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Open Letter to the People of Egypt on The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Nile _ Ethiopian Dam _ Open Letter to the People of Egypt
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Photo /File

Concerned Ethiopian -Canadians in Ottawa
April 6, 2020

Subject: The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD):

Dear Citizens of Egypt,

First and foremost we are bound by human curtsy and religious fraternity to send you our greetings from Canada. We also wish you a speedy recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic that is taking a toll on your people.

Since Ethiopia began building the GERD on the Nile River eight years ago, the Egyptian Government, military and media have been engaged in orchestrating a barrage of hostile accusations, threats and war mongering propaganda against Ethiopians and their government. We believe your leadership and media are deliberately hoodwinking you with false information and unwarranted bravado. The truth of the matter is that Ethiopia opted for a peaceful settlement to disputes surrounding the GERD with Egypt and Sudan. What our countries need is cooperation and mutual understanding and not confrontation.

In the midst of propaganda warfare we urge Egyptians to refrain from hobnobbing facts with fiction. It is time to understand that the Nile gets 90% of its water from Lake Tana and Ethiopia’s highland rivers. Any fluctuation in rainfall patterns affects the volume of water in the Nile and the dam considerably. This is further compounded by deforestation that is turning Ethiopia to a desert. A century ago the country’s 40% vegetative coverage was depleted to 2% in 2020. It is mutually significant for Egypt to come forward to support Ethiopia’s tree planting initiative and eradication of Water Hyacinth from Lake Tana. We believe it is the most sustainable alternative that saves us from extinction and not the war rhetoric.

Regrettably, your government remains defiant and dismissive to Ethiopia’s call for a negotiated settlement. This should be quite concerning for the people of both countries. Let us be cognizant of Ethiopia’s absolute and legitimate right to build hydro dams on her rivers including the Nile so long that it is done within its geographic boundary. Ethiopia does not require the blessing of outside powers to harness its rivers for social and economic development. However, when constructing dams on rivers cascading international boundaries, we reckon the significance of multilateral and bilateral negotiations as long as such negations are framed on a balanced, fair and equitable arbitration.

Ethiopia does not and will not allow a repeat of the 1929 colonial treaty on the Nile which it considered null and void because it was unjust, morally selfish, and politically bankrupt. Ethiopia won’t be fooled again to the old fashioned and scandalous treaty designed by hegemonic colonial mentality that bullied and terrorized Ethiopians for a century. In a digital world the global political geography then and the 21st century is starkly different from that of the 20’s.

We urge the people and government of Egypt to wake up to new political, and military realities of our time. After a century, Ethiopia has one of the best brains in Africa, a seasoned and robust diplomacy built on coexistence and mutual respect. By all standards, Ethiopia has the best defense and airpower unparalleled in Africa and the Middle East.

Historically, the GOD fearing people of Ethiopia have neither concocted war against any nation nor have they been against peaceful settlement of international disputes. Ethiopians consider war as a last resort.  If war is imposed on them history affirms with absolute certainty that they know how to conduct war and win it.

Ethiopians are absolutely zealous and selfless people always united and ready to defend their country’s interest and integrity. Certainly when Ethiopians fight they fight to the finish line by holding a Bible/Quran on one hand and a gun in the other. We have the most resilient people ready to go the extra mile to defend Ethiopia’s vital establishments including the GERD.

Finally, we hear that your government is readying itself to bomb the GERD. The decision to bomb or not is yours alone. Ethiopians won’t interfere in your right to disseminating the propaganda of warfare. However, should your government remain defiant to peaceful resolution, our advice is-let all of us stop playing with fire.

The military option will have gargantuan consequences to both countries. What is best is to reach out to each other as the Ethiopian Government reached your country with COVID-19 supplies last week. Mutual understanding and cooperation are the sole options beneficial to all of us in these trying times of our world.

For info contact Mr. Semaneh Jemere Tel:613-796-6196 or email: .

Concerned Ethiopian -Canadians in Ottawa

Editor’s note : The Open letter is addressed to the people of Egypt via the Embassy of Egypt in Ottawa, and CC’ed to various authorities. PDF version is available HERE

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  1. Ethiopia hidden intentions are different from its announced intentions. After (9) years of negotiations that Ethiopia used to gain time to finish the dam, no agreement was reached. Ethiopia will not sign any agreement because her goals are different from the announced ones. The question is does Egypt’s patience has no end ???

  2. Always I see the world to be full of injustice. 60 million people in Ethiopia do not have access to electricity while 100% of the Egyptians have access to power. Yet the so called “observers” tell us to let all the water go down to Egypt so that they will use it to generate electricity and irrigate their land. Please go and see the “advanced learner’s dictionary”, there you will find the example given for famine is Ethiopia. When Ethiopia tries to feed herself using its own natural resource everybody starts to shed a crocodile tears. We reiterate this to the whole world, we have the right to use our own natural resources and feed our population. Let me ask you a question. What is the meaning of a natural resource? Is water a natural resource or not? If it is a natural resource don’t we have the right to use it for whatever purpose we wish. The water flows down ward not upward. How do you expect us to beg you for our own natural resource? Let me tell you frankly, we Ethiopians are not using Nile water at all. We don’t know your Nile River. What we know is Abay River. We are using only Abay river water. If you want you can use 100% of your Nile water but we have the right to use 100% of our Abay River which is our God given natural resource. We did not say you cannot use the water from the river, we simply said let us share it. There is a saying in Ethiopia which says “a person who used to eat like hyena will die the day he starts eating like a man”. Let me remind you what you are doing. When Ethiopia tried to get fund for the dam construction from the international community, Egypt used all possible means to foil our efforts. When asked for justice for equitable use of the water Egypt brings forth 1929 and 1959 treaty, Which Ethiopia is not part, which gives 100% of the water to Egypt and Sudan and zero % to other riparian country. At the same time you say let us use the water equitably. After dividing the water between Egypt and Sudan where is the share for us? Egyptians are trying to enforce colonial power treaty on Ethiopia. From the outset Ethiopia was against colonial aggression. Even though we are poor we are not colonized. That is why now Egypt is trying to impose on us same colonial power treaty. How can you expect us to be abide by a treaty which we are not part of? You must know that natural resource is a “resource” for a country. Finally I would like to give you a word of advice; we Ethiopians are God fearing people and I assure you that we will not let you down to die because of water. God Bless us all.

  3. You are right on point! Ethiopia will March forward no matter what! Arabs won’t respect us or want the best for us. Their approach is that we are black Africans and that we should ask for their permission and abide by their rules and regulations! Except the Country that they are trying to impose such restrictions is unlike any African Countries. Ethiopia have always been dancing to it’s own drumming; it’s that mentality that made it the only Country in Africa to not be colonized!

  4. Ethiopia we are honest kind people we care about others I think this kindness most of the time it is hurt us. we are telling Egyptians what we are going to do. we have to stop.
    you may ask why
    1 they are the shrewdest government
    2 they don’t worth any trust
    3 they always ready to hurt Ethiopia they can use any opportunity to take advantage.
    4 this is a warning to all Ethiopian government and people do not trust and Egyptian at all. Because they very slippery with there on the word.
    They did not tell us they are going to build Aswan high dam I don’t think so at the time we exist as Ethiopian for Egyptian.
    also, I hope you remember Los time PM Ably Ahmed on Oct. 24 – 2019 visiting Egypt Al Sis make PM Ably swear wall’ ah I am not going to hurt Egypt PM Ably he did with confidence but Al sis he swear wall’ ah wall’ ah wall’ ah 3 times I am not going to hurt Ethiopia. Al Sis, he did not have confidence because by saying I swear by god Wall’ ah he trying covered-up he’s shrewd mind to consider abut something his body language his voice was telltale.
    To make long story short what did they do first they went to America with colony ideology to get support from America and America give there support then they organized all Arab community to get support to hurt Ethiopia they did not succeed they did not stop there yet they went all over Africa and Europe they did not succeed.
    Maybe they are planning a different way to hurt Ethiopia by any means so be knowledge do not trust them whatever they say.

  5. I think the importance of the Ethiopian dam is a great lie promoted by the Ethiopian government and the coming days. It is the major conspiracy against the great Ethiopian people, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who won the Nobel Prize in exchange for the destruction of Ethiopia and its entry into conflict with friendly countries such as Egypt and others and the destruction of the Ethiopian economy.You also mislead the poor Ethiopian people

  6. Thank you for the right time contribution @ the right time. Moderate Egyptian people/ politicians are advised to critically review the move & consequences of the hardliners with regard to their decision-making to confrontation/war. I hope there are moderate citizens/politicians who can see their right & left and have fair & balanced judgement. The all time propaganda, diplomatic movement of Egypt is a labour to maintain the 1929/1959 void. Selfish and null colonial agreement. Please think as if you are the people who live in this 21st century & go back to those null agreements & judge your country’s stand. The 21st century requires moral with principles of equity, fair and reasonable share resources. Unless your government & politicians buy in those principles, peaceful dialogue, cooperation & partnership will not come with Ethiopia. One thing you should know is that, Ethiopia has full & sovereign right to use its resources in its territory with principles, without permission of any country. That should be underlined.


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