US ambassador blasts Trump, Mnuchin on Ethiopia-Egypt dispute

US ambassador  _ Ethiopia _ Egypt _ Dam
David Shinn, Former US Ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso (Photo : from Dawid Shinn twitter page (resized)

Teshome Borago
March 1, 2020

Former United States Ambassador David H. Shinn accused the Trump administration of “putting its thumb on the scale in favor of Egypt,” in the dispute with Ethiopia and Sudan over a new hydro-dam.

The latest crisis began after the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent a letter warning Ethiopia not to operate its hydropower dam, using inflammatory rhetoric similar to the former Egyptian government of Morsi that threatened military action. 

US Ambassador David Shinn said he is “surprised” by Mnuchin’s role; adding that the US State Department, not the US Treasury Department, has the expertise to deal with such a sensitive matter. Analysts believe the reckless statements by Mnuchin might encourage Egypt to take a more hardline position on the Nile River against African nations. In the worst case scenario, the Trump administration‘s role might embolden Egypt to start war against Ethiopia. 

According to a source familiar with the new arrangement promoted by the Trump administration, the new terms and requirements are so “bizarre and lopsided” in favor of Egypt that even Cairo’s ally Sudan is hesitant to sign the agreement. On Sunday, Sudan’s ambassador Mukhtar Bilal Abdelsalam said the Ethiopian dam will not harm Sudan and he accused Egyptian media of misinformation.

Last week, hundreds of Ethiopian-Americans protested in Washington DC opposing the one-sided role of the Trump administration in favor of Egypt. Ethiopian-Americans say the Trump administration can not be an independent mediator and arbitrator because most of its Middle East policy, particularly its latest Israel-Palestine engagements, are all reliant on Egyptian support or Cairo’s role in the Arab League.

It is unknown if these Middle Eastern policies of the Trump administration were in fact the reason behind its pro-Egypt stance on the Ethiopian Nile dam. However, Mnuchin has been recently outspoken in favor of the recent two-state solution for Israel and Palestine by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. In his online statement, the former US ambassador Shinn wrote: “I wonder. What is the United States up to?”

Critics of the Ethiopian government accuse Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of a self-inflicted diplomatic disaster for accepting an Egyptian lobbied US mediation, and abandoning the original Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) where several African countries support Ethiopia over Egypt’s colonial era monopoly.

Military analysts now believe Egypt will either attempt a direct air strike or continue financing rebel groups in Ethiopia so that an indirect strike on the Ethiopian dam will be blamed on domestic politics, instead of a transnational war. 

If tensions escalate further, US President Trump, who wished to win the Nobel Peace Prize, might unintentionally spark a major war in Northeastern Africa. 

After the impoverished Ethiopia self-funded the construction of the costly massive dam, due to an IMF financial boycott lobbied by Egypt, the new Trump-Cairo agreement will likely put the hydro-dam out of commission for another decade, just to fill up the reservoir. On Saturday, the Ethiopian government said the statement by US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is “unacceptable and highly partisan.” 



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21 Responses to "US ambassador blasts Trump, Mnuchin on Ethiopia-Egypt dispute"

  1. Yoseph Tafari   March 1, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you your excellency. This is what happens when genuine statesman like you are absent in this administration. Your stand is eternal.

    Please sign the petition to enforce his message:

    change.org

    Reply
  2. Fish   March 1, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Masters policy on African or Black nations is trust and obey

    Reply
  3. Ittu Aba Farda   March 1, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Dear My Beloved Countrymen/Women:
    You know me by now that I have nothing but love for you all even for those few among us who have made spewing hatred their romance of the day. I despise them like a nagging cold but I still don’t hate them. I pray for them that with Our Creator’s divine intervention they will contrite and amend their destructive ways. That said, I want to wish you all a Happy Victory Day that our methodical forefathers inflicted on that bully, that unclean dog at Adwa!!!! That victory, that eternal pride of the colored and oppressed humanity at large had traces of human blood of all Ethiopians from every region. That historic victory had raised the fighting morale of every pushed around nation around the globe black or brown and even some white folks. Battlefield tactics such as using decoys and other novel warfare were effectively used to our advantage on that day and throughout the days leading to it. You think misinforming fake news was infected in this day of internet. You will be miserably wrong about that. Our forefathers used that 124 years ago from the bottom of the deck. I just read historical accounts on the other website how leading military chiefs were urging that bully Baratieri to start the battle because they are ready to come to his side. You would not believe how I felt when I read that account. I still have that ravaging goose bump I had when I read it for the first time. You know what? Baratieri fell for it. Baratieri, who had the best of the best military training in modern warfare!!! Le Petit Journal had it summed up this way 21 days before the decisive battle at Adwa after the entire Italian brigade was annihilated at Mekele and forced to withdraw with the caption ‘Le Pain Complet’: antikobjet.fr/le-petit-journal-1896-273-9-2-italie-rome-menelik-paris-rue-d-alsace-cheval-fiacre-f608437.html. Do you know who came up with that suffocating war plan? It was that earth shattering firebrand Taytu. I told you a million times about the incomparable intelligence of our women. She deserves a statue built for her in every region. I know what some of you bigots are gonna to mumble about her. All I can tell you is ‘Burn in hell!!!’

    So dear beloved countrymen, savor the moment!!! This unrepentant Afro-centric-Ethio-centric nigga here has been celebrating all day!!!

    Reply
  4. Eskinder   March 1, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Ethiopia will finish the project no matter what America say give us free nuclear power and solar and wind power then we might consider giving a little water to Egypt

    Reply
    • truth teller   March 2, 2020 at 7:04 am

      Bravo Eskinder
      “Ethiopia will finish the project no matter what America say give us free nuclear power and solar and wind power then we might consider giving little water to Egypt”

      we will not give a stroke of water unless they appease us !

      Myriad of thanks for his excellency Mr ambassador .

      Reply
  5. Taha Roba   March 1, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Dr. Abiy Ahmed is taking Ethiopia to a corrupt and uncertain direction by not working with President Trump’s government on the Blue Nile Treats with Egypt. Any war with Egypt would subtract Ethiopia from the world because of Ethiopia is surrounded by Arab and Muslims countries. That means if Dr. Abiy Ahmed initiated a war against Egypt, all Ethiopian airlines would put ground zero because the airlines would n’t fly outside Ethiopia.
    In addition, Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s attempted to undermining the US decision would cut Ethiopia from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) because getting money from the World Bank and other parts of the negotiation. Unfortunately, Dr.Abiy Ahmed’s unwise move would put in distress because it needs money from the World Bank and the IMF.

    Reply
    • girma   March 2, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Dippy comment.

      Reply
    • Aka   March 3, 2020 at 10:59 am

      Taha Roba

      phobic what a crass comment you are posting here ? filled with groundless fear ???

      Reply
  6. Habiba   March 1, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    State department gets involved for matters that happen outside USA. We tax payers residences of USA had been scammed right here in USA by this GERD dam bond sales. USA is a rich country but that doesn’t mean no country can go in and out of the country selling illegal bonds to the residences of USA and get away with it. Noway Alamoudi Hussein . We are great country in case you forgot..

    It is the obligation of US state treasury to protect the tax payers from such scams.The only way this matter will start being a matter of only the US state department is when all GERD bond money is returned back to the bond purchasers in a timely manner , otherwise this matter has a potential of starting World War lll Involving not only USA but the whole globe. It’s not about the water anymore, it’s about the arrogance of the rebel bandits that went too far by actually tl cheating humanity as a whole and getting away with it for so long. Bandits will be dealt with as the bandits they are, since there is no sign of repentance reform seen from them.

    Ain’t no surprise that US State treasury was involved since the GERD dam construction was financed by act of aggression against USA . Ethiopians Diaspora any where in the world including Ethiopians in Ethiopia need their here bond money returned back now, nine billion USD is coming in to Ethiopia so put it to the appropriate place of starting to show signs of repentance. Noway Alamoudin Bush Obama Clinton scam will fly without getting checked forever , the longer time passes by the more the world will surely run out of patience about Ethiopia a country that lost it all to bandits.

    Remittance is one thing but scamming stealing the whole Ethiopians even those that are outside the country cannot be let going on unchecked easily as the bandits hope, since Abiy is full of an act of aggression that shown no evidence of repenting that clearly put the country Ethiopia to be considered enemy of the human race including enemy Ethiopian citizens themselves. Starting from Abiy Azeb Mesfin Semhal meles.Abay Tsehaye Girma Birru …… and the millionaires of Ethiopia along with the elites of Ethiopia need to be dealt with so such act of corwards does not repeat itself ever again from the historically reputatable Noble country.Ethiopia in the last three decades has went to the lowest of all evils it is a hellwhole now which needs all agencies of USA to scramble against the evil there.

    Reply
  7. Solomon mengistu   March 2, 2020 at 12:00 am

    it is 100% Egypt’s obligationTo accept to follow and to obey Ethiopian rules and regulations regarding to a hydro-dam !
    because this is our own water in our own land so that we have the right to use and manage it in the way we want it !
    The better Egypt think twice and the Trump adminstration stop putting its thump on the scale in favor of Egypt!

    ETHIOPIA first

    Reply
    • Beresa   March 2, 2020 at 10:43 am

      USA got three hundred twenty million plus citizens that are not aware of Mr. Trump’s current remark in regards to the dam, only half a million (500,000) homeless Americans support Trump’s stand about the GERD dam since he promises to make America great by providing housing and food for each American citizens by ending homelessness in USA.

      Reply
  8. Ittu Aba Farda   March 2, 2020 at 1:25 am

    This paragraph in the article shows two options that el-Sisi might take: Military analysts now believe Egypt will either attempt a direct air strike or continue financing rebel groups in Ethiopia so that an indirect strike on the Ethiopian dam will be blamed on domestic politics, instead of a transnational war.

    I am not sure he will go with a military option, airstrike what not. Good Ole USA and France who gave more than 200 F16’s and Mirages has the obligation to restrain their customer.
    Those tools should never use to kill black folks who are exercising their birth rights. That way Sisi will end up losing it all for ever risking the lives of more than 120 million of his citizens. I think he will go with the 2nd option: gathering up bigots and miscreants like this punk who is rampaging in Wallagaa to destabilize the old country.

    Reply
  9. Biruk Tagesse   March 2, 2020 at 4:22 am

    Thanks Ambassador D Shinn

    Reply
  10. Anissa   March 2, 2020 at 5:32 am

    The dam is below any safety standard . To make it functional it will need major retrofitting , noway filling will start in this next decade since the retrofitting process by itself will take more time and more money than the actual construction is taking.

    Reply
    • Girma   March 2, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      Anissa your puny knowledge in appropriate to this website. Find a toddlers forum.

      Reply
      • Anissa   March 3, 2020 at 2:43 am

        Dear Peasant : Girma

        Stop acting like a guerilla as Abiy .

        Toddlers would have handled this matter much more better than the so called grown up rebel bandits northern Ethiopians and their current puppets have done . This dam was nothing but a publicity stunt for them, something to quiet their opposition with same as the Ethio Eritrean war was, a means of getting their opposition’s slaughtered..

        In Mekele school children got bombed into ashes by Eritrean fighter jets according to Meles Zenawi with no evidence of such an act put forth till this day, by saying the school bombing ignited the Ethio Eritrean war .

        Next thing we know now they will tell us the dam was bombed and they ingnited the Ethio Egyptian war sending peasants children to death . That’s why I say toddlers are better fit than people like you who got no communication sense involving themselves in matters as serious as this.

        Reply
  11. Eldad   March 2, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Dear Ethiopian-Americans!

    Vote for all democratic candidates and deny this incompetent administration four more years

    Reply
  12. Walleligne.   March 2, 2020 at 7:20 am

    Ghion is the blood life of all Ethiopians and, dead or alive, nobody will decide its use without Ethiopia’s consent and concurance.

    Reply
  13. Ghere   March 2, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    As Eritreans we stand by the ethiopians because this is an african matter. Ethiopia has all rights to decide about its water.

    Reply
  14. SAMI   March 3, 2020 at 1:24 am

    GERD is the property of evey single ethiopian, it is constructed by the people for the people, we are not new to such impartialities, we can also handle the matter as we did it on colonizers 100 years ago .trying to incure any harm on the dam means knocking at the door of every single family to wakeup for unity and defend our soverenity. Thereafter, it will be the end of the present time neocolonizers.

    Reply
  15. Dr. Semalign Paulos   March 3, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Egypt will pay dear price. Do you know that we have other big rivers with high discharge that flow in to South Sudan and then to Egypt???? Take the Baro River of Gambela. We will use it completely for Irrigation. That will harm Egypt. We will continue to build small Dams along all Tributaries of the Nile in our Teritory. That ultimately reduce the Nile River. Egypt is Lion on the Paper. I am Not afraid of Egypts Military. I am afraid of rebel groups in Ethiopia.
    Dr Abiy and the other Parties should unit and poatpone the Election. Work on the threat posed by Egypt.

    Reply

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