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By Jamal Elatr
During a visit to Egypt on September 7, 2021, Burundi’s FM Albert Shingiro said access to water to Egypt should come before the right to development for Ethiopia. While FM Albert is selling out to Egypt, Ethiopia has no intention or plans to deny or decrease access to water to Egypt or Sudan.
Egyptian problem is not diminishing water from the Nile because of the Ethiopian dam, but future economic development in the Sinai and other locations.
Egypt Problem is not Water, but future development and Hegemony.
The current Ethiopian dam, GERD, will not materially or at no level will affect Egyptian water supply except during the filling period for which Egypt has adequate reserves. The issue is future development for Egypt and its hegemony in the region. Like Ethiopia, Egypt has future development plans in the Sinai and Eastern Egypt, where a new city is being built.
Egypt Hoodwinking Saudi Arabia about the Ethiopian Dam
In the Sinai, in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, there is over a half a trillion-dollar project called NEOM. Similarly, UAE and Kuwait have been significant investors in Egypt, and Israel is in the wing for future projects.
Saudi investment in Egypt stands over $27 billion and is the second-largest investor in Egypt. Besides pledging to increase its investment in Egypt, Saudi Arabia is investing over $500 billion to develop a border region with Jordan and Egypt by getting water from the Nile River.
Egypt is falsely telling Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other Arab countries with investment and ties with Egypt that all bets are off the table if Ethiopia builds its hydro-electric dam that churns water instead of keeping any of it.
Consequently, Saudi Arabia is hell-bent on stopping this dam by any means necessary, including supporting TPLF and financing Egyptian diplomatic strangulation of Ethiopia, expelling domestic workers, women, and children of Ethiopian origin from Saudi Arabia in retaliation.
Thus Egypt’s problem is not the absence of or loss of water, its future economic development with the support of primarily with Saudi Arabia secondarily other states such as Israel using the Nile. Egypt has convinced Saudi Arabia and Israel that Ethiopia’s dam impedes those megaprojects. This fear-mongering enabled Egypt to align some countries squarely behind Egypt, especially Saudi Arabia, wrongly. Of course, the GERD will not materially affect these projects. Still, Egypt is exaggerating to force Ethiopia into an agreement that may violate Ethiopia’s sovereignty and put a barrier to future development, and handicap future generations from benefiting from the Nile water.
Ethiopia’s Diplomatic Failure is Becoming Costly
Ethiopia’s diplomatic failure to articulate the facts and assure Saudi Arabia and others is forcing Saudi Arabia to throw its petrol dollar in destabilizing and strangulating Ethiopia. To degrade and destroy the Ethiopian state and economy, Saudi Arabia, with the urging of Egypt, is financing the TPLF offensive and expelling hundreds of thousands of innocent families and children of Ethiopian origin while allowing over 2 million Egyptians reside and work in Saudi Arabia.
In Sudan, both Saudi Arabia and Egypt give sanctuary and arms to TPLF and provoke Ethiopia into armed conflict to stretch its military. Sudan is also funding and encouraging groups in Benishangul to sabotage the dam’s construction by killing drivers, closing roads, and other tactics.
Sudan and Egypt moved their military to the Ethiopian border and held regular military exercises to flex their muscles and threaten Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are financing extremist forces to thwart Ethiopia’s path to democracy and distract it from completing the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. While destabilizing Ethiopia has the potential to unhinge the whole region given Ethiopia’s size and population, the world is watching with relatively benign tolerance not to antagonize two of the most potent and dictatorial nations in the Arab world.
With Saudi Arabia financing, Egypt is signing a defense agreement with most of Ethiopia’s neighbors, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Djibouti, Rwanda, and others, almost encircling Ethiopia. Some of these countries are getting hundreds of millions to sign a defense agreement with Egypt to isolate, punish, and destabilize Ethiopia.
Saudi Arabia finances TPLF’s ability to field over 100000 combatants with food and weapons with the urging of Egypt. Besides supporting terrorist TPLF, Saudis are financing Egyptian belligerence and diplomatic offensive at the UN and Arab League.
In retribution, Ethiopia may fund and train the Houthis in cooperation with Eritrea and Iran to unhinge the Saudi Monarch and make them history like other monarchs. Also, allow expelled Ethiopians and others to join the Houthi brigade as volunteers help the region explode.
TPLF supports close to 100000 combatants with massive logistic supply with ammunition and food, gas, clothing, shoes, etc.? Saudi Arabia and Egypt massively subsidize TPLF’s ability to continue the war.
Why is Saudi Arabia expelling thousands of legal residents Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia, funding TPLF, and throwing money to any country standing against Ethiopia? Saudi Arabia has a massive investment current and future investment in Egypt, including producing food using the Nile Water. The Egyptians convinced them that their investment and food supply were at risk besides their huge future investment plans. Logically, the Ethiopian government will send a delegation to convince the Saudis otherwise, or the risk does not exist. Like its poor diplomatic relations with the USA, Europe, and everywhere, Ethiopia neglected its diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia. So the Saudis are lashing out. They are financing terrorists, extremists in Ethiopia, throwing hundreds of millions of petrodollars to any country willing to sign anti-Ethiopian defense agreement with Egypt.
Ethiopia should reach out to Saudi Arabia to assuage them of their concern, If that does not succeed, call all the best of, work with the Houthi, Iran, Turkey to unhinge the rotten monarchy from the back of the Saudi people.
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