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Archive for June 14th, 2013

‘BBC’ Darling, Calling Arabs to Fight Against Africans

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 14, 2013

ThirstyBirdMy Note: Abdel Bari Atwan, who once was on Colonel Gaddafi’s payroll, is urging Arabs to unite behind Egypt to defeat, what he calls, the Afro-Israeli conspirators who are planning to block the river Nile.

This disgraceful editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab daily, “Al Quds al Arabi” — who often appears on the BBC and CNN, has been a big supporter of terror attacks on Israel. His anti-Israel, anti-US and anti-Christian stance is so obvious, yet, the BBC & co give him a prominent platform to spread misinformation and disinformation

He is, of course one of those people who speak differently in Arabic and in English. He once said:

If you support the Palestinian resistance, you do not consider Bin Laden’s attacks terrorism”Abdul Bari Atwan, a London-based journalist and editor of Al Quds Al Arabi, told Egypt’s ON TV, when asked if Bin Laden was a terrorist, that:“If you support the Palestinian resistance, you do not consider [Bin Laden’s attacks] terrorism. But if you are with America, Europe, and Israel, you do consider it terrorism. It depends on your definition of terrorism … Whoever fights America and its enterprise in the region, and whoever fights Israel and the American occupation, is not considered a terrorist by me.”

How this wicked individual has become a regular contributor to BBC Dateline and writes for The Guardian poses a riddle to me.

This’s what he wrote on the Nile issue:

On Tuesday, Egyptians woke up to news from Ethiopia that it intends to complete the ‘Rennaissance Dam’ on the Blue Nile. The river currently supplies 85 percent of downstream Egypt’s water. Such a step would not only affect Egypt’s water supply but would also impede electricity production at the mega, hydro-powered Aswan Dam.

Several Egyptian newspapers used the story of Ethiopia’s planned and its impact on Egypt’s national security to attack Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. They said he must bear responsibility for Ethiopia’s decision, accusing him of ignoring this critical issue, even though it was not dealt with by the previous regime.

Ethiopia began construction of the dam in 2011, at a cost of $4.7 billion, with support from Israel. The plan is to use hydro-power to generate electricity and turn the Renaissance Dam into a major source of energy in Africa.

The main threat to Egypt, however, does not lie in generating electricity or diverting the river. The main problem is that Ethiopia is also building an industrial lake to store 74 billion cubic metres of water, greatly reducing Egypt’s quota of water.

The initial results of such water shortage would lead to the suspension of turbines that generate electricity in the Aswan Dam, in turn having a significant impact on agricultural land.

Egypt’s previous regime lacked a suitable policy for working with Nile Basin countries. Hosni Mubarak’s government was arrogant in its dealing with Sudan for over ten years, a stance which led Israel to intervene, confronting Egypt and paving the way for this threat to its national security and economy.

Israel’s Foreign Minister at the time, Avigdor Lieberman, who had once threatened to bomb the Aswan Dam, led an Israeli delegation comprising businesspeople and engineering experts across five African countries in 2011. The minister said Israel was ready to support dam-building and the diversion of Nile water. The visit led to the signing of Entebbe agreement between Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Congo. Burundi pledged not to sign the agreement, but soon caved in.

Motivated by political and commercial self-interest, Israel’s interference was not surprising – nor was the subsequent involvement of several Israeli firms in the resulting mega-projects, including an agreement to distribute the energy produced by the new dams.

Hosni Mubarak made disastrous mistakes in dealing with the water issue, Ethiopia’s water projects and Israeli threats to Egypt’s security. The government also exaggerated the issue of Halayeb and Shalateen to wage war against Sudan and the regime of President Omar al-Bashir.

Following a failed assassination attempt on Mubarak in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the Egyptian government turned on the Sudanese regime, accusing it of being complicit in the incident. Mubarak opened an embassy for the head of the rebel movement, expressing his support for South Sudan.

Another mistake made by the former Egyptian regime was that it failed to strengthen its relations with Horn of Africa states, including Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti. A number of these countries treat Ethiopia as an enemy due to Ethiopia’s historic occupation of their lands.

Aboud El-Zomor, a senior official from Egypt’s Building and Development Party, has claimed the Ethiopian move to build a dam is “a declaration of war.” He has urged President Morsi’s regime to respond firmly, knowing full well that the current economic conditions in Egypt could prevent such a response.

The Nile water dilemma has been one that previous rulers of Egypt have struggled to deal with. History tells us that Muhammad Ali Pasha established a military force to interfere immediately if Ethiopia or any other country threatened Egypt’s water interests.

Often nations – both civilized and uncivilized states – manage to unite when they face a crisis which affects the whole state; throughout history, government and opposition forces have come together and set their differences aside to confront a potential threat to national security. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Egypt today. Instead, we’re seeing a brutal political and media war that threatens to destroy Egypt’s national unity.

Egypt is an easy target. It is surrounded by potential threats on all sides. Sinai is a semi-failed state in the East. Libya is a failed state in the West. Civil wars have destroyed Sudan from the East, West and South. Israel conspires against all of them in the North, while the Egyptian state has internal problems too.

The sad truth is that Egypt’s strongest supporters in the past were Syria and Iraq. Now the Gulf States have turned against these countries and Egypt faces its problems alone.

I support Egypt and its people, and wish they would confront the conspiracies that target its national security. Egypt’s people face Israeli manipulations in Africa, the collapse of its state machinery and starvation. All of the above, plus the collusion of internal elements with foreign powers to destabilise Egypt are red lines that should unite all political forces in the country.

Egypt needs a strong and wise administration to confront the current crises. A government which gives priority to the national interests of the country. I have confidence in the Egyptian people, their leadership and their military institutions that are loyal to Egypt.

Once united, the Arab nation can never be defeated.



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No Denial on the Nile: Egypt Threatens Ethiopian Dams

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 14, 2013

CryingRIn a humiliating example of self-inflicted electronic bugging, last week a live broadcast television microphone in Egyptian President Muhammed Morsi’s Cairo office caught the president and Egypt’s most senior political leaders plotting sneak attacks on the upstream Nile’s biggest dam builder, Ethiopia.

No denial on the Nile. When an audience of millions overhears pious Egyptian Islamists and well-heeled Egyptian liberals mull classic covert warfare options — such as having Ethiopian rebels sabotage Ethiopia’s new Blue Nile dams or deploying shady political agents to agitate in Addis Ababa — the usual diplomatic salve, plausible denial, isn’t an option.

In point of fact, the Egyptian government’s initial embarrassment has given way to hard-edged declaration. Egyptians will fight Ethiopia for every drop of Nile River water!

For politically fractured and factionalized Egypt, war talk is a unifying tonic and a distraction from Egypt’s endless miseries. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government has simply failed to address the enormous economic and social problems afflicting Egypt.

Solving embedded societal ills requires a national unity of purpose. Morsi has been a national divider. His sharia-based constitution delighted Muslim Brothers but dismayed Egypt’s liberals. His attempt to invoke emergency rule (reminiscent of Hosni Mubarak) splintered Egypt’s Arab Spring revolutionary front. Muslim moderates joined with secular liberals and demanded he resign.

But Nile water sustains all Egyptians. The trite adage, “Egypt is the Nile,” is true. From Aswan north to Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea, the green band bordering the great river is home to 90 percent of Egypt’s population.

Morsi needs a route to national reconciliation. The Nile Water War (temporarily) solves Egypt’s broken puzzle: Us Downstream Egyptians versus Them Upstream Ethiopians.

But Ethiopia’s dams did not suddenly appear. For two decades every nation in east Africa has known Ethiopia intended to build several large hydro-electric dams and become Africa’s biggest power exporter.

Ethiopia has been waging a steady diplomatic campaign asserting its rights to Nile water. Ethiopia’s case is as passionately essential as Egypt’s. One word defines the basic case: famine. Water in reservoirs is a hedge against famines induced by drought. Electrical power sums Ethiopia’s expanded case.

Ethiopia contends the traditional division of Nile water distribution rights are based on an antiquated colonial artifact that unfairly favors Egypt. The 1929 Nile Waters agreement (engineered by Great Britain) gave Anglo-Egyptian Egypt 90 percent of the Nile’s annual flow. Egypt could also veto upstream water projects. In 1957 Ethiopia announced it would utilize Nile water resources within its territory. The Blue Nile and its Ethiopian tributaries generate 75 to 85 percent of the Nile’s annual flow. The White Nile, from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, generates the rest.

A war between east Africa’s two most powerful nations would be a disaster for both. That’s so obvious I’ll wager even Mohammed Morsi knows it. The war options Egyptian leaders vetted included buying new long-range strike aircraft. Egypt’s air force can handle border conflicts, but hitting the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a long-range operation. Sudan separates Egypt from Ethiopia. One parliamentarian thought credible strike aircraft might give Ethiopia political pause. Ethiopia’s already credible air and ground forces should give Egyptian sword rattlers pause.

In April 2011 reported that Ethiopian diplomats had proposed an interesting win-win solution. Ethiopia would sell Egypt a partnership interest in its dams. Egypt would have ownership input in the operations. Ownership guaranteed Egypt reliable hydro-electric power. Egypt would also split the profits from selling electricity throughout Africa. Hey, Cairo. For the dams to generate electricity, water must flown downstream.

Ethiopia’s proposal at least creates the possibility of a win-win political deal. In time cool heads in Cairo should accept it.


[Isaiah 19:3-7]

The Egyptians will panic, and I will confuse their strategy. They will seek guidance from the idols and from the spirits of the dead, from the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, and from the magicians.

I will hand Egypt over to a harsh master; a powerful king will rule over them,” says the sovereign master, the LORD who commands armies.

The water of the sea will be dried up, and the river will dry up and be empty.

The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will trickle and then dry up; the bulrushes and reeds will decay, along with the plants by the mouth of the river. All the cultivated land near the river will turn to dust and be blown away.


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