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Egypt fails to see the new realities in Ethiopia, says Foreign Minister

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister says that Egypt is unable to realize that Nile basin countries have a need to use their water resource so as to meet development needs of their countries

Egypt _ Ethiopia _ Nile
Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Gedu Andargachew

borkena
April 17, 2020

In an interview this week with state media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew, said that Egypt failed to see new realities in Ethiopia. He said Egypt is fixated to the Colonial era arrangement When it comes to the Nile water. 

Egypt calls the arrangement, which gives about 55.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile water a “historical right.”  The agreement was between what was the United Arab Republic (before Syria seceded in 19) on the one and Sudan. No other Nile Basin Country was a party to the agreement.

For Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Gedu Andargachew, Ethiopia has reached a point where it is using its water resources to generate power as a matter of life and death. What has changed? Unlike the times of the colonial era, Ethiopia now has over 100 million population, the majority of which is living in poverty.

One of the ways that Ethiopia intends to provide a livelihood to its growing population is by expanding industrialization for which power supply is a requirement. Over the past ten years or so, Ethiopia has been building billions of dollars worth of industrial parks in different parts of the country, hoping to attract Foreign Direct Investment relevant for job creation and enhancing export trade earnings. 

Moreover, Gedu mentioned that more than 65 percent of Ethiopians do not have access to electricity – and that is one of the issues that the Ethiopian government seeks to change by generating more power. 

The reality in other Nile Basin countries is also changing as more and more countries now seek to use their water resources to meet the development needs of their people.  

Ethiopia aims to generate power from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without causing significant harm to the flow of water to the lower riparian countries. Sudan seems to be clear about it as it believes that its national interest will not be harmed by the Ethiopian Dam. 

Egypt, on the other hand, has been playing a combination of trickery, misrepresentation of Ethiopia’s position, and outright ranting for “military action.” 

The series of negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in Washington, D.C. faltered as they were unable to reach agreement on the operation and filling of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam.  The World Bank and the United States “facilitated” the talk as “observers.” 

Ethiopia did not make it to the last round of US-brokered talk in late February in Washington DC.  At the end of the meeting, the United States issued a statement warning Ethiopia not to start filling the Dam without signing an agreement with Egypt. A day after the United States’ infuriating statement, Ethiopia expressed disappointment with a warning like a statement from the United States. Furthermore, Ethiopia said that it would not allow infringement on its sovereign rights. 

Meanwhile, Egypt mobilized the Arab world to form a bloc against Ethiopia on the issue of the Dam.  In early March, Egypt managed to table a position paper in the Arab League, condemning what it called “infringement on Egypt’s historical right on the Nile.”  All member states except Sudan, which is one of the negotiating parties on the Ethiopian Dam, supported Egyptian position. On March 6, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia issued a statement rejecting “blind support” of members of the Arab League Countries to Egyptian misrepresentation.  

Soon after the March Arab League meeting in Cario, Egypt launched a diplomatic campaign to Europe. In response to that, Ethiopia’s had a diplomatic campaign in Africa focusing on Nile Basin member countries. President Sahle-Work Zewde traveled to Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda to explain Ethiopia’s position. 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is said to be 72.4 percent completed, and Ethiopian authorities anticipate that filling the reservoir could start as early as during the rainy seasons of July and August. However, the Ethiopian government seems to be preoccupied with the fight against the Coronavirus disease and minimizing its economic impact. 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Ethiopian Airforce recently proved that the Ethiopian government failed to see the new Somalia by going into Somalia to reaffirm the colonial area rules on Somalians .

  2. Ali Abduljawad: What in the world are you raving about? Ethiopian Airforce is “reaffirm the colonial area rules on Somalians.”? What does that statement mean? What exactly are you trying to say here? At any rate, let me awaken your memories and throw you some facts. Land or air, Ethiopia’s forces have the mandate and the contentment of Somalia’s government to conduct any military operation they deem to be necessary inside Somalia. They possess the responsibility and brotherly duty to destroy terrorists and re-establish Somalia.

  3. This is not right, we are both brothers, Coptic religion also is shared together as well as other Abrahamic faiths. Should be wise and not let foreigners harm both countries.. As both countries are 200 million combined, should work hand in hand in industry and trade to build together. Economy and unity is the wiser for the future..

  4. Subject: “Egypt fails to see the new realities in Ethiopia, says Foreign Minister

    Short Comment

    Egypt NEVER considered the “the realities in Ethiopia” at any point in History.
    Egypt NEVER considered BLACK AFRICANS as equals, deserving equal ‘chairs’ in any negotiation.
    Egypt has natural deep negative attitude towards BLACK PEOPLE that expecting it to change its attitude, at any level of society, is tantamount to physically moving Mount Kilimanjaro. THE END

  5. I think Secretary Mnuchin of the Treasury had a snafu in his choice of words. At least that is what I want to believe it happened. Otherwise, how in the dickens you try to give blunt orders to a very dignified and proud people like the old country? How? I think he may have regretted or a 2nd thought about it. Otherwise that is like going rogue, very rogue. It is in the records that these two countries, USA & Ethiopia have had cordial relationships based on mutual respect for each other more than 110 years except for those during the demonic Mengistu regime. There are two facts about the issue that led to the meetings among the three countries, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

    1) The Blue Nile originates in Ethiopia
    2) Ethiopia has all the birth rights to harness all its natural resources including the water from the Blue Nile for the good of its poverty strapped citizens without causing any short or long term harm to the environment and those countries that depend on it.

    The old country did not hide anything about the location and design of the dam from the outset including how it will conduct the filling. It has promised and even guaranteed that the dam will not cause any harm to Sudan and Egypt. Period! End of story!!! I say damn the noise from Al-Qahirah and full steam ahead!!!

  6. Ali & Mr. Ahmed

    The only government who should mediate this Nile Abay river issue is Eswatini ,for the month of April 2020 Eswatini is rated as the best country to live in the world.The world is starting to recognize the humble excellent leadership of Eswatini.All Africans soon will need to come to terms of what is best for the continent by all of Africa uniting inorder to be led under Eswatini .

    Let African issues be handled the African way , the sooner that happens the sooner Africa overcomes the hardships.

  7. ReZen our face is black how about your heart ?
    its true,you dont have a brain you born with and you don’t have sence of understanding !are you white man? why you disrespect yourself
    you are black inside and outside of your brain your heart there is nothing whiteness about u and a person like you

  8. Ethiopia can learn from the rise and fall of the ancient agricultural society of the Assyrian empire. Egypt knows that war is inevitable unless Ethiopia starts feeding Egypt and the surrounding countries when the Mega-Drought hits. Ethiopia should prepare so this inevitable war between Ethiopia and Egypt does not destroy the GERD. Egypt including all of the Middle East , the Saharan Countries , Mexico and the Western part of the USA are all expected to.be hit by a Mega-Drought in the near future . Mega-drought is a drought that can last decades, last time mega drought on earth was more than a hundred thousand years ago.
    Endless drought predicted for the Mediterranean in a warmer world
    Haaretz
    ·
    Jan ’18

    thenews.com.pk/print/596598-the-age-of-the-mega-drought

    eos.org/articles/megadrought-helped-topple-the-assyrian-empire

  9. To: Editor, Borkena, com

    I submitted a few lines (very short) commentary on the subject a while ago. I ‘assume’ it was not acceptable — which is 100% the prerogative of YOU –The Editor. I have absolutely NO problem with that fact. I am ONLY wondering in what way did you find my mini-commentary to be NOT acceptable to your standard, rules and regulations. I am really curious for my own benefit.
    P.S. For your information, I am very happy to point out that borkena.com has accepted my numerous articles MORE THAN ANY other websites. For that, I have always been grateful and repeat it here: THANK YOU.

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