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Ethiopia’s Embassy in Cairo Attacked

May 31, 2013

News reports from Cairo reported that the Ethiopian embassy is attacked by a few Egyptians who are opposing Ethiopia’s mega dam project. According to Ahram online, the protesters were chanting saying, “we are the source of the Nile.” What is amazing still is Egypt rich in water engineers and hydrologists are  not yet understand what does it mean by diverting water  by a few meters to undertake the construction of the dam means. The course of the Nile is sidetracked by 30 meters which then continues its journey through its natural course as before after a few meters. This river is diverted to nowhere. If they are generally opposing the construction of the dam that is another issue. If they are still chanting on the diversion issue it is laughable.

Ahram Online has reported the following

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Dozens protest Blue Nile dam move outside Ethiopia’s Cairo embassy

Limited demonstration erupts outside Ethiopian embassy in Cairo as activists protest perceived infringement on Egypt’s traditional share of Nile water

 Ahram Online , Friday 31 May 2013

Dozens of Egyptian protesters gathered outside the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo on Friday to protest Addis Ababa’s decision earlier this week to temporarily divert the course of the Blue Nile as part of a project to build a series of dams on the river.

Protesters held banners aloft reading, “We reject attempts to take our Nile Water.” Others chanted: “We are the source of the Nile Basin.”

“After Ethiopia’s surprising decision, bilateral relations have now been put to the test,” according to a statement by the ‘Copts without Borders’ group, one of the protests’ main organizers.

The statement added: “Any agreement between President Mohamed Morsi’s government and its Ethiopian counterpart will not be recognized, since Morsi has lost all legitimacy before the Egyptian people.”

The statement went on to call on Egyptians to take part in a planned anti-Mors rally on 30 June to call for snap presidential elections.

Other participants at Friday’s protest included members of the ‘Lawyers Union for the Nile Basin’ and the ‘Egyptians against Injustice’ movement.

Within the context of a plan to build a series of new dams for electricity production, Ethiopia on Tuesday began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, one of the Nile River’s two main tributaries. Most Nile water that reaches Egypt and Sudan originates from the Blue Nile.

Ethiopia’s ‘Renaissance Dam’ project – one of four planned hydro-electric power projects – has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government, amid ongoing sensitivities regarding the project’s possible effects on Egypt’s traditional share of Nile water.

According to the state-run National Planning Institute, Egypt will need an additional 21 billion cubic metres of water per year by 2050 – on top of its current quota of 55 billion metres – to meet the needs of a projected population of some 150 million.

Available at: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/72835/Egypt/Politics-/Dozens-protest-Blue-Nile-dam-move-outside-Ethiopia.aspx

On the other hand Aswat Masriya also reported that the protesters were trying to burn the Ethiopian flag. According to the website the limited protesters were calling for expelling Ethiopia`s Ambassador in Egypt, Ambassador Mohamed Drrir.

The following is its full report

Scores protest at Ethiopia embassy to demand expelling ambassador

Scores of demonstrators staged a protest on Friday at the Ethiopian embassy headquarters in Cairo to demand expelling the Ethiopian ambassador to Egypt and call for halting the Renaissance Dam project, al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported.

Ethiopia has begun implementing a project to build a $4.7 billion dam. The project entails diverting the Blue Nile which may affect downstream countries.

The demonstrators chanted slogans condemning Ethiopia’s policies and lifted banners attacking the dam building process.

The embassy prevented the protesters from burning the Ethiopian flag after one demonstrator attempted to down the flag.

Available at: http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=3a23a33f-10b4-41b5-a002-20810ffa44e8

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According to Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 the host state must protect the diplomatic mission from any kind of intrusion and damage. Customary international law also obliged the host state to protect the diplomatic personnel and its mission. The host country must provide security as the diplomatic community is the sole representative of the sending state in the host country. Any attack on against the diplomatic staff, the embassy compound and its properties is tantamount attacking the state. Thus, Egypt as a signatory state to the convention must protect the Ethiopian mission from any kind of intrusion and damage what so ever. must summon and ask clarifications on the issue from the Egyptian ambassador in Ethiopia.

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