Trump suggestion for Egyptian military action against Ethiopian Dam triggered outrage among Ethiopians. Mr. Trump thinks the dam stops the flow of Nile water to Egypt.
October 24, 2020
In a phone conversation with the Prime Minister of Sudan Abdulla Hamdok, President Donald Trump suggested that Egypt may blow up the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Trump remarked about GERD when he was announcing the normalization of the United States’ relation with Sudan following decades of sanctions.
“It’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way,” he said as reported by the AFP. For him, the Dam stops the flow of water to Egypt.
And he suggested: “They’ll end up blowing up the dam. And I said it and I say it loud and clear — they will blow up that dam. And they have to do something”
Furthermore, Mr. Trump said that Egypt should not have allowed the construction of it in the first place. From what he said during the speakerphone conversation, it seems that he subscribes to the Egyptian view that the construction of the dam happened because Egypt was having an internal problem ( the revolution that removed President Hosni Mubarak from power) in 2011.
US-brokered Washington discussion between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan failed in February 2020 as the Trump administration pushed for a deal to benefit Egypt at the expense of Ethiopia.
Trump said on Friday, “I had a deal done for them and then unfortunately Ethiopia broke the deal, which they should not have done. That was a big mistake.”
His government cut aid funding to Ethiopia over Ethiopia’s defiance to the imposition of a deal that violates its sovereignty and disregards its sovereignty.
More than 86 percent of the Nile water originates from Ethiopia – a country that is now determined to use its share of the water to provide electricity to the population with no access to it, which constitutes about 65 percent of the entire population.
A recent report from the Ministry of Irrigation indicated that 76 percent of the construction of the Dam is completed.
Reactions to Mr. Trump remark
Democratic Colorado Rep. Jason Crow said in a twitter message : “The President’s comments about the #GERD are reckless & uninformed – #Ethiopia is a long-time ally of the U.S. The U.S. must act as an honest broker to ensure a sustainable diplomatic settlement and stop senseless foreign aid cuts.”
Ethiopian Americans who are active in US politics reacted to Trump’s remarks,too. Ted Alemayhu, who was a former Republican Congressional Candidate, said “I support Donald Trump because of his ‘America first’ policy which I continue to support. Nothing else! When it comes to Hagera- Ethiopia however, I will never ever back down from defending her!”
Mr. Trump’s view seems to have attracted Ethiopian-Americans, who are otherwise indifferent, to the US election as they think it would give them “power to vote out Trump.”
The office of Prime Minister of Ethiopia has issued a statement on Saturday in reaction to Trump’s remark. The statement said, “The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is an affirmation of Ethiopia’s commitment for equitable and reasonable utilization of the Abbay River.”
Mr. Trump’s uninformed stand on GERD has outraged Ethiopians in and outside of the country.
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