge on Ethiopia and to externalize internal tension and instability. Thus, we need to rethink our relations with Eritrea.

Military attack: political suicide

Declaring war and launching a military attack on Ethiopia could be one of the possible Egyptian strategies in approaching the new developments.. In fact, it seems obsolete to think of war among the Nile basin countries in the 21st century. In the era of globalization, Egypt may not be successful in securing its water interest by directly launching a military attack unless it colonizes and controls the basin countries as the colonial powers did. But, it would destabilize the political networks of Ethiopia and be able to divert its attention by keeping it fighting with dissident groups. Nevertheless, war has never achieved its objective, instead causing human misery and chaos as the American intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan has proved. Yet our historical relations with Egypt demonstrate elements of war and military confrontation in their attempt to control the source of the Nile. History reveals that Egypt has fought more than 15 wars with Ethiopia with this aim in mind,, only aborting its ambition with the devastating defeat at the battle of Gundet and Gura. In fact, it was successful in controlling Harar for ten solid years. This was an indication of the Egyptian appetite to attack Ethiopia by waging war.

Egypt may consider the diversion of the water and the construction of the Dam as a declaration of war and thus may take military action to destroy the dam and to attack Ethiopia. If Egypt does so, the consequences will result in political suicide. Egypt could justify its pre-emptive military actions by arguing that the construction of the Renaissance Dam not only affects its socio-economic development but also its survival. States under international law have the right to defend themselves from any external threat which could damage their territorial integrity and political sovereignty. One of the legal instruments that the government in Cairo may use as weapon for its pre-emptive military action could be Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

This article states: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”. In fact, the Charter gives utmost priority to mechanisms of peaceful settlement of disputes such as negotiations, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration. Nevertheless, states often opt to use war as a last resort in self-defense to acts of aggression. For instance, America lunched a pre-emptive strike on Iraq in 2003 claiming Article 51 of the UN Charter as a legal justification. Ethiopia also intervened in Somalia in 2006 following the declaration a jihad war by some Islamist fundamentalist groups, and attacked terrorist groups operating in Eritrea in 2012 relying on the above article. In the same manner, Egypt may attack Ethiopian on the basis of this justification. But the consequences of military action will be very severe for Egypt at least for one reason - its action will provoke public hunger in Ethiopia and may compel the government and the people of Ethiopia to take more radical action even to the extent of stopping the flow of the river.

Generally, the current political development in Egypt concerning the diversion of the Nile, reflected through Egyptian media,clearly indicate that Egyptians intend to use either water diplomacy, water war or a combination to stop the construction of the dam or to attack Ethiopia. Thus the Ethiopian government has to be aware of the changing foreign policy and security strategies of Egypt, and should adjust its foreign policy orientation regarding the new geo-political and security development in the Horn region. In addition, it has to give considerable attention to the possibility of military confrontation with lower riparian countries (Sudan and Egypt) either directly or indirectly through proxy, and has to strengthen our military apparatus so as to avert potential dangers. This will enable the government of Ethiopia to take pro-active measures. Knowing the Egyptian approache to the current political and diplomatic Nile crisis will help us to rethink and re-evaluate our position and the foreign policy strategy that we have adhered towards the Horn region for the past two decades. Finally, I would like to suggest some pro-active policy actions that theEthiopian government could take to handle the new developments in the downstream countries.

•Strengthen internal cohesion and economic development to increase power when negotiating with the lower riparian states.

•Build internal military capacity to quickly respond to any anticipated attack from downstream countries. We should not be too idealistic. The possibility of water related war between Ethiopia and downstream countries should not be neglected from political and academic discourse. This is because we cannot avoid war by simply wishing to be eliminated.

•Organize public discussions to make sure that the people are aware of the current developments in Nile politics, and to consolidate national unity.

• Invite opposition political party leaders, civil society representatives, university intellectuals and influential personalities to discuss the report of the International Panel of Experts as the lower riparian countries did; and the Egyptian position, to frame foreign policy direction and create a common national stance.

•Send diplomatic missions to selected Arab League member states to dispel fears and confusion regarding the dam's potential impacts, stressing the project would ultimately benefit all the riparian states. This will also counterbalance Egyptians hard water diplomacy.

To conclude, the only solution to the Nile is a win-win approach. The late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, in his interview with the Egyptian TV in 2010 clearly told the Egyptian people that “utilization of the Nile waters is not a zero-sum game. It does not mean that if the upper riparian states benefits, Egypt and Sudan should lose. It does not mean that Egypt and Sudan benefit, the upper riparian countries should lose. There is a win-win alternative and the only solution to the Nile is a win-win solution”. He also underlined that “Ethiopia do not accept the principle that some people have which says the Nile water belong to Sudan and Egypt and Ethiopia and the rest will not have a share in the Nile. That concept is a 19th century concept. Egypt must accept that the source of 85% of the Nile water must benefit from the Nile, and unless they accept this principle then the win-win solution will be closed.” This is the concept that Egyptians failed to recognize. They are living in the 20th century, while thinking with a 19th century mind setting.

Memar Ayalew is lecturer of Political Science and International Relations at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. He can be reached at


Comment from: young [Visitor]

ETHIOPIA need someone like MZ who can talk and explain
this issue to the world. the new PM and Mr Bereket can’t explain anything, i seen their interviews on this issue it was very sad. The ethiopian government need to find someone with the ability and the knowledge by using simple words we could convince the world.
Ethiopia only need to tell the truth because the the truth is in our side. i still don’t like GOE but i am 100% with them on this.

06/11/13 @ 00:03
Comment from: geresu Duki [Visitor]
geresu Duki

I agree with Mr. Young. MZ was the right person to manage this case. We expect the current PM to follow MZ plan.

06/11/13 @ 01:31
Comment from: zemzem [Visitor]

Nice piece. Egypt has all options on her table. All but one only one can work for Egypt. Ethiopia can survive all conspiracies.
Egypt need to cordially cooperate with Ethiopia, when Ethiopia has no any intention to harm.
If Egypt tries to bomb the dam,those concerts and cements will block the flow of water forever. Which is like a suicide.I hope Egyptians are wise enough and do not dare to take that option.
The utilization of Abay has been in the heart and minds of the people of Ethiopia since time immemorial. It is not party or opposition issue. It is a national agenda. I am pretty sure no one will be partner to such conspiracy with Egypt. I hope Egypt will wise up and equitably share this wonderful gift of nature.

06/11/13 @ 03:07
Comment from: mamush [Visitor]

I enjoyed the post! Egyptians should think as twenty first century to benefit their county in any perspective, either war or peace

06/11/13 @ 07:20
Comment from: Minyewab [Visitor]

The Renaissance Dam is another plot of TPLF to win the support of Ethiopian people. Yet again, in the same way TPLF won public support during the 1998 war with Eretria, the country it helped to create and as a result made Ethiopia the largest landlocked country in the world. You remember thousands celebrating in Meskel Square because TPLF falsely informed the Ethiopian people that Ethio-Eriterian Boundary commission decided Badme belonged to Ethiopia. That was a big lie we all caught by surprise when the truth came out. Don’t forget that war is not finished yet as TPLF arrogantly refused to accept the decision. Eritrea is only waiting for suitable time to reclaim Badme as per the boundary commission’s decision.

There is armed struggle going on in every corner of the country and TPLF knows that its demise is the obvious reality that will come soon. So, its visionary leader planned how to keep TPLF in power for another decade and possibly more. The Renaissance Dam is just the kind of big project the unsuspecting and never learning Ethiopians fall for. What do they do? They swear to defend this fake project not realising that their government has only managed to raise 4% of the fund required for the completion of the dam. And the biggest lie of all is the regime is claiming, the dam will help to end the recurring hunger Ethiopians are suffering from. What a paradox. On one hand they say to Egypt that the dam is built to generate power, on the other hand they contradict this by saying it will raise millions out of hunger and poverty. I thought they said the dam was for generating power, not for irrigation! The true intention of TPLF is to kill two birds with one stone. One - Raise money from unsuspecting poor Ethiopians in the country and in the diaspora, two – win the support of the public in the name of national interest with some fake patriotism (patriotism, when it comes to Ethiopian national interest isn’t in the TPLF nature), and probably crush any dissent labelling them traitors. That will definitely ensure that TPLF will win the 2015 election again. That is The Grand Renaissance of TPLF in progress, not the dam. If the Ethiopians really want The Renaissance Dam to be a reality, first they have to get rid of TPLF. If we are unable to see the TPLF for what it is, I am afraid it only show we have yet to learn about the evil genius in the TPLF leadership and we will all pay for failing to see it.

Minyewab Assefa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

06/11/13 @ 08:00
Comment from: Zema [Visitor]

Let Egypt behave the way she likes and wants. But the Nile in Ethiopia is totally in the Ethiopian hand.

Do they want to stop the Nile to flow to the Egyptian desert? This is what looks like. In today’s technology and human ability, it is just a few days work.

06/11/13 @ 09:04
Comment from: merrara gudina [Visitor]
merrara gudina

what about damping cyanide into the river and let them have it.

06/11/13 @ 09:42
Comment from: yohannes [Visitor]

A big insecurity lies in Egyptians mind who are so attached and in love with this water, they have no control over it. But Now that Ethiopia is more stable and our Engenieurs have proven they can move this powerful river. At this time provoking a country that’s trying to get ahead would be a wrong move. Egypt should know better that Nile can be moved and gone for ever, Watch it Egypt! Watch it!

06/11/13 @ 09:44
Comment from: Belal Y. [Visitor]
Belal Y.

One important point to remeber is the dispute over the waters of the Nile is not between Egypt and Ethiopia alone it involves all upstream African countries and the Sudan.
For comparative purpose:
Turkey has over 1,000 dams built on rivers originating from its country and crossing its borders to countries like Syria and Iraq for hydroelectric and irriagtion purposes. Among the rivers are Euphrates and Tigris. On the otherhand, Egypt is creating rows with upstrream countries for few dams. In addition, Egypt is also training soldiers in jungle warfare and Melese Zenawi once said, “we know there are no jungles in Egypt” and he warned Egypt to better use diplomatic option to military.
Now, Egypt is puting all options on the table including subversive activities to stop any use of the Nile water and discourage riparian countries. Well, Ethiopia and the other riparian countries must put as an additional option the use of the water not only for electricity but also for extensive use of irrigation. Now, the output from the extensive use of irrigation will be used to cover any costs that might arise as a consequence of Egypt’s subversive actitivties.
We all know riparian countries choose good neigborliness and diplomatic solutions and Egypt is also well-advised to follow suit and avoid self-destructive suicide mission and not follow the advices of the Salafis.

06/11/13 @ 09:50
Comment from: Ethiopiawinet [Visitor]

Ato Demeke

Who was Emperor Yohannes 1V or first, whatever Roman number you put proceeding his name?

Was he Ethiopian king? I have not read this history book ever. It must be written by you recently. I doubted if this guy knows the location of Jimma, Gode, Jigjiga, Afar, other parts of new Ethiopia except his the north. I am sure if you bring him back to life, he will not recognize this country called Ethiopia if ever existed before or during his fascistic time.

I heard he was fanatic extremist fascist genocider of the northern Amhara/Tigrie Muslims. History knows and remembers him with this scar, dark ugly history.
When I was in high school I read about this guy’s brutality, merciless genocide on his own people for not believing in his religion. He was one of the shifta of the north.
Never ever mention this mad man’s name if you believe in humanity except in bad ways. He is not different from Hitler period. If you did then you are fascist cold blooded.

Your article is confrontational. There is no a such 19th or 20th century concept.
We can solve the problem based on current situation, this minute and the future.
We can build a dam in a way doesn’t harm Egyptians’ existence. Egyptians have no right to tell us not to build the dam. This is simple.
We can release enough water for their population by building moderate dam. This way both sides benefit. However, if you have a grudge to harm them for some reason like the author mentioned the past history then there will never be peace.
We have to think of the future. Egyptian think we are collaborating with their enemy to hurt them. We think Egyptians hate us, try to destroy us, destablize us, as mentioned above. This is the chocking points that no one want solve it openely.
The suspecions between these two countries is deep and very dangerous.
Where is a wise leader who is not hater, fanatic, extremist coptist/islamist or islamist to discuss things openly and come to their senses as a brother/sister hood who drinks water from the same root.
Think humanely and not like the author thinks.

Peace for all human beings, hate for hater fascist.

06/11/13 @ 10:49
Comment from: EMERGENCY [Visitor]  

How would Egypt wage a war against Ethiopia, a landlocked nation? I guess they could bomb the dam under construction, but that would certainly make their own Aswan dam a is not target for the Ethiopian air force, assuming they have the military capacity to retaliate.

I think think this is a way to “rally the people” behind him and deflect criticism of his moving Egypt towards an Islamic state.

06/11/13 @ 11:14
Comment from: AMBACHEWO [Visitor]  

Ethiopia’s army isn’t made up of pushovers. They’ve been fighting radical Islam in Somalia for decades plus they are a US ally. Hopefully the Muslim Brotherhood does start a war with Ethiopia that way we can send Ethiopia the money we’re sending the Radical Islamists in Egypt right now.

This is how Egypt’s Muslim Bros are using US defense aid. Kerry just dropped off $1.3B US in Cairo. Good job …I say go to war! My moneys on Ethiopia

06/11/13 @ 11:26
Comment from: Ali [Visitor]  

Now Ethiopians are capable to do anything NO, please don’t forget all the fire power obama gave egypt. they can now afford to be brave Mursi did have a plan for those US tanks after all. Rolling south, not east.

06/11/13 @ 11:39
Comment from: AMIR JAMIL [Visitor]  

Mubarak was a better leader than Morsi.What no “red line"? for Ethiopia ,the Egyptian army has proven that they can fight……against unarmed citizens Ethiopia and Don’t fret about this one, Egypt has millions of potential suicide bombers to take care of that dam, dam

06/11/13 @ 12:03
Comment from: Samson [Visitor]  

So, they blow up Ethopia’s dam and Ethopia blows up several of their dams that is impossible , who would be hurt more, Egypt no way then

Ethiopia is known to dump many pig feces and pork guts into it’s up stream Blue Nile waters…It’s a bad idea for hundreds of millions of people to live in the middle of the desert.

06/11/13 @ 12:15
Comment from: JAMES [Visitor]  

Egypt has always tried to take ownership of the Nile, thinking they have a historical right referring colonial treaty. Well. First, Egypt has violated international agreement with Britain and France when it nationalized the Suez Canal. There went its old colonial agreements. They must not be allowed to play in both ways. Second, The water is going to be held by Ethiopian dam and released through turbines. When the dam is filled, then there will be no a reduction in water flow, after that water in = water out, zero problem. Turbines don’t eat water. Egyptians do not want the development of the neighbouring Ethiopia to dominate the region in terms of economy and political power. That is all.

06/11/13 @ 12:43
Comment from: Adiss Ababa WEAK UP [Visitor]  
Adiss Ababa WEAK UP

we are not afraid any Egypt war b/c we have good national defend history sea Adwa ok that is old school and old history…. it is not working this time
the battle for water will soon begin Mohammed Morsi. Time to drop the Damn Bombs A DAM MESS…..!
Here come the water wars…

06/11/13 @ 13:04
Comment from: George Armah [Visitor]  
George Armah

Ethiopia should stick to their guns. They are not out to strangle Egypt, they are out to produce power in a responsible non-nuclear fashion. Egypt will not dry up and blow away. The “Brotherhood” is baring its’ fangs already. Egypt was better off with Mubarak!

06/11/13 @ 13:15
Comment from: gogo [Visitor]

We Ethiopian should never show down against this Egyption politics of domination they want farm with our water to keep up their people but want Ethiopian to die of staravation. We will not allow that to happen any time in our life.

06/11/13 @ 13:34
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Well said Minyewab ,as the Egyptians are performing water diplomacy or water war ,Agazi bandits on their side are performing Dam diplomacy and Dam war . As said our dear elders “Leban ,leba biserkew min yahil be geremew ..".

06/11/13 @ 13:59
Comment from: Belay [Visitor]

Minyewab assefa from asmera, so you want ethiopians to focus on removing the government instead of the nile river…i just wonder isnt that exactly what egyptians want and did successfully for the past century? by the way why stop at the abay dam, why not we stop all the projects including the many roads, railway, gibedams etc…etc.. and only concentrate on a bloody revolution which we dont know where we will end up and if history is any witness, the chances are we will be worst off. look we were not born yesterday, we all remember the days where ethiopia was synonoum and too busy with famine and civil war, as oppose today where the news is about ethiopia diverting the mighty nile for the first time to build a dam that stores billions of cubic water and genrate 6000 mw power, and here you are telling us to focus on removing the government..why cant we do both at the same time by the way?? can you check with your boss, IA and respond?

06/11/13 @ 15:42
Comment from: Nenewe [Visitor]

Ato Demeke,
Well written analysis overall.

But, what in God’s name has Eritrea got to do with Nile basin countries? Look at the map of the nile basin countries and see how that entity can ever be one of them, unless Tekeze/Barka or Mereb were diverted by Eritrean engineers to flow inti Nile.

06/11/13 @ 16:55
Comment from: Axumawit [Visitor]

Where are opposition parties on this conflict?Are they not supposed to put out communique?They owe their members and the Ethiopian people an explanation, why they do or do not support Egypt.Yes,few individuals expressed their support to Egypt.The public must demand the so called parties their stand.It is time Ethiopians know the parties are with or with out them. The country does nothave place for spineless parties.

06/11/13 @ 17:19
Comment from: abol [Visitor]

Instead of dealing the real and very fundamental issues Egypt is facing from all direction including political, Economic and social, it is drumming the sound of hate, war, destruction, blood and death towards Ethiopia a country is giving a free Nile water and fertile soil to Egypt for Millennia. Ethiopia is a country at war with nobody but against poverty, backwardness and the likes that are human made and need to be corrected by human that are first and for most Ethiopians.

Yet, Egyptians Islamic regime is running from the very difficult issues facing at home and looking other reason far away to Ethiopia to take away the people attention from the real and very important issues at home the regime is responsible. They are drumming the sound of war where its military is totally financed by USA including USA gave Egypt in 2013, 16 f-16 planes and 200 tanks. That means they are using the weapons USA is arming them for free. Why is USA doing that? Do they still think Mubarak is on power and they have to arm him as an ally as they did for more than 32 years before the Islamic that are the USA, West and world enemies took power?

Everyone knows Islamists are desperate finding a reason in order to take the Egyptian people attention away from them using the Nile issue which is the most sensitive one among all Egyptians. Islam is functioning with lies and deception. The Islamist also know they era is nearing to an End because Egyptians including those by mistake elected them have enough.

Just read among the many issues Egypt is facing internally. It is not about the dam and about the truth, but a tactic to cheat the Egyptians people in order to allow them stay on power ruling Egypt towards total collapsing.

Morsi and his Islamic group staying one more year means Egypt is entering to the none return back chaos and failed state. But, Morsi and his Islamic rule will not allow to do that and it will not finish even 2013.

Just read some among the many issues Egypt is facing:


“Energy-short Egypt Faces Long, Hot Summer

June 11, 2013
CAIRO — A gift of gas to Egypt from tiny Qatar shows just how tough this summer is shaping up to be for the government in Cairo, facing a funding crunch and power cuts as it struggles to contain explosive public discontent.

Daily blackouts have darkened homes and businesses across the country over the past few weeks, aggravated in recent days by an early summer heat wave that has Egyptians cranking up their air conditioners.

Qatar on Monday offered five cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG), worth perhaps $300 million, “as a gift to the Egyptian people during the summer months.”

It is a small gesture from a Gulf ally which has already lent Egypt some $7 billion in the past year but highlights how tough times are for the 84 million Egyptians.

Falling living standards since the 2011 revolt that ended six decades of military rule have led to disillusionment focused on Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Opponents have called for mass protests on June 30, the first anniversary of Morsi’s election.

The country’s budget deficit has widened, the Egyptian pound has weakened, and investors have taken fright, sending the Cairo share index on Monday to its lowest close in more than 10 months.

A vicious circle of unrest and slumping tourism revenues have drained government cash reserves, leaving ministers scrambling for favors abroad, notably to maintain supplies of heavily subsidized fuel and bread that account for a quarter of all government spending.

“We will suffer this summer,” said Mohamed Shoeib, who until recently ran EGAS, the state natural gas company, and is now a managing director at private equity firm Citadel Capital.

“This will be the hardest and most difficult and darkest summer Egypt has ever seen,” he added.

Adding to worries about energy, the month-long Muslim fast of Ramadan will begin around July 9, a time when tempers can fray as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius and above.

Facing a fiscal crunch

Since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the authorities have run through more than half of Egypt’s foreign reserves($36 Billion), or some $22 billion.

They have also borrowed billions from abroad and delayed payments to oil companies and other suppliers.

In April, Qatar and Libya extended loans worth $5 billion, and Libya said it would provide another $1.2 billion in credit to buy crude oil for Egypt at world prices.

But this will only plug a portion of the country’s energy gap, and still leaves Egypt needing to find fuel on the international market, get it from ports to power plants, keep those plants running at near full capacity and deliver the electricity to consumers across a leaky power grid.

This is proving difficult, with rolling blackouts throughout the country, some for up to 10 hours at a time, which prompted protests in late May, and a heat wave in early June that pushed temperatures in Cairo to 45 degrees Celsius, only compounding the problem. (The highest tempretue in Addis Ababa is 25 degree).

In some places, people blocked roads and railways to demand power - needed in many apartments to pump water.

In the ancient Pharaonic capital of Luxor, local governor Ezzat Saad told Reuters that power cuts blacked out major tourist sites last month, including the 3,400-year-old temple. He said he had appealed to Cairo to prevent such incidents.

Infrastructure issues

Last summer, during the hottest days, electricity consumption peaked at 27,000 megawatts (MW) and seems likely to do so again this year, pressing the power sector to its limits.

“In the summer, [during] Ramadan… on some days [demand] could rise to 29,000,” Aktham Abou-Elella, undersecretary of state at the Electricity Ministry, told Reuters.

“We can’t operate at more than 86 percent of capacity - 27,000 is our ceiling. Anything above that, we for sure need to conserve energy.”

The government is hoping a public awareness campaign can help cut demand this summer.

“It could result in a reduction in consumption of 2,000 MW at least, especially setting air-conditioners at 25 degrees rather than 18 degrees and turning off unnecessary lights,” Abou-Elella said.

Mosques and government buildings will be urged to save electricity, he said, adding that the ministry had agreed with energy-intensive industries to smooth out peak loads.

Abou-Elella estimated that blackouts might last no more than an hour a day but hoped the government plans to manage demand would work.”

06/12/13 @ 11:02
Comment from: mossad [Visitor]

It is the age of suicide bombers, nuclear weapons, long range missiles, chemical warfare…… Do not start any war, once you are in it there won’t be an end.

06/12/13 @ 16:20
Comment from: FMG [Visitor]

Attack the Egyptians and take them out before they spread the foul stench of islam upon you.Fuck mohammed the dog raper

06/12/13 @ 17:13
Comment from: Axumawit [Visitor]

After I watched Egyptian cabinet secret meeting that was live broadcasted, I come to conclude that
-Mr.Morsi is surrounding him self with back-warded,fools and idiots.These group of people can not lead the vibrant young generation of Egypt to brighter future.These old time politicians who sing Nasar era song don`t have fresh ideas.Indeed Egypt is in trouble.
-I am worried Ethiopia and Sudan have a neighbor in turmoil with incompetent leaders.Therefore both countries must be wise in tackling the conflict at this moment.
-AU,Nile basin countries,and Africa as a whole must understand that Egypt will be an obstacle to African renaissance,regional integration,and continents economic development.

06/12/13 @ 18:18
Comment from: Moges [Visitor]

The dam should be built on Nile because the Tigray region is nearer to Nile than anyother major river in Ethiopia. If we get the water to flow towards Tigray rather than Egypt Tigray can finally declare independence from Ethiopia’s Neftegna colonialism . If Tigrayans achieve to build this Reneisance dam later on we can even negotiate with Eritrea to get to use the RED SEA port inexchange for draining some of the Nile water towards Eritrea. Tigray will be the number one like the Axumite era that is why all Tigrayans should be ready to pay the ultimate price once and for all to defend the dam and create a free Tigray. It is this generations responsibility to wake up to finally make our dream of seeing a free Tigray country a reality. LONG LIVE TPLF!!

06/12/13 @ 18:45



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