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Posts Tagged ‘Water Conflicts’

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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Egyptian Ignorance: The Root and Stem of All Evil

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 6, 2013

IgnoranTalkThe world is our teacher, and we are all on this planet to learn life lessons and live accordingly. But, it seems some populations are not capable of learning as they stubbornly refuse to grow up by exhibiting willful ignorance and bullying behaviors.

The original Egyptians are not Arabs, but the dominant Egyptians of today, just like Libyans, Tunisians, Algerians and Moroccans, are a transplanted Arab population who occupied African lands. Arabs don’t belong in Africa! Historically speaking, Arabs brought more pain and suffering to the African continent than the Europeans. The Arabs have been enslaving Africans since prehistoric times, and the slave trade in Saudi Arabia wasn’t abolished until the 1960s. An underground traffic in slaves continues to this day, particularly in Sudan, Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. African men were often killed and boys were castrated. Many of them died as a result. The women were used and discarded. They disappeared and another generation, fresh from Africa, replaced them as though they had never been. The atrocities continue to this days.

Egypt – which exists at the mercy of Ethiopia because of the river Nile – repeatedly demonstrates its ungratefulness by insulting Ethiopia and treating Ethiopian refugees in a cruel and inhuman way. Please read this heartbreaking report. Even the Ottoman Turks who occupied Northern Africa, the Middle East and the Balkan didn’t force their culture and language on the native populations. After 500 years of Turkish presence, the native populations of those countries were spared to speak the Turkish language. On the other hand, the Arabs force on others their unculture, religion and language. Even Ghaddafi acknowledged Arab atrocities against Africans two years before he was brutally killed by the same Arabs I am talking about:

I regret the behavior of the Arabs… They brought African children to North Africa, they made them slaves, they sold them like animals, and they took them as slaves and traded them in a shameful way. I regret and I am ashamed when we remember these practices. I apologize for this.”

Three days ago, Egyptian Politicians meeting with Egypt’s president proposed hostile acts against Ethiopia, including backing rebels and carrying out sabotage, to stop it from building a massive dam on the Nile River upstream.

Yesterday, Dr. Amr Hamzawy, a political science professor said the following, in an interview with the Doha-based media channel Al-Arabiya.

Egypt should not even consider entering into negotiations with Ethiopia until the Ethiopians halt all construction on the dam,, “Egypt should not be forced to sacrifice even one drop of water. Ethiopia must respect Egypt’s interests.”

When I study the history of Egypt since the arrival of Arab Muslims in the country during the 7thcentury, when I think of how much Misery Egyptian leaders brought to the Ethiopian nation the past 1000 years, when I observe the current generation of Arab Egyptian leaders displaying so much hatred and ignorance towards the country and people of Ethiopia, I am forced to ask myself, what has changed with the mentality and behavior of Arab and arabized people since Samuel Johnson characterized them in his book, ‘Rasselas‘ back in the year 1759? Nothing!

I am personally quite convinced that if Egyptians and Ethiopians switched countries and Egypt had become the source of the river Nile, Egyptians would have exterminated Ethiopians long time ago by spewing their usual abracadabra venom on the waters of the Nile

Let’s ask the Egyptians what they would do if the source of the Nile came from Egypt


Posted in Curiosity, Ethiopia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Egypt Should Pay For The Water

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 24, 2010

Without some kind of negotiated agreement on how to share the waters, the risk is growing that conflicts will occur and those conflicts will be violent.”

Talking about war

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told Reuters on Tuesday that Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the River Nile and that Cairo was supporting rebel groups in an attempt to destabilize Ethiopia.

Well, the most valuable commodity in the world today, and likely to remain so for much of this century, is not oil, not natural gas, not even some type of renewable energy. It’s water—clean, safe, fresh water.

When you want to spot emerging trends, always follow the money. Today, many of the world’s leading investors and most successful companies are making big bets on water. Do a little research, and it’s easy to see why. There simply isn’t enough freshwater to go around, and the situation is expected to get worse before it gets better.

According to current studies, the worldwide scarcity of usable water worldwide already has made water more valuable than oil.

In the Unites States, in a state where water has become an increasingly scarce commodity, a growing number of farmers are betting they can make more money selling their water supplies to thirsty cities and farms than by growing crops.

In the past, Ethiopia has never put anything in place to manage her immense water resources, not to mention regulated river systems.

Predictions of “water wars” are commonplace, and yet they hardly ever happen: It’s almost always cheaper to cut a deal and share the water. But the Nile basin contains 400 million inhabitants, and Egypt and Sudan, with only 120 million people, are using almost all of its water.

After he signed the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty in 1979, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said: “The only matter that could take Egypt to war again is water.”

Well, the world kept turning, and now a potential war over water is creeping onto Egypt’s agenda.

Egypt is the economic and cultural superpower of the Arab world: Its 78 million people account for almost a third of the world’s Arabic-speaking population. But 99 percent of it is open desert, and if it were not for the Nile river running through that desert, Egypt’s population would not be any bigger than Libya’s (5 million). So Cairo takes a dim view of anything that might diminish the flow of that river. For thousands of years Egypt has arrogantly defended its right to use the Nile’s waters as it pleases.

Now, amid warnings of conflict and crop failure, the balance of power is starting to change as other countries like Ethiopia make new claims on the water.

If nations become rich and influential by selling their natural resources like Oil and Gas, countries like Ethiopia should also begin charging those ungrateful Egypt and Sudan for using the waters of the river Nile. Ethiopia has authority and moral legitimacy to charge a higher fee for its rivers then oil and gas.

There’s no easy way out of this impasse. But one possible alternative option would be for Ethiopia to act as Egypt’s “water banker.”

Lake Nasser, the 340-mile-long reservoir behind the Aswan High Dam, holds a whopping 157 billion cubic meters of water. But an estimated 10 billion cubic meters–nine percent of the water that reaches Lake Nasser each year–never makes it to a faucet or an irrigation ditch; it evaporates into the cloudless desert skies of southern Egypt. That’s enough drinking water for 20 million Egyptians–a quarter of the population.

Evaporation isn’t much of a problem in equatorial Africa, where the White Nile begins, and there’s a lot of fertile land as well.

Egypt should invest some of its water there, rather than lose it to evaporation in the Sahara.

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