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HomeOpinionThe Art of Dominance: conspiracies and plots against Ethiopia

The Art of Dominance: conspiracies and plots against Ethiopia

Is Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni a “Trojan Horse” for Egypt? 

Dominance _ Ethiopia _ Egypt

Aklog Birara (Dr) 

Part 1 of 8 

“Indeed, the US has a long criminal history of meddling into the political affairs of other nations —a history that spans at least a century and, since the end of World War II, extends into all regions of the globe, including western parliamentary polities. This interview with Noam Chomsky reminds us that the United States is no stranger to election interference; in fact, it is an expert in this arena.”

Noam Chomsky Interview, “On the long history of US meddling in foreign elections, January 29, 2017

“In his Christian New Testament Epistle to the Galatians, Paul the Apostle writes: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” 

Ethiopians and the rest of Black Africa are now used to US government sanctions and the threat of sanctions. Sanctions are solely intended to influence government policy in Ethiopia and in the rest of Africa. Sanctions are intended “to give effective or authoritative approval” for the sanctioning power. Sanction is war by a different and “civilized” means. Punitive sanctions give the USA international legitimacy and global acceptance (the UN system) and allow it “to impose a penalty or economically or militarily coercive measures.” The harm to the target county can be devastating. For example, sanctions prevent access to investment capital.

Sanctions are not the only tools the United States deploys to punish or to change regimes that the US does not approve. Proxy wars, cyber-attacks, direct or indirect support to domestic opponents and insurgents feature prominent in US foreign policy. 

My thesis in this commentary is that, behind relentless proxy wars and lawlessness in Ethiopia —ethnic, terrorist and others—are Egyptian machinations and Egypt’s cohort of internal and external conspirators, plotters, supporters and enablers

This external threat that bedevils Ethiopia and threaten its very survival are fueled hugely by fierce domestic competition among ethnic political elites for political power and resources; by terrorist actions; by the dearth of wisdom and statesmanship among Ethiopia’s leaders; as well as by misguided government policies and priorities. This pathology within emboldens external forces. 

The reason for Egypt’s multipronged attack of Ethiopia are two-fold a) to forestall the completion (third filling and the rest) of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (the GERD); and b) to abort other irrigation and hydroelectric power generation dams. Egypt is determined to keep Ethiopia ethnically and religiously polarized, conflict ridden, lawless and poor. It spends tons of dollars to do this. 

Egyptian hegemony over the Nile and proxy wars 

In June 2013, Egypt warned Ethiopia over potential diversion of waters from the Blue Nile (Abay) to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a 6,000 megawatts hydroelectric power generation project financed in its entirety by Ethiopians.  At that time, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi threatened Ethiopia and declared that “all options are open” in dealing with any threat to his country’s water supply posed by the GERD and future dams.

While President Morsi refrained from declaring war against Ethiopia, he announced publicly that Egypt will not permit Ethiopia to endanger its water supply. Arab media and the BBC quoted President Morsi saying that “Egypt’s water security cannot be violated at all.”

Mr. Morsi who was later overthrown was adamant and clear that “As president of the state, I confirm to you that all options are open.”

Egyptian state policy of hegemony over Blue Nile waters and veto power over the operation and management of the GERD have not changed since. In a meeting with Tanzania’s Foreign Minister June 11,2022, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “stressed Egypt’s firm position towards preserving its water security and all historical rights acquired in the Nile waters, through reaching a binding legal agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that preserves the right of current and future generations to the Nile, the main source of water in Egypt.”

Egypt is not alone in its claim of “natural and historical rights” over Ethiopia’s Blue Nile /Abbay river and tributaries that together supply 86 percent of Nile Waters. The Arab League and the European Union support Egypt. American support to Egypt over the GERD is subtle. 

Egypt does not contribute an ounce of water. Ethiopia’s water supply to Egypt is a free good, an entitlement that, in my assessment is a relic of the colonial era. 

In March 2020, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shinn, wrote an OPED that urged that “The United States Must Not Pick Sides in the Nile River Dispute.” Instead, he recommended rightly that “Washington should be helping them (Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan) compromise, rather than doing Cairo’s bidding.” The EU should have followed the same policy. 

Ambassador Shinn’s proposal that “A Nile agreement will have to be a part of a cooperative framework for greater regional and economic integration. The GERD will heighten the interdependence among the countries that share the Nile and enhance the need for close and proactive coordination to optimize the river’s various uses across borders. As climate change creates new vulnerabilities such as erratic rainfall, it will become even more essential to actively coordinate water usage across the full stretch of the Nile.”

During the impasse of negotiations in early 2020  and when Egypt and Sudan reverted to the US and the World Bank as “mediators” and imposed severe conditions on Ethiopia, The International Crisis Group advised Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan that in the long-term, “The parties should support efforts towards a long-term trans-boundary cooperation agreement up and down the basin. This is the option that the EU failed to push. 

The Center believed that “Egypt could demonstrate good faith by rejoining the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), the most effective platform to reach a broader Nile basin agreement. This gesture would be both forward-leaning and justified by the present state of affairs: Egypt (along with Sudan) froze participation in the NBI because upstream countries refused to abide by the 1959 Nile agreement, which allocated 100 per cent of Nile waters to the two downstream countries. Those disagreements are now moot as explained above: the dispute is no longer a battle for hydro-hegemony but rather an argument about how to share resources in a way that benefits all riparian states.”

Unfortunately, Egypt is adamant that its colonial era of “natural and historical rights” over Nile waters is sacrosanct and overrides all other options. The record shows that instead of negotiating for a win-win solution among all Nile River riparian countries, Egypt:

  1. Arabizes, regionalizes and internationalizes this legitimate and African rights issue. 
  1. Sticks rigidly and arrogantly to colonial era 1929 and 1959 Nile water treaties and agreements that are non-binding on Black African Nile River riparian countries. Egypt refuses to accept that “The Nyerere doctrine of 1962” that nullifies and makes colonial agreements and or treaties non-binding. 

In an unprecedented move, the European Union (EU) made a huge strategic mistake when it announced recently that it embraces and supports Egypt’s claim of “natural and historical rights”.  This diminishes the EU’s moral authority and legitimacy that it can play an impartial role on future Nile matters. 

  1. The EU, Egypt and other parties know that the 1959 Nile water treaty with Sudan grants Egypt 55.5 billon cubic meters of water, 18.5 billion cubic meters of water to Sudan, and avails 10 billion cubic meters of water for evaporation. The treaty grants none to the rest of Black African Nile River riparian countries including Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia never accepted Egypt’s hegemony over Blue Nile waters. At the same time, Ethiopia never threatened to harm Egypt or Sudan. It continues to adhere to the spirit of the Declaration of Principles (DOP) Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed in 2015. 

  1. In addition, Egypt believes that an exclusionary, unfair and unjust Nile water treaty with Sudan facilitated by then colonial power Great Britain grants Egypt veto power in the development and utilization of Nile waters. This veto power is identical to the veto power granted to Nuclear power nations in the UN Security Council.

The implication of Egypt’s veto power is that it poses an existential threat for Ethiopia. It cannot harness its Blue Nile water resources for hydro power and or irrigation projects. It must first seek permission from Egypt on a natural resource asset that Ethiopia’s geographical location granted to Ethiopia; and not to Egypt. 

Egypt is a desert. It does not produce an ounce of water.  But Egypt consumes huge quantities producing agricultural commodities, a bulk of foods for export. Egypt squanders tens of billions of cubic meters of water each year.  

A free good is not free at all free

The “gift of the Nile” is really a gift from Ethiopia. Luckily for Egypt and Egyptians, Ethiopia has been supplying Egypt with its waters for thousands of years, for the most part rent free. 

As my distinguished friend and compatriot, Mr. Kidane Alemayehu, who worked in Lesotho as a high official keeps reminding Ethiopians and the rest of the world, there is no such entitlement as a free good when it comes to a precious and finite asset, water. 

The small nation of Lesotho supplies waters to South Africa and earns more than $50 million per year from South Africa. For the government of Egypt paying rent for Blue Nile waters to Ethiopia is unthinkable. Because, Egypt believes that it owns the Nile. Its core argument is that any reduction in the amount of water flow to Egypt is a national security matter. 

It irks me that Egypt does not entertain the counter argument that Ethiopia’s failure to harness its Blue Nile waters for the betterment of its people is equally a national security issue. 

In the light of this undeniable fact, I am convinced that someday in the not- too-distant future, Ethiopia will be in a stronger position to charge Egypt reasonable annual rent for suppling it with fresh waters from the Blue Nile and tributaries. But Ethiopians must defend payment and fight for it. Ethiopia must, as a national priority, restore peace, stability and human security.  

  1. Egypt’s covert and overt operations against Ethiopia have a long and infamous track record. a) In 2014, Ethiopia arrested a group of Egyptian spies, state agents and saboteurs operating in concert with the TPLF, OLA and other anti-government individuals and groups. b) Egypt signed military cooperation and security deals with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan, Uganda; and agreed on a deal for the construction of a hydroelectric construction project (the Nyerere hydroelectric generation dam) with Tanzania)

These Sub-Sahara African countries are members of the NBI group. Egypt’s primary intent in singling out and signing military, security and development deals with these NBI countries goes beyond altruism

Behind these strategic deals is to alienate Nile River Black Africa from Ethiopia. It is at minimum to create doubt that African nations do not speak from the same script concerning the Nile in general and especially the GERD. It is to use Sub-Saharan African Nile River riparian countries as conduits for covert operations against Ethiopia. 

There is no doubt in my assessment that Egypt is determined that it must weaken Ethiopia by a) recruiting into its orbit a group of NBI countries in support of its continued hegemony over the Nile; and b) financing and promoting ethnic and religious conflicts within Ethiopia to make it fragile, ungovernable and lawless. 

In its incisive analysis “Egypt boosts relations with Nile Basin countries via military deals” dated 06-04-2021, Xinhua quotes Egyptian Political Scientist and Professor Tariq Fahmy with the University of Cairo who says rightly that “Although Egypt’s military agreements are meant to confront terrorism in Africa, they also carry Egyptian messages addressed to Ethiopia over its disputed giant Grand Renaissance Dam issue.  Egypt’s rapprochement with the Nile Basin region would not only preserve the water rights of Egypt but also achieve regional security and stability.”

The lead reason is to send a clear message to Ethiopia that other options like overt military operations can be deployed.  

Professor Fahmy opines “Egypt has been pursuing a cooperation-led strategy with the Nile Basin countries, mainly the ‘ring countries’ around Ethiopia to protect its water, which helped in changing the policies of some African countries towards Egypt.”

The alleged conspiracy and plot by the government of Uganda—a plausible “Trojan Horse” on behest of Egypt– against Ethiopia that I plan to analyze and discuss over the coming few weeks is inseparable from Egypt’s carefully crafted and executed military, security as well as development strategy and programs in Africa. 

Egypt’s proxy war is real and poses an existential threat for Ethiopia. Egypt mobilizes the Arab world, the EU, the US and a selected few Sub-Saharan African country in its campaign against Ethiopia. Mobilization draws international attention. It enhances public relations and public diplomacy for Egypt. In turn, this offers Egypt regional and international backing and legitimacy as the party that is being harmed by Ethiopia’s GERD and beyond. 

Egypt’s singular goal against Ethiopia is twofold: a) zero in on “a ring of countries around Ethiopia” and b) mobilize, finance and incentivize domestic terrorists like the TPLF and OLA and make Ethiopia ungovernable. 

Ethiopians and the rest of Africa must be conscientious of Egypt’s corrosive, divisive and seemingly altruistic agenda that negates and undermine the Nyerere doctrine. This doctrine calls for all Nile River riparian nations to forego as non-binding colonial treaties and agreements; and instead, agree and adopt a new post-colonial, fair, just and equitable Nile River water sharing Agreement under the auspices of the African Union as soon as possible. 

Ethiopia Shall Prevail!! 


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  1. Thank you Dr. Aklog for puting it so straightforward. Egypt should be normal instead of acting like a madman instigating violence and killing around the GERD, arming and fomenting trouble using ethnic demagogues, infiltrating murderers in Addis, etc.. and all for the funny notion of “being a forced shareholder of the money in Ethiopia’s pocket”. I pray to God to give the Egyptians some sane leaders; they don’t have any at the moment. Whatever Egypt does, Ethiopia will prevail (believe me)

  2. Subject: “The Art of Dominance: conspiracies and plots against Ethiopia” by Dr. Aklog Birara, July 24, 2022

    a) I share the above “Thank you” note to Dr. Aklog especially for the words ; “putting it so straightforward”
    b) The conspiracy against Ethiopia inside and outside Ethiopia is very clear.
    c) It is time for Ethiopia to be of one UNIT and reflect the ANCIENT ETHIOPIA with EXTRAORDINARY KINGS, EMPERORS
    and the untiring dedicated PEOPLE for their beloved ETHIOPIA.
    d) It is the crucial time for Ethiopia — ALIVE or DEAD ; IT WILL ALSO REFLECT ON THE CHARACTERISTIC of BLACK
    AFRICA, WITHOUT DOUBT in such a crucial time to test us of our valuer. Take Egypt, with its eternal hatred for BLACK
    AFRICA, [ ‘ABIDS’ ] as they call us with deep hatred.
    e) The negative attitude of the US against Ethiopia is surprising and unfortunate — in view of the long relationship
    between Ethiopia and the USA.

    f) There is no need to add any narration. ETHIOPIA WILL SURVIVE as ONE ENTITY, AS ALWAYS.

  3. Mrs. Susan Rice as the “shadow Secretary of State Department” is putting the foreign policy of the Biden administration on the wrong track. Once I heard that her confidant and idol the late Meles Zenawi misinformed her on Ethiopia. That is he reportedly told her that the Amhara are like the US race supremacists and as oppressive. Her conception of Ethiopia is based on Zenawi` s anti-Amhara politics and the administration is stuck with it.

    • Humble Opinion, 26 July 2022
      It is plausible story — VERY close to the TRUTH of the time — word by word.
      As natural facts, the TRUTH comes slowly, slowly, slowly but SURELY.
      So many things have been said and done. “C’EST LA VIE”, as the French say &; “THAT IS LIFE”.

      The critical question now to Ethiopians is this: &; Will — or does — the ANCIENT ETHIOPIA deserve to be disintegrated into thousand pieces???? Your Answer, Your Choice, Your Life. On the other hand, Ethiopian enemies — not far from Ethiopia — will be waiting in ECSTASY to see Ethiopia disintegrated into pieces. IT IS THE CHOICE of ETHIOPIANS &; TO LIVE or TO DIE INTO PIECES. THE END

  4. I think this story of Uganda allegedly providing support and training to the losers hiding in rabbit holes in Mekele could either be just in some people’s imagination or something concocted by expert rumor mills in Al-Qahirah. It has been very hard to swallow for me because I could not see any viable needs/incentives for Museveni to get himself in a mess. I don’t think he is that stupid not to realize he lives in a shot gun house standing on all glass walls. I leaned towards the rumor mill in Al-Qahirah to create hostilities and confusion among upstream Nile countries. Just look at what el-Sisi and his propaganda machine spewed around after the official visit there by the current President of Somalia. They told the world that President Hassan has wholehearted supported Egypt’s opposition to the GERD dam and its entitlement to the Nile waters. But that was all fabricated. President Hassan’s regime has vehemently thrashed that claim. Then there was the other recent fabrication by the halawa drunk superpower wannabes in Cairo. They told us as if our President Biden had come out roaring against the dam and in support of Egypt’s sole claim to the waters of the Nile. But that was not true at all. What he said was that everyone should share the benefit of the river. Who opposes that? Every living breathing Ethiopian including those in power know very well that more than 100 million innocent citizens in Egypt rely on the waters of the Nile in general and the Blue Nile in particular. They know and have accepted that reality. That was why our genius engineers designed and have been building the dam in a way it will not adversely affect the flow of water all the way to shores of the Mediterranean. That has been attested by the Egyptian water minister himself after the 1st and 2nd phase of filling the dam were conducted and completed. The 3rd phase is scheduled to commence soon when it starts raining in buckets. I just checked the radar and Mother Nature has already started pouring down in the areas around the dam. The forecast shows there will more than 90% chance of rain every day for weeks to come. I’m not making this up. You can see it yourself. Watch now what those sugar-drunk lost souls will come up with. The current Abiy administration has been organizing millions of the youth and adults to plant billions of trees around the country. You just watch how those guys in Cairo will twist this blessed effort and come up with stories full of lies about it. They will go like ‘Ethiopia is engaged in mass planting of trees to minimize the flow of water of the Blue Nile River’. You just watch! They could not find any dedicated strong opposition group they can use as a reliable proxy. OLF had grabbed the money and run away. ONLF had pocketed the money and never come back with any good news. Shane has turned out to be a disappointment and may be clinging to its dear life. Gambela Front this Gumuz Front that will never work. To bring in Debre and his cabals like Nasser had done in 1959 is unthinkable because the blood of those patriotic Tigres killed by Ismail Pasha’s soldiers on the battlefields of Gura and Gundat has not dried up yet. Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi has failed to find Idris Muhammad Adam in Debre and his groupies. So the only option left for those in Cairo is up the ante with their rumor mill and they have 3,000 years of experience in that profession.

  5. Once again I politely encourage our dear countryman Obbo Aklog to keep gracing us with his insightful and to never be discouraged by detractors. Blessings to you and your family!!!

  6. The enemies within, PP party now replacing Eprdf and working with enemies Liberation Fronts along with their foreign masters, are deceiving friendly nations such as Russia that they are the true face of Ethiopians that traditional Ethiopian face they are used to. Country controlled by Shania acting as friend of Russia, is actually double agent, and bleeding Ethiopia along with the enemy within, olf and Tplf. But friendly nation such as Russia believe Ethiopia is now under safe hand, but not true they are being told a lie. It is up to Ethiopians to tell them.


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