Cain`s Path of Bernard Membe of Tanzania on the Nile

By: Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Tanzania like any other Nile riparian state has its national interest on the Nile waters as it is one of the water source country through the White Nile. Knowing the injustice done by ex-colonial powers, it was Tanzania which for the first time-among the Equatorial Lakes countries to nullify colonially entered treaties which privileged downstream Egypt at the expense of the interest of upstream states. Tanzania is a pioneer of the Nyerere Doctrine which is even regarded as one of the doctrines of international law in the post-colonial world pertaining to state succession to treaties. The doctrine was named after the first president of Tanzania Julius Kambarage Nyerere-who was among Africa`s liberators and intellectuals. Following the independence of his country Tanganyika which later unified with Zanzibar and named Tanzania Muwalimu Julius Nyerere made his country`s position on the Nile very clear and unambiguous particularly regarding the 1929 Agreement which Britain signed on behalf of its East African ‘colonies’.

In a statement sent to Britain, Egypt and the Sudan on 4th July 1962, after discussing the importance of Lake Victoria and its catchment to the needs and interests of the people of Tanganyika, the Government of Tanganyika (Tanzania) declared that: “… the Government of Tanganyika has reached the conclusion that the provisions of the 1929 Agreement purporting to apply to the countries under British Administration are not binding on Tanganyika…” In line with this, Tanzania further noted that ‘recognizing the importance of the waters of the Nile to all riparian states the government of Tanganyika is willing to enter in to discussions.’ The very idea of the note identically sent to the governments of the three countries is that Tanzania will not bind by the colonially signed treaty and the waters of the Nile is important to all riparian states. Hence, its utilization should be conducted in “a manner that is just and equitable to all riparian states and to the greatest benefit of all their peoples.”

It is based on the above fair and reasonable declaration that Tanzania has been engaged in Nile negotiations to create a Basin which is based on fairness and justice for all riparian states. Tanzania is one of the leading countries in shaping contemporary Nile Basin and has been active in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) activities and the process of formulating the Cooperative Framework Agreement on the Nile Basin (CFA). It is one of the four riparian states of the Nile which signed the CFA in the first day of signing in Entebbe-Uganda.

But recently mixed news are came out of Dar es Salaam-Tanzania. On 27th of May 2014 the media reported that Foreign Minister Berand Membe of Tanzania was saying that the CFA should be reviewed in favor of Egypt which is a downstream state on the Nile. The Minister in a statement that he submitted to the country`s parliament was further quoted saying “A total of 78 million Egyptians depend on the Nile River hence without Nile there is no Egypt. If the water level goes down, then the Egyptians will not be able to do any irrigation farming,.” While stating that Egypt was solely dependent on the Nile, Mr. Membe do indeed forgot to mention or deliberately hide the fact that Egypt`s ground water make the country one of the richest in the world with the utilizable storage capacity of more than 53,000 Billion cubic meters of water which is equivalent to the 500 years flow of the Nile River. Moreover, Mr. Membe did ignore or undermine the desalination potential that Egypt could undergo as a country surrounded by the Mediterranean and the Red Seas. I do not blame Mr. Membe, of course, as he is a politician but not an Engineer or a man with the technical expertise to look deep into the fundamental issues. Or Mr. Membe was speaking as if he was an Egyptian minister and protecting Egypt`s interest against the interest of his country-Tanzania. Be that as it may, Tanzania`s Water Minister Professor Jumanne Maghembe told the parliament that his country will continue abiding by the CFA and “Tanzania is now in the process of ratifying the protocol to the agreement,” as the CFA ” seeks to establish a permanent Nile River Basin commission which will set clear procedures of water sharing.” Nevertheless, Foreign Minister Bernard Membe on June dismissed Prof. Maghembe`s statements and stated that Tanzania`s position is what he had said and “there will be no ratification” of the CFA in November, The EastAfrican Reported.

Why Bernard Membe is Wrong?

Membe is Tanzania`s minister not of Egypt. States are sovereign and they strived to maintain and if possible to maximize their interests not to abandon. Tanzania`s interest on the Nile basin can best be maintained, maximized and protected not through the way Membe opts but through the Maghembe`s way. Tanzania despite available surface water resources it is a country with mounting problems. According to World Population Review, currently (2014) Tanzania`s population is about 49.48 million which is growing at a rate of 3.0 percent annually. This has its own impact on the country`s current and future water utilization. Due to rising population and other related problems by 2025 Tanzania will fall under the category of water-stressed countries. While demand for water is increasing with rapidly growing population the supply is dwindling. Besides climatic change has posed another problem on the country as its water sources such as mount Kilimanjaro is losing its ice tremendously. And the country to meet its water demands for agriculture and pure water supply for its rural and urban dwellers is forced to utilize the Nile waters from Lake Victoria and its catchments.

But Foreign Minister Bernard Membe was speaking as if he was Egyptian and undermining his own country`s current and future water needs on the Nile. At the beginning of this piece, the position of Tanzania which is defined by Muwalimu Julius Nyerere-the father of Modern Tanzania is presented. But Membe`s moves are of ruining such a historic and principled stance of Tanzania for unknown reasons which is tantamount to betraying his own country.

Membe: Fall in the Egyptian Trap?

Among the Nile Basin countries, it is only Egypt which have been trying to excessively politicize the waters of the Nile. The very purpose is toMembe detach the Nile from being a technical issue where scientific data can assist to solve the Nile problem and shove it into politics and subject to pressures. Here, Minister Membe seems ensnared by the Egyptian perilous tactic. To quote himself, he has said to the EastAfrican that, The Nile “…is a diplomacy issue, not a technical issue for any engineer to comment on.” From such a remark one could conclude that, Membe is either deliberately ignoring that water diplomacy is based finding novel solutions based on scientific knowledge or he is not well aware of that. If not Membe again could have been trapped by the appeal to pity of Egypt as he is quoted for saying that “A total of 78 million Egyptians depend on the Nile River hence without Nile there is no Egypt. If the water level goes down, then the Egyptians will not be able to do any irrigation farming.” Again, in his recent remark, Membe was quoted for saying, “that Egypt should be given preferential treatment in using Nile waters. That is a desert country; we have to be fair to them.

Moreover, Membe is likely hijacked by the divide and rule policy of Egypt most of the time which is implemented via detaching one riparian state from the others by pledging unrealized promises. This process of action is mostly devised in the name of strengthening bilateral relations against multilateral one. Media reported that, in the document that he submitted to the Tanzanian Parliament, Membe stated that, “the Nile basin has also increased tourism activities between Tanzania and Egypt as Egypt Air had added two direct flights from Tanzania to other parts of the world to ensure Tanzania expands the tourism sector. He said for the past two years Tanzania has received over 13,000 tourists from Egypt.” But, disregard it not, what Membe said is value-free.

In general terms, Membe`s moves are costly for Tanzania to afford. His path is Cain`s path as he has stood on the interest-life of his own brothers and sisters both in rural and urban Tanzania both against their bread and water. Of course, his move would detach the African country Tanzania from its African brothers and sisters. Besides, Membe will end up in regret as Cain did after what he did against his brother, Abel. Of course, no one needs to be Cain, at least in principle.

Tanzania: What is Next?

Maghembe of Tanzania MoWTanzania has been one of the leading countries in the Nile Basin in fighting for equality of all riparian states and enhancing justice, equity, fairness and equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters to the greatest benefit of all the peoples of the Nile Basin. Julius Nyerere`s Doctrine was a pioneer in mobilizing riparian states of the Nile in the Equatorial Lakes Region in denouncing the injustice and the crime committed against them by self-interested ex-colonial powers. Currently, the Cabinet of Tanzania has approved the CFA for ratification by the parliament which is a very good step to maintain the legacy of Muwalimu Nyerere. Ratifying the CFA by the Parliament as uphold by Water Minister Prof. Jumanne Maghembe will preserve the interest of the great people of Tanzania, otherwise, the current and future generations as well as history, will judge the duplicity of the wrong doers against the interest of the people. It is the hope of this writer that Bernard Membe will not desire to stand on the left during the judgment day of the Nile.


Al-Sisi`s Nile Policy: What is New and What is Not?

By: Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

As A Background

Following the popular revolt supported by a military coup of July 2013 Egypt`s democratically elected President Morsi was deposed and the country was ruled by a caretaker government nearly for a year. On June 2014 Egyptians “elected” a new president named Abdel Fatah Al Sisi-who was a defense minister under Morsi and who was, in fact, in the forefront in unseating Muslim Brotherhood`s Mohamed Morsi. Since January 2011, from Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawi to Field Marshal Abdel Fatah Al Sisi, Egypt has seen four presidents and four prime ministers who in one way or another reflected their stance about the Nile.

Following the ousting of Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, Essam Sharaf`s transitional government was quick to criticize the way Mubarak`s regime ‘treat upstream states of the Nile and lambast its Africa policy. The transitional prime minister further while sending a public diplomacy delegates to upstream states of the Nile pledge that the old era is gone and a new era is opened between the riparian states of the Nile and Egypt. As a good gesture and good neighborliness, the then Premier of Ethiopia the late Ato Melese Zenawi promised to delay the ratification of the Cooperative Framework Agreement on the Nile (CFA)-which is devised to establish a new Nile Basin based equality of all riparian states, until Egypt elects a stable and democratic government. This promise worked for Egypt and despite the public diplomacy delegates and the then Prime Minister Essam Sharaf promised a new era was opened, his successor Mohamed Morsi who was elected as a result of popular election slightly wining over Ahamed Shafiq who was the last Prime Minister of the Mubarak era was not strong and committed enough to continue the track.

Despite Morsi`s had the chance to solve the Nile dispute, the Tamarod movement with the military was on his neck. Then he was forced to use the Nile card to mobilize Egyptians to a foreign ‘enemy’ on the upstream of the Nile to avoid the mob stood against him. His speech and people around him barreled of a water war drums and `our blood is an alternative for a drop of water of the Nile` with the drama at the Presidential campus are what makes his presidency`s memorable moments regarding the Nile. But the very interesting development was the June 2013 brief visit to Ethiopia of Mohamed Amr who was a Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt and the consequent joint statement they made to commence on discussions to implement the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts (IPoE).
Following the termination of the discussion, Egypt went back to the common way of undermining Ethiopia through its propaganda machine in the media. The then minister of Egypt`s Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Motaleb turned in to accusing Ethiopia of being uncooperative and stated that “Egypt will never negotiate on its water share”- a share which Egypt claimed it has under the 1959 ‘Agreement’ with the Sudan-an agreement which is nullified and not a concern of upstream states mainly Ethiopia.

Politicians and statesmen in Egypt have this commonality that they always state that their country`s only water source is the Nile and strives to show that their country is unthinkably dependent on the Nile. And they went further and for them the Nile issue is a matter of life and death. For them the self-apportioned 55.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile waters as per the 1959 ‘Agreement’ is not negotiable. So they say Ethiopia and other upstream states must recognize that. Due to this main reason, Egypt`s relation with upstream Ethiopia is at unhealthy. At the center of the conflict mainly is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Behind all these developments, Abdel Fatah al Sisi`s inauguration as the new president of Egypt, by many, is regarded as a change in policy and in fact for some a shift in Egypt`s policy on the Nile. The question is the, are there any new developments on the Nile? Is Al Sisi`s presidency different from his predecessor`s policy on the Nile? What is new and what is not?

The Al Sisi Rhetoric

President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi (photo from BBC) As a presidential candidate competing with the Nassrist Hamdeen Sabahi, Al Sisi stated that, he understands Ethiopia`s need for development but the “Nile water is a “matter of life and death” for Egypt,” Ahram Online reported. He further stated that he is ready to visit Ethiopia for dam talks to resolve the dam row with Ethiopia peacefully. In his inaugural speech, Sisi also stated that he “won’t allow the Renaissance Dam to cause a crisis or a problem with sisterly Ethiopia“. This new rhetoric is mainly a pledge that Egypt is ready to solve the Nile crisis especially the dispute on GERD peacefully and through dialogue. This was further stressed in the discussions between Dr. Tedros Adhanom and President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi. The new president further understands that GERD is not an Ethiopian dam project alone rather it is a symbolic Africa`s project. This understanding is of course reflected in the President`s speech when he say, “I will never allow the issue of the Renaissance Dam to be a source of creating a crisis or a problem or be an obstacle for enhancing Egypt’s relations with Africa in general or with sisterly Ethiopia in particular.” The meeting between Ethiopia`s Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Egypt`s previous Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and the understanding to continue the tripartite meeting was also regarded as a positive step. The remarks and developments mentioned in one way or another were regarded as Egypt`s change of heart.

Continuing the Tripartite Meeting

What is new from the pre-Sisi Egypt is, the agreement reached between Ethiopia and Egypt to continue the Tripartite discussion to implement the recommendations of the IPoE. The discussion was started in November 2013 under the Adly Mansour presidency and continued until January 2014 in Khartoum-the capital of the Sudan. However, the discussion was halted due to the unnecessary tabling of an agenda out of the scope and purpose of the discussion by Egypt. Mainly, in the January discussions, Egypt came up with the so-called “principles of confidence building” which was another attempt to bring back the 1959 ‘Agreement’ by other means.

Now the Al Sisi administration seems worried that Egypt`s unwise decision to push for the discussion halted back in January is not helping the country as Ethiopia is also continuing the construction of GERD 24 hours a day for seven days a week. The decision to resume the discussions by including the Sudan is a positive step. Yet no one is sure whether Egypt will stick to the principles of the discussion and refrain from tabling unnecessary agendas.

Egypt: Stemming the Technical Nile and Propel the Political Nile

Despite almost all transboundary watercourses involve politics and appear political due to the nature of modern states and their boundaries. Had there no boundaries, rivers would have remain one geographical unit and apolitical. The Nile is the most politicized transboundary watercourse as compared to other similar transboundary watercourses including Euphrates-Tigris as well as Mekong. Egypt is the dominant state in pushing the politicization of the Nile as compared to other riparian states. For almost all riparian states of the Nile upstream to Egypt including Sudan, the Nile is a technical issue not a political one. It is the Ministries of Water Affairs which are responsible in dealing with the Nile issue in all riparian states except in Egypt-where the Ministry of Water and Irrigation has nominal power in Nile related negotiations. In almost all upstream states the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other related institutions play a supportive role and plays a crucial role in diplomacy. That is why the ministries are working together by strengthening their horizontal relationships.

But, Egypt, relentlessly has been trying politicizing the Nile especially following the signing of the CFA and the commencement of the construction of the GERD. This is move of Egypt is based on its (mis)calculation that putting the Nile issue on the political table will allow here to use any instrument possible to pressurize upstream states rather than solving the issue technically which is more based on scientific data and evidences. Egypt is trying to play its 1959 game that helps her to win over the coup troubled Sudan. The political Nile is more open for lobbyist strategy than the technical Nile. It is this writers doubt that the recent moves of Egypt despite not new is an attempt to propel the Nile in to the political space.

The Nile: “Importance to Egypt and Ethiopia`s Plan and need for development”

On Ethiopian side it is most neglected to remind the phrases in Al Sisi`s inaugural speech where he said, “if the dam [GERD] constitutes its [Ethiopia`s] right to development, the Nile represented our [Egypt`s] right to life.” The Egyptians have been constructing the discourse of their extreme “dependence” on the Nile and Ethiopia`s perceived “less dependency on the Nile”- a statement which is baseless and not supported by facts. As for Egypt, it is one of the most ground water richest countries on the world with the potential of almost equivalent to the Nile`s 500 years flow. Ethiopia`s dependency on the Nile is more than answering its developmental questions rather it has to do with the life and death of the people of the country. Ethiopia`s territorial integrity, its peace and stability, its economy-in terms of energy, agriculture, surface water availability etc is shouldered by the country`s Nile Basin which accounts 2/3 of energy and irrigation potential, 70 percent of the country`s water resource, nearly 40 million people and 2/3 of the regional states.

Following the 23rd African Union Summit (AUS) in Malabo-Equatorial Guinea the leaders of the two countries-Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi met and discussed on various issues to boost bilateral relations. In the meantime, the Egyptian media have reported that, following the meeting of the two leaders, “Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian foreign minister, along with his Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom, stressed in the statement that Ethiopia will understand the importance of the Nile to Egypt; and that Egypt will understand the Ethiopian plans and need for development.” In this statement the phrases “Ethiopia will understand the importance of the Nile to Egypt” is a manifestation that Egypt is trying to bold its dependency on the Nile and is an attempt to bowl Ethiopia in to its shrewd politics. This is clearly seen when the following statement declare that “Egypt will understand the Ethiopian plans and need for development.” These statements clearly and unambiguously matches President Al Sisi`s inaugural speech and his remark about the GERD. The statements are not, of course, a problem but they are because of the discourse attached. The message is Ethiopia is less dependent on the Nile than Egypt, and as far as Ethiopia`s question is concerned, its question is a question of development and it can be answered by other means. Can Ethiopia afford that? Never! Ethiopia should be worry of such phrases and texts. It is language in use and that is discourse. What is astonishing is, though, the statement by the two foreign ministers was misinterpreted by the Egyptian media-which is the usual business. The discussion and the focus of the joint statement was regarding the GERD but the Egyptians attempted and tried hard to make the center of the discussion the Nile in general and with the usual cunning politics.

Where is the Changed Heart?

The Sisi rhetoric does not reflect a change of heart of Egypt. It is too early to conclude that Egypt`s Nile policy is changed. The declaration that the solution on the Nile is dialogue and peaceful discussion between the concerned parties is what all Egyptian leaders since the January 25, 2011 popular revolt have been saying but fall a short when it comes to practice. Above all the pillars of Egypt`s Nile policy is not changed and is less likely to happen in the near future. There are plenty of reasons for this conclusion.

Egypt has always saying that the self-claimed and apportioned “Nile water share as per the 1959 Agreement is not negotiable.” This is a matter of life and death in the Egyptian view of the Nile and any hydraulic infrastructure development in the upstream of the River. In his visit to Chad on April 2014, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab stated that ” We’re not against the Ethiopian people but we advocate our interests… We [Egypt] will protect our rights to the Nile water with the support of the world and African countries, and with our efforts,” The Problem is not protecting their interest. The real problem is the definition of their interest as it is based on unfairly, unjustly and unlawfully claimed right based on colonial, partial and non-inclusive pseudo agreements of 1929 and 1959. Moreover, the emphasis on the importance of the Nile for Egypt and its restriction as a question and plan of development for Ethiopia is a clear manifestation of the real stance of Egypt. In fact, it is in the same administration that we are hearing from the Minister of Agriculture, Adel Al Beltagy appointed by President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi himself, saying “Egypt will not give away a single drop of water of its share of Nile Water, which totals at 55 billion cubic meters.

Besides, like the previous years Egypt seems continuing the divide and rule policy that it is known for. The solution for the Nile is not a bilateral path rather a multilateral one which embrace all the riparian states under one legal regime and river basin commission which is responsible for the management and utilization of the Nile waters. But the Sisi administration like its predecessors have already focused on strengthening bilateral relations than the multilateral one. The visits to Sudan by the president Al Sisi and the minister of Irrigation -Hossam Moghazy  and the planned visits to other Nile Basin countries is part of the divide and rule approach that the country adopts. So where is the Changed Heart of Egypt?

In Sum
Negotiation on the Nile is over and closed back in 2009 at the Kinshasa meeting of the Nile Council of Ministers of Water Affairs. What remains is discussion regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the IPoE on the GERD. The discussion despite held in three rounds from November 2013 to January 2014 at Khartoum it was halted due to the obstructionist strategy of Egypt. Currently, Egypt through its president and minister of foreign affairs pledge that the discussion will be resumed by including the Sudan-whose GERD position is clear and supportive of Ethiopia. Such come-back for discussion and talks over the GERD would not be taken for granted as a change of heart from Egypt in its Nile policy. It is too early to conclude as the pillars of Egypt`s heart is not yet changed and roped by its position on the unfair, partial, unjust, colonial and bilateral pseudo-agreements. In fact, one should not forget the current constitution of Egypt and its Article 44 which hinders the government of Egypt from solving the Nile dispute as it obliges the government to protect the so-called Egypt`s `historic right` on the Nile. As repeatedly said, though, the only solution for the Nile problem is dialogue and genuine cooperation which needs the true change of heart from Egypt not a tactical change to preserve a dying and obsolete zero-sum ‘regime’ on the Nile. Till that, what we have seeing and listening is no more than a mere change of tactic to buy time and appear cooperative while continuing the divide and rule policy.

A Proxy Campaign against Ethiopia? A Response by GERD National Panel of Experts (NPoE)

Ethiopia National Panel of Experts (NPoE) on GERDP responded to the the biased news release of the hydropower extremist International  Rivers Network (IRN) which tried hard to mislead readers and the general public in a way that favored Egypt which is unexpected from an institutions which portrayed itself professional. In fact IRN has been remained in the forefront in accusing Ethiopia`s efforts for development and transformation with its unscientific, baseless and unscientific as well as biased news releases and unfounded “reports.” The full article of the response by GERDP is posted below.


International River Network (IRN): GERD Panel of Experts Report: Big Questions Remain, Monday, March 31, 2014”

A Proxy Campaign against Ethiopia? A Response by GERD National Panel of Experts (NPoE)


For so many years now the IRN, International River Network, this self-appointed “guardian” of all rivers of the world, has been leaving no stone unturned in its effort to subvert Ethiopia’s efforts to develop its water resources and lift its vast and growing population out of poverty. This is manifested most glaringly in its incessant negative campaign against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), initiated from the very first days when the idea of water resources development on the Abbay was floated, including even through the Nile Basin Initiative.


Apart from being amused, the NPOE so far had chosen to ignore IRN’s anti-Ethiopia lobbying which is driven by an ideological, if not fanatical-messianic mission to “protect [the world’s] rivers and … to stop destructive dams”. IRN is accuser, police, judge and jury all rolled into one. IRN determines for countries, particularly for developing and poor countries like Ethiopia, how to do water resources development projects the “right” way. For these “backward” countries, IRN is the high priest that communes with God the Almighty and determines what is the most environmentally appropriate, most efficient and economical, and most beneficial for local, national and regional not only flora and fauna but also human communities too. What paternalism!!


Until now we did not find it worthwhile to get into polemics with what we thought were basically misinformed and misguided IRN activists. That is, until now. But now we are compelled to revise our stance toward these people. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, happened on March 31, 2014 when IRN posted on its website a piece entitled “ GERD panel of Experts Report: Big Questions Remain” in which IRN explicitly called on Ethiopia to halt the construction of GERD!!


It would be unconscionable for us as professional Ethiopians well versed with and advising on GERD related issues to keep on looking at these people with bemusement and indifference when they peddle, clearly siding with Egypt, distorted, unsubstantiated and hostile mercenary propaganda against GERD and the Ethiopian people. It would take pages and pages to show the intense partisan nature of IRN in its entirety. However, the next few paragraphs suffice to illustrate our concern and to show a clear pattern of IRN’s growing hostility toward Ethiopia. IRN’s campaign against GERD and Ethiopia happened in four overlapping but discernable distinct stages:

Stage 1: Dissuade them!

True to its anti-dam creed, IRN did its best to discourage the idea of dam building in Ethiopia in the first place. IRN put forth whatever argument to dissuade decision makers. Arguments included those dams of a GERD scale would drain the national budget, would distort priorities, would be difficult to fund, etc. Here is one quote from their website:

“The US$5 billion scheme [GERD] is out of scale for such a poor country; the current cost estimate equals the country’s entire annual budget. The costly project is monopolizing government funding for the energy sector, leaving many worthy projects that would directly address the nation’s high energy poverty underfunded.”


IRN, in a piece titled “A Tale of Two Dams: Comparing Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance to Hoover” and “drawing lessons” from ‘follies’ of the Hoover Dam, offered advice to Ethiopia: do not repeat USA’s mistakes! We will not go into the contentious and invalid arguments, to say the least, put forward and better ignore IRN’s unsolicited advice. What is interesting is the poison that is wrapped in the package of IRN’s advice. Read on:


“Ethiopian engineers recently compared the Grand Renaissance Dam to Hoover as a project that can lift a struggling nation out of poverty, and a project whose accomplishments will go down in history.  Yet the darker lessons from Hoover’s long history might be equally relevant for Ethiopia to review. Consider: The mega dam model is a dinosaur. Ethiopia would be better off leapfrogging over it to a more modern and efficient system, and find less provocative ways to assert its interests over the Nile waters” (emphasis added)


IRN’s message is not only that Ethiopia should not build big dams. The message is also that Ethiopia should stop being “provocative”. IRN advises Ethiopia to assert its right other than through being provocative i.e. other than through deciding to build GERD.   To IRN, Ethiopia’s decision to build GERD is provocation!! So much, for IRN’s “advice”!


When the above tactics fail, IRN, referring to an expert (which it conveniently pluralizes), sheds crocodile tears by stating that Ethiopia is wasting its scarce resources on oversized projects like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Here is another quote from their website:


“Ethiopia’s Biggest Dam Oversized, Experts Say Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013.

In May, Ethiopia diverted the Blue Nile to begin building its largest dam project to date, the 6,000 MW Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) – a move that angered Egypt, which fears its water supply will shrink over the many years it will take to fill the huge reservoir. Besides the tensions this huge project is causing politically, there is growing concern that the dam will not produce nearly as much power as it has been designed to.” (Emphasis added)

Again, IRN never loses opportunity to lobby for its Egyptian paymasters. Not only does IRN talk about the “oversize” of GERD, but also about the Egyptians’ negative emotions over GERD: anger and fear!


In yet another alarmist piece related to GERD, IRN bemoaning “Ethiopia’s Dam Boom”, fabricates outrageous white lies:


“International Rivers is monitoring dam planning in Ethiopia, working to keep international donors from investing in the worst projects on the drawing boards, and sharing knowledge about better alternatives and the legacy of Ethiopia’s past dams with international civil society.

Water for irrigation from large reservoirs is mostly earmarked for large-scale agricultural producers – and increasingly, for foreign agricultural developments taking advantage of a government-sponsored land leasing program. (Emphasis added)


Alas, IRN has nothing factual to show, in any of the GERD plans, to substantiate its claim that GERD is an irrigation project!! We should not dwell on this any longer for the facts speak for themselves.



Stage 2: Smear campaign

When its dissuasion tactic failed and GERD implementation proceeded on with earnest, IRN had to embark on what we may term its Stage 2 tactics: a smear campaign. Here IRN does all it can to find any fault – big or small, real or imagined- with GERD in a bid to discredit it in the eyes of the world, particularly funders. Here is one quote from an IRN piece of 06/07/2013 with an eye catching alarmist title “Why has the Nile become a Battleground?:


“This week, Ethiopia announced it was diverting the flow of the Blue Nile to begin building the huge Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Within days, water-stressed Egypt – a downstream Nile Basin nation – called for Ethiopia to halt its work on the giant new dam. Why is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam causing such strife? In addition to Egypt’s fears that it will reduce its lifeline of Nile waters, the tensions have been fanned by the project’s “SAD” planning process:
• Secretive: Although it is Africa’s biggest dam project and will have lasting impacts on its longest river, it has been
developed under a veil of secrecy.
• Autocratic: The dam will impact Ethiopians and downstream neighbors, yet its planning process has been top-down and unilateral. The public and dam-affected people
have not been given a meaningful opportunity to critique the project or process.
• Dismissive: Ethiopian government officials have flatly stated they will not make changes to the project, and
have asserted that the project will not have impacts on downstream countries


The dam poses a number of risks to these downstream neighbors; one reason for the growing tension is that these risks have not been properly analyzed. Egypt has virtually no other sources of water for its people, and is already making do with less water per person than the international average. By at least one estimate, the Grand Renaissance reservoir could evaporate 3bn cubic meters of water a year – three times Egypt’s annual rainfall, and enough to meet the basic needs of up to half a million people. The reservoir could take 3-5 years to fill, reducing Egypt’s water supply by up to 25%.


However, damming off a shared river in a secretive and unilateral fashion is a provocative approach to resolving conflict in a water-stressed basin such as the Nile. Says Mohamed Allam, former minister of irrigation and water resources in Egypt: “This is not just about Egypt and Sudan. International rivers are governed by laws and conventions, in accordance with which any action that affects water quotas requires advanced notice and guarantees against possible harm.”

The Nile situation is not an isolated incident. Ethiopia is being similarly aggressive over the development of the shared Omo River, where it is building the controversial
Gibe III Dam and developing large-scale plantations. These developments threaten Kenya’s Lake Turkana”. (Emphasis added)


IRN, the all-knowing God of water resources development, is angry that Ethiopia did not observe its commandment of good water resources planning.


Oh, GERD planning is too “secretive” concludes IRN. As if Egypt shared hers with us! IRN can dream all it wants. But we deal in and with the real world.


GERD planning is autocratic says IRN – it was not discussed with its neighbors!


GERD planning is dismissive judges IRN – since Ethiopia will not change the parameters of the project!


Oh GERD is wasteful condemns IRN – It will evaporate 3 BMC of water annually, equivalent to a non-existent Egyptian rainfall! IRN is making this fabricated statement, while keeping mum on the 10-15 BMC annual evaporation loss the Egyptian High Aswan Dam is causing in the middle of the Sahara Desert! How “fair” of IRN!!

Oh yes, GERD is provocative, says IRN, referring to Mohamed Allam, of all people, a former Egyptian Minister hostile to Ethiopia and eternal defender of the self claimed Egyptian quota.


Oh yes, GERD is harmful bemoans IRN, because it is going to affect Egypt, which has no other source of water, which is making do with less water per person.


Oh, dear IRN folks, need we tell you that of all African Countries, surely of all Nile Basin countries, it is only Egypt that has over 98% of its population with access to potable water, while an Ethiopian girl of sixteen has to go on average 6 kilometers each day back and forth to fetch a gallon of water from a river or a dug hole!! How “fair” of IRN! IRN, as usual, never missed this opportunity to work on and provoke friendly and neighboring Kenya! As far back as Mach 2004, IRN, in a cynical piece on the Nile Basin Initiative titled “Can the Nile States Dam Their Way to Cooperation?” in the part which discussed the Tekeze Dam had “warned”:

Ethiopia has reportedly neglected to formally consult with downstream Sudan and Egypt on the scheme, a decision which could further strain relations between the countries”

Oh IRN folks. What do you say to the appreciation Sudan is heaping on Ethiopia for the positive impact of that dam!!


Stage 3: Create Alarm!

IRN, noticing that its dissuasion and smear campaigns did not achieve its goals of stopping GERD at its inception or planning stages, embarked desperately to create alarm among the international community and downstream countries the fervor of which the Egyptians might envy.


IRN first attempted spinning or otherwise amplifying a conspiracy theory about GERD thus:

“The project’s launch came in the midst of the Egyptian revolution, which some observers believe was intended to take advantage of the more powerful nation’s confused political state at a time when the issue of who controls the Nile is heating up.”

IRN also “psychologized” Ethiopia’s decision to build the GERD thus:

“Egypt has long held the majority rights to the Nile – a situation that especially angers Ethiopia, which is the source of 85% of the river’s waters.”


Be that as it may, the worst is that IRN seems to wish any conflict, violent or otherwise, between Egypt and Ethiopia is better than seeing the GERD completed. Here is another one:


“While there are no known studies about the dam’s impacts on the river’s flow, filling such a huge reservoir (it will hold up to 67 billion cubic meters of water, and could take up to seven years to reach capacity) will certainly impact Egypt, which relies almost totally on the Nile for its water supply. Development Today magazine reports that the Nile flow into Egypt could be cut by 25% during the filling period. Many fear the project could set off a water war in the region, and indeed, in mid-2013, tensions flared dramatically. Climate change could increase the project’s many risks. The potential for conflict is probably the main reason international funders have shown no interest in supporting the project.”


Again IRN’s concern is Egypt’s water security, not Ethiopia’s poverty, water, energy and food insecurity! And then the allusion to conflict, referring to Many” (whoever they are!) who fear the almost inevitable conflict and war that would follow if Ethiopia proceeds with GERD. Oh, international financiers beware! Do not put your money there. What shameless partisanship of IRN. Should we be accused if we suspect payment under the table?


Stage 4: Conduct a Stop Them Campaign!

IRN, realizing its preceding three maneuvers did not yield any meaningful result, had to come to the open, reveal itself and launch its outright and blatant campaign against the GERD.


In a June 2013 piece titled “Why has the Nile River Become a Battleground?” the IRNspeculated:

“But what if Ethiopia refuses to engage? Some believe the International Court of Justice should be called in. – a move that Ethiopia rejects. Others hope Ethiopia’s major donors will use their diplomatic leverage to intervene. . . .” The article further urged that “Western donors have thus far mostly stayed out of the debate on Ethiopia’s dam building. Yet Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest recipients of foreign aid. The US has been the largest donor to the country, through a range of programs. Ethiopia has been receiving $3.5 billion on average from international donors in recent years – a critical portion of its national budget. This assistance explains how such a poor nation can afford to build costly dams and irrigation infrastructure without dedicated funding. Western donors such as the United States have a responsibility to step up diplomatic pressure on Ethiopia …”


IRN’s maneuverings and multifaceted campaigns notwithstanding, the GERD progress has continued unabated, almost a third complete, thanks to the whole hearted and unequivocal support for and rally of the Ethiopian people behind their project! IRN seems to have gotten desperate. There is nothing more telling of this than its latest piece, dated March 31, 2014, apparently based on a “leaked” IPOE report, full of lies and distortions, entitled “GERD Panel of Experts Report: Big Questions Remain.” Here is an extensive quote from that piece:

“The mega dam is being built on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, near the Sudan border, and has created conflict with Egypt over its downstream impacts; the experts’ study confirms Egypt’s concerns that the project’s impacts could be significant and are not well understood. Egypt has called for mediation if further studies are not allowed; at this writing, Ethiopia had refused, and was continuing with dam construction.

…. It is also clear that there is precious little oversight on Africa’s largest dam project to date. While the international panel has brought a type of oversight, it may be too little, too late – and with too little teeth; it seems the panel does not have a continuing role in ensuring best practices as construction proceeds. The panel’s report is almost a year old at this writing, yet its members have been mostly silent since their report was completed (as far as we know, none of the panelists have made public statements about the project). The Egyptian and Ethiopian governments continue the war of words, while at the same time construction on the mega dam proceeds, and questions raised by the panel remain unanswered. Going forward, International Rivers recommends construction on the project be halted until all necessary studies recommended by the panel are completed, and a process is in place for ensuring public accountability on the project. Given the panel’s findings, Egypt’s call for mediation in the process is reasonable, and donor governments and international bodies should support such a process” (emphasis added)


In the first place the IPoE did not have an “oversight” role as erroneously stated by IRN. The IPoE’s role as defined by the three Ministers of water affairs of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan is “ mainly facilitative, focused on promoting dialogue and understanding around GERD related issues of interest to the three countries so as to build trust and confidence among all parties.”

We appreciate the response to the biased IRN article posted on by Mr Danieil Berhane entitled, “ Anti=dam group doctors report, joins Egypt to stop Ethiopia’s dam” (April 6, 2014 We invite readers to read this article for a line by line rebuttal to the IRN unsubstantiated and distorted writing entitled,GERD Panel of Experts Report: Big Questions Remain, Monday, March 31, 2014”


We would however like to pose our own BIG QUESTIONS to IRN:


Where in the IPoE report do the IRN experts find recommendation of the IPoE that states to stop or delay the GERD until the recommended additional studies are conducted??!

Where in the report do the IRN experts find a statement that statesthe experts’ study confirms Egypt’s concerns that the project’s impacts could be significant and are not well understood.” ??!

What is peculiar with the panel’s recommendation to conduct “a full transboundary environmental and social impact assessment … conducted jointly by the three countries.”, since theTransboundary Environmental and Socioeconomic Impact study conducted through the initiative of Ethiopia and based on desk study requires more data and information from the downstream countries??!

The desk study has clearly shown that all expected downstream impacts can be mitigated and thus the more detailed recommended studies will not change the major findings of the desk study. Other studies done by the Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office of the NBI have also confirmed that changes in hydrological conditions due to GERD are all manageable. Thus these additional studies do not necessitate the delay or stopping of the construction of the GERDP .


Instead of sowing seeds of mistrust with your unsubstantiated writings among the people of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, we offer our humble advice to appreciate the most obvious benefits of the GERDP for the downstream countries that may assist you to be rational and refrain from propagating irresponsible and biased information.


  1. The energy generation from the GERD will enhance regional and economic integration such as through power interconnectedness, regional cooperation, trust and confidence building
  2. Due to regulated and increased flows a longer period of navigation on the Nile River downstream High Aswan Dam (HAD) will be possible. This will have important benefits for the tourism sector by extending the present touristic period
  3. The HAD reservoir capacity loss due to sedimentation will be reduced since the GERD Reservoir will store substantial quantity of sediments.
  4. With GERD operating upstream, average annual HAD losses will be 9.5 BCM/year instead of 10.8 BCM/year in case of HAD alone. Losses by evaporation, decrease by 12% comparing to HAD alone situations
  5. With GERD there will be increased flood control and due to its routing capacity there will be better flood control downstream of HAD and Risk of HAD overtopping will be eliminated.
  6. With GERD, the total storage capacity along the Nile River will significantly increase in the long term. This will reduce the risk due to hydrological variability with sequences of dry and wet years.
  7. The GERD will regulate the flows of the Blue Nile and this will support flows arriving at HAD.
  8. The GERD will reduce negative impacts on population and infrastructures in Sudan caused by recurrent floods.
  9. The GERD will capture sediment, protecting irrigation canals and equipment from damages caused by sedimentation both in Sudan and Egypt.
  10. The GERD will improve Sudanese dams efficiency and water use optimization and energy generation will be increased by more than 2,657 GWh/year due to the GERD regulation of flow.



It is obvious that in its desperation the IRN has been forced to come out and show its true color: a proxy for Egypt masquerading as an international environmental group fighting for the health of rivers!!


In all its ranting does IRN feel obliged, even if to feign decency, neutrality and disinterest, to mention Ethiopia’s need and desperation. By the way, is not Sudan a downstream country? Why does IRN shut up about Sudan’s identification with and support for GERD?!!!!!!!!!


Why does IRN dwell and fight exclusively for Egyptian interests, harps on their real or imagined and fabricated fears, while not uttering a single word about the waste incurred via the High Aswan Dam (HAD), via the Toshka project, etc?


By contrast, IRN never feels obliged to mention a single merit of GERD. It is a taboo!


IRN has no boundaries of shame. It accuses the IPOE members of ‘keeping silent”! Should every sensible human being on the face of the earth turn into a corrupt IRN partisan activist?


The IRN! The IRN that resides in California, USA, whose activists never have endured or experienced what it means to go thirsty or hungry for days; the IRN, if it had all the power to do so would have halted all water resources development projects all over the developing world.


Or, is it only in Ethiopia?


Consider this: Prior to1950 large scale dams worldwide did not number more than 5000. By 2000 large scale dams were more than 40,000. As of 2006, they stood at over 50,000. IRN’s campaigns notwithstanding, big dams are there to grow, especially in the developing world. So, given these trends what is IRN talking about, except to single out a single country, Ethiopia, and treat it as pariah and discourage its progress? Ethiopia never forgets the pains it had to bear due to its geography. Ethiopia has endured centuries of invasions and subversions by powers from far and close that aspired to control the headwaters of the Nile. Ethiopia has been prevented physically from accessing its water resources by keeping it busy with wars, direct or proxy wars. IRN’s anti Ethiopia campaign is but a continuation of that history – by another means, that is.

Be that as it may, we condemn IRN’s unfair and biased support for Egypt in its disagreements with Ethiopia contrary to its own mission statement. We categorically reject IRN’s advice to Ethiopia to accept its proposal and halt construction of GERD. What more do we need to prove our contention that IRN is doing ethically dubious job and propagating proxy campaigns against Ethiopia on behalf of Egypt.


We would like IRN, all friends and foes to know that the Ethiopian people are determined to develop their water resources and the construction of GERDP will not stop or delayed for a second.


Open Letter to Egypt: A Response to The Spokesman of Egypt`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Regarding GERDP from An Ethiopian Perspective

Open Letter:
To the People of Egypt,
To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt
By: Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw
The Spokesman Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt released what it calls “Egypt’s Perspective towards the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam Project (GERDP)” on 17 March 2014 in the Country`s Ministry`s website and also reported by one of Egypt`s newspapers Daily News Egypt under the heading “Foreign ministry announces official stance on GERD.” Despite nothing new is said in the statement of the Ministry`s statement there are issues included to deceive and confuse its reader mainly the people of Egypt and the international community. This open letter is prepared to unpack the confusions created by that statement-if any, and also to make issues clear regarding the GERDP of Ethiopia and what follows after the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) on GERDP submitted its final report to the governments of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. In line with this, this open letter attempts to clarify issues in relation to two documents mentioned by the statement-namely: the 1902 Border Treaty between Ethiopia and Britain and the 1993 Agreement on Framework Cooperation between the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE) and the Arab Republic of Egypt.
GERD: The Luckiest Dam
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Project is the most luckiest dam on earth-I claim. It is a dam where its studies goes back to the 1950s and 1960s where the eventual site was identified and feasibility studies were conducted. The dam site was identified in 1964 following the five year studies by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) which identifies four mega dam sites namely-Karadobi, Mabil, Mendaia and Border. The GERDP is now under construction on a site which was formerly named as Border dam which is 21 kilometers away from Ethio-Sudanese Border. As I mentioned the USBR which studied the hydrology of the dam further developed preliminary designs of the dams for irrigation and hydropower which includes a total of 32 projects. Letter on the dam site was subject to the study of the Ministry of Water of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia which undertook Abbay River Basin Integrated Development Master Plan Project where the final report was published in August 1997.
Moreover, as the Egyptian Spokesman stated the Dam was also identified as one of the projects for the regional power trade for Easter Nile Basin countries that includes Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan. Through the years though the NBI was not moving as expected regarding the implementation of the identified projects including Mendaia another hydropower dam which is in the pipeline to be constructed sooner. Despite the Nile Basin Initiative-NBI was not moving Ethiopia as a sovereign and independent state was undertaking its own revisions and studies on the dam sites identified to increase their efficiency and productivity. Out of such studies and revisions the biggest dam site is born where the now the GERD is under construction. This is one reason by which the GERD is the luckiest dam. In fact, GERD is also luckiest because the designer of the final dam design was prepared in Studio Pietrangeli which prepared some 200 dam designs all over the world. Thus, the design change to the height and length of the dam is a result of continuous scientific studies aimed at making the dam efficient and productive to meet the energy needs of the country which is growing at 32% which would only be meet if projects such as the GERD are constructed.
Regarding Implementing the IPoE Recommendations
The Nile Basin had been unfortunate as there was no any basin wide agreement that binds all the riparian states in the management and utilization of its waters. The only multilateral treaty introduced to the basin as a result of more than 10 years of negotiations is the Agreement on the River Basin Cooperative Framework (CFA) which was signed on 14 May 2010. So far six upstream states have signed and two gave ratified it as the rest of the sates are in the process of ratification. While South Sudan is in the process of accession where the process is in its Ministry of Justice, D R Congo is for the CFA despite not signed. Downstream states Egypt and Sudan despite they were part of the negotiations have opposed the CFA. Hence it can be concluded that there is no agreement between upstream and downstream states regarding the utilization of the Nile waters nor a customary rule that governs the actions of the riparian states.
It is in this situation that Ethiopia-where it is not obliged-indeed do invite Egypt and the Sudan to establish together with Ethiopia, an international panel of experts (IPoE) to assess the impacts of GERD to downstream states-if any and to the benefits. The IPoE was composed of six experts from the three Easter Nile riparians-Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan each represented by two experts and four international experts from Germany, Republic of South Africa, Britain and FranceEthiopia provided the IPoE 110 maps and design documents and 43 research documents a total of 153 research and design documents. The IPoE has selected what it considers as basic and most important and deliver its final report to the governments of Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan at the end of March 2013 after a total of 49 meetings in six rounds. Apart from the main IPoE experts another geotechnical panel of experts was established and assessed documents and conducted field visits on the site regarding the geotechnical issues of GERD.
According to the final report document of the IPoE, the GERD will have benefits to downstream states in many ways. In line with this the IPoE declared that the dam will not cause significant harm to the two downstream states-Egypt and the Sudan. Apart from this, though, two sets of recommendations were made by the IPoE. The first sets of recommendations were for Ethiopia which in fact the country has been undertaking as GERDP is awarded based on Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) which is based on state of the art technology and which requires updating of technology and revisions if necessary. The second sets of recommendations were made for the three Eastern Nile Countries to undertake together the study of eastern Nile Basin hydropower model study and Transboundary Environmental and Socio Economic Impact Assessment study to boost confidence and enhance trust.
Nevertheless, the discussions for the implementation of the recommendations made were not successful mainly due to the uncooperative appearance and rigidity of Egypt. In the three rounds of talks held in Khartoum on the first weeks of November, December and January were fated to fail due to Egypt`s unnecessary proposal of establishing another parallel international panel of experts which Ethiopia and Sudan opposed claiming that there is no necessity to establish the panel as the tripartite committee to be established by 12 experts from the three countries each contributing four experts equally would be enough of undertaking the activities that Egypt needed to be undertaken by the new international panel of experts that it wished to establish. Besides this Egypt especially at the third round of the talk on January tabled an agenda which is out of the scope of the IPoE recommendations disguise under the title Confidence Building Measures. Those so-called confidence building measures are cooked to undermine the CFA. If Egypt needs any confidence building measures it should look back to the delaying of ratifying the CFA, the activities of the Nile basin states in the NBI and as well the establishment of the IPoE on the GERD where Ethiopia initiated with the aim of boosting confidence and developing trust in a basin where there is no a binding agreement between Egypt and Ethiopia which forces Ethiopia to do so. Thus the accusation against Ethiopia by the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Egypt is baseless and in fact an attempt of blaming others for its own faults-which is a dead strategy in the Nile Basin.
Ethiopia has undertaken environmental and hydrological impact assessment using secondary data. Here it should be noted that the IPoE recommended the conduct of such studies to better understand the impacts by involving the three countries for their benefit and to enhance confidence. But again the process is undermined by Egypt`s insistence and rigidity by tabling unnecessary issues in discussions which were meant to implement the recommendations of the IPoE as discussed above.
Regarding the International Law Principles
As stated above upstream and downstream states of the Nile have no common and binding agreement which regulates their activities in managing and utilizing the Nile waters. But Egypt is accusing Ethiopia of violating different principles of international law. The following are some of the principles that the Spokesman on of Egypt`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised which in my view requires responses. By doing so I will show why Ethiopia did not violate any international law principle regarding the GERDP.
The Obligation to Prevent [Significant] Harm:- According to international law the obligation not to cause significant harm is one principle in the management and utilization of transboundary watercourses. Here it should be noted that the statement of the Egyptian Ministry dare to omit the basic concept in this principle ‘Significant’ which is included here. Nonetheless, the Obligation not to cause significant harm should be seen in line with the most relevant and a basic principle of customary international law-equitable and reasonable utilization. The 1997 Un Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Use of International Water course under article 7 (2) declares that the no significant harm principle should be seen in due regard to Article 5 which is about equitable and reasonable utilization and article 6 which discuss the different factors to be used in determining what constitutes equitable and reasonable utilization. In the same token Article 5 of the CFA declares that the obligation not to cause significant harm should be seen in due regard to Article 4 which declares about equitable and reasonable utilization. Ethiopia is undertaking the construction of GERD in line with the basic principle of equitable and reasonable utilization which gives every riparian state a right to utilize a watercourse in its territory without causing significant harm to other users. Be that as it may, it is astonishing to see the Spokesman statement deliberately omit the conclusion of the IPoE on the GREDO which declares the GERD will not create significant harm to downstream states.
The Duty to Cooperate:- The Spokesman statement also stated that Ethiopia is constructing the GERDP in violation of the obligation to cooperate. But the truth is the other way. The violator is the accuser-Egypt which is against any form of cooperation based on equitable and reasonable utilization Who is leaving the forum of cooperation on the Nile? Is not it Egypt which freezes its activities in the NBI in general and in Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program (ENSAP)? Is not it Egypt which hinders discussions on the implementation of the IPoE recommendations in the three round of talks and declare not to cooperate and discuss with Ethiopia [and Sudan] unless the rigidly tabled conditions of Egypt accepted by the two countries mainly Ethiopia?
The obligation of prior notification and exchange of information:- There are some issues to be discussed here. Firstly, Ethiopia would be obliged to notify Egypt on its planned projects had there been any legal obligation on the former to do so but there is no one. Secondly, Egypt would be notified had it been a member of the NBI and party to the CFA where planned measures issues are clearly discussed in the provisions of the agreement under articles 7, 8 and 9. Thirdly, Egypt is asking Ethiopia to do what the former did not do while undertaking mega hydraulic projects that has effects to the later and other co-basin states in the upstream. Ethiopia was never notified and consulted when Egypt undertakes the construction of the High Aswan Dam and the ongoing construction of the catastrophic Toshka project in the Western Dessert of Egypt and the Al Salam Canal. It is worth noting here that the Nile is diverted out of its natural course by Egypt to the western dessert and to Sinai. In fact the diversion to Sinai through the Al Salam canal under the Suez Canal is an Inter-continental Water transfer which takes the Nile waters from Africa to Asia. So, is Egypt`s question a legitimate one both legally and morally? Egypt would appreciate and thank Ethiopia for establishing the tripartite committee which culminated with the establishment of the IPoE on GERDP that even involves two Egyptian experts.
Regarding the 1902 Boundary Treaty Between Ethiopia and Britain
It is surprising to read that Egypt argue that the GERDP is in violation with this boundary treaty between Ethiopia and Britain regarding the border between Sudan and Ethiopia. Despite, the 1902 Treaty was a boundary treaty, under Article III it discussed matters pertaining to the Nile waters in Ethiopia. A lot has been said and debated regarding state succession to the treaty-particularly about Article III and the meaning of the most important phrase in this article-‘not to arrest.’ I will argue in brief why the 1902 Boundary treaty has nothing to do with the GERDP and the following are the most important notes that the Egyptian policy makers should take note out of. Firstly, Egypt is not eligible to be a successor of the treaty as they were never involved in it in any form. When the treaty was signed Egypt was under the yoke of British`s colonial rule and that does not mean that Egypt is successor to the ex-colonial power in the Sudan-which is a free and independent sovereign state. Secondly, the treaty is a boundary treaty not a water treaty. Water treaties are not like boundary treaties to be transferred to successor states.
Thirdly, it should be clear that the Amhraic and the English versions have different meanings regarding the scope that the treaty is applicable to and even the content. While the Amharic version states that Ethiopia has agreed to the government of Britain, the English version declares Ethiopia agreed to the government of Britain and the Government of Sudan-which never existed at the time. Fourthly, the meaning of “not to arrest the flows” of the mentioned waters of “Lake Tana, the Blue Nile or the Sobat [Baro]”does not mean that Ethiopia should not take any activity to utilize its waters on the mentioned water courses. To be clearer, Article III of the 1902 agreement has no any clause to oblige Ethiopia not to construct any hydraulic infrastructure that would enable her to utilize its water resources. In fact, Emperor Menilek II at the time had sent a letter to the government of Britain in London that Article III of the 1902 agreement should not be understood that Ethiopia will not utilize any water from the Nile now or in the future. I mentioned the above four basic issues not to mention fundamental change of circumstances in the region as colonialism is ended in the region and there is no any power called Britain in Sudan which would claim Ethiopia to be abide by the provision and in fact, Ethiopia would also raise the issue of unequal treaties as well as the way the treaty was written in a mood that creates one sided obligation to Ethiopia only. Moreover, there is this principle called principle of sovereignty of a state over its natural resources which can also be seen as part of the principle of self-determination in international law and achieved a status of customary international law of a jus cogens nature. Ethiopia time and again has declared that it is utilizing the Nile waters to alleviate poverty and not to choke the Nile waters to harm Egypt. And as clearly stated in the Amharic version of Article III, the GERD is not being built to totally arrest the flow of the Nile waters. Ethiopia is building the dam to utilize the Nile waters which originates in its territory in equitable and reasonable manner.
Regarding the 1993 Agreement on the Framework for Cooperation between Ethiopia and Egypt
The 1993 “agreement on the framework for cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia” signed between President Meles Zenawi as president of the TGE and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was not an agreement or treaty in the true meanings of the terms. Nor it was signed with the intention of scaling up in to a treaty. It was a document more or less signed as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as a framework for future cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia. At the center of the MoU was the principle that refrained states from creating appreciable harm to a co-basin state while utilizing a watercourse that is share between the states concerned-here the Nile.
Unfortunately the ink was rarely dry when Egypt stood against it by undertaking a project activity that would create appreciable harm to all upstream states on the Nile. In international water law, the understanding is that downstream states would also create significant harm to upstream states despite not physically tangible. In this regard undertaking massive hydraulic projects without involving upstream states is considered as harm to upstream states as the intention of downstream states is to create facts on the ground which would preclude upstream states from utilizing the water resources in the future. Hence the 1997 Egypt`s commencement of constructing the Toshka and Al Salam as the New Valely Projects are part of such commotion. Besides this Ethiopia has no any reason to be bind by the mentioned MoU for two main reasons. Firstly as it was not mean any agreement or treaty in the true sense of the term it has not been ratified in the parliament nor initiated for such a process. Secondly, there is a basin wide agreement that Egypt itself took part in the negotiation for more than 10 years which later signed as the CFA. Egypt has signed on every provision that it agreed on in the CFA except Article 14(b) during the years of negotiations for the CFA.
Besides as stated above the no appreciable harm principle can only be seen in due regard to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. The idea is that, a state would create significant/appreciable harm to another state if water is not utilized equitably and reasonably. Contemporary international law has given precedence to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization which is a customary law in international relations.
Regarding Water Security
The final word of the document from the MFA of Egypt is the issue of water security which is linked with national security. In the last paragraph of the statement of the Spokesman it is written that “It is important to note as well, that Egypt stands ready to engage in a transparent and serious negotiation process with the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan to ensure the agreement on a win-win scenario that would ensure the fulfillment of Ethiopia’s developmental needs, as well as the interests of Sudan, while preserving Egypt’s water security.” The irony is the stated statement is a paradox and self-conflicting. Egypt stated that it is not a problem if upstream states-such as Ethiopia undertake activities to meet its developmental needs but at the same time it denied them by declaring these activities should be done “while preserving Egypt`s water security.” Egypt`s security from the Egyptian perspective is defined as the self-claimed 55.5 billion cubic meters of water which is neither known nor recognized by upstream states as the definition of “Egypt`s water security” from the Egyptian perspective will not leave a single drop of water to them as the entire water flow is divided between Egypt, Sudan and evaporation from Lake Nasser behind the High Aswan Dam in Egypt and Sudan.
Here it should clearly understood that Egypt like any other Nile Basin state can make sure that its water security-as defined in the CFA-is maintained when it is part of the CFA which is a solution in the Nile Basin and capable of accommodating the interest of all the riparian states. Water security in the CFA is defined as “the right of all Nile Basin States to reliable access to and use of the Nile River system for health, agriculture, livelihoods, production and environment.” If Egypt accepts this, there is a way out and a win-win situation can be achieved. The only way, therefore, to solve any problem on the Nile is when those states that are not accepting equitable and reasonable utilization review their stance and make up their minds to the reality rather than living in day dreams of attempting to maintain a zero-sum-game of win-lose situation in the Nile Basin which is a dead-end.

አሉላ አባ ነጋ፡ የጉራዕው አንበሳ ከ138 ዓመታት በኋላ

ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው


hidaseእንደ አውሮፓውያኑ አቆጣጠር በመጋቢት 7 ቀን 2014 የአቢሲኒያ ፍላይት ባለቤት ካፒቴን ሶሎሞን በሚያበሯት ሚጢጢ የሰማይ ታክሲ-አስር ሰው የምትይዝ ትንሽ አውሮፕላን ውስጥ የውሃ፣ መስኖ እና ኢነርጅ ሚኒስቴር የተከበሩ አቶ አለማየሁ ተገኑን፣ አመብሳደሮችን እና የኢትዮጵያ ብሔራዊ የባለሙያዎች ቡድን እና ጋዜጠኞችን ይዛ አቅጣጫዋን ወደ ምዕራብ ኢትዮጵያ በማድረግ ወደ ጉባ ወረዳ ቤንሻንጉል-ጉሙዝ ክልል አቀናች፡፡ የጉዞው ዓላማም የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብ የደረሰበትን ሁኔታ ለማየት ነው፡፡ እንደ ዕድል ሆኖ ምስጋና ለክቡር ሚኒስትር አቶ አለማየሁ ተገኑ እና ለአቶ ፈቅአህመድ ነጋሽ (በውሃ፣ መስኖ እና ኢነርጅ ሚኒስቴር የወሰን እና ወሰን ተሸጋሪ ወንዞች ዳይሬክቶሬት ዳይሬክተር) ይሁን እና በዚች ትንሽ አውሮፕላን ውስጥ ሆኜ ቁልቁል አባይ ደንበር ሊሻገር ሲጣደፍ ሳየው ንዴት ውስጤን አቃጠለው፡፡ ተመልሼ ደግሞ የታላቁ ህዳሴ ግድብን ሳስብ ይህ ወንዝ ለሀገሩ ሊቆም ነው ብዮ ተጽናናሁ፡፡ ወዲያውም የበውቀቱ ስዩምን

ከተመኙ ላይቀር ወንዝነት መመኘት

አገርን ሳይለቁ ሌላ ሀገር መገኘት፡፡

የምትል ስንኝ ለራሴው አስተውሼ ፈገግ አልኩኝ በውስጤ፡፡ ግን አሁንም አሁንም ውስጤን ቁጭት አልለቀቀውም ነበር፡፡ አንዳች ስሜትም ውስጤን ይኮረኩረው ነበር፡፡ በመሐል ግን እንደ ድንገት ዶ/ር ጌታቸው አሰፋ በአዲስ ጉዳይ መጽሐት “የ ‘ጉ’ ቤት ለግብፆች” ብሎ የከተበው መጣጥፍ ትዝ አለኝ፡፡ ጉንደት—- ጉራዕ— ጉባ—- አልኩ በለሆሳስ ቃላቱ እና ድርጊቶቹ ተከታትለው በዓይነ ህሊናየ እየተመላለሱ፡፡ ያለ ነገር አልነበረም ትዝ ያሉኝ፡፡ አንዳች የቀን መገጣጠም ስላላቸው እንጅ፡፡ ልክ በዚህች ቀን የዛሬ 138 ዓመት ነበር ራስ አሉላ አባ ነጋ በጉራዕ ታሪክ የሰራው፡፡ ለዛች ታሪካዊ ቀን መታሰቢያ ትሆን ዘንድ እና እንዲሁም ከመጋቢት 7 ቀን እስከ መጋቢት 9 ቀን 1876 የተደረገውን የጉራዕ ጦርነት ለመዘከር የሚከተለውን ለማለት ወደድኩ፡፡ “በጉባ ሰማይ ስር፡ አጭር የጉዞ ማስታወሻ” የምትል አጭር ማስታወሻ በቅርቡ አስነብባለሁ፡፡ እስከዛ ግን እንሆ በረከት… አሉላ አባ ነጋ ወዲ ቁቢ….

ሞሐመድ ዓሊ፣ ኬዲቭ እስማኤል ፓሻ እና ኢትዮጵያ

በ1805 (ሁሉም ዓመቶች እንደ አውሮፓውያን አቆጣጠር ናቸው) የኦቶማን ቱርክ የግብፅ አስተዳዳሪ ሆኖ የተሾመው አልባኒያዊው ሙሐመድ ዓሊ ወደ አፍሪካ መምጣት ለብዙ ክስተቶች ምክንያት ሆኗል፡፡ በወቅቱ የኦቶማን ቱረክ ኢምፓየርን መዳከም ያስተዋለው ሙሀመድ ዓሊ ፓሻ የራሱን ኢምፓየር ከግብፅ ወደ ደቡብ አና ወደ ሰሜን እስከ መካከለኛው ምስራቅ ለመዘርጋት ዕቅድ ነበረው፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ ወደ መካከለኛው ምስራቅ ሊያደርግ ያሰበው ዘመቻ የተገታው በወቅቱ አካባቢውን ይቃኙ በነበሩት በእንግሊዝ እና በፈረንሳይ ኃይሎች ነበር፡፡ ሆኖም በደቡብ በኩል ከልካይ ያላገኘው አልባኒያዊ በ1821 ሰሜን ሱዳንን ተቆጣጠር፡፡ ሲቀጥልም ዓይኑን ኢትዮጵያ ላይ ጣለ፡፡ ከ1805 እስከ 1849 ስልጣን ላይ የቆየው ሙሐመድ ዓሊ በዋናነት የተሳካለት ግብፅ ራሷን የቻለች እና ከኦቶማን ቱርኮች ነፃ የሆነች ሀገር መመስረቱ ነው፡፡ ከዚህም ጋር ተያይዞ ቀደም ሲል የኦቶማን ግዛቶች የነበሩ የቀይ ባህር እና የህንድ ውቅያኖስ አዋሳኝ ጠረፎችንም በግብፅ ስር ለማድረግ ጥሯል፡፡ የግብፅ ሱዳንን መያዝ ተከትሎም ከኢትዮጵያ ጋር በዋድ ካልታቡ፣ በዋልቃይት እና በጠገዴ አካባቢ ከተደረጉ ጦርነቶች ነበሩ፡፡ ዋና እና የከረሩ ጦርነቶች የተካሄዱት ግን የሙሐመድ ዓሊ የልጅ ልጅ ኬዲቭ እስማኤል ፓሻ (1863-1879) ወደ ስልጣን መምጣትን ተከትሎ ነበር፡፡

የአያቱን የመስፋፋት ሃሳብ ለማሳካት ደፋ ቀና ብሎ፤ ብዙ ደክሞ እና በአሜሪካውያን እና በአውሮፓውያን በአማካሪዎች እና በቅጥረኛ ወታደሮች ታጅቦ ኢትዮጵያን ለመውረር ቆርጦ የነበረው ኬዲቭ ኢስማኤል ፓሻ ዓላማው ከግዛት ማስፋፋት ባለፈ ነበር፡፡ ወንድምነህ ጥላሁን በ1979 ባሳተሙት መጽሐፍ እንዳሉት ወረራው በዋናነት በጣና ሐይቅ እና በጥቁር አባይ ያነጣጠረው የግብፅ ኢምፔሪያሊስታዊ ፍላጎት ውጤት ነበር፡፡ እንዲሁም በተመሳሳይ መልኩ እንዲሁ የኬዲቭ እስማኤል ታሪክ ጸኃፊ እንደገለጸው እና በስቨን ሩቢንሰን (1976) እንደተጠቀሰው “የኬዲቩን ቅኝ ግዛት ስራ በአንድ አገላለጽ ማጠቃለል ይቻላል፤ ሁሉንም የናይል ተፋሰስ መሬት በሀገሩ ቁጥጥር ስር በማድረግ የናይልን ወንዝ ግብፃዊ ወንዝ ማድረግ ይፈልግ ነበር፡፡” ይህንን ለማሳካትም ተደጋጋሚ እና ያላቋረጡ የወረራ ሙከራዎችን አድርጓል፡፡ ነገር ግን ሁሉም ሙከራዎች ከሙከራት አልዘለሉም፡፡ በዋናነት የሚጠቀሱት ሁለት ዓበይት ጦርነቶች ደግሞ የ1875 የጉንደት እና የ1876 የጉራዕ ጦርነቶች ናቸው፡፡ በሁለቱም ጦርነቶች ወራሪዎቹ ግብፆች እና አጋዥ ቅጥረኛ ወታደሮች እና አማካሪ ጄኔራሎች ሽንፈትን ተጎንጭተው ተመልሰዋል፡፡ ድልም ለኢትዮጵያ እና ለኢትዮጵያውያን ሆነ፡፡ ከአነዚህ ሁሉ ድሎች በስተጀርባ ደግሞ የአንድ ሰው ስም ሁሌም በጉልህ ይነሳል፡፡ አሉላ አባ ነጋ!!

የአሉላ ወዲ ቁቢ አነሳስ

ራስ አሉላ በ1847 በተምቤን ዙቁሊ ሚካኤል እንደተወለዱ ማሞ ውድነህ በ1987 የዶጋሊ ጦርነትን 100ኛ ዓመት በማስመልከት በተዘጋጀው ልዩ የመታሰቢያ ታሪካዊ ጉባዔ ላይ ባቀረቡት ጽሁፍ ይገልፃሉ፡፡ ደራሲ ማሞ ውድነህ እንደሚሉት የራስ አሉላ አባት እንግዳ ቁቢ አራት ልጆቻቸውን ራስን እና ሀገርን መከላከል እንዴት መማር እንደሚቻል ያስተምሩ ነበር፡፡ አሉላ ግን ከሁሉም ይልቁ ነበር፡፡ በዙቂሊ ሚካኤልም ከመምህር ወልደጊዮርጊስ ይማሩ እንደነበረ ማሞ ውድነህ አብራርተዋል፡፡ አሉላ ወዲ ቁቢ የጉልምስና ስራውን በአጼ ዮሐንስ አጎት በራ አርአያ ደምሱ ቤት አሽከር በመሆን እንደጀመሩ ፕሮፌሰር ንጉሴ አየለ “Ras Alula and Ethiopia`s Struggle Against Expansionism and Colonialism: 1872-1897” በተሰኘ መጣጥፋቸው ገልጸዋል፡፡ እንደ ፕሮፌሰረ ንጉሴ ገለፃ ራስ አሉላ በስተኋላ ወደ ደጃዝማች በዝብዝ ካሳ (ኋላ አፄ ዮሐንስ 4ተኛ) ቤት ከተዛወሩ በኋላ ሹመትን በሹመት በመደረብ ወደፊት ገሰገሱ፡፡ በመጀመሪያ እልፍኝ አስከልካይ ቀጥሎም አጋፋሪነትን ተሾሙ፡፡ በ1873 ደጃዝማች ካሳ ንጉሰ ነገስት አጼ ዮሐንስ አራተኛ ሲባሉ አሉላ የሻለቅነትን ማዕረግ የንጉሱ ሊጋባነት ማዕረግን ደርበው ያዙ፡፡

አሉላ ወዲ ቁቢ ሁለንተናቸው ስሁል፣ ንቁ እና አርቆ አሳቢ እንደነበሩ ብዙ ጸሐፊዎች፣በጦር ሜዳ ውሎ የሚያውቋቸው፣ በዲፕሎማሲያዊ ግንኙነት የሚውቋቸው ሁሉ ይመሰክራሉ፡፡ ዛሬ ላይ ሆነው ነገን የሚመረምሩ ከራስ በላይ ሀገርን የሚስቀድሙ የኢትዮጵያ የቁርጥ ቀን ልጅ ነበሩ አሉላ ወዲ ቁቢ፡፡ ፕሮፌሰር መርዕድ ወልደ አረጋይ “Alula, Dogali and Ethiopian Unity” በሚል ጽሁፋቸው ከአሳዛኙ የአፄ ቴውድሮስ የመቅድላ ፍፃሜ በፊትም ሆነ በኋላ አፄ ቴውድሮስን የመሰለ አንድ ሰው ቢኖር አሉላ አባ ነጋ ብቻ ናቸው፡፡ እንደ ፕሮፌሰር መርዕድ ገላፃ ከሆነ ራ አሉላ ከአጼ ቴውድሮስ ጋር በተክለ ሰውነት መመሳሰል ባለፈ በሰብዕና እና በአመለካከት እንዲሁም በአርቆ አሰተዋይነት እና በመንፈሳዊ ልዕልና ይመሳሰላሉ፡፡ ግብርን ለሀገር ጥንካሬ ከማዋል ባለፈ አንድ የጦር መሪከተራው ወታደር የተለየ መብላት እና መልበስ እንደሌለበትም ሁሉቱ የኢትዮጵያ ጅግኖች ተመሳስሎ እንደሆነ ፕሮፌሰር መርዕድ ያስረዳሉ፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር በተያያዘ ማሞ ውድነህ “The Life and Works of Alula Aba Nega” በሚለው መጣጥፋቸው እንደሚያስረዱት አሉላ ወዲ ቁቢ በ1847 እንደመወለዳቸው ስለ አፄ ቴውድሮስ ጀግንነት እና ትልቅነት እየሰሙ ማደጋቸውን ያብራራሉ፡፡

አሉላ ወዲ ቁቢ ከነበራቸው የቶር ብልሀት እና እንዲሁም ደግሞ የተዋጣለት ዲፕሎማት መሆን የተነሳ በአፄ ዮሐንስ ፊት ሞገስ እና ክብር ነበራቸው፡፡ ለዛም ነው ከአሽከርነት እስከ ራስነት ሹመት የደረሱት፡፡ በታሪክ ዘመናቸው በዋናነት ለአፄ ዮሐንስ የቀኝ እጅ በመሆን በወቅቱ ንጉሱን ከገጠማቸው የስልጣን ሽኩቻ በተለይ ከጎጃም እና ከሸዋ ከማደላደል ባሻገር ከሶስት ዋና ዋና የኢትዮጵያ የወቅቱ ጠላቶች ጋር ተዋግተዋል፡፡ በዋናነትም ከህዳር 16 ቀን 1875 ከተደረገው የጉንደት ጦርነት እስከ መጋት 1 ቀን 1896 እስከተደረገው የአድዋ ጦርነት ድረስ ራስ አሉላ አባ ነጋ አስራ ሁለት ጦርነቶችን ከውጭ ወራሪ ኃይሎች ጋር የተዋጉ ሲሆን በዋናነትም ከኦቶማን ግብጽ ተስፋፊዎች፣ ከማህዲስት የድርቡሽ ወራሪዎች እና ከጣሊያን ቅኝ ገዥዎች ጋር ያደረጓቸው ናቸው፡፡

ራስ አሉላ አባ ነጋ (የጉራዕው አንበሳ) እና የጉራዕ ጦርነት

Alula Aba Negaከላይ ለማየት እንደሞከርነው ግብፅ ኢትዮጵያን ለመያዝ በወቅቱ የተነሳችበት አበይት ምክንያት አባይን ከነ ምንጩ የግብፅ ወንዝ ለማድረግ ከነበራት ቅዠት የመነጨ ነበር፡፡ ግብፅ ኢትዮጵያን ለመውረር ስታስብ በዋናነት ከሶስት አቅጣጫዎች በመቦትረፍ ነበር፡፡ አንደኛው በሐረር በኩል፣ ሁለተኛው በሰሜን በምፅዋ በኩል ወደ ደጋው በመዝለቅ ሲሆን ሶስተኛው ደግሞ በአዳል ወይም አፋር በኩል በመግባት ነበር፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ቀዠታቸው ቅዠት ሆነ ነበር የቀረው፡፡ ከሁሉም እጅግ ወሳኝ የሚባሉት ጢርነቶች በተከታታይ ዓመታት የተደረጉት የ1875ቱ ጉንደት እና የ1876 ጉራዕ ጦርነቶች ናቸው፡፡ በ1875 ህዳር ወር በ ጄኔራል አሬንድሩፕ የሚመራው የግብፅ ጦር እነ አራኬል ቤይ፣ ሩስተም ቤይ እና በመሳሰሉት ቅጥረኞች የተመራው ከ3000 በላይ የሆነ የግብፅ ጦር ጉንደት ላይ ለማጥቃትም ለመከላከልም እንዲመቸው ሆኖ  መሸገ፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ በኩል አፄ ዮሐንስ አራተኛ በሁለት ሳንት ውስጥ ከ20000 እስከ 30000 የሚጠጋ ሰራዊታቸውን በማሰባሰብ በእነ ራስ አራያ፣ ራስ ባርያ ገብር፣ ባሻ ገብረማርያም፣ ደጃዝማች ሀጎስ፣ ደጃዝማች ወልደ ሚካኤል፣ ደጃዝማች ተሰማን እንዲሁም ሻለቃ አሉላን አስከትለው ወደ ጉንደት አቀኑ፡፡ ራስ አሉላ በዚህ ወቅት ነበር ጅግንነታቸው የታየው እና ከሌሎቹም ልቀው መውጣታቸው የተስተዋለው፡፡ በድንገተኛ የማጥቃት ስልት በመከተል ኢትዮጵያውያን አርበኞች 30 ደቂቃ ባልሞላ ጊዜ ውስጥ በአሬንድሩፕ የሚመራው ወደ 800 የሚጠጋ ሰው እንደ ቅጠል ረገፈ፡፡ “The Survival of Ethiopian Independence” በተሰኘ ድንቅ መፅሐፋቸው ስቨን ሩቢንሰን እንደከተቡት ይህ ሲሆን በኢትዮጵያ በኩል 31 አርበኞች ሲሰው 51 ብቻ ነበር የቆሰሉት፡፡ ከጥቂት ሰዓተት በኋላም የተቀሩትን 1300 የግብፅ ወታደሮች በመክበብ ከአንድ ሰዓት ተኩል ባልበለጠ ከበድ ያለ ውጊያ ኢትዮጵያውያን አረበኞች ዶግ አመድ አደረጓቸው፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ በኩልም 521 ሰው ሲሞት ወደ 355 ቆሰለ፡፡ በእነ ሻለቃ ዴኒሰን ይመራ የነበረው እና ለጉንደት ተዋጊ ወታደሮች ደጀን ለመሆን አዲ ቋላ መሽጎ የነበረው የግብፅ ሰራዊትም ፈረጠጠ፡፡ በአንፃሩ ከምፅዋ በኩል ወደ ስድስት መቶ የሚጠጉ ወታደሮችን አስከትሎ በአዳል/አፋር በኩል ወደ ኢትዮጵያ የዘለቀው እና በስዊዛዊው ቅጥረኛ ጆሀን አልበርት ወርነር ሙንዚንገር ፓሻ የሚመራው ሰራዊት በሞሐመድ አንፍሬ የተዘጋጀለትን ድግስ አጣጣመ፡፡ መሪውን ወርነር ሙንዚንገር ፓሻን ጨምሮ አንድም ወሬ ነጋሪ ሳይተርፍ የግብፅ ወራሪ ኃይል በአፋር አርበኞች ተረፈረፈ፡፡

ሽንፈትን እንደ ውሃ ደጋግሞ የተጎነጨው የግብፅ የኬዲቭ እስማኤል ፓሻ አስተዳደር ግን ሽንፈቱ ሊዋጥለት አልተቻለውም፡፡ እናም ሌላ መሰናዶ እና ጉዞ፤ ሌላ ጦርነት እና ፍልሚያ አሰኘው፡፡ የሚቀጥለውን ፍልሚያም ለማሸነፍ ቆርጦ ተነሳ፡፡ ከጉንደት ከነበረው አሰላለፍ በበለጠ በአዲስ አደረጃጀት እና ብዙ ቁጥር ያለው ወታደራዊ ኃይል በማነቃነቅ፣ አዳዲስ ቅጥረኞችን በማስመጣት (በተለይ ከአሜሪካ የርስ በርስ ጦርነት መሪ ተሰላፊ የነበሩ ቅጥረኞችን) እንዲሁም አዳዲስ የቶር መሣሪያዎችን በመታጠቅ ኢትዮጵያን ለመውጋት እና ለማንበርከክ ቆርጦ ተነሳ፡፡ ይህን በማድረግም አያቱ ሙሐመድ ዓሊ የተመኘውን አባይን ከእነ ምንጩ የመያዝ ቅዠት እውን ለማድረግ ቆረጠ፡፡

የወቅቱ 500 000 ፓውንድ ሰተርሊንግ የተመደበለት እና ወደ 20000 የሚጠጉ ግብፃውያንን እና ቅጥረኞችን የያዘው የግብፅ ጦር ከአስመራ 40 ኪሎ ሜትር በስተደቡብ በምተገኘው ጉራዕ ሁለት ምሽጎችን መስርቶ ለ,እንደ ጉንደት ሁሉ ለማጥቃትም ለመከላከልም እንዲመቸው ሆኖ መሸገ፡፡ በወቅቱ የግብፅ ጦር የወቅቱን ዘመናዊ የሚባል የጦር መሣሪያ የታጠቀ ሲሆን በዋናነትም ረሚንገቶን እና ክሩፕ የተሰኙ ጠብመንጃዎችን፣ አርባ መድፎችን እና 10 ሮኬት ማስወንጨፊያዎችን የያዘ ነበር፡፡ ሊጋባ አሉላ መረብን እንደተሸገረ የኢትዮጵያን ሰራዊት በአምስት በመክፈል እና ግብፆቹን በማጨነቅ ሜዳ ላይ ወጥተው እንዲዋጉ አስገደዳቸው ይላሉ ማሞ ውድነህ በመጣጥፋቸው፡፡ የጉራዕ ጦርነት የተጀመረው ልክ የዛሬ 138 ዓመት በመጋቢት 7 ቀን 1876 ነበር፡፡ በዚህ ዕለት ወደ ሰባት ባታሊዮን የሆነው የግብፅ ጦር ውስጥ ከ5000 እስከ 6000 የሚጠጋ ሰራዊት መካከል ምንም ሳይሆን የተረፈው ከ400 እስከ 600 የሚጠጋ ሰው ብቻ እንደነበረ ስቨን ሩቢንሰን በመጽሐፋቸው ይገልፃሉ፡፡

ምስጋና ለአሉላ አባ ነጋ እንግዳ ይሁን እና በተከተሉት የቶር ስልት መሰረት ከ3600 በላይ ግብፃውያን ሲሞቱ ይዘዋቸው የነበሩ መድፎች እና እጅግ ቁጥራቸው የበዛ በሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ ጠብመንጃ የጦር መሣሪዎች በኢትዮጵያውያን እጅ ወደቁ፡፡ ጦርነቱ በመጋቢት 8 እና 9 ቀጥሎ የዋለ ሲሆን በዋናነት በሁለቱ ቀናት ግብፃውያን ከምሽጋቸው ሆነው ባደረሱት ጥቃት ከመጀመሪያው ቀን ጋር ሲነፃፃር በኢትዮጵያ በኩል ከፍ ያለ ሞት ተመዘገበ፡፡ በጥቅሉ ግን  ወደ 4000 የሚጠጉ ኢትዮጵያውያን በሶስቱ ቀናት ውጊያዎች አጥታለች፡፡

የጉራዕ ውጊያ ለግብፃውያን እጅጉን አስተማሪ የሆነ ጦርነት ነበር፡፡ ደጋግመው ከጉራዕ በፊት የሞከሯቸው ጦርነቶች በሰው ቁጥር ማነሰ የመጣ የመሰላቸው ግብፃውያን መሪዎች እጅግ ብዙ የሚባል ቁጥር የነበረው እና በአውሮፓውያን፣ አሜሪካውያን እና ቱርካውያን ምክር እየተደገፈ ከዘመናዊ የጦር መሣሪያ ጋር የዘመተ ጦራቸው ድባቅ እንደተመታ አስተውለዋል፡፡ ኢትዮጵያን የመያዝ ጉራቸውም የጉራዕ ጦርነት ላይ አሉላ በመራው ጦር ጉራ ሆኖ ቀርቷል፡፡ የኢትዮጵያም ሉአላዊነት በቆራጥ ጀግኖች ልጆቿ ተከበረ፡፡ ይህን ሁሉ እያብሰለሰልኩ ነበር ዓበይን ቁልቁል ወደ ደንበር በጉባ ሲጣደፍ እያየሁ ጉራዕንም እያስታወስኩ የታላቁ ህዳሴ ግድብ ፕሮጀክት አውረፕላን ማረፊያ ሚጢጢዋ የካፒቴን ሶሎሞን አውሮፕላን መሬት ነካች፡፡ እኔም መሬት ያያዘውን እና በጥድፊያ ቁመቱ እየተመነደገ ያለውን ታላቁን ግድብ በዓይኔ በብረቱ ለማየት እየተጣደፍኩ ወደ ተዘጋጀልኝ መኪና አመራሁ…  ስለ አሉላ አባ ነጋ ብዙ የምለውና የምጽፈው አለ… በሌላ ጽሁፍ እንገናኝ… ክብር ሞገስ በጉንደት፣ በጉራዕ ለተሰው የኢትዮጵያ የቁርጥ ቀን አርበኞች…

Egypt`s White Lie and Monday`s Addis Ababa Meeting

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

On 10 February 2014 a delegation from Egypt led by Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abd el-Motaleb was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to resume talks regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which is deadlocked due to Egypt`s rigidity. The Egyptian Minister came to Ethiopia after requesting Ethiopia`s Minister of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy Ato Alemayehu Tegenu in a telephone conversation they had to resume talks which Ato Alemayehu Tegenu accepted in a good faith. Nevertheless the Egyptian media stated it as if the Egyptian Minister`s went to Ethiopia following the invitation from Ato Alemayehu Tegenu. This is in fact Egypt`s white lie with its common strategy of giving a distorted information about Nile issues.

The fact is that Monday`s meeting was not a result of Ethiopia`s request but Egypt`s own request. Their white lie, however, might be designed for political profit at home and for obvious reasons with a regional message. It should be remembered that following the last Khartoum meeting Motaleb said that he would not go to Addis Ababa until what Egypt proposed is accepted. But he did requested to come to Ethiopia and he did came despite what Egypt proposed is rejected by Ethiopia and Sudan as the intention is far from reaching on an agreement on the issue. Again the Egyptian media is lying the Egyptian people together with the government which is a captive of its own lies. Their lie further has to do with an attempt to alienate Ethiopia from Sudan by portraying as if Ethiopia starts bilateral talks with Egypt without Sudan. As reported by Daily News Egypt, Spokesman for the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Khaled Wassif stated that Sudan is not represented because “because there are issues for Ethiopia and Egypt to discuss bilaterally.” This is, of course, part of their usual divide and rule strategy which they have been trying for long but a total failure.

What should be clear is though Egypt came on Monday with same old stance that it brought at the third round Khartoum meeting between 4 and 5 January 2014. The so-called confidence building principles they talk about and their proposal of establishing International Panel of Experts are manifestations of their irresponsibility regarding cooperation on the Nile in general and the GERD in particular. Furthermore, the Egyptians requested Ethiopia to stop the construction of the dam to undertake the two studies recommended by the International Panel of Experts. From the Ethiopian side the Egyptians are told that future talks regarding the GERD will only be conducted on a tripartite level with the inclusion of Sudan and the construction of the GERD will never be delayed and stopped for second. The only solution is hence to resume talks at the sub-basin level and discuss on matters that are agreed upon in good faith to enhance the benefits of GERD to the peoples of the Nile Basin. Still the door is open for Egypt to accept what is right for the benefit of the peoples of the Nile and to drop its obsoleted stance which will take it nowhere but total lose.

Article 44 of Egypt’s constitution: codifying historic wrongs on the Nile

By Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has been seen some three governments either as transitional ones appointed by the military or popularly elected in a free election.

Tis Issat Fall Ethiopia
Tis Issat Fall Ethiopia

The first transitional government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf was progressive and seemed to turn Egypt`s face to Africa where its origin and life relies on. Nonetheless, because it was a transitional government and had no any constitutional ground. It was a handicapped one and its efforts were not fruitful. But this does not mean that Sharaf’s government was unique in its orientation but its attempts to solve the Nile issue in a peaceful and civilized way that will establish a win-win situation was a good start.

Following a popular election in June 2012 Egypt’s old organized Islamist group-Muslim Brotherhood`s political wing Freedom and Justice Party`s representative Dr. Mohammed Morsi won the presidential election from Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik in a narrow vote difference (51.7 percent to 48 percent). The new president established his government and appointed a water expert Hisham Qandil as his prime minister-

which shows the priority he gave to the Nile issue. In a parliamentary election Muslim Brotherhood with the conservative Salafists won the election and drafted a more Islamist and criticized constitution. This indeed led to the ousting of Mohammed Morsi in a military coup supported by a popular riot organized by young political activists called the Tamarod in July 2013.

The military chief of Egypt and Defense Minister appointed by Morsi himself, General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi announced that Morsi was ousted and the 2012 constitution suspended. Al Sisi further declared Adly Mansour, who was the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, as the president of the transitional government. Mansour a lawyer by profession appointed Ahmed Beblawi as prime minister and there was hope that the Nile discord would be solved as one of the criticisms against Morsi was that he could not handle the Nile problem well as he was busy of remarking war mongering speeches following Ethiopia’s successful retouring of Abbay (Blue Nile) to make clear of the river bed from water to undertake the civil works of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The new government under Mansour will been in power till a new government is established following the promulgation of a new constitution. President Mansour was authorized to form the constitutional drafting committee which he actually did.

Egypt’s new constitution drafting body was composed of 50 people from different political groups and sectors and chaired by Amr Moussa, ex-minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt and ex-secretary general of the Arab League. The committee was entrusted initially to amend the constitution introduced by Mohamed Morsi’s government and was believed that it would only take sixty days. Yet, the constitution drafting committee which almost took three months came up with a new constitution. The new constitution is endorsed by the people of Egypt with a 97 percent vote in the January 14 and 15, 2014 referendum. Yet the problem is despite the Egyptian people has the right to say whatever they want in their constitution, their politicians led them in to a free fall and codified a historical wrong that their grandfathers done in the early and mid-20th century regarding the Nile. Let us compare the provisions of Egypt`s 2012 and 2014 constitutions on the Nile and say a few words on how it is again a historical wrong than right.

Egypt`s 2012 constitution under Article 19 declared that “The Nile River and water resources are a national wealth. The State is committed to maintaining and developing them, and preventing abuse. The use of such resources shall be regulated by law.” Hence there is no problem and no indication is made the transboundary nature of the river. When the constitution declares that it is ‘national wealth’ it refers to the water that flows to Egypt. And as any other Nile Basin country Egypt is entitled to say the Nile is its

national wealth. The provision of the 2012 constitution on the Nile is purely of domestic nature and one can say that had no any complications. Nonetheless, it is a constitution suspended with the ousting of Mohammed Morsi.

Article 44 of the 2014 constitution on the other hand reads as that “The state [of Egypt] commits to protecting the Nile River, maintaining Egypt’s historic rights thereto, rationalizing and maximizing its benefits, not wasting its water or polluting it…” Now the problem is on the inclusion of the phrases “maintaining Egypt’s historic rights” which clearly shows and carries a message to the Nile Basin states. This made the provision under this article more controversial and despite a national constitution which has no legal effect outside the Egyptian territory, the implicit meaning attached to it is worth of scrutinizing, as it has a transboundary message to the Nile Basin states. Before analyzing the issue from the perspective of international law and the politics of the Nile waters in relation to other Nile Basin states it is worth zooming in on the meaning of “maintaining Egypt’s historic rights” from the Egyptian perspective.

Claim of “Historic Rights” on the Nile and International Water Law

For Egypt the so-called “historic rights” on the Nile are defined based on colonial or partial treaties of the 20th century. As repeatedly discussed Egypt considers the 1929 colonial “treaty” between Britain (on behalf of Sudan and its other colonies in East Africa) and Egypt as the base of its “right” on the Nile. In fact, it is difficult to call the 1929 “Agreement” as a bilateral agreement between Egypt and Britain as the former was still under tight political and economic control of the later. It can better be said that the 1929 “Agreement” was between Britain and Britain for Britain as concluded to make sure that its textile factories in Manchester had secured uninterrupted cotton from Egypt produced by the Nile waters. This “agreement” gave Egypt the lion’s share of the Nile waters and veto power on upstream water projects which has been a ludicrous and irrational attempt of controlling the Nile. In fact, the idea was that the British administrators in upstream Nile British colonies would not do anything without consulting the British administrators in downstream of the Nile in Egypt. But Britain had left the Nile Basin long ago and Egypt’s today’s call of claiming a “right” based on an obsolete colonial “treaty” is a self tomfoolery.

Following Sudan’s independence from British colonial rule and issues precipitated following Egypt’s decision to construct the High Aswan Dam in the 1950s the Nile issue was again raised and the 1959 Agreement between Egypt and Sudan was signed. In fact, the process of negotiation for the 1959 Agreement was full of Egyptian trickery supported by Sudan’s pro-Nasser president Ibrahim Abboud who came to power in a coup in 1958. Nonetheless, Egypt considers the 1959 Agreement as a consolidation of a self-claimed “historic right” on the Nile. The 1959 Agreement divided the entire flow of the Nile for Egypt, Sudan and evaporation at the Sahara from Lake Nasser behind the Aswan High Dam (55.5, 18.5 and more than 10 billion cubic meters of water respectively). Furthermore, the veto power of Egypt was still maintained in this agreement. It is worth noting here that many Sudanese are not happy with the way the 1959 Agreement is negotiated and signed. In addition, the recent policy shift of the Sudanese should be seen from such a perspective of latent opposition to the unfair 1959 Agreement.

Hence for Egypt, it is those partial, unfair and irrational “agreements” which are regarded as the basis of the self-claimed “historic right” on the Nile. No water is left for upstream states and their national pride was in fact insulted and they were considered as non-existent. Their water rights were neglected, undermined and ignored. This is what Egypt is claiming as its “historic right” which is a total absurdity, hydropolitical arrogance and vindictive stance which will not solve the Nile problems but throw it in a vicious-circle of mutual suspicion and mistrust.

From upstream point of view the so-called “historic rights”, a recurring fanfare by Egypt, are rather historic wrongs on the Nile. Ex-British and other European colonies on the Nile, immediately after their independence in the 1960s, declared that agreements entered by colonial powers are null and void on newly independent states. This is famously known as the Nyerere Doctrine after Julius Nyerere of Tanzania who for the first time declared that Tanganyika will not abide by a treaty entered by Britain on the Nile. As for the 1959 Agreement it is a bilateral agreement entered between “two independent” states where the legal effect is only on the signatory states and as clearly declared in Article 34 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 “a treaty does not create obligations or rights for a third party without its consent.”

As for Ethiopia, which was the only state on the Nile Basin that was not colonized, both “agreements” are of no concerns. In fact, Ethiopia has made its position clear in 1957 knowing that negotiation between Egypt and Sudan was taking place. Ethiopia asserted that it has the right to utilize the Nile waters for the benefit of its current and future generation. Furthermore, it has unequivocally declared that any attempt of making treaties on the Nile without involving Ethiopia has no legal effect on its utilization of its Nile waters.

From the above explanations one can note that the position of Nile riparian states are at odds and Egypt is standing alone upholding an obsolete doctrine in the utilization of transboundary watercourses. In fact, other Nile riparian states have the support of international water law which has tremendously evolved in the 20th century. In the eyes of international law “historic right” with its other names such as “ancient right, prior use, established right” and so on had been nominal ‘doctrines’ in the utilization of transboundary watercourses. A doctrine in this sense is defined as more of a theory and personal opinion of a few individuals with no legal base. As far as international water law is concerned the basic principle, which has the acceptance of leading scholars and is accepted as a basic rule in international courts, is the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. This principle is capable of answering the water questions of any state in transboundary watercourses as evidenced, for example, in the decision of the International Court of Justice in Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project Case on the Danube between Hungary and Slovakia. This principle is therefore the most popular and widely accepted one and is developed into a status of principle of customary international law. As clearly stated in the works of leading international law experts there is nothing called “historic right, established right, ancient right” in international water law (For details, one can refer to A. H. Garretson, R. D. Hayton, & C. J. Olmstead (Eds.). 1967. The law of international drainage basins. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana.).

Why is the phrase in the constitution?

Knowing what Egypt is claiming as “historic rights” have no international legal ground and knowing that upstream states on the Nile are against this nominal doctrine, why the politicians are adamant to include it in the constitution? There is no perfect answer for this but we can infer from experiences and current situations in the Nile Basin. Firstly, the current constitution of Egypt is drafted in a time where the Nile Basin is undergoing a dramatic shift from a one-country show of unfairness and monopoly into a basin which embraces all riparian states under the umbrella of a fundamental principle of international water law called equitable and reasonable utilization. The Cooperative Framework Agreement on the Nile (CFA) signed on May 14, 2010 is such a reflection and a historic moment. Furthermore, Ethiopia’s undergoing construction of the GERD, which eventually will become Africa’s biggest hydropower dam, is part of such a dramatic change on the Nile basin. Hence, the inclusion of the so-called “historic rights” is a mere reaction of attempting to maintain the unfair past. In my view, the Egyptian’s seem frustrated and unnecessarily fear the developments on the Nile and are in state of unstable mind. Hence, they seemingly include the phrase having in mind that this might help them despite the truth the truth being the exact opposite.

Secondly, the inclusion of the “historic rights” phrase in the constitution might have to do with the ongoing domestic instability in the country following the ousting of President Mubarak and later Morsi. The Nile issue had been used by Egyptian leaders as a playing card to divert attention from their internal crisis to an international agenda. This was what Mubarak and Morsi tried to do but failed and what the current regime is doing will be doomed to fail as their narration is a groundless accusation of upstream states.

Thirdly, it could be due to the personalities of members of the constitution drafting committee and their attitude. In this regard, highlighting the perception and attitude of the chair of the committee, Amr Moussa, regarding the Nile and its riparians is important. In 1997 in his interview with the now defunct Amharic magazine Ifoyita Moussa as the minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt stated that “his country has a good attitude for Ethiopia as far as the later do not encroach upon the former’s right.” His definition of Egypt`s right on the Nile is nothing but those based on the 1929 and 1959 “Agreements” discussed above. For obvious reasons, foreign relation matters in the constitution and the inclusion of the “historic rights” phrase are the works of this man. Among the committee members, it is also worth mentioning the Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawky Allam from Al-Azahar and other members from the Salafist Nour Party whose perception of upstream water development on the Nile is linked with Israel and America`s involvement and conspiracy. Furthermore, people from the Al-Aharam Center for Political and Strategic Studies have been viewing upstream water developments as a violation of international law despite their baseless claim. These people are daring to say that the colonial and partial bilateral “agreements” on the Nile and their declaration of the so-called “historic rights” of Egypt “are binding on the non-signatory upstream states.” All the members of the committee I can say are children of the same mother who have grown victimized hearing and learning the historic wrongs of colonial powers and emotional military generals since the 1950s as “historic rights.” And it is not a surprise that they have included the phrase in the constitution. So the question is; What are its effects?

The effect of Article 44 on the Nile Basin

Despite being debatable one can argue that ‘the foreign policy of a state is the continuation and/or extension of its domestic politics and policy.’ In this regard, the number one effect of the inclusion of the so called “historic rights” in Egypt’s constitution is, it will make discussions on the Nile tougher. Egyptian negotiators possibly will appear more rigid and unyielding than before in discussions regarding the Nile either pertaining to the CFA or the GERD. But it must be clear also that the reactions of upstream states for sure is what they have been saying and they will never accept any imposition of such arrogance which would have deprived them of their natural rights of utilizing the Nile waters for the benefit of their current and future generation. The result of such a situation will be nothing but a hydropolitical deadlock which could further fatten the norm than exception in the Nile Basin which is suspicion and mistrust. This will, however, not stop upstream states from utilizing the Nile waters as evidenced in their mega hydropower projects.

Article 44 of the constitution of Egypt is in fact – especially the phrase “maintaining Egypt’s historic rights” – tantamount to insulting the upstream states of the Nile and their people. It is equivalent to saying “you have no Nile waters and the Nile is a property of Egypt.” In addition it is meant to say that those countries that are the sources of the Nile are a bunch of colonies that live with and accept the scars of the colonial powers manifested in the form of the 1929 “Agreement” that deprived them of their interest from their own waters and could do nothing. What should this countries therefore respond to such an insult? It is plain clear that the ball is in their court. Upstream states have gone further in calling Egypt and Sudan to come on board to join them and sign the CFA which can answer the question of all riparian states. It is time for the signatory states to ratify the CFA and those which do not ink their signatures follow their African brothers and maintain their rights on the Nile River. The CFA is the best instrument that the Nile Basin have to solve problems associated with the Nile waters. It is based on basic and accepted principles of international water law mainly equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters for the benefit of all riparian states and enhance win-win situation in the Basin.

Furthermore, from the perspective of international law, Article 44 is nothing but a provision of one state’s national law. Its legal effect is within the boundary of the concerned state and it has no international legal effect. In the same token it should be clear that international laws have supremacy over domestic laws. In this context, as clearly stated in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and analyzed by Malcolm N. Shaw (2008), “A particular provision within the internal legal structure of a state, including its constitution if there is one, cannot be applied to evade an international obligation.” This obligation includes among others principles of customary international law. By no means can the doctrine of “historic right” be invoked to escape the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of transboundary waters. In addition to this, the upstream Nile riparian states which are signatories of the CFA have international obligations of this agreement which has a binding effect on them. Besides, as seen in the Cameroon vs Nigeria case and viewed by the International Court of Justice, “There is no general legal obligation for States to keep themselves informed of legislative and constitutional developments in other States which are or may become important for the international relations of these States.”

To sum up, Moussa, in his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, stated that the new constitution of Egypt “was written in the context of the 21st century.” The truth is though this constitution of Egypt regarding the Nile issue is still in the early 20th century and not yet brings itself to the developments of the 21st century it has repeated the then colonial power Britain and Egypt`s own historic wrongs of the 19th and early and mid-20th centuries to say the least. In fact the new constitution is a codification of these historic wrongs with no solution for the Nile controversy but fueling suspicion and mistrust. Again as the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi plainly said in November 2010 during his interview with Reuters, “The Egyptians have yet to make up their minds as to whether they want to live in the 21st or the 19th century.”

Originally Published at:

Ethiopian Reporter 25 January 2014

የግብጽ ረቂቅ ህገ-መንግስት እና የአባይ ውሃ ጉዳይ

በዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው

GERDየሆስኒ ሙባርክን በ2011 በህዝባዊ አመጽ ከሥልጣን መወገድ ተከትሎ ግብጽ የተለያዩ ሶስት መንገስታትን አይታለች፡፡ ከ2010 ጀምሮ በተለይም የናይል ተፋሰስ ትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍን መፈረም ተከትሎ የመጣውን እና በአባይ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት በተለይ በግብፅ እና በላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት፤ እንዲሁም በታላቁ ህዳሴ ግድብ ምክንያት በግብጽ እና በኢትዮጵያ መካከል የተከሰቱትን ውዝግቦች ለመፍታት የሞከረ አንድም መንግስት ግን የለም፡፡ ይልቁንስ ነገሩን ወደማያስፈልግ አተካራ፣ የአለመተማመን እና የጥርጣሬ አዙሪት ሲከቱት ይስተዋላል፡፡ ችግሩን ለመፍታት ሙከራ አደረገ የሚባለው የኤሳም ሻራፍ ጊዚያዊ መንግስትም የላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራትን ከመዞር እና የትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፉ እንዲዘገየ ከመጠየቅ የዘለለ ነገር ሳይሰራ በሞሐመድ ሞርሲ መንግስት ተተካ፡፡ በሞሐመድ ሞርሲ ዘመን የተመሰረተው የአንድ ዓመቱ መንግስት የራሱን ህገ-መንግስት ቢያዘጋጅም በዋናነት አክራሪ ኢስላማዊነትን የተላበሰ ነው በሚል፣ ታማሮድ በተባሉ የግብጽ ወጣቶች ንቅናቄ እንዲሁም በወታደራዊ መፈንቅለ መንግስት ከስልጣን ተወገደ፡፡ በሞሐመድ ሞርሲ መንግስት ውዝግቡን ለመፍታት የሚያስችል ጊዜ እና ምክንያት የነበረ ቢሆንም የግብጽ ህግ አውጪ ምክር ቤት ወይም የሹራ ጉባኤ ብዙውን መቀመጫ የተቆጣጠሩት በአክራሪ ኢስላማዊነቱ የሚታወቀው አሁን የታገደው የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች የፖለቲካ ክንፍ የሆነው የነፃነት እና ፍትሕ ፓርቲ እንዲሁም እጅግ አክራሪ የሚባለው የሰላፊያዎቹ ፓርቲ አል-ኑር የተቆጣጠሩት ነበር፡፡ በዋናነትም እነዚህ ኃይሎች የግድቡን ጉዳይ ከመሰረተ-እምነታቸው እና ከንጽሮተ-ዓለማቸው የተለየ ስላልነበር ኢትዮጵያ የምትገድበውን የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብ አሜሪካዊ እና እስራኤላዊ ቀለም ቀቡት፡፡ ሞርሲም የደም ጠብታችን ወይ የናይል ውሃ ሲሉ እስር ቤት ቀደማቸው፡፡ የሞሐመድ ሞርሲን መንግስት የተካው የሽግግር መንግስት ሲሆን አድሊ መንሱር በሚባሉ የህግ ባለሙያ ፕሬዝዳንትነት የሚመራ መንግስት ነው፡፡ ይህ መንግስት ህገ-መንግስት የማሻሻል/የማርቀቅ ስልጣን የተሰጠው መንግስት ስለሆነ ሃምሳ አባላቶች ያሉት ኮሚቴ ተቋቁሞ ስራውን አጠናቅቆ ለፕሬዝዳቱ የህገ መንግስቱን ረቂቅ አስረከበ፡፡ ረቂቅ ህገ-መንግስቱም ለህዝበ-ውሰኔ በ14 እና 15 ጥር 2013 እኤአ ቀርቦ በ97 በመቶ ድጋፍ ተቀባይነት አገኘ ተባለ፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ ይህ ህገ መንግስት በዋናነት በአንቀጽ 44 ላይ ስለ አባይ ውሃ ጉዳይ ያስቀመጠው ድንጋጌ የብዙ ኢትዮጵያውያንን ቀልብ መሳቡ አልቀረም፡፡ ለምን?

ናይል/አባይ በግብፅ ህገ-መንግስት

Egypt Constitution drafting committeeሀገራት ህገ-መንግስትን የሚያዘጋጁት በዋናነት በሀገሪቱ ግዛት ውስጥ የበላይ ህግ ሆኖ እንዲሰራ እና የመንግስት ተወካዮች ስልጣን የተገደበ እንዲሆን፣ የዜጎች መብቶች (ሰብዓዊ እና ዴሞክራያዊ) እንዲከበሩ እና እንዲጠበቁ ወዘተ ለማድረግ ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም የአንዲት ሀገር ህገ-መነግስት ተፈፃሚነቱ በሀገሪቱ ውስጥ ባለ ግዛት እና ግዛት ብቻ ነው ማለት ነው፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ ሀገራት በህገ-መንግስታቸው አጠቃላይ ህግ እንደመሆኑ መጠን በዝርዝር ባይሆን የውጭ ግንኙነት ዋና መስመራወቸውን የሚጠቁም ሃሳብ ሊያሰፍሩ ይችላሉ፡፡ ይህን ሲያደርጉ ግን የሌላውን ሀገር ሉዓላዊነት በሚያፈርስ እና ጣልቃ ገብነትን በተመረኮዘ መልኩ አይሆንም፡፡ ቢሞክርም የሚሳካ እና በሌሎች ሀገራት ዘንድ ተቀባይነት የሚያገኝ አይሆንም፡፡ ወደ ቀደመ ነገራችን ስንመለስ ግብፅን እናገኛለን፡፡ ግብጽ በአዲሱ ረቂቅ ህገ-መንግስቷ በጥቅሉ ማውጫውን ጨምሮ ናይል የሚለው ስም ሰባት ጊዜ ተጥቅሷል፡፡ በመግቢያው ላይ ያረፈው ዓረፍተ ነገር “ግብፅ የናይል ስጦታ ነች እንዲሁም የግብፃውያን ስጦታ ለሰብዓዊነት” ይላል፡፡ ማንም የሚክደው ሐቅ አይደለም ግብፅ የአባይ ስጦታ ለመሆኗ፡፡ አባይ ባይኖር ኖሮ ጥንት ግብፅ ደረቅ በረሐ በሆነ ነበር (አሁን ግን በተገኘ ሳይንሳዊ መረጃ ግብፅ አባይ እንኳን ቢደርቅ ለ500 ዓመታት የሚበቃ የከርሰ ምድር ውሃ ባለቤት ናት)፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ ግብፅ የአባይ ስጦታ ናት ማለት አባይ የግብፅ ስጦታ ነው ማለት አይደለም፡፡ አባይ/ናይል የሚጋሩት ሀገራት ሁሉ፤ የህዝባቸው ስጦታ ነው፡፡ አባይ/ናይል የሚጋሩት የአስራ አንዱ ሀገራት ገጸ-በረከት ነው፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ ይህን ሐቅ የሚያፈርስ ነገር በግብፅ ረቂቅ ህገ-መንግስት አንቀጽ 44 ሰፍሮ ይገኛል፡፡

አንቀጽ 44 “መንግስት የናይልን ወንዝ ለመከላከል፣ እንዲሁም የግብፅን ታሪካዊ መብት ለማስጠበቅ፣ ጥቅሞቹንም ለማሳደግ እና  ለማረጋገጥ፣ ውሃውንም ከብከነት እና ከብክለት ለመጠበቅ ቁርጠኛ ነው፡፡…. (The state commits to protecting the Nile River, maintaining Egypt’s historic rights thereto, rationalizing and maximizing its benefits, not wasting its water or polluting it…) (በከፊል የተተረጎመ) ይላል፡፡ አሁን እዚህ ላይ ዋና ጉዳዩ ግብፅ በህገ-መንግስቱ ስለ ናይልን ከብከነት እና ከብክለት ለመጠበቅ እንዲሁም ደግሞ ጥቅሙን ከፍ ከማድረጓ አይደለም ችግራችን፡፡ እሱን ቢያደርጉ ምንኛ ባመሰገንናቸው፡፡ ዋናው ጉዳይ ያለው “…የግብፅን ታሪካዊ መብት ለማስጠበቅ…” የሚለው ሀረግ ላይ ነው፡፡ ግብፅ ይህን ስትል ምን ለማለት ፈልጋ ነው? የሚል ጥያቄ እንድናነሳ ያደርገናል፡፡

ግብፅ አለኝ የምትለው “ታሪካዊ መብት” የሚባል ነገር እንደ ግብፃውያን ትንታኔ በቅኝ ግዛት ዘመን በእንግሊዝ የተፈረመውን የ1929 “ስምምነት” እና እንዲሁም በ1959 በግብፅ እና በሱዳን መካከል የተደረገን ስምምነት የተመረኮዘ ነው፡፡ በነዚህም “ስምምነቶች” መሰረት ግብፅ የተፋሰሱ አምባገነን እንድትሆን ያደረገ ሲሆን ውሃ ከመከፋፈል ባለፈ የላይኛው ተፋሰስ የውሃ ስራዎችን የመቆጣጠር እንዲሁም ስራዎችን የመፍቀድ እና የመከልከል መብት የሚሰጡ ናቸው፡፡ የ1929 “ስምምነት” እንግሊዝ ቅኝ የምትገዛቸውን ሀገራት በመወከል ለራሷ ስትል ከራሷ ጋር የፈረመችውደብዳቤ ልውውጥ ነበር፡፡  ይሁን እንጅ የ1929 የቅኝ ግዛት ውል በመሆኑ እና ነፃ የወጡ ሀገራት አይመለከተንም ሲሉ የሻሩት መሆኑ እንዲሁም ሱዳን ነፃ እንደወጣች እንዲቀየርላት የጠየቀች በመሆኑ ወድቅ የሆነ ያረጃ እና ያፈጀ ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ የ1959 ስምምነትም በግብፅ እና በሱዳን መካከል የተደረገ የሁለትዮሽ ስምምነት ሲሆን የናይልን ዓመታዊ ፍሰት ሙሉበሙሉ በመከፋፈል ለግብፅ 55.5 ቢሊዮን፣ ለሱዳን 18.5 ቢሊዮን እንዲሁም ሰሐራ በረሐ ላይ በተሰራው አስዋ ግድብ እና በተፈጠረው አባካኝ የናስር ሐይቅ አማካኝነት ለሚፈጠር ትነት ከ10 ቢሊዮን በላይ ኪዩቢክ ሜትር ውሃን ይሰጣል፡፡ ለላይኛው የናይል ተፋሰስ ሀገራትም አንዳችም ዓይነት ውሃም ያስቀረ ስምምነት አልነበረም፡፡ ሀገራቱም እንደነበሩ አልጠቆጠሩም፡፡ እንግዲህ ግብፅ ይህን አምባገነናዊ ስርዓት ነው “ታሪካዊ መብቴ” የምትለው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ በወቅቱ ነፃ መንግስት ስለነበረች ይህ ስምምነት ሲፈረም በይፋ በዓለም መድረክ ተቃውሞዋን ያሰማች ሲሆን፤ ኢትዮጵያን ያላማከለ ማናቸውም የናይል ስምምነት ዋጋ የሌለው እንደሆነ በግርማዊ ቀደማዊ ኃይለሥላ የዙፋን ንግግር እና ካይሮ በሚገኙ ዲፕሎማቶቿ በኩል በ1957 እኤአ አወጀች፡፡ ከዚህ ባሻገረም ማናቸውም ዓይነት ያልተሳተፈችበት ውል የአባይን ውሃ ከመጠቀም እንደማያግዳት ብሎም የዜጎቿን ፍላጎት ለማሟላት ንብረቷ የሆነውን ውሃውን እንደምትጠቀም በግልፅ አሳወቀች፡፡ በወቅቱ በቅኝ ቅዛት የነበሩ ሀገራትም ነፃ በወጡ ማግስት በቅኝ ገዥዎች የተፈረሙ ስምምነቶች እንደማይመለከቷቸው አሳወቁ፡፡ ይህን ነው እንግዲህ ግብፅ “ታሪካዊ መብቴ” የምትለው፡፡

“ታሪካዊ መብት” ከዓለምአቀፍ የውሃ ህግ አንፃር

ዓለምአቀፍ የውሃ ህግ ብለን የምንጠራው እና ሁሉኑም የዓለም ሀገራት በአንድ ያስተሳሰረ አንድ ወጥ ዓለማቀፋዊ ደንብ ወይም ኮንቬንሽን የለም፡፡ ሆኖም ግን በተለያዩ ጊዚያት ዓለምአቀፍ ፍርድ ቤቶች የወሰኗቸው ውሳኔዎች እንዲሁም ደግሞ ወሰን ተሸጋሪ ወንዞችን በሚጋሩ ሀገራት መካከል በተደረጉ ስምምነቶች መሰረት ወደ ልማዳዊ ህግነት ያደጉ መርሆዎች አሉ፡፡ ከዚህም ጋር ተያይዞ በተለያየ ጊዜ የመጡ የዓለምአቀፍ ህግ ምሁራን በምክኒያታዊነት ያስቀመጧቸው ሐተታዎች እና ትንታኔዎች አንድ የህግ ምንጮች ናቸው፡፡ በጥቅሉ ሲታይ አሁን ባለው የዓለም ስርዓት መሰረት የልማዳዊ ህግ መርህነት ማማ ላይ የወጣው ሚዛናዊ እና ምክንያታዊ የውሃ ግልጋሎት/Equitable and reasonable utilization የተሰኘው መርህ  ነው፡፡ ይህ መርህ በሀገራትም፣ በምሁራንም ዘንድ ተቀባይነት እንዲያገኝ ያስቻለው ዋናው ምክንያት በግርጌም ሆነ በራስጌ ሀገራት ዘንድ የሚነሱ ጥያቄዎችን ለመመለስ የሚያስችል አቅም እንዳለው በመታመኑ ነው፡፡ ለምሳሌ በዳኒዩብ ወንዝ ጋብችኮቮ-ናጊማሮስ ፕሮጀክት ጉዳይ ላይ በሀንጋሪ እና በስሎቫኪያ መካከል በነበረው አለመግባበት የዓለምአቀፉ የፍትሕ ፍርድ ቤት/International Court of Justice ለጉዳዩ ውሳኔ የሰጠው በሚዛናዊ እና ምክንያታዊ የውሃ ግልጋሎት መርህ በመንተራስ ነው፡፡ በአንፃሩ ታሪካዊ መብት የሚባል ዓለምአቀፍ ህግ የሚያውቀው መርህም የህግም ድንጋጌ የለም፡፡ በርግጥ “ታሪካዊ መብት” የሚባለው ሃሳብ “ቀድሞ የመጠቀም መብት፣ የቆየ መብት” ወዘተ በሚሉ ቅጥያ ስሞቹ አንደ አንድ ህልዮት ወይም መሰረተ-እምነት በተለያየ መልኩ ይነሳ ነበር፡፡ ይህም ከወረቀት ያለፈ ነገር የለውም፡፡ በዓለምአቀፍ ህግ መርሆነትም የሚታወቅ ነገር አይደለም፡፡ ለትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፉ በተደረጉ ድርድሮችም ሆነ የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብን በተመለከተ በሚደረጉ ውይይቶች ግብፆቹ ይህን “ታሪካዊ መብት” አለን የሚል ፈሊጥ የሚያስገቡት እና የሚያነሱት ከተራ የትምክህተኝነት እና የማንአለብኝነት እብሪት የመነጨ እንጅ እውነታውን ጠንቅቀው ያውቁታል፡፡

በናይል ተፋሰስ ላይ የሚኖረው ተጽእኖ

በዓለምአቀፍ ህግ መሰረት ሀገራት ዓለምአቀፍ ጉዳዮችን የሚዳስስ ሀገራዊ ህግን ቢያወጡም ወይንም በህገ-መንግስታቸው ቢጠቅሱም  ሌሎች ሀገራት ይህን የመከታተልም ሆነ የማወቅ ግዴታ የለባቸውም፡፡ የወጣው ህግ ተፈፃሚ የሚሆነው ህገ-መንግስቱን ጨምሮ ህጉን ባወጣው ሀገር ግዛት ውስጥ ብቻ  ነው፡፡ እነዚህ ሀገራትም ያወጡትን ህግ ዓለምአቀፍ ግዴታዎችን ለመሸሽም ይህን ህግ መጥቀስ አይችሉም፡፡ በሌላ አገላለጽ ሌሎች ሀገራትን በሚመለከቱ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ ምንጊዜም ዓለምአቀፍ ህግ በብሔራዊ ወይም የሀገር ውስጥ ህግ ላይ የበላይነት አለው፡፡ ከዚህ አንፃር ስናየው ግብፅ ምንም ዓይነት ዓለምአቀፋዊ የህግ መሰረት የሌለውን “ታሪካዊ መበቴ” የሚባል ነገር በህግ-መንግስቷ ማካተቷ አንዳችም ዓይነት የህግ ውጤት የለውም በሌሎች የናይል ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ላይ፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ ይህን ሐረግ ግብፅ በህገ-መንግስቱ ማካተቷ በዋናነት የናይልን ጉዳይ በተመለከቱ የሚደረጉ ውይይቶች ላይ ወትሮም ግትር የሆኑትን ግብፃውያንን ይበልጥ ግትር እንዲሆኑ ያደርጋቸዋል፡፡ ይህም ዞሮዞሮ የሚፈይደው ነገር የለም፡፡ ችግሩን ከመፍታት ይልቅ ያወሳስበዋል፡፡

ሌሎች የላይኞቹ ተፋሰስ ሀገራትም ሆኑ ኢትዮጵያ አንዳችም የውሃ ጠብታ ያላስቀረን፣ ያልተማከሩበትን፣ ያልተሳተፉበትን፣ የማያውቁትን ብሎም በይፋ በዓለምአቀፍ መድረክ የተቃወሙትን እና ያወገዙትን ያረጃ እና ያፈጀ የቅኝ ግዛት ዘመን የደብዳቤ ልውውጥ የሚቀበሉበት አንዳችም ምክንያት የለም፡፡ ስለሆነም ግብፅ “ታሪካዊ መብቴ” ለምትለው ነገር የሀገራቱ መልስ የሚሆነው በፊትም እንደነበረው ሁሉ “የምትሉትን ነገር አናውቀውም፡፡ አይመለከተንም” የሚል ነው፡፡ ሌላ ምንም መልስ ሊኖር አይችልምና፡፡ ለዚህም እጅጉን የተትረፈረፈ ዓለምአቀፋዊ የህግ መሰረት እና ድጋፍ አላቸው፡፡ ግብፆች ግትር የሆነውን አቋማቸውን ይዘው አሁንም ለውይይት ከመጡ የናይልን ተፋሰስ እንደገና ወደ አለመተማመን እና የጥርጣሬ አዙሪት መክተት ነው፡፡ የላይኞቹ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ይልቁን አሁን መስራት ያለበቻው የናይል ተፋሰስ ትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ (CFA) የፈረሙ ሀገራት እንዲያጸድቁ እንዲሁም ያልፈረሙትም ፈርመው እንዲያጸድቁ ማድረጉ ላይ ነው፡፡ ግብፅ በዚህ ህግ መንግስት ረቂቋ ለማለት የፈለገችው የላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ምንም አያመጡም፣ የቅኝ ግዛት ጠባሳውን ታቅፈው ይኖራሉ ነው፡፡ እውነታው ግን በግንቦት 14 ቀን 2010 እኤአ በኢንቴቤ ዩጋንዳ የተፈረመው ስምምነት የሁሉን የተፋሰሱን ሀገራት መብት ባስጠበቀ መልኩ የተፈረመ እና ያለፈውን ኢ-ፍትሀዊነት እና አምባገነናዊነት የሚንድ በመሆኑ መልሱ እዛ ላይ አለ፡፡

ምን ይፈጠር ይሆን….

የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብን በተመለከተ ዓለምአቀፍ የባለሙያዎች ቡድን ያቀረባቸውን ምክረ-ሃሳቦች ለመተግበር ስለሚኖረው አካሄድ በግብጽ፣ በሱዳን እና በኢትጵያ መካከል በሶስት ዙር የተካሄደው ውይይት በግብፅ አምቢተኝነት እና አፍራሽ እንቅስቃሴዎች ዳር ሊደርስ አልቻለም፡፡ ወደፊት ውይይቱ ይቀጥላል አይቀጥልም የሚለውም ጉዳይ ገና እልባት ያገኘ ጉዳይ አይደለም፡፡ ግብፅ ከሶስተኛው ዙር የካርቱም ውይይት (ከጥር 4-5 2013 እኤአ) በኋላ አንድም በግብፅ ሁለትም በመካከለኛው ምስራቅ የመገናኛ ብዙኃን አማካኝነት አፍራሽ የሆኑ እና ኢትዮጵያን ለማሳጣት የሚሞክሩ ስሞታዎችን አቅርባለች፡፡ እውነታው ለውይይቶቹ መደናቀፍ ያለ አጀንዳው ጉዳይ እያነሱ እና የዓለምአቀፍ የባለሙያዎች ቡድኑ ካቀረበው ምክረ-ሃሳብ ጋር የማይሄድ ኮተቶችን እያመጡ ያስተጓጎሉት እነሱው ራሳቸው የግብፅ ተወያዮች ናቸው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ ግብፅ የምትለውን ነገር የማትቀበል ከሆነ ግብፃውያን ወደ ውይይት እንደማይመለሱ አስታውቀዋል፡፡ አሁን ደግሞ በቅርቡ ግብፅ ካሊድ ዋሲፍ የተባሉ የመስኖ እና ውሃ ሚኒስቴር ቃል አቀባይ አል-ሞኒተር በተሰኘ የመካከለኛው ምስራቅ የበይነ-መረብ የዜና ምንጭ አማካኝነት ጉዳዩን ወደ ተባበሩት መነግስታት እንወስዳለን የሚል ነገር አስነብበዋል፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ ወደ ተባበሩት መንግስታት እንወስደዋለን የሚለው ፉከራ የግድቡን ግንባታ ለማጓተት የሚወጠን ሴራ እንጅ በዚያውም መድረክ ቢሆን እንደሚሸነፉ ያውቁታል፡፡

ግብፅ ዓለምአቀፍ የገንዘብ ተቋማትን እና አጋሮችን በማስቸገር ለኢትዮጵያ ገንዘብ አትስጡ የሚል ውትወታዋም የሚያተርፍላት የኢትዮጵያውያንን ቂም ብቻ ነው፡፡ ግድቡን ከመገደብ የሚያስቆም አንዳችም ኃይልም እንደሌለ ያውቁታል፡፡ ዞሮዞሮ ያለውን ውዝግብ ለመፍታት ትክክለኛው መንገድ በውይይት እና በመልካም ጉርብትና መርህ ተመርኩዞ የጋራ የሆነውን ሀብት ለጋራ ማልማት ነው፡፡ እንደዚህ ጸኃፊ እይታ ግብፆች ሁሌም እንደሚያደርጉት ሄድን አንመጣም ይላሉ፡፡ ነገር ግን ወደ ውይይቱ መድረክ መምጣታቸው አይቀርም፡፡ ይመጣሉ፡፡ ሲመጡ ግን ሌላ ምን ነገር ይዘው ይመጡ ይሆን ነው ጥያቄው፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ ኢትዮጵያ ከአሁን በፊት እንዳደረገችው አሁንም ሳትዘናጋ ግድቡንም መገደብ ውይይቱንም ማስኬድ ብቸኛ አካሄድ ነው፡፡ ግድቡን ውይይቱ እስኪያልቅ ወዘተ ይቁም የሚባለው ነገር ለድርድር የሚቀርብ ጉዳይ አይደለም-ህዝብን አስይዞ እንደመወያየት ነውና፡፡ ይህም የሚታሰብ አይሆንም፡፡ ለግብጽ አሁንም ለውይይት በሩ ክፍት ነው፡፡ ውይይቱ ካልጣማት ግን … “ከሰው ላይ ሰው፣ በታች ያለ ይባሰው” ይሆናል ነገሩ፡፡

ይህ ጽሁፍ በአዲስ ጉዳይ መጽሔት ቅጽ 8 ቁጥር 200 ጥር 17 ቀን 2006 ዓ.ም. ታትሞ የወጣ ነው፡፡

Nader Fails to See Reason Over Ethiopia`s Claim on the River Nile

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Since 2010 the Nile is a front page of weekly or daily newspapers and online news sources. This is due to the developments that the Nile Basin has been experiencing following the signing of the Cooperative Framework of the Nile (CFA) in Entebbe-Uganda on 14 May 2010 which declares the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters for all riparian states as the corner stone of the New Nile Basin. This was welcomed by upstream states yet objected by Egypt followed by Sudan despite these states were part of the ten years plus negotiation (1997-2010). A year after such development though a new departure in the history of the Nile Basin happened following the commencement of the construction of a mega hydraulic infrastructure called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Once again the Nile becomes a day to day story of both the print and the broadcast media. The main reasons for such developments are the following. Firstly, Ethiopia is building this huge infrastructure by its own finance despite the scale of the dam needs external finance which would be unthinkable for a poor country like Ethiopia. Secondly, the dam is under construction in a transboundary watercourse where there has never been a multilateral treaty or customary law that governs the utilization and the management of the water shared but showed a one state show which is reversed by the signing of the above mentioned treaty-CFA. Thirdly, it is due to the acute opposition from the most downstream state in the Nile-Egypt claiming that the dam will affect water flow downstream and many other constructed and reconstructed reasons. On the other side also, the joy and the hope regarding the dam from the Ethiopian and also from the Sudanese side is another important factor. Nonetheless, all the news, all the articles, all the pieces are not as balanced as they have to be. An assessment of the articles from downstream signals that there are gaps to fill, confusions to clear and it necessitates to clean the misunderstandings and misperceptions about Ethiopia`s claim of the Nile waters and its intension of constructing the GERD. This author has tried to answer to some of the news and opinion articles from Egypt regarding the GERD and the CFA in previous times. Recently a new confused and confusing personal opinion by Nader Noureddine on the Al Ahram Weekly of Egypt entitled Tough Talk: Ethiopia fails to see reason over the River Nile-” is published with a destructive impact on the truth about the Nile issue in general and the GERD in particular.

Nader and His Piece: What He really misses?

Nader Nour Eddin 1The writer tried to portray that Ethiopia has no any reason for its claims on the Nile and in its construction of the GERD. Despite the writer is a professor of water resources and soil from Cairo University his piece lacks intellectual test and just focused on politicization of the science as what the self-claimed Group of the Nile did a few months ago. In fact, he is one of the members of the group and one can guess where the politicization of the issue comes from. Despite the fact that Egypt should ask Ethiopia an apology for a number of reasons Nader reversed the request to come from Ethiopia-which is nonsensical and unscrupulous. Be that as it may, Nader as a professional could work towards bringing the riparian states together to build confidence and enhance trust despite he goes against it. As member of the epistemic community using science to create epistemic consensus-which indeed has tremendous effect on decision making and influence public opinion, should be the objective so as to enhance peace and achieve sustainable development and prosperity among peoples in the Nile Basin-whose bone and flesh is made of the Nile. Now is time for Nader and people with the same stance with him to reexamine their position as to what they hold is nothing other than vicious and unconstructive. In this article I show how and why the writer-Nader Noureddine fails to see reason over Ethiopia`s claim on the Nile in general and the GERD in particular. As a response this piece is also an attempt to clear the confusion, blurredly perceived and misunderstood Nile claim of Ethiopia and the GERD by the Egyptian elite and their victim-the misinformed general public of Egypt.


Nader cited the fact that Ethiopia`s surface water is estimated to be 122 billion cubic meters. No wrong is said here. Despite such a fact, it is only one river-Awash which remains in the country. Almost all except Awash are transboundary watercourses. Numbers tell us that it is only 3 percent of the mentioned 122 billion cubic meters (only 3.67 billion cubic meters) which remains in the country. The rest flows to neighboring countries to Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt through Genale-Dawa-Wabishebele, Gibe-Omo and the Blue Nile (including Abbay, Baro-Akobo and Tekeze rivers) respectively. The Nile Basin alone covers more than 70 percent of Ethiopia`s surface water resource which is not yet touched. I hope Dr. Nader now get the real information regarding the 14 rivers he wrote about. Dr. Nader and others most of the time run to talk about the erratic rainfall in Ethiopia which is neither sustainable nor sufficient to meet the demand of the fast growing population unless dammed or harvested through the rivers which would otherwise left the country during the short lived rainy season as flood. Global warming and related climatic problems are adding problems to this. But let me ask Dr. Nader and his likes that why are Egyptian scholars afraid to talk about ground water which makes Egypt the most watery country on earth with countries such as Libya and Sudan? For readers information Egypt`s untouched ground water is estimated to be 150, 000 billion cubic meters with a maximum groundwater table up to maximum 1500 meters which in the contemporary technological advancement is easy to utilize in a huge amount.


Dr. Nader wrote about a very interesting issue regarding the Sinai and the Toshka projects which are costly, environmentally unfriendly and legally unacceptable projects from the international law perspective. No state can take a transboundary watercourse outside its natural course for any purpose. But Egypt did that to Sinai through the Al Salam Canal and to Toshka through the huge water pump from Lake Nasser named after ousted president Mubarak which feeds a spillway to the western desert of Egypt. Dr. Nader tried to deceive readers claiming that Sinai was part of the Nile centuries back. Let me ask Dr. Nader how many centuries before was Sinai part of the Nile? The silt deposit he talked about is a fabricated data to deceive the whole world and is a jam-packed politicization of science. Historically at least in the Holly Bible we had no such evidence which we would have if Sinai was part of the Nile at least before 4000 years during the Exodus of the Israelites that they would not be thirsty and God through St. Michael would not rock the rock to quench their thirst. Alas, the Dr. tried to add Toshka as if it was also part of the Nile-another white lie. The two projects-Sinai and Toshka were aimed at controlling every drop of the Nile and to impede upstream states from utilizing the Nile waters by creating facts on the ground and are criticized as the ‘Pharaohnic Monuments of Mubarak’ by both logical Egyptians and non-Egyptian professionals. The truth in general is that there is no any historical as well as scientific evidence to justify that both Sinai and Toshka were part of the Nile Basin system.


Nader also asked about the necessity of increasing the size of the dam and its capacity of storing 74 billion m3 of water in the reservoir that will be created by the GERD. This question was asked by the Group of the Nile of Cairo University where he is a member and answers were given by then. I need to say two things, though. First the 14 billion m3 what Nader talked about is what people like Nader in Cairo needed it to be not Ethiopia needs it. Secondly, the construction of this mega hydraulic infrastructure is also to increase its capacity of generating huge amount of hydroelectricity which would be limited to not more than 2400MW of electricity which is not enough taking Ethiopia`s development objectives and growing demand for energy. For readers` information Ethiopia`s demand for energy is increasing by 32% each year which is difficult to meet unless the country embarks on huge hydraulic infrastructures such as the GERD, Omo III,  and the foreseen Omo IV and V, Mabil, Kara Dobi, Beko Abo and Mendaia projects.


Another concern of Dr. Nader seems the problem of siltation that the GERD would face. Is Dr. Nader showing his circumspection for Ethiopia that it would lose the dam because of huge sedimentation and siltation? Building such expensive mega structure needs care and it must indeed be sustainable and durable. In order to maintain its health environmental conservation must be undertaken by all concerned stakeholders at all levels especially in the upper stream. Thit is one most important reason that the other four (Mabil, Kara Dobi, Beko Abo and Mendaia) dams on the Blue Nile are on the pipeline as they also precipitate the need for environmental conservation and taking serious measures of watershed management which will enhance the health of the environment, avoid erosion and sedimentation and increasing the quality and quantity of water not only for Ethiopia but also for Sudan and Egypt.


Nader seems to blame Ethiopia regarding studying the environmental impact of the dam on downstream countries. It should be clear for readers that Egypt had denied some information that would be added as an input during the study process that Ethiopia conducted. But what is denied did not preclude Ethiopia from going ahead in the process. Besides it is clear that the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) that comprises two experts each from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia and one each from UK, France, Germany and Republic South Africa was established due to Ethiopia`s request and Ethiopia has accepted what the Panel of Experts said and has been working for its implementation. Ethiopia was confident enough about the outcome of the report of the IPoE and that is what indeed come about.  Is not it Egypt which tried to undermine the report of the Panel of Experts by trying to bring a new unnecessary proposal in Khartoum on November? For Egypt it would be nice if lessons learned from Sudan and its position regarding the GERD.


Another concern of Dr. Nader Noureddine is what he and the group that he belongs to from Cairo University repeatedly asked: “What if the dam collapsed?” Let me ask: Why is the dam would collapse? For a huge dam like GERD to be collapsed there should be some fundamental problems and reasons both either manmade or natural. Let us consider the natural problems that would led for a dam to collapse. Endogenic forces such as earthquake and volcanic movements would be reasons. Nonetheless, when we look at Guba-where the dam is under construction in Benshangul Gumuz near Sudanese border, such forces are not threats as scientifically collected and analyzed data proves. Let us also consider manmade factors if any. For a dam to collapse due to manmade problems is when either there is a problem in the design and construction or due to other problems such as deliberate destruction. Let us consider the first and we can find that the International Panel of Experts has unambiguously declared that the dam is based on international standards. Secondly the deliberate destruction could be any kind of bombardment or sabotage from enemies which is unthinkable taking the consequences and as each and every Ethiopian are the watchdogs of this mega national pride. And do not forget the made in Ethiopia drones, and the flag carrier armed forces which are always on alert watching who is flying and moving over the skies of Guba.


Nader tried to defend that Egypt had never been a security threat to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has well registered the scars of the Nile politics which have been manifested in civil wars, inter-states wars in the Horn of Africa as proxy wars sponsored by Egypt and the bloodless wars being fought in the international financial institutions and donor agencies which have been denying loans to Ethiopia due to objections from the watchdogs of Egypt. There are four reasons why Egypt should apologize Ethiopia regarding the Nile. Firstly, for the unnecessary and destructive interventions in civil wars and proxy wars that it betrothed against Ethiopia; secondly for its relentless efforts of objecting Ethiopia`s access to finance from international financial institutions; thirdly for using the Nile lavishly and its construction of the unnecessary Aswan High Dam in an open dessert from where more than 10 billion cubic meters of the Nile waters evaporates; and fourthly for the infamous drama at the presidential palace in Cairo where the ousted president Morsi and opposition leaders ridiculed in a live televised discussion which exposes what the elite in Egypt thinks.

A Message to the People of Egypt

As reasoned out above Ethiopia`s water resource is more or less confined on the Ethiopian part of the Nile Basin which accounts more than 70 percent of its total surface water. At the same time it is this area which have been plagued by drought and famine and made headlines of portraying Ethiopia as a land of the ‘green famine.’ Hence utilizing the waters of the Nile to meet development needs in accordance with internationally accepted principles in a way that also protects the needs of its neighbors is its only solution. Ethiopia and Ethiopians believe that as a people of the Nile the bones and flesh of all peoples in the Nile Basin is made up of the mighty Nile. This shows us that we are one. That is why Ethiopia sings the song of peace and development which is based on mutual benefit. That is why Ethiopia has been singing the song of ‘One River, One Nile, One People’ (Nehar wahid, Al nil wahid, sheab wahid). Hence what is important is to develop trust and confidence which will enhance peace, togetherness, and brotherhood which is the only way out of any problem. In this regard, the role of the epistemic community as professionals in providing researched inputs to the general public and governments has effects. It is only when professionals engage honestly and being loyal to the truth that peace can be achieved. The Nile was there and will always be as a belt that binds all the riparian states and its people, what is important is cherishing its fruits mutually and for a common peace and development agenda for a brighter future.

የሞርሲ መንግስት መወገድ፡ ዕድል እና ተግዳህሮቶች (ክፍል ሁለት)

ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው

በመጀመሪያው ክፍል የግብጽ ህዝባዊ መፈንቅለ-መንግስት እና የናይል ውሃ ጉዳይ፡ ከሞርሲ በኋላስ? በሚል ርዕስ በዋናነት የሞርሲ መንግስት የአባይ ፖሊስ በመሰረቱ የቀደመውን እና ከሙባርክም ሆነ ከሙባርክ በፊት የነበረን የግብጽ ግትር የናይል ፖሊሲ እንዲሁም ዛቻ እያይዞ የቀጠለ መሆኑን ለማሳየት ተሞክሯል፡፡ በዚህ ክፍል ደግሞ ሁለት አበይት ጉዳዮች ላይ ወፍ በረር ቅኝት እናደርጋለን፡፡ አንደኛው የሞርሲ መንግስት መውደቅ ያለው በጎ አስተዋጽኦ ከናይል ተፋስ አንጻር ሲሆን ሁለተኛው የሞርሲን መንግስት ተከትሎ ስለመጣው የሽግግር መንግስት ሁኔታ ዕድሎችን እና ተግዳህሮቶችን እንቃኛለን፡፡ ሆኖም በመሐል በሞርሲ አስተዳደር ዘመን ስለነበረው የድርድር ጅማሮ ይጠቀሳል፡፡

የፕሬዝዳንት ሞሐመድ ሞርሲ መወገድ ለግብጽ በዋናነት በመቀጠል ለምስራቅ አፍሪካ እና መካከለኛው ምስራቅ በጎነት በውስጡ ይዟል፡፡ ማን እንደሚመራቸው የሚውስኑት ግብጻውያ ራሳቸው ናቸው፡፡ ሆኖም ግን በበርም ይን በጓዳ ይግባ ሀገሪቱን የሚመራ/በአገዛዝ ወንበር ላይ ያለ አካል በአንድም በሌላም መልኩ የሚከተለው የውጭ ግንኙነት እና ዓለምአቀፍ ፖለቲካ አመለካከት የሚመለከታቸው ሀገራት ስላሉ ነገሩን ከዚሁ አንጻር አስተያየት መስጠት ተገቢ ይመስለናል፡፡ ስለሆነም ለ80 ዓመታት አንድ እባብ እናት እናቱን እየተባለ ያልጠፋው የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች በግብጽ ወደስልጣን ብቅ ማለት በአንድም በሌላም መልኩ የግብጽ የውጭ ግንኙነት ፖሊሲ ላይ ለአንድ ዓመትም ቢሆን አሻራውን ጥሎ አልፏል፡፡ ከዚህ አንጻር የአባይ/የናይል ውሃ ጉዳይ አንዱ ነው፡፡ የሞርሲ መንግስት በመጀመሪያው ክፍል አንደተዳሰሰው ያለአግባብ እና ትምክህተኝነት እና የማይበጅ ማንአለብኝነትን ገሀድ ባወጣ መልኩ የተሰሙት ተደጋጋሚ ዲስኩሮች በአንድም በሌላም መልኩ የግብጽን ከናይል ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ጋር የሚኖር ግንኙነት እጅጉን ሸካራ ያደርግ ነበር፡፡ በተለይ ፕሬዝዳንቱ እና መንግስታቸው የአገዛዙን መንበር እንደያዙ ቀጥሎ ቢሆን ኖሮ ትንሽ ጉዳቱ ከፍ ይል ነበር፡፡ ይህም በዋናነት ሁለት መሰረታዊ ነገሮች ላይ የቆመ ነበር፡፡ አንደኛው የህግ አውጭወን አካል ከተቆጣጠሩት ፓርቲዎች አንጻር የሚመነጭ ሲሆን ሁለተኛው እና ተያያዡ ጉዳይ እነዚህ ፓርቲዎች ያላቸው ንጽሮተ-ዓለም ነው፡፡ ይህን የምናነሳባት ዋናው ጉዳይ ህግ-አውጭው አካል የስራ አስፋጻሚውን ተጽእኖ ባንድም በሌላ መልኩም ስለሚያሳድር ነው፡፡ ከዚህ አንጻር ስናይ የግብጽ የላይኛው ምክር ቤት በዋናነት ካሉት 180 መቀመጫዎች ውስጥ ብዙውን ኢስላማዊ አክራሪነትን በሚያራግቡት የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾቹ የሰላም እና ፍትሕ ፓርቲ (106) እንዲሁም የሰላፊያው ቡድን ፓርቲ አል-ኑር (46) የተያዘ ነበር፡፡ የአክራሪነት አጀንዳ በገሀድ የሚያጸባርቁት እነዚህ አካላት ያላቸው ንጽሮተ-ዓለምም የተንሸዋረረ እና በዚሁ መስመራቸው የተቃኘ  ነው፡፡ ለምሳሌ ያክል ከቤተ-መንግስት በቀጥታ በስህተትም ሆነ ታስቦበት በተላለፈው ውይይት ላይ እነዚህን ነገሮች እናስተውላለን፡፡  ከናይል ወንዝ አንጻር እንግዲህ ሰላማዊ መንገድን አንከተላለን ስላሉ የቀድሞው ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሂሻም ቀንዲል በዚህ ምክር ቤት ተገኝተው ማብራሪያ ሲሰጡ መወረፋቸውን ማስታውስ ግድ ይሏል፡፡

ከዚሁ ከንጽሮተ-ዓለም ጋር በተያያዘ የምናገኘው ሌላኛው ጉዳይ የእነዚህ ፓርቲዎች ያላቸው ወይም የለመደባቸው እስራኤልን እና የናይልን ውሃ የማተሳሰር ነገር ነው፡፡ ይህንም በቀጥታ በተላለፈው ውይይት ላይ ሲጠቀስ እንሰማለን በአል-ኑር ፓርቲው ሊቀመንበር ዛካሪያ ዩኑስ አበድል-ሃሊም ማክዮን፣ በአል-አዘሃሩ ሼክ ሀሰን አል-ሻኤፍ እንዲሁም የኢስላሚክ ሌበር ፓርቲው ማግዲ አህመድ ሁሴን:: በሌላም መልኩ የእነዚህ ኃይሎች የምስራቅ አፍሪካ የሚያዩበት መነጽር እንዲሁ የተንሸዋረረ ለመሆኑ ማሳያ በተለያያ ጊዜ የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች በእንግሊዘኛ ድረ-ገጹ ያወጣቸውን ጽሁፎች መመልከቱ ጠቋሚ ነው፡፡ የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች በሱዳንም እንዳለ ሁሉ በሌሎች የምስራቅ አፍሪካ ሀገሮችም እንዲስፋፋ ፍላጎቱ እጅግ ከፍተኛ ነው፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ በ2006 እኤአ ወደ ሶማሊያ መግባት ተከትሎም የሙስሊም ወንድማቾች ለሶማሊያው ኢስላማዊ ፍርድ ቤቶች ህብረት አጋዥ የሆነ መግለጫ ማውጣቱ የሚታወስ ነው፡፡ በጥቅሉ እጅጉን ባህልን እና ሐይማኖትን መሰረት ያደረገ ሌላ ግጭት ወይም የጥቅም ፉክክር ሊነሳ እንደሚችል መገመት አያስቸግርም፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር የሚያያዘው በኢትዮጵያ እግሩን እና እጁን ብቅ ብቅ እያደረገ ያለው የሳላፊያ እንቅስቃሴም ለዚሁ ዓላማ መጠቀሚያ ፈረስነት አያመልጥም ነበር፡፡ በሀሰን አልቱራቢ በሱዳን እንዲሁም በደ/ር አሊ ባሻ በሶማሊያ የሚመሩትን ሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች  ስናስብ የሚሰጠን የራሱ የሆነ ምስል አለ፡፡ በተጨማሪም ከአሁን በፊት እንደጠቀስሁትም የቱርክ የሶማሊያ እንቅስቃሴም ከዚሁ አንጻር የሚታይ ነው፡፡ ያለነገርም እኮ አይደለም የቱርኩ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ጠይብ ኤርዶጋን ሞሐመድ ሞርሲ ፕሬዝዳቴ ነው ያሉት፡፡  ይህ ሁሉ ነገር ተደምሮ ለናይል ውሃ ድርድር እንቅፋት መሆኑ አይቀሬ ነበር፡፡ ይህ ማለት ግን የአክራሪነት አጀንዳ ያላቸው የእነ ሞርሲ መንግስትነት አክትሟልና ከተግዳሮት ነጻ የሆነ መወያያ መድረክ ተፈጥሯል ማለትም አይደለም፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር ተያይዞ ሊነሳ የሚገባው ነገር ቢኖር የሞርሲ መንግስት የቅርብ እረዳት እና አጎብዳጅ የነበረው አጅግ አክራሪው የሰለፊያው አል-ኑር ፓርቲ የፖለቲካ እክሮባቱን በማጠንከር ከሽግግር መንግሰቱን ተቀብሏል፡፡ ዞሮ ዞሮ በሚደረግ ምርጫ እነዚህ ቡድኖች ተመልሰው ወደ ስልጣን ከመጡ የተፈራው ነገር መመለሱ አይቀርም፡፡ ስለዚህም ይህን እያሰቡ መራመድ አስተዋይነት ነው፡፡  ምንግዜም ቢሆን በወሰን ተሸጋሪ ወንዞች ላይ በሀገራት መካከል የሚደረጉ ድርድሮች እና ውይይቶች በውሃ ፖለቲካ ታሪክ፣ የአቅም ሚዛን፣ ኢኮኖሚ እና ወታደራ ኃይል፣ መልከአ-ምድር፣ ሐይማኖት እና ባህል፣ ንግድ፣ የመንግስታት/አገዛዝ ዓይቶች እና ባህሪ ወዘተ ጥላ ለበጎም ለክፉም የሚያርፍባቸው ናቸው፡፡ ስለሆነም የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች በዚህ ሰዓት ከፖለቲካው ዋና ተዋናይነት ገለል ማለት የራሱ የሆነ በጎ ገጽታ እንዳለው እንረዳለን፡፡

በሌላ መልኩ በሙርሲ ይመራ የነበረው መንግስት መወገድ በራሱ ተግዳህሮቶችን ይዞ መምጣቱ አልቀረም፡፡ በሞርሲ መንግስት አስተዳደር ውስጥ በአባይ ውሃ ጉዳይ ላይ አራት ቁልፍ ሰዎችን እናስተውላለን፡፡ አንደኛ ፕሬዝዳንቱ፣ ሁለተኛ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ፣ ሶስተኛ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትሩ እንዲሁም አራተኛ የውሃ እና መስኖ ሚኒስትሩ ናቸው፡፡ በናይል ውሃ ጉዳይ ላይ በተደጋጋሚ እነዚህን ሰዎች እናውቃቸዋለን፡፡ በተለይ የውሃ እ መስኖ ሚኒስትሩ ሞሐመድ ባሐ ኤል-ዲን እና የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትሩ ሞሐመድ ካሜል አምር፡፡ ነገሮች ጡዘው በነበሩነት እና የቀድው ፕሬዝዳንት ሞሐመድ ሞርሲ የውስጥ ጉዳያቸውን ወደ ውጭ ለማቀየስ በጣሩበት ወቅት ወደ ኢትዮጵያ በመምጣት ከኢትዮያው አቻቸው ደ/ር ቴድሮስ አዳህኖም ጋር ለድርድር የተቀመጡት ሞሐመድ ካሜል አምር የሞርሲን የመጨረሻ ንግግር ተከትሎ ስልጣናቸውን መለቀቃቸውን አሳውቀው ነበር፡፡ ሆኖም የሽግግር መንግስቱ እስኪሰየም ድረስ በመቆየት ለሽግግር መንግስቱ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ነቢል ፋሚ አስረክበዋል፡፡ ምንግዜም ቢሆን የተረጋጋ መንግስት ከለለ እና ስራ አስፈጻሚዎቹ አካላት በተለያየ ምክንያት በተቀያየሩ ቁጥር በድርድር እና ውይይት የራሱ የሆነ ተጽእኖ አለው፡፡ ይህ የሞርሲ መንግስት ካቢኔ መፍረስ ያስከተለው አንድ ተግዳህሮት ነው፡፡ ድርድሩን የሚያካሂዱት አካላት ሰዎች እንደመሆናቸው መጠን ዕለት ዕለት በጉዳዩ ዙሪያ እየተገናኙ እን እያወሩ በመጡ ቁጥር ወዳጅነትም ጓደኝነትም ወንድማማችነትም ሊመሰረት ይችላል፡፡ ይህም በጎ የሆነ የድርድር መንፈስን እና መተማመንን ሊያመጣ እንደሚችል መገመት አያዳግትም፡፡

በዶ/ር ቴድሮስ እና በሞሐመድ ካሜል አምር መካከል የታየው በጎ የሆነ በህዳ ግድብ ዙሪያ ያለውን ችግር ለመፍታት የተደረገ የድርድር ሂደት በጎ ጎኖችን ይዞ ብቅ ማለቱ የሚታወስ ነው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ እና ግብጽም ሱዳንን በመጨመር የዓለምአቀፍ የባለሙያዎች ቡድኑ ባቀረበው ሀሳብ መነሻነት ድርድሩን እና ውይይቱን ለመቀጠል ተስማምተው ነበር የተለያዩት፡፡ በመሐል ግን የግብጽ ውስጣዊ የፖለቲካ ሁኔታ ባለመፍቀዱ ነገሮች እንደታሰበው አልሄዱም፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ በግብጽ አዲሱ የሽግግር መንግስት አዲስ ፕሬዝዳንት አድሊ መንሱር፣ አዲስ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር- ሀዜም ኤል-ቤብላዊ፣ አዲስ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ነቢል ፋሚ እንዲሁም አዲስ የመስኖ ሚኒስትር ሞሀመድ አበድለ ሙጣሊብን እንዲሁም መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩን ጄኔራል አበድል ፋታህ አል-ሲሲን በምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትርነትሞሐመድ አል-ባራዳይን ደግሞ የውጭ ጉዳዮች ምክትል ፕሬዝዳንት አድርጎ ይዟል፡፡ የእነዚህ ሰዎች ወደዚህ ቦታ መምጣት የራሱ የሆነ አንድምታ አለው፡፡

አዲሱ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ቤብላዊ የመንግስታቸው አንዱ ትልቅ ስራ ኢትዮጵያ በመገንባት ላይ ባለቸው የህዳሴ ግድብ ዙሪያ ያለ አለመግባባት በሰላማዊ መንገድ መፍታት እንደሆነ ገልጸዋል፡፡ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ነቢል ፋሚም በመጀመሪያው ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫቸው ኢትዮጵያን ከመምጣታቸው ስንጠራት አቤት አልለን አለች በሚል መንፈስ መክሰሳቸው ውይይቱን እና ድርድሩን በገንቢነት ከመቀጠል ይልቅ ወደ ኋላ ይጎትተዋል፡፡  የሆነ ሆኖ አዲሱ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒትር አያይዘው አዲስ የውጭ ጉዳይ ፖሊስ አፈሪካን እና ጎረቤት ሀገሮችን መሰረት በማድረግ እንደሚቀርጹ አስረድተዋል፡፡ ይህ ከሆስኒ ሙባርክ መንግስት ውድቀት ማግስት ጀምሮ በተደጋጋሚ የተለፈፈ ጉዳይ ቢሆንም ተግባራዊ ግን አልሆነም፡፡ ለምሳሌ ከሞርሲ መመረጥ በፊት የነበረው የኤሳም ሻራፍ የሽግግር መንግስት በመስከረም 2011 ኢትዮጵያ እና ግብጽ አዲስ የግንኙነት ምዕራፍ እንደሚከፍቱ ገልጸው ወደኋላ መመለስ እንደማይቻል እንዲሁም የቀደመው መንግስት የተሳሳተ ፖሊሲ ቀርጾ ይንቀሳቀስ እንደነበር አክለው ወደ ኋላ መመለስም እንደሌለ አስረድተው ነበር፡፡ ይሁን እና በአፍ የሚባለው ነገር ከሚደረገው ነገር ነገር ጋር ገጥሞ አልተስተዋለም፡፡ የሞርሲ መንግስትም እንዲሁ አስተጋቶ ነበር፡፡ ነገር ግን በተግባር የሆነው ያ ቀድሞ በሙባርክ እና ሳዳት ዘመን የነበረው የከፋፍለህ ግዛ እና የቀረርቶ ፖሊሲ ነበር፡፡

በእርግጥ አዲሱ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒሰትር ይዘውት የመጡት ነገር ግብጽ የውሃ ዋስትና ፖሊሲዋን እንደገና መፈተሸ አለባት ማለታቸው ነው፡፡ በዚህም መሰረት የውሃ ዋስትና የሚለው ሐረግ አንድገና ትርጓሜ እንደሚያሻው ገልጸዋል፡፡ ምን ዓይነት የሚለው ግን ወደፊት የሚታይ ነው፡፡ ነገር ግን የውሃ ዋትናነት ከብሔራዊ ድህንነት ጉዳይ ጋር በማተሳሰር እና ፖለቲካዊ እና ወታደራዊ ፍቺ እንዲኖረው የሚደረግ ከሆነ ዞሮ ዞሮ እዚያው ነው የሚሆነው፡፡ የውሃ ዋስትና በመሰረቱ ከኢኮኖሚያዊ ጉዳዮች ጋር እንዲሁም ውሃን ፍትሐዊ እና ምክንያዊ በሆነ መልኩ ከመጠቀም መርህ ጋር ተያይዞ ሲበየን ወይም ሲተረጎም የተፋሰሱን ሀገራት ወደ ሰላም እና ትብብር ይወስዳል፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ወታደራዊ እና ፖለቲካዊ ብያኔ ከተሰጠው ልዩነትን ማፋቱ በተግባር የታየ  ነው፡፡ ግብጽ ነቢል ፋሚ እንዳሉት የውሃ ዋስትና ጉዳይ እንደገና መመርመር ያለበት ይህም በጎ የሆነ አቀባበል የሚኖረው ነው፡፡ ሆኖኖም ግን ነቢል ፋሚ በ2011 ሚያዝያ ወር ላይ ስለ ናትስማ (የእንቴቤው ስምምነት) አስተያየት ሲሰጡ ይህ ስምምነት በመፈረሙ የናይል ተፋሰስ እንደ ቀድሞው አለመሆኑን ይናገረላ፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ነቢል ፋሚ የዚህን ስምምነት ፍትሐዊ እና ምክንያታዊ የውሃ አጠቃቀም መርህ ከመቀበል ይልቅ የላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ያላቸውን ብዙ ውሃ የሚያጠራቅሙበትን መንገድ መፈለግ አለብን ይላሉ፡፡ በዚሁ አስተያየታቸው ላይ የላይኛው ተፋሰስ የውሃ ፕሮጀክቶች ለኤሌከትሪክ ማመንጫ ይሁኑ እንጅ ዲዛይቻቸው ወደ ግብጽ ውሃ እንዳይሄድ ለማድረግ ወይም ለመቆጣጠር እንዲያች ተደርጎ ሊሰራ ይችላል ሲሉ የተሳሳተ ጥርጣሪያቸውን ይገልጻሉ፡፡ አለመተማመን እና ጥርጣሬ ካለ እንዴትስ ትብብር ሊመጣ ይችላል፡፡ የእኒህ ሰው አስተሳሰብ በመሰረቱ በካይሮ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ውስጥ ካሉት እንደ እን ሞሐመድ ነስር አል ዲን አላም የተለየ ነው ለማለት ያስቸግራል፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ የውሃ ዋስትናን እንዴት እንደሚተረጉሙ እንዲሁም ደግሞ በሀገራቱ መካከል በሚደረገው ድርድር ለውጦቹ የሚታዩ ይሆናል፡፡

ለማጠቃለል ያክል በወሰን ተሸጋሪ ወንዞች ዙሪያ በሚደረግ እሰጣ-ገባ ውስጥ አንዳንድ ጸብ-አጫሪነት የሚያጠቃቸው መሪዎች መወገዳቸው ለአጠቃላይ ተፋሰሱበጎ የሆነ አንደምታ ቢኖረውም የራ የሆኑ ተግዳሮቶችም አሉት፡፡ በዋናነትም ቶሎ ማለቅ የሚችልን የድርድር ሂደት ማራዘሙ የግድ ነውና፡፡ ውይይት እና ድርድር ሰዎችን መሰረት አድርጎ የሚካሄድ በመሆኑ በሰዎች መካካል በጎ የመግባባት እና የመወያየት መንፈሶች ሲኖሩ ድርድሩን ያግዛሉ፡፡ ምንም እንኳን በፊትም የነበሩም ሆነ ያልነበሩ ባለሙያዎች ፖለቲከኞችን ከጀርባ በመሆነ የሚያግዙ እና ዋናውን ስራ የሚሰሩ ቢሆንም በፖለቲከኞች መካከል ያለ ግንኙነት የነገሮች ሁሉ ማሳረጊያው ነው፡፡ ምንግዜም ቢሆን ሳይንስ እና ባለሙያዎች መደራደር እና መወያየት እንዳለ ቢያሳኑም፣ የተለያየ የመፍትሔ ሀሳብ ቢያቀርቡም የሀገራቱ የፖለቲካ ውሳኔ የነገሮች ሁሉ ማሰሪያ ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም በግብጽ የታየው ለውጥ እንኳን ደህና መጣህ የሚባል ቢሆንም የራሱ የሆኑ ተግዳህሮቶችም አሉት፡፡ ዋናው ነገር ደ/ር ዳኛቸው አሰፋ በአንድ ወቅት በሸገር ሬዲዮ እንዳሉት “ብርሐንን ስታይ ተከተል፡፡ ነገር ግን ወደ ሌላ ጨለማ እንዳያስገባህ ተጠንቀቅ” የዚህ ጽሁፍ መልዕክት ነው፡፡

የግብጽ ህዝባዊ መፈንቅለ-መንግስት እና የናይል ውሃ ጉዳይ፡ ከሞርሲ በኋላስ? (ክፍል አንድ)

ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው


ታማሮድ ማለት በአረብኛ አማጺ ማለት ነው፡፡ እንደ አገባቡ የሚለያይ ቢሆንም ዋና መለያው ግን እምቢ ባይነት ወይም አልገዛም ባይነት ነው፡፡ ይህን ቃል በተደጋጋሚ የሰማነው ከሰሜን አፍሪካዊቷ ሀገር ግብጽ ጋር ተያይዞ ነው፡፡ እንደ አውሮፓውያኑ አቆጣጠር በየካቲት 25 ቀን 2011 የግብጹ ሆስኒ ሙባርክን ከመንበረ ስልጣናቸው ወደ ወህኒ ያዛወረው የታህሪር (የነጻነት) አደባባይ ትዕይንት ለግብጽ ታላቅ የዲሞክራ ብስራት እንደሆነ ብዙ ተነግሮለት ነበር፡፡ ይህ ብስራትም ጽንፈኛ ኢስላማዊ ነው ከሚባለው የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች የተገኙትን ሞሐመድ ሞርሲን ወደ ስልጣን አመጣ፡፡ እጅግ ጠባብ በሆነ የድምጽ ቆጠራ ልዩነት የሆስኒ ሙባረክ መንግስት ባለስልጣን የነበሩትን አህመድ ሻፊቅን አሸንፈው ወደ ስልጣን የወጡት ሞርሲ ለሁሉም ህዝባቸው መሪ እና አስተዳዳሪ እንደሚሆኑ ቃል ገቡ፡፡ ይህም ታላቅ ብስራት ሆነ፡፡ ነገር ግን ይህ ብስራት ወደ ስብራትነት ሲቀየር ብዙም አልቆየም፡፡ ሞርሲ በግብጽ ታሪክ አይነኬ ነው፣ ነጻ ነው የሚባለውን የፍትህ አካል ነቀነቁ፡፡ ፕሬዝዳታዊ አዋጅ ብለው ራሳቸውን ከህግ በላይ ሹመው ቁጭ አሉ፡፡ አያያዛቸውም አዲስ ፈርኦን እሰኪመስል ድረስ፡፡ ለምን ይህን እንዳደረጉ ሲተቹም ህዝባቸውን በየካተት 25 ቀን ያገኘነውን አብዮት ለመጠበቅ እ ዳር ለማድረስ ነው አሉ፡፡ ቀጠሉ የፓርላማ ምርጫ ተካሄደ የእሳቸው ፓርቲ የፍትህ እና ሰላም ፓርቲ እንዲሁም መሰላቸው የሆነው እና ራሱን የእውነትፓርቲ-አል ኑር ብሎ የሚጠራ ቡድን የህግ ማውጫ ምክርቤቱን ብዙውን መቀመጫ ያዙ፡፡ ከዛም በግብጽ በሽምጥ ለኢስላማዊ መንግስት ማቋቋም መሰረት የሚሆን ህገ-መንግስት ማሯሯጥ ጀመሩ፡፡ የሀገሪቱ ሊበራል እና ለዘብተኛ ፓርቲዎች እንዲሁም የሀገሪቱ የክርስቲያኖች ተወካዮች ራሳቸውን ከህገ-መንግስት ማርቀቅ ሂደት አገለሉ፡፡ ሞርሲም በውድቀት ቁልቁለት የሚምዘገዘገውን ኢኮኖሚ ከማዳን ይልቅ በዚህ ስራ ተጠመዱ፡፡ ከዛም ታማሮድ ብሎ ራሱን የሰየመው ቡድን ፕሬዝዳንት ሞርሲ የስልጣናቸወን አንደኛ ዓመት በሚያከብሩበት በሰኔ 30 ቀን 2013 እንገናኝ ሲል ዛተ፡፡ የተቃዋሚ ፕርቲዎችንም ድጋፍ አገኘ፡፡ ሰልፍም ጠራ፡፡ ሞርሲንም ከስልጣን ይልቀቁ አለ፡፡ እሳቸውም እምቢ አሉ፡፡ የህዝቡን ልብ ለማማለል እና እንዲሁም የህዝባቸውን ቀልብ በአንድ ዋርካ ለመሰብሰብ በሚል እሳቤ ስለ አባይ ውሃ ዲሰኩር አበዙ፡፡ የጦርነትም ዳንኪራ መቱም አስመቱም፡፡ ዓለም ጉድ እያለ በቴሌቪዥን ተለፈፈ፡፡ ቀጥሎም ሞሐመድ ሞርሲ በናይል ውሃ ጉዳይ “ስለ አንድ ውሃ ጠብታ መቅረት ደማችን ለውጥ ይሆናል” አሉ፡፡ አስባሉም፡፡ ነገር ግን የቀድሞው ፕሬዝዳንት እንዳሰቡት አልሆነም፡፡ እንዲያውም ከወትሮው በተለየ ግብጻውያን በአባይ ጉዳይ ለየት ያለ አሳባቸውን ማስነበብ ጀመሩ፡፡ የሰለፉ ቀንም ደረሰ፡፡ ታማሮድ መራሹ ህዝብም የነጻነት አደባባይ ላይ ነጻነቴን ሲል ወጣባቸው፡፡ እሳቸው ግን አሻፈረኝ አሉ፡፡ በመሐልም በራሳቸው በሞርሲ ወደ መከላከያ ሚኒስትርነት ያደጉት ጄኔራል አብድል ፋታህ አል ሲሲም ለ “አለቃቸው” እንዲለቁ የጊዜ ገደብ ሰጧቸው፡፡ ሞርሲም “በመቃብሬ ላይ” አሉ፡፡ የሆኖ ሆኖ ሞርሲ ስልጣናቸውን በኃይል ለቀቁ፡፡ አዲስ የሽግግር መንግስትመ ተቋቋመ፡፡ ጥያቄው እንዲህ ዓይነት ሁኔታ ባለበት ሁኔታ የሞሐመድ ሞርሲ ስልጣን መልቀቅ፣ የአዲስ መንግስት መመስረትስ ለአባይ ውሃ ፖለቲካ ምን ፋይዳ አለው… የሚል ይሆናል፡፡ ከዛ በፊት ግን ጥቂት ስለ መሐመድ ሞርሲ መንግስት እና ስለ ናይል አቋሙ እናወሳለን፡፡

የሞሐመድ ሞርሲ መንግስት እና የናይል ውሃ ፖለቲካ

የቀድሞ ተዋጊ ጄቶች አብራሪ፣ የዮም ኪፑር ጦርነት ዝነኛ፣ በኋላም ለ30 ዓመታት ግብጽን በፈርኦንነት የመሩት ሆስኒ ሙባርክ በናይል ወነዝ ዙሪያ ሀገራቸውን በድለው ነበር ያፉት ከተፋሰሱ ሀገራት ግንኑነት ጋር በተያያዘ፡፡ ምንም እንኳን የግብጽ የህይወት ውሃ ምንጪ አፍሪካ ብትሆንም ሆስኒ ሙባርክ ግን በመካከለኛው ምስራቅ ፖለቲካ ተወጥረው፣ ከምዕራባውያን ጋር ሲሻረኩ ወደ አፍሪካ አቅንተው አያውቁም ነበር፡፡ በተለይ በ1995በአዲስ አበባ በሱዳን ተቀነባበረ በተባለ የግድያ ሙከራ ከተደረገባቸው ወዲህ በአንዱምየአፍሪካ አንድነት ድርጅትም ይሁን የአፍሪካ ህብረት ስብሰባ ተሳትፈው አያውቁም ነበር፡፡ ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ ወደ ፕሬዝዳነትነት መንበር ካስጠጓቸው የቀድሞው ሟች ፕሬዝዳንት ሞሀመድ አንዋር አል ሳዳት የወረሱትን ማቀጠልን ከጀሉ ከአባይ አንጻር፡፡ ይህም ፉከራ እና ቀረርቶ እንዲሁም ከእኔ በላይ ላሳር ባይነት ሆነ፡፡ በመወያየት እ በመደራደር ደህና የሚባሉትን ለረጅም ጊዜ በውሃ ሀብት ልማት ሚኒሰትርነት የቆዩትን ደ/ር ሞሐመድ አቡ ዛይድ አንስተው  እጅግ ትምክህተኝነት እና ማንአለብኝነት የሚስተዋልባቸውን ደ/ር ሞሐመድ ነስር አልዲን ዓላምን ወደ ሚኒሰትር መስሪያ ቤቱ ቁንጮነት አመጡ፡፡ እናም በሳቸው ዘመን ከ10 ዓመታት በላይ በድርድር ያለፈው የቆየው የናይል ትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ (ናትስማ) የመቋጨት መንገድን ሰነቀ፡፡ ከሆስኒ ሙባርክ ከስልጣን መውረድ ቀደም ብሎም በግንቦት 2010 አምስት ሀገራት ናትስማን በኢንቴቤ-ዩጋንዳ ተፈራረሙ፡፡ የፊርማውንም ስርዓት ለተፋሰሱ ሀገራት ለ1 ዓመት ክፍት አደረጉ፡፡ በየካቲት 2011ም ሙባርክ በታህሪር ዓመጽ ስልጣነቸውን ለቀቁ፡፡ ቡሩንዲም ናትስማን በየካቲት 2011 ፈረመች፡፡ ይህ በመሆኑም የናትስማ አንቀጽ 42 እንዳስቀመጠው ፈራሚዎቹ ስድስት ሀገራት ስለሞሉ ህግ ለማድረግ ወደ ማጽደቅ ስራ መግባት ግድ ነበር፡፡ በመሐልም የግብጽ የህዝባዊ ዲፕሎማሲ ልዑክ ወደ ኢትዮጵያ እና ዩጋንዳ በማቅናት በግብጽ በተከሰተው የመንግስት ለውጥ እና አለመረጋጋት ጋር በተያያዘ የፈራሚ ሀገራቱ  የማጽደቅ ያዘገዩ ዘንድ ጠየቁ፡፡ አዲስ ህዝባዊ መሰረት ያለው መንግስት ሲቋቋምም ግብጽ አቋሟ እንደሚቀየር እንደበፊቱ (እንደ ሙባርክ መንግስት እንደማይሆን) ገለጹ፡፡ እንዳሉትም ሆነ፡፡ በመሐል የነበረው እና በኤሳም ሻራፍ የሚራው የሽግግር መንግስትም የሙባርክ ዘመን አካሂያድ እንደማይደገም ገለጹ፡፡ አዲስ መንግስትም ሞሐመድ ሞርሲን በሰኔ 30 ቀን 2012 ወደ ስልጣን አመጣ፡፡ ከዛስ…. ?

ምንም አንኳን አዲስ መንግስት ይቋቋም እንጅ የግብጽ መሰረታዊ የናይል ፖሊሲ ሳይቀየር እንደነበረ ቀጠለ፡፡ ምንም እንኳን የላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት የግብጽን ወቅታዊ ሁኔታ በማተዋል የህዝባዊ ዲፕሎማ ቡድኑ ያቀረበውን ጥያቔ ቢቀበሉም የሞሀመድ ሞርሲ መንግስት ምላሽ ግን እጅጉን አሳዛኝ እና አበሳጭ ነበር ለላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት፡፡ በዋናነት ሁለት ጉዳዮች ነበሩ የአባይ ተፋሰስ የፖለቲካ ሞቅታ መነሾዎች፡፡ አንደኛው የናትስማ ጉዳይ ሲሆን ሁለተኛው ደግሞ የታላቁ የኢትዮያ ህዳሴ ግድብ ጉዳይ ናቸው፡፡ የሞርሲ መንግስት ፖሊሲ ከእነዚህ ጉዳዮች አንጻር ምን ይመስል ነበር ብለን ስንጠይቅ እንደሚከተለው ሆኖ እናገኛለን፡፡

የሞርሲ መንግስትና የናይል ትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ (ናትስማ) 

የግብጽ የናይል ፖለሲ የሚያጠነጥነው ማንንም በማያስገባ ያረጀ አጥር ውስጥ በሚሽከረከር እና ለራስም በማይበጅ አኳኋን የተቀመረ ነው፡፡ ለግብጽ የ1959 የሁለትዮሽ (ግብጽ እና ሱዳን) ስምምነት አይነኬ እና አይደፈሬ ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም ማንኛውም የአባይ ስምምነት ከወጣ ሲወጣ ይህን ስምምነት የተቀበለ እና ያጸደቀ መሆን አለበት ለግብጽ፡፡ ይህ ስምምነት በዋናነት ዓመታዊውን የናይልን ውሃ ፍሰት (84.1 ቢሊዮን ኪዩቢክ ሜትር)ሙሉ በሙሉ ለግብጽ፣ ለሱዳን እና ለትነት ከማከፋፈሉ በተጨማሪ በዓለምአቀፍ የውሃ ህግ ምንም ዓይነት ተቀባይነት የሌላቸው እና ያረጁ የውሃ መሰረተ-አምነቶችን (ታሪካዊ መብት ወይም የቀደመ ተጠቃሚ የቀደመ ባለመብት) ብሎ በመደንገግ ግብጽን የናይል ተፋሰስ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ አድርጎ ሰይሟል፡፡ ነገር ግን እንኳን ያልፈረሙት እና የማያውቁት ኢትዮጵያና ሊሎች የራስጌ ሀገራት ፈራሚዋ ሱዳን እንኳን ኩርፊያዋ እጅግ የበዛ ነው፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ ይህ ስምምነትም ሆነ ለዚህ ስምምነት መንደርደሪያ የሆነው የ1929 የቅኝ ግዛት ስምምነት በራስጌ ሀገራት ተቀባይነት የሌላቸው ሲሆን ሀገራቱ በናትስማ በኩል ዓለምአቀፋዊ ቅቡልነት ያላቸውን የፍትሐዊ እና ምክኒያታዊ አጠቃቀም መርህን እንዲሁም በዚሁ ስር በሌለች ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ላይ የጎላ ጉዳት ያለማድረስ መርሖወችን በመደንገግ ውድቅ አድርገውታል፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ ግብጽ ይህን ስምምነት በመፈረም በናይል ላይ እኩል ተጠቃሚነትን ከማፈን ይልቅ ይህን ስምምነት ከግቡ እንዳይደረስ ለማድረግ ሌት ተቀን መስራቱን ተያያዘችው፡፡ በሙባርክ መነግስትም ጊዜ ሆነ በሞርሲ መንግስት የሆነው ይህ ነው፡፡ የናትስማ ፈራሚ ሀገራትን ለመከፋፈል በመሞከር ስምምነቱ እንዳይጸድቅ ለማድረግ ነበር የተሞከረው፡፡ በግብጽ ፖሊሲ አውጪዎች በኩል ትኩረት የተሰጠውም የተፋሰስ-ዓቀፍ ትብብር ጉዞ ሳይሆን የሁለትዮሽ ትብብር ነበር፡፡ ይህም ግብጽ አንዱን ሀገር ካንዱ ለመነጠል ያደረገችው እንቅስቃሴ አካል ነው፡፡ ለዝርዝሩ ይህችን ይጫኑ፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ ኢትዮጵያ ናትስማን ህግ አድርጋ ያጸደቀች ሲሆን ዩጋንዳም ሂደቱን ከጀመረች ሰነባብታለች፡፡ ይህም የግብጽ ከፋፍለህ ግዛ አካሄድ ያለመሳካቱን ብቸኛው መፍትሔ ስምምነቱን ተቀብሎ የናይል ተፋሰስ ኮሚሽንን ማቋቋም እንደሆነ ይነግረናል፡፡ ይሁን እንጅ የሞርሲ መንግስት በቆየባቸው 12 ወራት ናትስማን ዘወር ብሎለማየት አለመሞከሩ እና የሙባራክን ውርስ ይዞ መቀጠሉ ያለንም እኛው የወረድንም እኛው የሚያብስል ነው፡፡

የሞርሲ መንግስትና የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ የህዳሴ ግድብ፡ ከጉደኛው የቴሌቪዥን ስርጭት እስከ ደማችን አማራጭ ነው

ኢትዮጵያ የህዳሴው ግድብ መገደብ ከጀመረች እነሆ ሁለት ዓመት ተቆጠረ፡፡ ግብጽ ይህ ግድ ባይዋጥላትም እውነታ ነውና እውነታውን መቀበል ግን የግድ እንደሆነ የተረዳች ይመስላል፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ ግድቡን የምትገነባው መብቷ በመሆኑና የሕዝቧንም ፍላጎት ለማሟላት እንደሆነ ብትገልጽም ለግብጽ አልተዋጠላትም፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ ግብጽ እና ሱዳን በዚህ ግዙፍ ፕሮጀክት እምነት እንዲኖራቸው፣ ጥቅሙም ለጋራ ለተፋሰሱ ሀገራት ጭምር እንጅ ለኢትዮጰያ ብቻ የተወሰነ እንዳይደለ ለማስረዳ በራሷ ተነሳሽነት እና ውሳኔ ከሶስቱ ሀገራ የጠወጣጡ ስድስት እንዲሁም አራት ዓለምአቀፍ ባለሙያዎችን የያዘ የባለሙያዎች ቡድን እንዲቋቋም በማድረግ የግድቡ ጥቅም እንዲታይ ያልታየ ጉዳትም ካለ እንዲጠና አደረገች፡፡  የባለሙያዎች ቡድኑም የደረሰበትን የመጨረሻ ሪፖርት እና የጥናት ውጤት ለሶስቱ ሀገራት መንግስታት በሰኔ 1 ቀን 2013 አስረከቡ፡፡ ከዚህ 3 ቀናት ቀደም  ብሎ በግንቦት 28 ቀን 2013 ኢትዮጵያ የግድቡን ዋና አካል ግንባታ ለማከናወን ያስችል ዘንድ የአባይን ውሃ በ500 ሜትር አቅጣጫ ማቀየሯን ይፋ አደረገች፡፡ በዚህ መሐል ከወደ ግብጽ የተሰማው መልስ ግን በጣም የተሟሟቀ ነበር፡፡ አንደኛ የወንዙ አቅጣጫ መቀየር ወደ ሌላ ቦታ መጠለፍ ሆኖ በዜና ማሰራጫወች በመነዛቱ ለግብጻውያን ትልቅ ዱብእዳ ነበር፡፡ ይህም የፖለቲካ ፓርቲ መረዊችንም ጭምር ክፉ እና ደግ እንዲናገሩ አደረገ፡፡ ሁለተኛ የባለሙያዎች ቡድኑ ላቀረበው ሪፖርት ከግብጽ መንግስት (ከመሐመድ ሞርሲ) የወጣው መልስ የችኮላ እና በቀደመ አዕምሮ እና ፖሊሲ የታጠረ ነበር፡፡ ይህም ግድቡ የግብጽን የውሃ ደህንነት ይጎዳል ስለሆነም አደጋ ላይ ነን የሚል ዓይነት መልስ ተበተነ፡፡ በዚህም ምክንያት ጩኸቱ በርከትከት ሲል ፕሬዝዳንት ሞርሲ ጥሩ ከውስጥ ፖለቲካ ማስቀየሻ አጋጣሚ ያገኙ ስለመሰላቸው ሁሉንም የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ኑ ስለ ሀገራችን ብሔራዊ ጥቅም እናውራ ብለዉ ጋበዙ፡፡ ዋና ዋናዎች ተቃዋሚ ፓርቲ መሪዎች (ሞሐመድ አልባራዳይ፣ አመር ሙሳ እና ሐመዲን ሳባሂ) ባይገኙም የሳላፊስቶቹ አል ኑርን ጨምሮ ሌሎች ተገኙ፡፡ በዚህ ብሔራዊ ውይይት በተባለው እና በፕሬዝዳንቱ ቢሮ በተሰናዳው ትዕይንት ግብጽን ከውስጥም ከውጭም ያስነወረ ድርጊት ተፈጸመ፡፡ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች መሪዎች ያደረጉት ንግግር በቀጥታ ቴሌቪዥን ሲተላለፍ መሪዎቹ ኢትዮጵያን ከታላቁ ህዳ ግንባታ ለማስቆም ከተራ ስፖርተኞቻችንን እና አርቲስቶቻችንን እስከ የእንዲህ ዓይነት የጦር መሳሪያ አለን የውሸት ወሬ እንዲሁም ጸረ-የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ኃይሎችን እንጠቀም የሚሉ ንግግሮችን ዓለም ሰማም አየም፡፡ ይህ ሁሉ ሲሆን ስለ ሀገራቸው የናይል ተፋሰስ ሀገራትን ይቅርታ የጠየቁት በቦታው ያልነበሩት የተቃዋሚ መሪው ሞሀመድ አልበራዳይ ብቻ ነበሩ፡፡ ይህን ተከትሎ ከቀናት በኋላ በዋናነት የግብጽ ኢስላማዊ ፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ተሰባስበው ባዘጋጁት የፕሬዝዳንቱ የናይል ንግግር ላይ የቀድሞው ፕሬዝዳንት ሞሐመድ ሞርሲ ስለ ደም እንዳወሩ ንግግሩን ጨረሱት፡፡ ናይልን በተመለከተ ሁሉም አማራጮች በጠረጴዛ ላይ ናቸው በማለት በተዘዋዋሪ የጦርነት ታምቡርን አጩኸው ነበር ሞርሲ፡፡ በማስከተልም  አንዲት ጠብታ ውሃ ብትቀንስ ደማችን አማራጭ ነው ያሉት ሞርሲ በርግጥም በውስጥ የተቀሰቀሰባቸውን የፖለቲካ ተቃውሞ ለማምለጥ የተጠቀሙበት እንደነበር ግብጽ በዚህ ሰዓት መዋሀድ እና አንድ መሆን አለባት ሲሉ በንግግራቸው መማጸናቸው ያሳጣባቸዋል፡፡ 

የሆኖ ሆኖ ደም ደም ለሸተተው የፕሬዝዳንቱ ንግግርም ሆነ ለፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎቹ ለብጥብጥ የሚጋብዝ ንግግር በኢትዮጵያ የተወሰደው የትዕግስት እርምጃ እና ሉዓላዊነትን ያስጠበቀ እና ጥንቃቄ የተሞላበት መልስ የሚደነቅ  ነበር፡፡ ከሞርሲ መንግስት የምንረዳው ዋና ነገር ቢኖር ከናይል ውሃ አንጻር ምንም ዓይነት የጸባይም ሆነ የባህሪ ለውጥ ያመጣ መንግስት አለመሆኑን ነው፡፡ የጦርነት ዛቻዎቹም ሆነ ቀረርቶዎቹ ከሞሀመድ አንዋር አል ሳዳት ጀምሮ በሞሐመድ ሆስኒ ኤል-ሰይድ ሙባርክ በኩል ለሞሐመድ ሞሐመድ ሞርሲ ኢሳ አያት የደረሰ ነው፡፡ ሳዳት በ1979 ግብጽን ወደ ጦርነት የሚወስዳት ብቸኛ ነገር ቢኖር ውሃ ነው ብለው ለፈፉ፡፡ ተከታያቸው ሆስኒ ሙባርክም በበ1990ዎቹ አጋማሽ ሱዳንን በናይል ውሃ ጉደይ አስጠነቀቁ በቦምብ እናወድማችኋለን በሚል እሳቤ፡፡  በሙባርክ ዘመን የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር የነበሩት አመር ሙሳም ሱዳንን በእስትም በውሃም አትጫወች ሲሉ አስጠነቀቁ፡፡ ኢትዮጵያንም በተመለከተም እኒሁ ሰው ለኢትዮጵያ በጎ ምኞት አለን መብታችንን እስካልነካች ድረስ ብለው በወቅቱ ለሚታተመው እፍይታ መጽሄት በገደምዳሜ ማስጠንቀቂያቸውን አስተላለፉ፡፡ እነዚህ ምስሎች በጥቅሉ የሚነግሩን የጦርነት ታምቡሮቹ የቆዩ እና የነበሩ እንዲሁም ሞርሲም የወረሷቸው መሆናቸውን ነው፡፡ ይንም ውርስ ሞርሲ የውስጥ ፖለቲካቸውን ለማደፈን በአርበኝነት ስሜት ደማችን ጠብ ይላል ሲሉ ተደመጡ፡፡

 ይሁን እና ሞርሲም ያሰቡት ሳይሳካ የታህሪር ቀጠሮ ደረሰ ሰኔ 30 ቀን 2013፡፡ በሀገሪቱ ጦር ሰራዊት የተሰጣቸውን ከሌሎች ፓርቲዎች ጋር ተነጋግረህ የሀገሪቱን ቀውስ ፍታ የሚል የ48 ሰዓት የጊዜ ገደብ በማሳለፋቸው ሞርሲም በታህሪር ጩኸት በታንክ ግፊት ቤተ መንግሰቱን ለቀቁ፡፡ የሀገሪቱ ሰራዊት የበላይ የሆኑት ጄኔራል አል ሲሲ አዲስ ሀገሪቱን ያረጋጋል እንዲሁም ለመጪዋ ግብጽ መንገድ ይጠርጋል ያሉትን እና በሼኩም በፓትርያረኩም የተባረከ ቀያሽ-እቅድ/ትልመ-ግብ/road-map አዘጋጁ፡፡ በመሆኑም በጽንፈኞቹ በሩጫ የተሰናዳው ህገ-መንግስትም በአጭር ተቀጨ፡፡ አዲስ የሽግግር መንግስትም ተቋቋመ፡፡  ጄኔራል አል ሲሲ የሀገሪቱ የፍትህ አካል የበላይ ዳኛ የሀገሪቱ የሽግግር ፕሬዝዳንት ሆነው መሾማቸውን አወጁ፡፡ ህግ-አውጭው ምክርቤት/ሹራ ጉባኤም በአዲሱ ፕሬዝዳንት ተበተነ፡፡ አዲስ ጠቅላይ ሚኒሰትር ሀዜም ኤል ባብላዊም በሽግግሩ ፕሬዝዳንት ተሾሙ፡፡ እሳቸውም የሽግግር መንግሰቱን ከባለሙያወች አውጣጥተው ካቢኒያቸውን በመሰረት ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡ የሞርሲ መንግስት በዋናነት መወገድ እንዲሁም ይህ የሽግግር መንግስት መመስረት ከናይል ተፋሰስ አንጻር ምን አንድምታ ሊኖረው ይችላል የሚሉትን ሀሳቦች በሚቀጥለው እትም እንጎበኛለን፡፡ 


“ዓለምአቀፍ የኢትዮጵያ ባለሙያዎች ድጋፍ ለአባይ (ኢፕሳ)” የሚል ተቋም ተመሰርተ

ከመላው ዓለም በተወጣጡ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን በሰኔ 15 ቀን 2005 ዓ.ም. (22nd June 2013) በአባይ ጉዳይ ላይ ስብሰባ አደርጉ። ስለ ጉዳይ ቀድሞ በተዘጋጀ መነሻ ሃሳብ ባለሞያዎቹ ሰፊ ውይይት ካአደርጉ በኃላ “ዓለምአቀፍ የኢትዮጵያ ባለሙያዎች  ድጋፍ ለአባይ” የተሰኘ በእንግሊዘኛው “International Ethiopian Professional Support for Abay (Nile)-IEPSA” ትኩረቱን በአባይ ወንዝ ላይ በሚሰሩ እና በታቀዱ ፕሮጀክቶች ያደረገ የባለሙያዎች የጥናት ተቋም አቋቋሙ፡፡

ይህ ተቋም በዋናነት በአሁኑ ወቅት ያሉትን ነባራዊ ሁኔታ ከተመለከተ በኃላ በዓለም ዙሪያ ያሉ ባለሞያዎች በየሞያቸው ለታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዳሴ ግድብ እና ተያያዥ በሆኑ በአባይ ላይ በሚሰሩ ቀጣይ የኃይል ማመንጫም ሆነ የመስኖ ግድብ ስራዎች ዙሪያ አስተዋጽኦ በተጠናከረና በተሰባሰበ መልኩ እንዲያደርጉ እና አገር ውስጥ ያለውን የሕዳሴ ግድብ ብሔራዊ የባለሞያዎች ቡድን በሙያ ለማገዝ በበጎ ፈቃደኛ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን  የተቋቋመ ነው፡፡

በአሁኑ ወቅት ኢፕሳ እንዲቋቋም ከአስገደዱ ምክንያቶች ዋና ዋናዎቹ አንደኛ ኢትዮጵያ እየሰራች ያለችው የሕዳሴው ግድብ እና በፕሮጀክቱ ዙሪያ ለሚነሱ ጥያቄዎች በሰይንሳዊ ትንተና የተደገፈ መረጃ በተለያዩ ቋንቋዎች በተጠናከረ መልኩ ለዓለምአቀፍ ማኅበረሰብ የሚያደረስ መንግሥታዊ ያልሆነ ተቋም አለመኖሩ፤  ሁለተኛ የግብጽ ሕዝብ ፖለቲከኞች ከሚነግሩት መረጃ በስተቀር ኢትዮጵያ የምትገነባዎ ግድብ ለግብጽ እና ሱዳን ያለውን ጥቅም፣ ሌሎች ሀገሮች በአባይ ወንዝ ላይ ስላላቸው መብት እና ሌሎችም መረጃዎችን አለማግኘታቸው እና ይህም በራስጌ ሀገራት የውሃ ስራዎች በተለይ ኢትዮጵያ ላይ ያለቸው አመለካከት የተዛባ በመሆኑ፤ ሶስተኛ ኢትዮጵያዊያን በሕዳሴው ግድብ ዙሪያ – ለምን ግድቡ አሁን ባለበት ቦታ ተሰራ? ለምን አንድ ግዙፍ ግድብ መስራት አስፈለገ? ሁለት ሶስት መካክለኛ ግድብ በተለያያ ቦታ መስራት አይቻልም ነበር ወይ? ከኤሌክትሪክ ሃይል ከማመንጨት በተጨማሪ ኢትዮጵያ ከግድቡ ምን ትጠቀማለች? የሚሉ እና ተያያዥ ጥያቄዎች ማንሳታቸው እና ለዚህም የጠራ መለስ ስለሚያሻ ፤  አራተኛ በውጪ ዓለም ያለውን ኢትዮጵያዊ እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊ በአንድ ላይ አምጥቶ የራሱን ሞያዊ ድጋፍ እንዲያደርግ የሚረዳ አካልም ሆነ የተመቻቸ ሁኔታ አለመኖሩ ናቸው፡፡

ከላይ ከተጠቀሱት ከፍተቶች በመነሳትም ኢፕሳ የተለያዩ ዓለማዎችን እና ግቦችን የቀረጸ ሲሆን በዋናነትም ከሁኔታው አንግባጋቢነት እና የተቀናጀ ስራ አስፈላጊነት አንጻር በአባይ ወንዝ አጠቃቀም ዙሪያ በተለይ ለህዳሴ ግድብ ትኩረት በመስጠት ይንቀሳቀሳል፡፡ ስለሆነም ሳይንሳዊ ጥናትን መሰረት ያደረገ መረጃ ለሚመለከታቸው ክፎሎች ማድረስ፣ የህዳሴ ግድቡን ያጠናዊ አለም አቀፍ ኮሚቴ  ግድቡ በግርጌ አገሮች ላይ ያለውን አካባባዊ ተጽኖ ተጨማሪ ጥናት እና ሌሎችም ጉዳዮች ለህዳሴ ግድብ ብሔራዊ ኮሚቴ ሙያዊ ድጋፍ እና ትብብር ማድረግ፣ የኢትዮጵያን ጥቅም ለማስጠበቅ በዓለምአቀፍ ደረጃ የህዝብ ግንኙነት ስራ እና የማግባባት ስራ መስራት፣ ስለ አባይ ወንዝ እና እንዲሁም ስለ ህዳሴ ግድብ የተሟላ የመረጃ ቋት ማዛጋጀት እና በወንዙም ሆነ በግድቡ ዙሪያ ለሚነሱ ጥያቄዎች መልስ ይሰጣል፡፡ በተጨማሪም በዓለም አቀፍ ሚዲያዎች የሚወጡ ሃሳቦችን ማየት፣ መተንተን፣ ካስፈለገ መልስ መስጠት  እና በውሃ አጠጠቃቀም ፣አከፋፈል እና ተዛማች ሞያዎች ዙሪያ ለኢትዮጵያዊያን ተማራማሪዎች የስኮላርሺፕ እድል ያፈላልጋል።


ኢፕሳን ያቋቋሙት ባለሙያዎች ከተለያየ የትምህርት እና የሙያ መስክ የተውጣጡ ሲሆን በዋናነትም ከአውሮፓ፣ ሰሜን አሜሪካ እና ካናዳ ዩኒቨርስቲዎች የሚያስተምሩ ፕሮፌሰሮች፣ ዶክተሮች እና የጥናት ባለሙያዎች፣ በተለያዩ ትልልቅ ኩባንያዎች የማሰሩ እና የረጅም ጊዜ ልምድ ያላቸው ባለሙያዎች እና የድህረ ምረቃ ተማሪዎች ናቸው፡፡ ስብጥራቸውም በዋናነት ከተለያዩ ምህንድስና ሞያዎች፣ አካባቢ ሳይንስ እና አካባቢ ጥበቃ፣ ህግ፣ ምጣኔ-ሀብት፣ በውኃ እና በተሻጋሪ ወንዞች አስተዳደር፣ ዓለምአቀፍ ግንኙነት እና ኢንፎርሜሽን ቴክሎጅ ትምህርት ክፍሎች የተወጣጡ ናቸው፡፡

ዓላማዎቹንም ለማሳካት ኢፕሳ በዳይሬክተር የሚመራ ሲሆን በዋናነትም የምጣኔ ሐብት፣ ምህንድስና፣ አካባቢ ጥበቃና እርሻ፣ ህግ እና ዓለምአቀፍ ጉዳዮች፣ መረጃ እና የኢኒፎርሜሽን ቴክኖሎጅ፣ የህዝብ ግንኑነት እና የማግባባት  እና የወሰን ተሸጋሪ ወንዞች አስተዳድር ክፍሎች የተዋቀረ ነው፡፡ ዳሬክተሩ፣ ጸሐፊው እና የየክፍሎች ሃላፊዎች በየስድስት ወሩ ይቀየራሉ። በቅርብም ተቋሙ ለተማራማሪዎች ጥሪ በማቅረብ በሎንደን በአባይ ወንዝ ላይ ታላቅ አውደ ጥናት ያካሄዳል።  ለዚህ ታሪካዊ ክስተት ማንኛውም ኢትዮጵያዊ እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊ ባለሙያ ሁሉ አባል በመሆን በተዋቀሩት ክፍሎች በመግባት የራሱን አስተዋጾዖ እንድታደርጉ እና እንድስተፉ ጥሪያችንን እንስተላልፋለ። በ በሚለው ኢሜይል ሊያገኙን ይችላሉ።


ዓለምአቀፍ የኢትዮጵያ ባለሙያዎች  ድጋፍ ለአባይ (ኢፕሳ)

International Ethiopian Professional Support for Abay(IEPSA)


president Al Bashir Supports the GERD

Sudan Tribune

June 21, 2013


In his first public endorsement for the controversial Ethiopian renaissance dam, Bashir said that the dam “will not stop the water from Egypt” and added that it will only be used for electricity generation, calling for continuation of consultation among all concerned parties.

He acknowledged the “sensitivity” of the water issue for Egypt, saying that Sudan and Egypt’s water shares will not be impacted during the dam filling period.

The Sudanese president also expressed doubt the Nile Basin Initiative (Known as Entebbe agreement), which he said “ came from the World Bank not from the Nile Basin countries.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, formerly known as the Millennium Dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile 40km from the Sudanese border.

Egypt and Sudan had previously argued that the construction of the dam would negatively affect their water shares and insisted the project should be blocked, calling on international donors against funding it.

Egypt believes its “historic rights” to the Nile are guaranteed by two treaties from 1929 and 1959 which allow it 87 percent of the Nile’s flow and give it veto power over upstream projects.

But a new deal (Entebbe agreement) was signed in 2010 by other Nile Basin countries, including Ethiopia, allowing them to work on river projects without Cairo’s prior agreement.




Atlantic Council on Conflict and Opportunity on the Nile

J. Peter Pham | June 19, 2013

Atlantic Council 

Last week, Ethiopia’s parliament unanimously ratified a treaty with five of its neighbors that opens the way for broad regional cooperation on the use of the waters of the Nile River. In response, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, whose government was not part of the pact, angrily declared that “all options are open,” implying that force might be used to prevent Ethiopia from completing a dam across the Nile’s main tributary that would be Africa’s largest hydropower project.

The Nile is the longest river in the world, with a length of over 6,650 kilometers from its remotest source in Burundi’s Luvironza River. Most of the water flowing through the great lakes of equatorial Africa to eventually form the White Nile is lost to evaporation in the Sudd, the vast swamp of southern Sudan. Thus by the time it joins the Blue Nile at Khartoum, the White Nile contributes barely 10 percent of the total flow. Together, the shorter Blue Nile, whose remotest source is the Felege Ghion spring held sacred by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Nile’s other major tributary, the Atbara River, which likewise originates in the heart of the Ethiopian highlands near Lake Tana, account for nearly 90 percent of the water and over 95 percent of the sediment carried by the Nile proper. The combined drainage basin of these river systems covers one-tenth of the area of the African continent.

While the Nile has provided for the livelihoods of the peoples along its banks from time immemorial, rapidly expanding population (the slightly more than 400 million people who live in the river basin are expected to double in number by 2025) combined with industrialization and urbanization—to say nothing of the effects of climate change on Africa—will place unprecedented demands on the river’s fixed supply of water. This, in turn, has led to increased tensions between the eleven independent countries in the Nile Basin—Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda—which together constitute the largest number of sovereign states in any river basin in the world. Each of these states has a distinct interest in the river’s waters as well as varying capacities to exploit the resource. The Egyptians, for example, rely on the river for more than 97 percent of their freshwater; as the late historian Robert O. Collins noted, “Without the annual flood of the Nile waters cascading down, Egypt would consist of only sand and rock and wind.”

Given this context and the fact that they currently also faced with a collapsed economy and growing restiveness among the populace, it is no surprise that Morsi and other politicians in Cairo would find it expedient to respond to the move by Ethiopia and its neighbors with nationalist rhetoric and threats of violence. At a certain level, bombast may be all they have.

First, insofar as it has a legal case at all, Egypt’s claims rests on rather weak foundations. During the colonial era, a May 1929 exchange of notes between Egyptian Prime Minister Muhammad Mahmoud Pasha and the British High Commissioner in Egypt, Lord Lloyd of Dolobran, stipulated that no projects affecting the Nile flow would be undertaken in Sudan, then under the Anglo-Egyptian “condominium,” or any other territory then under British rule without the agreement of the Egyptian government which asserted its “natural and historical rights” over the river. Following Sudan’s independence, that country signed the Nile Waters Agreement with Egypt in 1959, which allocated 55.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of water annually to the Egyptians and 18.5 bcm to the Sudanese. The problem is these deals are probably legally null and void—which probably explains why no Egyptian government has ever submitted the Nile issue for even an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice. After all, a bedrock principle of classical international jurisprudence is nemo dat quod non habet (“you cannot give what you do not have [or own]”). The lack of reference to other riparian countries and their interests leaves open the question of the Nile Agreement’s legal validity to bind any parties other than Egypt and Sudan which, moreover, contribute virtually nothing to the river’s flow. Ethiopia, the source of an overwhelming part of the Nile’s water, was never a party to either of the agreements, although it was an independent state at the time of both—in fact, at the time of the 1929 accord, Ethiopia had been a full member of the League of Nations for some six years, while Egypt, then under a quasi-protectorate, was not accepted into the organization as a full-fledge sovereign member of the international community until 1937. Moreover, Burundi, the Congo, Eritrea, and Rwanda, are likewise not parties to the accords, having been ruled by other colonial regimes—thus the British did not have any pretext by which to sign away the water rights of those territories.

Second, for all the talk in Cairo about not ruling out any options and the cottage industry that has cropped up to speculate about possible attacks against the $4.3 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Morsi regime’s threats are as empty as its treasury: quite simply, the Egyptian military does not have the aerial refueling capability for its aircraft to even make it into Ethiopian airspace, much less to inflict sufficient damage to stop work on the GERD project and then return home. (It is another matter entirely whether the Egyptian regime, unable to achieve its goals any other way, might resort to covert action, such as supporting and even arming dissident groups seeking the overthrow of the Ethiopian state, irrespective of their prospects for success. It is certainly possible to interpret along such lines the visit two weeks ago of a high-level Egyptian military delegation to Mogadishu where its members were reported to have expressed interest in equipping and training the latest Somali regime’s forces for possible action against the unrecognized, but de facto independent Republic of Somaliland—which, coincidentally, is one of landlocked Ethiopia’s vital accesses to the sea.)

Fortunately, despite the tensions, even as it was ratifying the new treaty with its upper riparian neighbors, the Ethiopian government went out of its way to reach out to downstream countries, including representatives from Sudan and Egypt as well as international members in the International Panel of Experts that recently reported on the impact of the GERD. This unprecedented openness on a question of core national interest is a most welcome development, as is the new agreement, reached on Tuesday following the Egyptian foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr’s visit to Addis Ababa, for the three countries to conduct further impact studies.

While the environmental, economic, political, and other benefits to be obtained through cooperation by the countries of the Nile is evident, before that comes about, a more satisfactory, permanent legal settlement of the dispute between Egypt, Sudan, and the upstream riparian states is needed. Thus the countries find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. The current water usage is unsustainable, but without a formal accord there can be no rational management, much less reallocation, of a resource whose ownership is so hotly contested. Increasingly, securing their access to water will be a vital component of the national security of the riparian states and, given the geostrategic significance of this subregion at the crossroad between the Middle East and Africa, all the more greater importance to global security in general.

Given the enormous stakes which it has in both Cairo and Addis Ababa, it behooves the United States to see the current conflict defused and the parties resolve their dispute through diplomatic negotiations. Thus far, however, there has been little political appetite in Washington for tackling a problem that does not seem to be immediate, even if the damage that US interests would suffer should two of America’s most important partners in Africa—Egypt and Ethiopia—come to blows is incalculable. This shortsightedness is even more regrettable given the significant opportunities for US diplomacy and American private-sector firms to help the two countries work together to develop the Nile as a whole—to say nothing about how such engagement would not only be the right thing to do by the peoples of the region, but also advantageous to the nation’s own security and global standing.

J. Peter Pham is director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

ይድረስ ለአቶ አብርሐ ደስታ የተሸወደው ማን ነው?

ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው

ይህን ጽሑፍ ለመጻፍ የተነሳሁት ውድ አቶ አብርሐ ደስታ “! ….. የኢትዮዽያ አቋምና የዓባይ ፖለቲካ ……!” በሚል ርዕስ በፌስቡክ ገጻቸው የጻፉት ጽሁፍ  ነው፡፡ አንደ አጋጣሚ ሆኖ በቲዊተር ስላየሁት አነበብኩት እና ትንሽ ግራ መጋባትም መገረምም አጫረብኝ፡፡ ይህ የሆነው ጸሐፊው ዋናውን ነገር ስተው ወደ መሸዋወድ ፖለቲካ ገቡና የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር ሚኒስትር ደ/ር ቴድሮስ አድሐኖም እንደተሸወዴ ያው ኢትዮጵያም እንደተሸወደች እንዲሁም ባለሙያወቻችን እዚህ ግባ የማይባሉ እነደሆኑ አተቱልን፡፡ የአባይን ጉዳይ ከልጅነት ጀምሮ የምከታተለው ነገር በመሆኑ አቶ አብርሐ የጻፉት ጽሁፍ ምን ውስጠ አዋቂ ቢሆኑ ነው ብየ ግራ ተጋባሁኝ፡፡ የማላውቀውን ነገር በመከተባቸው፡፡ ከዚህም ባሻገር አጻጻፈቸው ህጸጸን/fallacy መሰረት ያደረገ መሆኑን ሳስተውል ግን አይ እስኪ ውይይቱ ሳይሻል አይቀርም በሚል ብዕሬን አነሳሁ፡፡ እርሳቸው ዋናዋና በሚል መልኩ ያነሷቸውን ነጥቦች በመንተራስ እነሆ ሀሳቤን/my idea እላለሁኝ-አቶ አብርሐ፡፡

ሀ. የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትሮቹን ድርድር በተመለከተ

የሰሞኑን የኢትዮጵያ እና የግብጽ በአባይ ጉዳይ ምክንያት የታየ ሞቅታ አንባቢ አንደሚረዳው ስለሆነ ወደ ዝርዝሩ አልገባም፡፡ ያም ሆነ ይህ በውስጣዊ ፖለቲካ ችግር የምትታመሰው ግብጽ ፖለቲከኞቿ የተነደገደጉበት ፉከራ እና የጦርነት ቀረርቶ ጋብ ያለው ኢትዮጵያ ድንፋታውን ከቁብ ሳትቆጥር ችላ በማለቷ በመሆኑ ይህ የሚያስመግን በመሆኑ አቶ አብርሐ እንዳሉት የኢትዮጵያ ትዕግስት የሚወደድ ነው፡፡ እንግዲህ ይህን ካልን ዘንዳ የግብጹ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ሚኒስቴር ወደ ኢትዮጵያ መምጣታቸው እና ድርድሩ በሰላም ተከውኖ ሀገራቱ ቀጣይ ድርድር ለማካሄድ ተስማምተው በሰላም መለያየታቸው ትክክለኛው እና ብቸኛው የአባይን ውሃ በፍትሐዊነት ለመጠቀም የሚስችል መንገድ በመሆኑ ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም ይህ ሊወደስ እና ሊመሰገን የሚገባው ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ አቶ አብርሐን ያልተዋጠላቸው ጉዳይ እንዴት  ‘ዉጤታማ ውይይት’ ተደረገ የሚል አንደምታ አለው፡፡ ይህንም በጥያቄ ሲያስረግጡ  “እንዴት ዉጤታማ ውይይት ሊያደርጉ ይችላሉ? እንዴት በዓባይ ጉዳይ በአጪር ግዜ ሊስማሙ ይችላሉ?” ይሉናል፡፡ መልሱን ግን ራሳቸው ከስር መልሰውት አንደገና ወደ አጓጉል ጥርጣሬ ዘው ብለው ይሄዳሉ፡፡

የኢትዮጵያ እና የግብጽ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴሮች የተስማሙት በዋናነት “በቅርቡ ዓለምአቀፉ የባለሙያዎች ቡድን ባቀረባቸው የወደፊት ሀሳቦች ላይ የሶስትዮሽ ምክክር ለመቀጠል ነው፡፡” ይህ ማለት በዋናነት የባለሙያዎች ቡድኑ ቢሆኑ ብሎ አስተያየት የሰጠባቸውን ሀሳቦች ለመተግበር ነው እንቅስቃሴው፡፡ እነዚህ ሀሳቦች ምንድን ናቸው ብለን ስንጠይቅ አንደኛ ያልታዩ ጉዳቶች ካሉ እንዲመረመሩ ተጨማሪ ጥናት ማድረግ ሲሆን ይህም በዋናነት የማህበራዊ እና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ጥናቶችን ማድረግ፣ ሁለተኛ ግድቡ ይበልጥ ለሶስቱ ሀገራት አሁን ካለው ተጨማሪ ጥቅም እንዲሰጥ ማድረግ እና ትብብርን ማጠናከር የሚሉ ይገኙባቸዋል፡፡ ይህን ለማድረግ ምክክሩ እና ድርድሩ መቀጠል ስላለበት ድርድሩን እና ውይይቱን የባለሙያዎቹ ቡድን ባስቀመጠው መልኩ ነው አሁን የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒትሮቹ የተስማሙት፡፡ ይህ እንግዲህ እሰየው… ይበል በርቱ የሚያስብል ነገር ነው፡፡ አቶ አብርሐ ይህን ነገር ማስተዋል ትተው የገቡት የራሳቸውን መላምት አምጥቶ በመወተፍ ሌላ ጥርጣሬ ውስጥ እራሳቸውንም አንባቢውንም መዘወር ነው፡፡ የሀገራቱን አቋም በተመለከተ ኢትዮጵያ አቋሟን ግልጽ አድርጋለች፡፡ ግድቡ ለሴኮንድም ቢሆን ግንባታው አይቋረጥም፣ የግድቡ ውሃ የመያዝ አቅም ከ72 ቢሊዮን ኩቢክ ሜትር ዝቅ አይልም የሚሉት በዋናነት ግድቡን በተመለከተ፡፡ እንዲሁም ደግሞ አጠቃላይ የአባይ ውሃ አጠቃቀምን በተመለከተ ኢትዮጵያ ከአጼ ኃይለስላሴ ዘምነ-መንግስት ጀምሮ እንዳለቸው በቅኝ ግዛትም ሆነ በሁለትዮሽ የተፈረሙትን የ1929ም ሆነ 1959 ስምምነትን አትቀበልም፡፡ ይህም የማይናወጽ አቋም ነው፡፡ ይህንም የናይል ተፋሰስ ስምምነትን/የኢንቴቤውን ስምምነት በመፈርምም በማጽደቅም አረጋግጣለች፡፡ ታዲያ አቶ አብርሐ እነዚህ ጉዳዮች ሳይዳስሱ ሳይወያዩባቸው ሚኒስትሮቹ እርስዎ የት አምጥተው እዚህ ውስጽ ዶሏቸው?

የአቶ አብርሐ የገረመኝ አንድ ህልዮት ይህ ነው፡፡ “ቀደም ሲል ‘በዓባይ ጉዳይ በቀላሉ መስማማት የሚቻለው ቢያንስ አንደኛው ወገን ብሄራዊ ጥቅሙ አሳልፎ ሲሰጥ ብቻ ነው’ የሚል መልእክት ያለው ሓሳብ አስፍሬ ነበር።” ይላሉ፡፡ ይህ ለእኔ እንግዲህ እሚዋጥ አይደለም፡፡ አሁን ያለው የተፋሰሱ ሁኔታም ይህን የሚፈቅድ አይደለም፡፡ ሀገራቱ ብሐራዊ ጥቅማቸውን አሳልፈው ስለሚሰጡ አይደለም የአባይ ጉዳይ የሚፈታው፡፡ ሁሉም ሀገራት ብሔራዊ ጥቅማቸውን ባስጠበቀ መልኩ በሚያደርጉት ውይይት እንጅ፡፡ አቶ አብርሐ እያሉን ያሉት የዜሮ ድምር ጨዋታን  ነው፡፡ እሱ ጨዋታ እኮ ቆየ ከተቀየረ አባይ ተፋሰስ ላይ፡፡ ሁሉም ሀገር በዚህ አቋም አንዲትም እርምጃ መራመድ አይችልም፡፡ ምክንያቱም የተናጠል ስራን ያገናልና በዋናነት ተጠቂዎቹ እነማን እንደሆኑ ግልጽ ነው፡፡ ለዚህም ነው እኮ የግብጽ ውሃ ሀብት ልማት ሚኒስቴር የነበሩት እና በላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ዘንድ ከበሬታ ያላቸው ደ/ር መሐመድ አቡ ዛይድ በአንድ ወቅት ከታይም መጽሄት ጋር ባደረጉት ቃለ ምልልስ በአባይ ውሃ ላይ የላይኞቹን ሀገራት አትጠቀሙ ብለን መከልከል አንችልም፡፡ ሆኖም ግን እንዴት የሀገሮቻችንን ጥቅም አስማምተን መሄድ እንዳለብን መተባበር ነው፡፡ ያሉት፡፡ ሌላው አቶ አብርሐ በድርድር ሂደት ውስጥ ሰላምን ለማምጣት እና በጋራ ለመጠቀም ሌላ አማራጭ መፍትሔ እንዳለ ያጡታል ብዮ አላምንም፡፡ አላስብምም፡፡ እስኪ ትንሽ የጨዋታ ህልዮትን/ Game Theory የምትባለዋን ነገር በደንብ ይመልከቷት፡፡ ምን ያዋጣል… ይህን ብንመርጥ ምን ይቀርብናል.. ምንስ እናገኛለን… ሌሎቹ ሀገራትስ ምን ይመልሳሉ… ምን ያደርጋሉ… ወዘተ እያሉ የጨዋታ ህልዮትን ይዳስሳሉ፡፡ እናም የተሸለ የሚሉትን ካለው ነባራዊሁኔታ እና የሀገራት ስልት ጋር በማስተያየት የራሳቸውን ስልት ይነድፋሉ፡፡ ከዚህ አንጻር የዜሮ ድምር እሳቤው አካሄድ የትም አያደርሰም፡፡ ለዛም ነው ትብብር እ ድረድር ብለው የተፋሰሱ ሀገራት ላለፉት 14 ዓመታት አብረው የዘለቁት፡፡ ይህ ማት ግን ስምምነት አለ ማለት አይደለም በሁሉም መስክ፡፡ ያም ሆነ ይህ አቶ አብርሐ ደስታ በራስዎ እሳቤ እና ፍላጎት ወይም ምልከታ ድርድሩን ስለሰፈሩት አንደትርጓሜዎ ከሆነ “ስምምነቱ ተግባራዊ ከሆነ የኢትዮዽያ መንግስት ተሸንፏል ማለት ነው። ዶ/ር ቴድሮስ አድሃኖም በትክክል ተሸውዷል።” የተሸወደው ግን ማን ነው? እርስዎ አይደሉምን?! ለምን?

አንደኛ አቶ አብርሐ በውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትሮቹ መካከል የነበረውን ውይይት ፍሬ ሀሳብ አልያዙትም፡፡ አልተረዱትም፡፡ የባለሙያዎች ቡድኑ የጠቆማቸውን ሀሳቦች ለመተግበር ድርድሩን ለመቀጠል ነው ሚኒስትሮቹ የተስማሙት እርስዎ ግን ሌላ ቦታ ገብተዋል፡፡ አንድ ነገር ላስታውስዎ፡፡ ይህ ቡድን እንዲቋቋም ሀሳብ ያቀረበችው ኢትዮጵያ ናት በጥሩ የወንድማማችነት እና ጎረቤትነት መንፈስ፡፡ ይህም የሚያሳየው ሀገሪቱ ያላትን በራስ መተማመን የሚያሳይ ነው ልብ ብለው ቢያስተውሉት፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር ተያይዞ የባለሙያዎች ቡድኑ ለሶስቱ ሀገራት መንግስታት (ግብጽ፣ ሱዳን እና ኢትዮጵያ) ሪፖርቱን ባቀረበበት ዕለት የኢትዮጵያ ውሃ እና ኢነርጂ ሚኒስቴር እንዲህ ብሎ ነበር በመግለጫው፡-

አለም አቀፉ የባለሞያዎች ቡድን ታላቁ የህዳሴ ግድብ ለሶስቱ የተፋሱ አገሮች ግብጽ፣ሱዳንና ኢትዮጵያ የሚሰጠውን ጥቅም፥ እንዲሁም ግድቡ በሁለቱ የታችኛው የተፋሰሱ አገሮች ላይ የሚያደሰው ጉዳት ካለ የፕሮጀክቱን የጥናት ሰነድ በመመልከት፥ በጥናት ሂደት ውስጥ ያልታዩ ወይንም በደንብ ያልተዳሰሱ ጉዳዮች ካሉ ለይቶ የኢትዮጵያ ፌደራላዊ ዴሞክራሲያዊ መንግስት አስፈላጊውን የማስተካከከያ እርምጃ እንዲወስድ ሀሳብ የማቅረብ ሃላፊነት የተጣለበት አካል ነው፡፡

ይህ ማለት አቶ አብርሐ ግድቡን አቁሙ ይላሉ ማት አይደለም፡፡ ሳይንስን መሰረት አድርጎ የሚሰራ ስለሆነ ጉዳጥ ካለ አንዲህ አድርጉ ከተባለ እስከታመነበት ድረስ ይደረጋል፡፡ ምክንያቱም ከመጀመሪያው ጀምሮ ኢትዮጵያ ግልጽ እንዳደረገችው ግድቡ የሚገነባው ሌሎቹን ሀገራት በመጉዳት ኢትዮጵያን ብቻ ለመጥቀም ሳይሆን ኢትዮጵያ የሌሎቹ ሀገራት የውሃ ፍላጎት ላይ የጎላ ጉዳት ሳታደርስ ውሃውን መጠቀም እንዲሁም የሁለቱን የግርጌ ሀገራት ተጠቃሚነትም ማረጋገጥ ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም ይህ ድርድር የዚህ ሂደት አካል እንጅ ሌላ ጉዳይ የለውም፡፡ ሌላ በዚሁ መግለጫ ውሃ እና ኢነርጂ ሚኒስቴር የባላሙያዎች ቡድኑን አጠቃለይ ሪፖርት በሚገባ በመመርመር ለወደፊቱ ትብብሩ የሚቀጥልበትን መንገድ እናሳውቃለን ብሎ ነበር፡፡ እናም የተሸወዱት እርስዎ  ነዎት፡፡ ልብ ብለው ይመርምሩት ጉዳዩን፡፡

ሁለተኛ አቶ አብርሐም የዘነጉት ነገር ደ/ር ቴድሮስ እንዲህ አይነት ድርድር ላይ ብቻቸውን የተዋያዩ የመሰላቸው መሰለኝ፡፡ ወይም ደግሞ በዙሪያቸው ድጋፍ ሰጪ ዋና የመስኩ ባለሙያዎች የሌሉ ያክል  ነው የቆጠሩት፡፡ ወይም ደግሞ ቢኖሩም ዋጋ የላቸውም በግብጾች ተብልተዋል ዕውቀቱ ስሌላቸው ዓይነት እሳቤ እንዳለ ከስር ገልጸውልናል፡፡፡ ይህም ስህተት ነው፡፡ ከዚህ ላይ ማለት የምፈለገው ቢኖር አቶ አብርሐ ሃሳብ ገብቶዎት ከሆነ ሊሰመርባቸው እና ሊታሰብባቸው የሚገቡ ጉዳዮች ብለው ሃሳብዎን ባቀረቡ ነበር፡፡ ነገር ግን ነገርን አጩሆ ተሸወደ ተሸወድን ብሎ ማለት በራሱ ስህተት ይመስለኛል፡፡ እጅግም ነው፡፡ የሚበጅ ሃሳብን ማካፈል አንድ ነገር ነው፡፡ ዘሎ ነገሩን ልብ ብለው ሳይረዱ ወቀሳ እና ከሰሳ ላይ መግባት እርስዎን ትዝብት ውስጥ ይጥልወታል፡፡ ጉዳዩን በቅርብ የሚከታተሉ ጉዳዮ ብለው የያዙት ሰዎች እንዳሉም አይዘንጉ፡፡ እርስዎ እንዳሉት ቢሆን ኖሮ አገር ይነቃነቅ ነበር፡፡ እኔን ጨምሮ ማለት ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም ዘወር ብለው የጻፉትን ነገር ያስቡት ደጋግመው የተሸወዱት እርሰዎ ነዎትና፡፡

ሶስተኛ እንደ አቶ አብርሐ ሀተታ የሸወደችን ግብጽ ናት፡፡ ምነው እና ግብጽን አልተሸደችም? ልብ ይበሉ አቶ አብርሐ የእርሰዎን ህልዮት ይዤ ነው የምጠይቅዎ፡፡ አንዲህ ማለትዎን አይዘንጉ ‘በዓባይ ጉዳይ በቀላሉ መስማማት የሚቻለው ቢያንስ አንደኛው ወገን ብሄራዊ ጥቅሙ አሳልፎ ሲሰጥ ብቻ ነው’፡፡ በርሰዎ እይታ ኢትዮጵያ ተሸናፊ ወይም ብሔራዊ ጥቅሟን አሳልፋ የምትሰጥ ግብጽ ደግሞ ተሟሟች ናት፡፡ ይህ ለእኔ የመንፈሰዊ ልዕልና ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ ራን ዝቅ አድርጎ የማየት እና ሀገርን የማሳነስ፡፡ ሌላ ጉዳይ ላይ ስለደገሙት እመለስበታለሁኝ ከስር፡፡ አንድ ነገር ግን ላስምር እኔ እስካሁን ያየሁት እና እየሆነም ያለው ኢትዮጵያ እንዳለቸው  ነው፡፡ የባለሙያዎች ትብብሩ ይቋቋም አለች-ተቋቋመ፤ ሀሳቡን በማቅረብ ሀገራቱ ይወያዩ፤ይመካከሩ አለ.. ኢትዮጵያ ይን አለች፡፡ ሆኖም እነ ሞርሲ የጦርነት ታምቡር ደለቁ… መለኸት አስነፉ… ወዘተ ወዘተ.. በዚህም ምክንያት ድርድሩ እና ምክክሩ መስተጓጎል ገጠመው፡፡ ከዛ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትሩ መሀመድ ከማል አሚር  ኢትዮጵያ መጡ ከአቻቸው ከደ/ር ቴድሮስ ጋር ተነጋገሩ ምክክሩ ይቀጥል ተባብለው ተስማሙ፡፡ እውነታው ይህ ነው፡፡ የሸወደም የተሸወደም የለም በሀገራቱ መካከል፡፡ ያም ሆነ ይህ አሁንም ሃሳብዎን ያጢኑት ዘንድ አደራ እልወታለሁ፡፡ የተሸወዱት እርስ ነዎትና!!

ለ. የኢትዮጵያ ባለሙያዎችን በተመለከተ

እንደ አቶ አብርሐ ገለጻ ኢትዮጵያ በፖለቲካም ሆነ የቴክኒክ ጉዳዮችን ጠንቅቀው የሚያውቁ ባለሙያዎች እንደሌሏት ነገረውና እንዲህ ሲሉ፡- “ኢትዮዽያ ብቁ የቴክኒክና የፖለቲካ ተደራዳሪዎች የሏትም፡፡” ልጠይቅዎ እስኪ ምን ዓይነት ጥናት አድርገው የደረሱበት ድምዳሜ ነው ይሄ? የኢትዮ-ኤርትራ ጉዳይ ላይ የነበረው ሁኔታ ለአባይ ጉዳይ ማንጸሪያ ሆኖ መቅረብ ነበረበት ወይ? ምን ያክልስ የኢትዮጵያ ውሃ እና ኢነርጂ ሚኒስትርን ያውቁታል? ምንያክልስ በናይል ተፋሰስ የትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ ላይ ተደራደሪዎቻችን ምን እንደሰሩ እነማን አንደነበሩ ያውቃሉ ወይ? ለዚህ ድምዳሜዎ ማረጋገጫዎ ምንድን ነው? እኔ ግን እልወታለሁ…

በዚህ ጉዳይ ኢትዮጵያን አያውቋትም፡፡ ከላይ አንደጠቀስኩት ይህ አንደኛ የመንፈሳዊ ልዕልና ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ ለራስ የሚሰጥ ምስል ጉዳይ፡፡ ስለራስ ያለ ግንዛቤ ጉድለት፡፡ ላለፉት ዘጠኝ ዓመታት በዓባይ ተፋሰስ ላይ ጥናቴን ሳካሂድ እጅግ የሚያስደምሙ እና የሚያኮሩ ሰዎቸን አግኝቻለሁ፡፡ አንቱ ከተባሉ የሜትሮሎጅ ሳይንቲስቶች እስከ የውሃ ኢኮኖሚስቶች፣ ከውሃ ፖለቲካ ተንታኞች እስከ የዓለምአቀፍ የውሃ ህግ ባለሙያዎች፣ ሀይድሮሎጅስቶች፣ የውሃ መሐንዲሶች ወዘተ… በአንድም በሌላም መልኩ ኢትዮጵያን ወክለው የናይል የትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ ስምምነት ላይ ከተደራደሩ ኢትዮያውያን ውስጥ አራቱን በቅርብ የማውቃቸው እና የማከብራቸው ሰዎች ናቸው፡፡ እናም እነሆ እኔ ምስክር ሆንኩ፡፡ ራስን ጭቃ የሚያደርግ ሁሉ ይረገጣል ይል ነበር አንድ ወንድምሁነኝ እዘዘው የሚባል የቀለም ቀንድ የሆነ አብሮ አደጌ፡፡ እናም አቶ አብርሐም መጀመሪያ ቀርበው ይዩ፡፡ እነማን አሉ ይበሉ፡፡ ከዛ ትችቱንም ምኑንም ይቀጥሉ፡፡ ሳያውቁት ውስጡን እንዲህ የራስን ማሳነስ ያስተዛዝባል፡፡ ሊቁ አቡነ ሉቃስ በአንድ ወቅት አንዲህ ብለው ነበር ቁጥሩን በትክክል ማለቴን እንጃ ግን ሀሳቡን ብቻ ልበል፡፡  አንድ ሌባ አንዲት ሴትዮ ቤት ይገባና የተወሰነ ብር ይሰርቃል፡፡ ወደ ሃያ ብር ገደማ ነው፡፡ ሌባው ጠፋ፡፡ ጎረቤት ቢጤ ነው፡፡ ከዚያ ሴትዮዋ አገር ይያዝልኝ ብሬ ጠፋ ብለው ኡኡታወን አቀለጡት፡፡ በመቀጠል ሰዎች ተደናግጠው ስንት ብር ነው የጠፋ እማማ ምን ያክል ነው? ይረጋጉ ይሏቸዋል፡፡ ሴትዮዋም ሌባው የለም ብለው ሃምሳ ብር ብለው እርፍ፡፡ ይህኔ ሌባው ኸረ ተው ሌባም ይታዘባል፡፡ አሏቸው አሉ፡፡ እናም ውድ አቶ አብርሐም በዚህ አገላለጽዎት ግብጾቹም ይታዘባሉ፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር በተያያዘ አንድ ነገርን ማለት ወደድሁኝ፡፡ ግብጻውያን ብዙ ውሃ ላይ የሚሰሩ ባለሙያዎች አሏቸው፡፡ ይህ እርግጥ ነው፡፡ በዚያው ልክም እጅጉን ይጋነናል፡፡ እነሱም ለራሳቸው ያጋነሉ እኛም ስለ እነሱ እናጋናለን፡፡ ይህም በውሃ ባለሙያዎች ብቁ ነን ባይነታቸው ወደ ትምክህተኝነት ስለወሰዳቸው ግብጾቹ የግድቡን ጥንካሬ እኛ እንመርምረው አሉ፡፡ ሊበሏት ያሰቧትን እንዲሉ፡፡ በነገራችን ላይ የግብጹ የታላቁ አስዋን ግድብ ሲሰራ የቴክኒክ ባለሙያዎቹ በዋናነት ራሻውያን ነበሩ፡፡ አቶ አብርሐምን አንድ ተስፋ ልነግርዎት ወደድሁኝ በአሁኑ ሰዓት ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ እና ከኢትዮጵያ ውጭ ውሃ ላይ የሚሰሩ በተለያየ የጥናት መስክ እያስመሰከሩ/specialize እያደረጉ/ ያሉ እጅግ ብዙ ኢትዮያውያን አሉ-በሁሉም ከውሃ ጋር በተያያዙ መስኮች፡፡ ስለሆነም አይሳሳቱ ለማለት ያክል ነው፡፡

ለማጠቃለል ያክል ጉዳዩ ታላቅ አጀንድ እና ሀገራዊ ጉዳይ ስለሆነ ከጥርጣሬ እና ከራሳችን መላምት ወጥተን ሀገርን እንደ ሀገር መደገፍ ላይ ብናተኮር መልካም ነው፡፡ አበቃሁ!!!

ETHIOPIA: Scars of the Nile Dispute since the mid-1900s

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Natural Resources: Assets and Liabilities

Due to different factors different countries have different types of natural resources. Some are rich but a few poor. Countries Blue Nilesuch as in the tropics are rich in natural resources. The utilization of natural resources have made miracles in different countries and expanding their economies with a tangible effect of changing the lives of their people to the better. On the contrary, there are countries rich in natural resources and minerals but the poorest due to different factors. D.R. Congo is the best illustration of such an enigma. Shall we call it a resource curse? Not actually the story is different. It will be clear below. In any case, if a country is rich in any natural resource or minerals-especially when that resources is transboundary-in case shared with other states such as rivers, ground water, grazing land, oil fields and so on or if different states or non-states actors have an interest of using that resource, the resources to the state have either of two features. i.e. they could be assets or liabilities.

Firstly, the natural resources could be assets as their proper, effective and efficient utilization and exploitation will enhance the economic prosperity of the state concerned or the wellbeing of the society at the grass root level. These resources in this case are assets because they are the source of the country´s economic, political, socio-cultural as well as psychological life. Their reward is huge. Secondly, resources could be liabilities to the state/s concerned if they are underutilized and other states or non-state actors have a greed interest on the resource. For example, the crisis in D.R. Congo is attributed to the underutilization of the resource by the government in a way that benefits its people. To make the long story short, from the era of Leopold II to the death of Lumumba, from Mobuto to the Kabilas, the rich resources have not been turned to change the life of the Congolese people but the king, the multinationals and the dictators. In the middle those who are suffering are the poor ordinary people. This is the case in one country more on minerals. Now let us look in to transboundary water resources and their feature as assets and liabilities.

Rivers never knew boundaries. They do not recognize artificially and politically demarcated lines which tried to fight the undefeatable nature. They have sources and mouths. That is what they know. But due to the boundaries lined there are rivers called transboundary watercourses which are shared between two and more than two sovereign independent states. In some countries these transboundary water resources have turned into miracles in shining the states with lights and feeding population with their outputs. Among others, the Colorado, the Mekong, the Rhine, the Euphrates-Tigris, Indus, to mention the few rivers which are being utilized for the benefit of the people who shared them and where their source countries are in one way or another beneficiaries. But there are rivers which had been liabilities for generations without yielding benefits but were instrumental in the process of the weakening of their source countries. In this regard, no river in the world is analogous to the Nile. Of course, we can mention about the water problem in the Palestine-Israel conflicts especially the aquifers in the West Bank which added wounds on the Palestinians due to Israel´s water interest in the dries region of the world.  But the Nile is unique. It is a source of life and hosting the world’s ancient civilizations of Axum, Nubia, Merowe and Kush Egypt. Yet it had been a liability to its source Ethiopia especially since the first three decades of the 19th century to the 21st century. Despite transboundary watercourse could be used as catalyst of cooperation and integration between the riparians sharing them political decisions of states have made them more political and source of tension and conflict.

The Nile Dispute and its scars on Ethiopia

Dispute over the Nile waters is not new and not a surprise. The foreign policy of the country regarding the Nile was designed in the late 1860s by a Swiss mercenary-some called him adventurer Warner Munzinger. The then king of Egypt was advised by the Swiss man to control the source of the Nile and the motto of the King’s imperial expedition was to “put the whole Nile valley under the green flag of Egypt.” Munzinger advised Khedive saying “Ethiopia with a disciplined administration and army, and a friend of the European powers, is a danger for Egypt. Egypt must either take over Ethiopia and Islamize it, or retain it in anarchy and misery.” (I recommend readers to find and read Wondimneh Tilahun´s 1979 book entitled “Egypt´s imperial aspiration over lake Tana and the Blue Nile and Sven Rubenson´s Survival of Ethiopia´s independence for the details.”) Egypt has failed to achieve the first goal of controlling the whole Ethiopia as evidenced in the sixteen battles fought between the two countries from the 1832 Gedarif to the 1876 Gura. Egypt lost all the battles. Munzinger himself was died while leading a battalion in today´s Afar region where no single person was survived to tell the story on his side. Yet since the 1950s, Egypt used the second policy and strategic tactic in order to “retain it [Ethiopia] in anarchy and misery.” In line with this, different methods that the timing allows Egypt have been used in order to make Ethiopia weak, divided and fragile. Such Egypt´s policy is based on one unkindly fermented and grown assumption of the Egyptian policy makers and academia that “War in Ethiopia is peace in Egypt and Peace in Ethiopia is war in Egypt.” The scars of such Egypt’s move are visible as discussed below.

A. Eritrea and the Red Sea

AssqabThe 1950s marked the turning point of the Ethio-Egyptian relations on the Nile in particular and the overall relations in general. The new regime in Egypt under Gamel Abdel Nassir was starting a new initiative of controlling the Nile by any means. He was thinking of the Aswan High Dam and he did it later. In line with this, thanks to the 1958 coup d’état in Sudan he was able to force Sudan to sign the 1959 Agreement in Egypt´s favor. A problem for him was the presence of Ethiopia as the mother of the Nile River on its source. The most immediate mechanism he sought was trying to cunning Ethiopia but his attempt failed. Then the internal problem of Ethiopia regarding the Eritrean issue was an opportunity for him. Disgruntled Eritreans were called to Cairo and hosted with a delivery of what they all need. Especial program from Radio Cairo was doing the propaganda job by an attempt to alienate Ethiopian Muslims from Ethiopia, Al Azahar University gave scholarships to Eritrean Muslims and A military training camp for Eritreans was opened (For the details read Daniel Kinde). The main objective of such move was to undermine Ethiopia in the region and to turn the Red Sea in to an Arab Sea (ethiopia-and-the-middle-east-haghai-erlich and ethiopia-and-the-red-sea-mordichi-abir). The womb of the Eritrean rebels ELF later EPLF is therefore Cairo and the godfathers were Nassir, Sadat and Mubarak-rememebr from Woldeab Woldemariam and Ibrahim Sultan Ali to Shabia. The recent Shabia´s show up of pledge to stand on the side of Egypt regarding the colonial and bilateral agreements is part of rewarding the patron.

Later own with the escalation of the armed conflict between the rebels from Eritrea and the Ethiopian government under Emperor Haileselassie and Dergue the blessing and support of Egypt to the rebels was tremendous.  From the very first day to date the group in Asmara has been Trojan Horse of Egypt in the Horn of Africa. In addition to the years before 1991, Egypt´s support to the group in Asmara during the Ethio-Eritrean war of 1998-2000 was enormous.

B. The Ethio-Somali wars and the Current Somalia Crises

Despite the Somalia chauvinism and irredentism had its origins from a series of historical trajectories it was though heightened by the support of external actors in the region.  For obvious reasons the Cold War politics had its impact on the process as the two super-powers were playing their game through their proxies. Yet the support of countries such as Egypt to Siade Barre was tremendous.  Egypt supported Somalia in military trainings, weaponry and military experts.  Siade Barre would not have the gut to invade Ethiopia had he not been aided by Egypt and used the Cold War rivalry as an opportunity.

After the end of the Barre regime and the turning of Somalia into a collapsed state Egypt had to play a destructive role to any peace initiative. Between November 1996 and January 1997 Ethiopia was able to gather 26 Somalia factions to make peace at Sodere. But this move of Ethiopia that was believed to be constructive faced a challenge from Egypt because it hosted another conference in November 1997. Investigating the way Egypt involves in the post-1990s Somalia Medhane Tadesse (2002) noted that Egypt by organizing the Arab world, its foreign policy towards Somalia has been based on obstructionist diplomacy. Sally Healy, in her Lost Opportunities in the Horn of Africa has identified the same policy orientation of Egypt in Somalia. In addition to this, Egypt was one of the major states and militant groups in supporting the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) which had appeared as a danger to the overall security of the Greater Horn of Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular. According to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1724/2006 of November 2006 citing the final report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia (document S/2006/913 (see paragraph 213 Page 42) stated that, Egypt with others by defying the UN arms embargo on Somalia supported the UIC with huge arms flow. The UIC was then declaring holy war against Ethiopia (July 2006) and the later was forced to ambush the danger in a self-defense on December 2006. Be that as it may, due to the UIC politics Ethiopia once again fought a battle in the Eastern frontier. One can imagine the human and material cost of the war.

C. Hindering Access to International Finance

Mega projects on transboundary watercourses by economically poor states would be successful if states concerned secure external financial sources such as from development banks. Ethiopia for long has tried its best to secure funding from World_Bankinternational funding agencies for its water development projects such as from the African Development Bank and the World Bank. But none of these financial institutions are willing to be positive. In the early days of 1990, for instance, Ethiopia was denied loan from the African Development Bank for its dam projects. The main obstacle to the offer has always been Egypt claiming that Ethiopia’s water projects will cause adverse effects on its interest. John Waterbury in his 2002 book entitled The Nile Basin: National Determinants of Collective Action stated that, such financial institutions are hosts of struggle between riparian states whom requested for financial access and who are watchdogs not to allow such thing happened to the requesting state. In his observation “the real water wars take place [in these institutions], mercifully without bloodshed.” Comparing the presence of staffs of the institutions, Waterbury like anyone was unsurprised why Egypt is confident that Ethiopia will not secure finance from such intuitions.

Concluding Remarks

I would like to remind readers that there are other issues which I do not indulge on in detail. Even I do not mention some in detail. Following the whole process of discourse formation and other issues, looking at their writings and their scholarships at al Azahar University and the writings from Cairo University are worth discussing but when the time comes. Furtheremore, the role of the Nile walitics in Sudan´s war is not touched up on-which is a long story as part of resource war in the region.

In relation to Ethiopia and the unresolved Nile dispute since the mid-1990s, we can then identify two major scars in the whole process of the civil war and the inter-state wars Ethiopia came through. Firstly, Ethiopia lost its land, people and sea in the North as Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia. I would like to stress that I am not covering up the internal conditions of Ethiopia which was the fundamental causes of the mess. My point here is that the then rebels felt confident because of the support they secured from their Arab patrons especially Egypt.  Let us imagine what would happen if there was no any military or financial support from the other side of the Red Sea and the mouth of the Nile. Secondly, due to financing the consecutive wars fought Ethiopia´s human and material resource was lost. Because it was occupied on war for long Ethiopia had no time to engage in development activities. This was what Egypt needed and it was partially successful. Different projects commenced were halted due the war. Among others was the Tana-Beles Development Project of the 1980s which was meant to settle thousands of Ethiopian´s following the famine of the mid-1980s. Dr. Yacob Arsano in his 2007 book Ethiopia and the Nile stated that the project was not successfully implemented due to political instability and mismanagement. The political instability during those days was the civil war especially it was a time where the war in Eritrea was heightened. While treating the civil war the country´s resource was drained and its capacoty was limited to war and war only. The wounds of that period is still painful we accept it or not. The other scar has to do with the lack of access to international financial institutions because of Egypt´s objections.

Now let us ask one question, had the dispute on the Nile been solved would Ethiopia live with these scars? Solving the water Flag-Pins-Ethiopia-Egyptsharing dispute in the Nile basin will answer many question to the Greater Horn of Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular. It is the hope and optimism of this writer to see peoples and states quarreled, this way or that way and affected by the hydropolitics of the Nile be come together and unite due to this river of life-the Nile¦¦ It needs a political decision of politicians to leave the old school to change the Nile Basin and the whole region-a region of peace, development, mutual benefit and understanding. It is difficult and full of ups and downs. But through the Nile it is possible to heal wounds and remove scars¦¦

Politicization of science from Cairo University on the Ethiopian Dam

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Politicization is a process of making something and some issue to serve the political perspective of someone. In fact, as the political scientist-Rober Cox in 1981 famously stated even “Theory is always for someone and for some purpose.” Hence, politicization of science is the process and act of using or manipulating-better to say, science to serve a needed political goal or end. It is obvious that science and politics are intertwined in many aspects. Yet a mere polarization mostly created a very perilous situation if we have two opposing views where the facts based on science could solve such differences-for example the politics behind climate change is one illustration of such kind.

As clearly explained by Pielke (2004), an extreme politicization of science by scientists is dangerous because it is “a threat to the institutions of science and democracy.” Pielke was challenging the politicized works on climate change and related issues. He mainly focused his explanation on the book entitled The Skeptical Environmentalist wrote by a Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg. Pielke in general warned that “If scientists evaluate the research findings of their peers on the basis of political perspectives, then “scientific” debate among academics risks morphing into political debates.” This is exactly what happened when a group of professors from Cairo University released what they cliamed is a report on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The professors are members of what they said “Group of Nile Basin (GNB) at Cairo University to Support Egypt.” Most of them are drawn from the engineering and hydraulic faculties. Mohamed Nasir El Din Alam ex-minister of Water Resources and Irrigation during the last days of the Mubarak era is a member of the group as well. As stated in their report which is translated by Egyptianchronicles blog “The purpose of the group is to support the effort of Government and the decision makers facing these serious escalating water threats” These individuals recently prepared a “report” of their view about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The full report is available in the blog mentioned above but here I will reflect on what they said is the major concerns about the GERD and other three remaining dams on the Blue Nile which are lined up to follow. But there view is extremely politicized and it forces us to question their credibility. In the following parts I will show how much their conclusions are politicized.

A. On the International Panel of Experts on the GERD Report

The professors from Cairo University blatantly misuse and misinterpreted the conclusions of the final report of the IPoE on the GERD. This is mainly because they run to select on what they claim are the concerns as

  1. There are no sufficient structural studies.
  2. There is a lack in the hydrological investigations.
  3. There are no environmental impact assessments on the two downstream      countries; Egypt and Sudan.

But the other side of the story as evidenced in the IPoE Report is

  1. The design of the dam is based on international standards
  2. The dam upon accomplishment will yield a lot of benefits to the basin countries
  3. The GERD will not cause significant harm to water flow downstream
  4. To increase the benefits and reduce unseen risks it is recommended to do further studies on socio-economic and environmental aspects

The selection and exaggeration by the professors is purely political and had they have the firm belief in solving the Nile dispute in a way that benefits all riparian states by win-win gains this would not be the way. Yet because what they have in mind is one political perspective they ignored the other side of the story. It should be worth mentioning that had the Dam had that exaggerated impact on downstream states as the professors in Egypt loud it, Sudan would not have to be quite. But Sudan chose the other way of cooperation and affirms and reaffirms the importance of the Dam to downstream states.

B.  Areas of Concern: Politicization of Science on its Peak

The professors under sub-title “Areas of Concern to be considered by the Egyptian Government” have identified four concerns and their counter solutions. All of the concerns in one way or another are victims of politicization and are merely designed to pressure the government of Egypt as well as other riparian states that Egypt will not move an inch to compromise on the 1959 Agreement despite it is a dead-end for upstream states. Furthermore, the politicization process is further aided by the mistrust and suspicion developed in the Egyptian mind which emanates from what I called-Ethiophobia.  The following are their concerns and my reflections is done accordingly.

1. “The plan for the 4 dams on the Blue Nile aims at total control of the water in the Blue Nile which is the main supplier to the Nile. As such, this plan shall subsequently include total control of the share of Egypt’s share of the water in the Nile and the possible redundancy or at least dwarfing the role of the High Dam in securing the future supply of water to Egypt.”

The professors are concerned about Ethiopia´s plan of constructing not only the GERD but the remaining three mega dams on the Blue Nile namely Mabil, Kara Dobi and Mendaia. The professors’ wariness is understandable but in this part they did not provide us with scientific evidence except airing their political suspicion that by constructing these dams Ethiopia is to control the waters of the Nile. This claim of the professors is based on two assumptions. Firstly they are talking about “Egypt´s share of the Nile.” What is this share? Is there any water allotted to the riparian states equitably and reasonably? The answer is no. But these individuals are claiming that share is based on the bilateral 1959 Agreement which is null and void from upstream perspective morally, legally as well as politically. The second assumption is psycho-political in nature which is a result of mistrust and suspicion developed throughout history and largely since the 1950s. Egypt and Egyptians must be aware that no one in Ethiopia is working too anger or harm Egypt. Ethiopia has been calling Egypt for peace not for war. Ethiopia has been calling Egypt and Sudan for win-win gains of positive-sum-game not for zero-sum-game. If mistrust is in our mind how can we cooperate? All Ethiopians do understands the nature of Egypt and its dependency on the Nile. But its call is let us benefit from the fruits of the Nile together which at the same time we can increase its benefits. Regarding the GERD, Ethiopia has called Egypt and Sudan i public to share the cost of the dam as they are also beneficiaries from the fruits of the dam. If Ethiopia had had aim of causing harm to Egypt, it would not have to call both countries to cooperate on the dam and to establish the IPoE.

2. “The minimum requirement for the Egyptian Government should be the maximum size of the Dam not to exceed 14 billion cubic meter as per the proposal prior to the January 2011 Revolution. This capacity would enable producing 60% of the proposed electricity from GERD and with efficiency exceeding double the efficiency of the huge GERD and with much less cost and much less negative impacts that can be lived with. In addition, the proposed design of 14 cubic meters would fulfill most of the advantages of Sudan from GERD and as such, unifies the points of views of both Egypt and Sudan.”

The proposal of the 14 billion cubic meter dam for Ethiopia is problematic from different points of views. One taking the growing energy need of the country and expanding industries the operation of the GERD with full capacity is of huge importance. It is because of this reason that design change was made to increase the capacity of production from 5270 to 6000 megawatts of electricity. Hence a 40 percent reduction for Ethiopia is catastrophic because it is a country where its energy needs is doubling every three years. It should also be underlined that the structure on the ground now will not make it possible to reduce the size of the dam which is more than 20 percent accomplished. Moreover, it should be underlined that the construction of the dam and its full operation as well as the following construction of the other three dams for hydropower generation has no significant harm or impact on downstream states. So why Ethiopia is requested to change the design and install a 14 billion cubic meter dam while the 63 billion cubic meter dam has no impact on water flow downstream? Again this concern follows from the one explained under #1. That is the politics of mistrust and suspicion.

3. Reduction in the water share of Egypt will result in abandoning huge areas of agricultural lands and scattering millions of families….

In the beginning I have said that the professors` report is influenced by their political perspectives. So far the above two concerns fit that conclusion and here is the third one too. The professors are talking about the “water share of Egypt” which they claimed they have. But the issue of the 1959 agreement has nothing to do with this. The CFA was meant to solve the legal problem on the Nile by declaring the equality of all riparian states and their utilization of the Nile equitably and reasonably. This go with obliging all riparian states to take all necessary measures not to significantly affect the water needs of the other riparian states. The water sharing dispute is not yet addressed because Egypt and Sudan are not signing the CFA despite they had been negotiating to the last minute. But this does not stop upstream states from signing and ratifying the agreement. While not considering these all issues, in the concern they raised, the professors are talking about the huge areas of agricultural lands that would be abandoned due to a reduction of water due to upstream dams. Here it is worth mentioning that, Egypt since 1997 has increased its dependency on the Nile waters by diverting the Nile out of its natural basin to Northern Sinai and in the South West to Toshka. Such out of basin diversions are prohibited under international law. This Muabrak´s policy was to preclude Ethiopia and other upstream states from utilizing the Nile waters by creating facts on the ground that would help Egypt to control every drop of the Waters of the Nile. Yet Ethiopia from the very beginning has opposed the policy and is not responsible for the negligence of Egypt under Mubarak. So what is important now is leaving the old school and coming to dialogue and negotiation to minimize risks.

4. “Collapse of GERD will result in catastrophic effects in both Sudan and Egypt. This includes failures of dams, drowning of major towns and villages and exposing millions to the dangers of death and relocation”

The most absurd issue that I have been hearing is the would be collapse of the GERD from Egypt. This no more than either a wish to the demise of the dam by any means including sabotage as we watched from the televised discussions of the Salafist politicians or an extreme level of arrogance of scholarship on the area of dam engineering and hydrology as if Egyptians are the only in the area. It is an Italian company which working on it, don’t worry. If you are talking about endogenic forces Guba is free from that and in case if any, the engineering working has assumed it too.

The highly politicized view of the professors is further evidenced in their recommendations to their government. The professors are extremely worried about the size of the dam and they need to be notified for any future work on the Blue Nile. The way forward is an increasing trust and the Egyptian decision to join the CFA where the Nile riparian states can benefit a lot from their shared water resources. As I stated on other articles on the GERD and the CFA, such moves of Egyptian politicians or university professors is political and identical. What they need is the acceptance of the 1959 agreement by all riparian states and to make the CFA null before the ink gets dry. The 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan (Egypt actually due to the coup détat and other political issues) divided the entire Nile flow between Egypt, Sudan and evaporation. No cup of water was left to upstream states. So the question is: is it moral even for the Egyptians to ask their Nile brothers to be arrested by a treaty which the later never consulted, signed and accepted?

In general, the professors’ move was a mere rush to use their knowledge of expertise to achieve their political goals as mentioned above. But it would be nice for all epistemic community on the Nile have a common ground of humanity, mutual respect, mutual benefit and trust for win-win gains on the Nile. That is the only way out.


NB. One thing surprises me in the professors´ report is this point at the last paragraph. The professors claimed that, “It is not a secret that throughout … history, Egypt has never been an obstacle preventing the development in the African Nations in general and the countries of the Nile Basin in particular.” Be that as it may, the truth is on the contrary. I am not here to bring bad memory but I will post my article “Scars of the Nile Dispute since the mid-1900s” soon. I will show how development is undermined in upstream Ethiopia in particular and the Horn of Africa in general. Before that though I will be posting the excerpts and my own analysis on the importance of upstream dams to downstream states from three main researches done Guariso and whittington (1987), Whittington and McClelland (1992) and Block (2007).

The 1959 Nile «Agreement»: Why it is null and the way Forward for Downstream States

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

The Nile Basin is undergoing a dramatic shift since May 2010. Actually the process of change begun in the mid1990s when preparations were done to establish the later Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile (CFA) which was called D3 project initially and the 1999 establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). This was a period where once complacent over the Nile upstream riparian states in the Equatorial Lakes region started to engage rigorously in the Nile issue. Above all, the consolidation of new government in Ethiopia and the clear position of the country on the Nile-negotiating for equitable and reasonable water sharing on the Nile triggered the issue of change. This process was backed by development partners such as UNDP, CIDA and later the World Bank until the benefit sharing issue came in. In fact, Egypt had to drop its long standing position on no new water negotiation issue at this time. This process was also paralleled by the intensification of mega projects in both upstream and downstream states of the Nile.

The making of the multilateral Nile treaty took more than ten years from 1997 to 2010. The draft document of the treaty-the CFA was accomplished on 2007. Yet because upstream and downstream states of the Nile have divergent positions on the Nile regarding Article 14(b) its opening for signature was delayed. Despite reasoned on water security issue in the article mentioned above, the real cause of the divide were colonial and bilateral agreements concluded exclusively to benefit downstream states at the expense of upstream states. At the center of the debate is the 1959 Agreement which is the subject of this piece discussed below. To shed light to the existing situation though I have to remind readers that regarding Article 14(b) of the CFA all riparian states of the Nile except Egypt and Sudan that it should be read us Not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State…” Egypt proposed the replacement of the agreed wording by “Not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin state.” Egypt´s proposal is an attempt to maintain the status quo which is based on the 1959 “Agreement” with the Sudan.

Moreover, following Ethiopia´s decision of constructing the mega dam called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile-which is according to official statements more than 20 percent accomplished- Egyptian officials went on saying that the dam will reduce the water “share/quota of Egypt.” But let us ask this big question-which share? Who give you that quota? Their answer is clear the 1959 “Agreement.” They went on further saying that Egypt is not against any water development in upstream but as long as it is not against the 55.5 billion cubic meter of water they claimed they have according to this treaty with the Sudan. But is the 1959 agreement a matter of concern for upstream states? What are its basic elements? Is there any way for Egypt and Sudan to have a safe exit to join the CFA by nullifying this agreement? Why is the agreement null for upstream states?

The 1959 “Agreement” some Basic issues

One of the divisive issues regarding this agreement is its title which reads: AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC AND THE REPUBLIC OF SUDAN FOR THE FULL UTILIZATION OF THE NILE WATERS.” The very title of the agreement which is signed between two water receiver countries, without involving any of the water source countries and declaring “full utilization” its nonsensicality. This is in fact, an insult to upstream states, to their people and their interest.

The agreement furtherer endorsed the so-called acquired rights of both Egypt and Sudan. What are these rights? The agreement under Part I declared that both countries had rights under colonial treaty signed in 1929 when Great Britain on behalf of Sudan and its colonies in the region. The agreement further allotted the entire flow of the Nile between the two downstream states and the evaporation at Lake Nasser behind Aswan High Dam. Allocation is made then as follows. Egypt to utilize 55.5 billion cubic meters, Sudan to use 18.5 billion cubic meters and for evaporation more than 10 billion cubic meter. It should be clearly noted that the entire flow of the Nile as measured at Aswan in Egypt is estimated 84 billion cubic meters but vary from year to year. The colonial agreement of 1929 and the 1959 agreements are further problematic because they gave Egypt to have veto power on any upstream water projects.

The 1959 “Agreement” and upstream states

There are no any moral, legal as well as political reasons for upstream states to recognize this agreement. For them both the 1929 colonial and the 1959 agreements are null and void. Regarding the colonial treaties especially the 1929 agreement where Great Britain signed on behalf of its colonies, upstream states upon achieving their independence have made it clear that colonial treaties regarding the use of the Nile waters has no any binding nature on them. The famous Nyerere Doctrine is developed in this context. The making of international treaties and agreements perspective, any country would be abide by a treaty if and only if it is a signatory state or acceded to it. Neither of the upriver riparian states were party to this treaty notably the not colonized state Ethiopia.

To be specific to the 1959 Agreement no upstream state has recognized as well as acceded to it. In fact, to the contrary all upstream states undermined and denounced the actions of downstream states. Notably Ethiopia from the very beginning has made it clear that any treaty made on the Nile without its involvement will not binding and has no any effect on the country. Be that as it may, the dramatic developments in the Basin would necessitate the renegotiation of the treaty between the two signatory states themselves because the Basin is undergoing a fundamental change of circumstances. Yet this agreement should not be surfaced by downstream Egypt as a threshold for any Nile water negotiation with upstream states. Upstream states have every legal backing to nullify Egypt´s claim of the agreement to be accepted by upstream states. If Egypt continues with this position it should be underlined that no upstream state in the Nile is going to accept what it requests as they made it clear through the signing of the CFA

The Way Forward

There is only one solution to the problem. Egypt and Sudan must come to table and accept the CFA. Both countries were in the negotiation for more than 10 years. Egypt´s claim as if it has a water quota allocated to is non-existent from upstream point of view. The CFA declares equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters by all riparian states. In line with this it also obliges all riparian states to take all measures not to significantly affect the interest of other riparian states. Hence, it should be clear that these two principles are basis of contemporary international water law especially the 1997 United Nations convention on the law of the non-navigational use of transboundary watercourses. On the contrary, what Egypt claimed as historic rights or acquired rights have no a foundation in international water law.

Both Egypt and Sudan have door opened in their own treaty to make changes to their stance and use the 1959 Agreement as a way to adjust themselves to the CFA. Despite not stated and acclaimed like the water quotas it grants to Egtypt and Sudan, this agreement under Part Five paragraph two states that:

As the riparian states, other than the two Republics [upstream states], claim a share in the Nile waters, the two Republics have agreed that they shall jointlv consider and reach one unified view regarding the said claims. And if the said consideration results in the acceptance of allotting an amount of the Nile water to one or the other of the said states, the accepted amount shall be deducted from the shares of the two Republics in equal parts, as calculated at Aswan.

This provision clearly states the 1959 agreement would be changed one day when the neglected and undermined upstream states turn their face to the river-which they do. Both countries Egypt and Sudan can use this provision as a safe exit to the CFA rather than making the 1959 agreement dogmatic.  The 1959 bilateral agreement was done between Sudan and Egypt. Yet taking the overall political atmosphere the change in government in Sudan it is not illogical to say the 1959 agreement was between Egypt and Egypt for Egypt. But the CFA which was negotiated by all Nile riparian states except Eritrea and signed by six Nile states where two other states are likely to sign and endorsed by all riparian states except Egypt followed  by Sudan is a multilateral treaty for the benefit of all riparian states. Joining the CFA is in the best interest of all riparian states of the Nile. Hence, Egypt and Sudan should answer that call for their own sake and for the peace and prosperity of the whole Nile Basin. It is up to Egypt and Sudan to answer that call…  The bell is ringing…

Ethiopia ratifies the Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile

By Aaron Maasho


ADDIS ABABA, June 13 (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s parliament unanimously ratified on Thursday a treaty that strips Egypt of its right to the lion’s share of the Nile river waters, raising the political temperature in a dispute between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the construction of a dam.

The parliament’s move follows days of irate exchanges between two of Africa’s most populous nations over Ethiopia’s new hydroelectric plant, which Egypt fears will reduce a water supply vital for its 84 million people.

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said on Monday he did not want “war” but would keep “all options open”, prompting Ethiopia to say it was ready to defend its $4.7 billion Great Renaissance Dam near the border with Sudan.

Six Nile basin countries including Ethiopia have signed a deal effectively stripping Cairo of its veto, which is based in colonial-era treaties, over dam projects on the Nile, source of nearly all Egypt’s water.

Ethiopia’s late leader Meles Zenawi had delayed parliamentary ratification until Egypt elected a new government.

“Most of the upstream countries have approved it through their parliaments. We delayed it as a gesture of goodwill to the people of Egypt until a formal elected government was in place,” Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon told Reuters.

“We have a principled stance on the construction of dams. We are determined to see our projects brought to completion.”

Another government spokesman, Shimeles Kemal, said Ethiopia’s 547-seat legislature had voted to “incorporate the treaty into domestic law”.


Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr is expected to travel to Addis Ababa on Sunday for talks about the dam, though Ethiopia’s foreign ministry has said there can be no question of suspending construction.

An Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman has said the talks with Egypt are “in the spirit of Ethiopian interests”.

The African Union has urged both sides to hold talks to resolve the row.

Under a 1929 pact, Egypt is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic metres a year of the Nile’s flow of around 84 billion cubic metres.

But, along with other upstream neighbours such as Kenya and Sudan, Ethiopia argues that this pact is outdated. Ethiopia has also dismissed the talk of military action as “psychological warfare”.

Officials in Addis Ababa say a technical analysis compiled by experts from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt provides assurances to downstream nations that the dam being built by an Italian firm will not have a negative impact on the river’s water levels. (Reporting by Aaron Maasho, editing by Gareth Jones)

MoFA: Ethiopia will intensify its efforts towards the construction of the GERD

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia

12 June 2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously issued a statement on the unhelpful and unnecessary propaganda campaign being carried out by some Egyptian politicians, civil society leaders and political parties about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The statement noted that Ethiopia had twice called the Egyptian Ambassador in Addis Ababa to the Foreign Ministry in order to explain the position of his government over these comments, and had indeed requested formal clarification from the Government of Egypt itself. Ethiopia, in turn, made clear its own unshakable belief in friendship, cooperation and mutual benefit as the underlying principles of its relations with all friendly states, including Egypt.

That being said, Ethiopia was deeply frustrated to see further unconstructive propaganda aired about the GERD in the presence of the President, Mohamed Morsi, the Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, and other high ranking Egyptian officials at the Popular Conference on Egypt’s Rights to Nile Water. Among the baseless allegations aired at the Conference were comments that claimed the Dam posed a danger to the survival of the people of Egypt and malicious suggestions on ways to initiate activities aimed at putting pressure on Ethiopia to halt construction of the GERD. There were, in general, a series of provocative statements attacking both the national interest of Ethiopia and the will of its people to escape poverty. Indeed, a barrage of inaccurate and ill-advised comments, aimed at undermining the report of the International Panel of Experts, were also aired during the Forum.

The proposed suggestions of any resort to war or other forms of sabotage are unacceptable and have no place in the 21st century. In this context, Ethiopia would like to make it clear that it expects the Government of Egypt to refrain from all such unacceptable forms of behaviour or engagement and work towards greater cooperation between the two countries.

Ethiopia affirms that it will not be discouraged by this violent rhetoric. It reiterates in the strongest possible terms that it will not accept any proposal, from Egypt, to halt or delay the construction of the GERD. This apparent attempt to use alleged protests against the GERD as an element of internal domestic politics is against the interests of the people of Egypt.

Ethiopia would like to take this opportunity to extend its warmest appreciation to the Government of Sudan for the positive statements it has made about the benefits of the GERD as detailed in the report of the International Panel of Experts. It would hope that   others could learn much from the strong stance taken by Sudan in this regard.

Ethiopia would like to remind the Government of Egypt that as the report of the International Panel of Experts made very clear; the GERD offers major benefits to Egypt. Ethiopia remains firm in its genuine desire to cooperate with Egypt and foster greater friendship between the two countries.

የአባይ ውሃ ጦርነት ነገር ከግብጽ አንደምታው እና የሽሚያ/ፉክክር ድርድር ስልት

ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው

ዋናው ጉዳይ-እንደ መንደርደሪያ

ሰሞኑን የዓለም መገናኛ ብዙሃንን ጆሮ ቀጥ አድርጎ የያዘ አንድ ታላቅ ጉዳይ ቢኖር የአባይ ውሃ ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ ለረጅም ዘመን በአባይ ውሃ የመጣ ከእኔ በላይ ላሳር ነው ትል የነበረችው ግብጽ በግንቦት 14 ቀን 2010 እኤአ (ሁሉም ዓመተ ምህረቶች እንደ አውሮፓ አቆጣጠር ናቸው) አምስት የናይል ተጋሪ የራጌ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት (ኢትዮጵያ፣ ዩጋንዳ፣ ታንዛኒያ እና ሩዋንዳ ) በሁለት ቀናት በኋላ ደግሞ ኬንያ እንዲሁም በየካቲት 2011 ቡሩንዲ የተፈረመው የናይል ውሃ የትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ መፈረም ምክንያት የበላይነቷን ለማስጠበቅ ያላደረገችው ነገር አልነበረም፡፡ ግብጽ ይህን ስምምነት የተቃወመችው በአንድ እና አንድ ምክንያ ነው፡፡ ይኸውም ስምምነቱ ሁሉም የአባይ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት በፍትሐዊ አና ምክንያታዊ መንገድ በሌሎች ተጋሪ ሀገራት ላይ የጎላ ጉዳት ላለማደረስ በመጣር መጠቀምን ስለሚደነግግ ነው፡፡ ከዚህ በተጨማሪም ስምምነቱ ሁሉም ሀገራት በናይል ወንዝ ላይ እኩል ባለቤትነት እና እኩል ድምጽ እንዳለቸው ያውጃል፡፡ ማንም ሀገር ፈቃጅም ከልካይም ሊሆን አይችልምና፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር ተያይዞ ስምምነቱ የሁሉንም ሀገራት የውሃ ዋስትና/ደህንነት ያውጃል፡፡ አሁን የትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፉ በፈራሚዎቹ መካከል ቀያጅ ህግ ለመሆን የሚፈልገውን የስድስት ሀገራ ፊርማ አግኝቷል፡፡ ደቡብ ሱዳን እና ኮንጎም እንደሚፈርሙ ይታመናል፡፡ ይህ ስምምነት ጸድቆ ወደ አፍሪካ ህብረት እንዲሁም የተባበሩት መንግስታት ሲገባ የናይል ወንዝ ተፋሰስ ኮሚሽን ይቋቋማል፡፡ ነገር ግን ይህን ስምምነት ሁለት የግርጌ ሀገራት በተለይ ግብጽ ሊዋጥላቸው አልቻለም፡፡ ይህም የሆነው ግብጽ አለኝ የምትለው እና ለራሷ ማንም ሳያውቅ እና ሳያረጋግጥ ከሱዳን ጋር በፈረመችው ስምምነት የተሰጠኝ በምትለው የውሃ ኮታ ይከበርልኝ ጥያቄ እና ፍላጎት ነው፡፡ ይህ ስምምነት ለላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት የለም፡፡ አያውቁትምም፡፡ አንድም አልተደራደሩበት አልተማከሩበትም፡፡ ሁለትም አመልክተው አልተቀላቀሉም፡፡ ሶስትም ከመጀመሪያ ጀምሮ በተለይ ኢትዮጵያ በኋላም በነጻነት አፍሪካውያን ወንድሞች ከነጭ አባይ ሀገራት እንደሚቃወሙት እና እንደማይመለከታቸው አቋማቸውን በግልጽ አሳውቀዋል፡፡ ይህም ተፋሰሱ በሀገራቱ የብሔራዊ ጥያቄ አቋም መሰረት ተፋሰሱን የግራጌ እና የራስጌ ተብሎ እንዲከፈል አድርጎታል፡፡

ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ ሀገራት ሉአላዊ በሆነ ይዞታቸው ያለን ማንኛውንም የተፈጥሮ ሀበት የመጠቀም መብት ስላላቸው የራስጌ ሀገራት አንዳንድ የውሃ ልማት ስራዎችን መስራት ቀጠሉ፡፡ ለምሳሌ ያክል ኢትዮጵያ በተከዜ እና ጣና-በለስ፣ ኡጋንዳ በቡጃጋሊ ግድብ፡፡ይህ የራስጌ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት የውሃ ልማት ስራ ከ ግብጽ የአዲሱ ሸለቆ ልማት ፕሮጀክት-ቶሽካ፣ አል-ሰላም እና የደቡብ-ምዕራብ በረሐ ልማት እንዲሁም ሱዳን የሜሮዊ ግድብ፣ የሮዛሬስ ግድብን የማስረዘም፣ የአትበራና ሰቲት ፕሮጅክቶች እንዲሁም አሁን ደግሞ የካጅባር ግድብ ስራ ጋር ሲነጻጸር ምንም ማለት አይደለም፡፡ የሆኖ ሆኖ ኢትዮጵያ በሚያዝያ 2 ቀን 2011 በቀድሞ ጠቅላይ ሚኒሰትር አቶ መለስ ዜናዊ አብሳሪነት የመሰረት ድንጋይ የተጣለለትን የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ የህዳሴ ግድብ መገንባት ጀመረች፡፡ እንሆ 21 በመቶ ተጠናቀቆ የዋና ግድብ ግንባታው ስራ እየተከናወነ ይገኛል፡፡ ነገር ግን ሁለት ሁነቶችን ተከትሎ ከግብጽ የጦርነት ታምቡር ድለቃ ከተጀመረ ሰነባበተ፡፡ አንደኛ በግንቦት 28 ቀን 2013 የታላቁ ህዳሴ ግድብን በተወሰኑ ሜትሮች የማቀየስ ስራ በተሳካ በሁኔታ መጠናቀቁ ነው፡፡ ይህ ምንም አይነት ውሃ የመቀነስም ሆነ ምንም ተጽእኖ በውሃ ፍሰት ላይ ባይኖረውም የግብጽ መገናኛ ብዙሃን ወንዙ ወደ ሌላ አቅጣጫ እንደተቄሰ አድርገው ማራገባቸው በውስጥ ችግር ለምትታመሰው ግብጽ አንድ ሌላ ችግር ነበር፡፡ ችግር የሆነው የመገናኛ ብዙሃኑ አዘጋገብ እንጅ ሌላ አይደለም፡፡ ሁለተኛ ኢትዮጵያ ከመልካም ጉርብትና እና በሁሉም ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ስለግድቡ እና ስለ ኢትዮጵያ ልማት እምነትን ለመፍጠር በማሰብ የተቋቋመው ከግብጽ፣ ሱዳን እና ኢትዮጵያ ሁለት ሁለት እንዲሁም አራት በሀራቱ የተመረቱ ዓለምአቀፍ ባለሙያዎችን የያዘ የዓለምአቀፍ የባለሙያዎች ቡድን የመጨረሻ ሪፖርት ማቅረቡ ነው፡፡ እንደ ሪፖርቱ ከሆነ የሚገነባው ግድብ ለግርጌ ሀገራት የጎላ ጉዳት እንደሌለው ይልቁንም ጥቅም እንደሚሰጥ ደነገገ፡፡ ከዚህም ጋር አያይዞ ማህበራዊ እና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ጥቅሞችን ለመጨመር እንዲሁም ያልጣዩ ጉዳቶች ድንገት ካሉ ተጨማሪ ጥናት ቢጠና መልካም እንደሆነ መከረ፡፡ ይህንም ተከትሎ ሱዳን እና ኢትዮጵያ የባለሙያዎቹን ሪፖርት ተቀበሉ፡፡ እየመረመሩትም ይገኛል፡፡ ሱዳን ከዚህም በማለፍ የግድቡ መሳካት ለሱዳን መቀደስ እንደሆነ የባለሙያም ድጋፍ እንደምታደርግ ገለጸች፡፡ ነገር ግን የግብጹ መሪ ሞሀመድ ሞርሲ የጅብ ችኩል እንዲሉ ኢትዮጵያ ያጠናቸው ጥናት በቂ አይደለም ወዘተ ግድቡ ግብጽን ይጎዳ ወደሚል መግለጫም ወቀሳም አመሩ፡፡ ይህ የመገናኛ ብዙሃኑ የጠዛባ ሀተታ ጋር ተያይዞ የአባይ/ናይል ተፋሰስ የውሃ ጦርነት ዋዜማ ላይ እንዳለ አስመሰለው፡፡

ሁለት የከፉ ነገሮች ባለፉት ጥቂት ቀናት ውስጥ ከግብጽ ተስተውለዋል፡፡ አንድም ግብጽ ፖለቲከኞች በድንገት በቀጥታ በቴሌቪዥን በተላለፈ ናይልን እና የኢትዮያን ግድብ አጀንዳ ባደረገ “ውይይት” ኢትዮጵያን የማተራመስ እቅድ፣ ግድቡ ላይ ዘመቻ የማካሄድ እነዲሁም ኢትዮጵያን በዓለምአቀፍ መድረክ በተለይ በአረብ ሀገራት ዘንድ የማስቀረፍ እና የማሸማቀቅ ስልት እንከተል ብለው አወጁ፡፡ ዓለም ይህን አየ፡፡ ግብጽን እየመሩ ያሉት እነማን እንደሆኑም ተስተዋለ፡፡ የውይይቱ አካል የነበሩት የሐገሪቱ ፕሬዝዳንትም አንዲት ሉአላዊት ሀገራት ላይ የተደረገው ዛቻ ምንም አልመሰለቻውም፡፡ ይልቁንም በውጭ ጉዳይ አማካሪያቸው ሀዳድ አማካኝነት ለስካይ ኒውስ መንግስት አይደለም ይህን ያለው ፖለቲከኞች ናቸው ያሉት፡፡ የፈለጉትንም መናገር ይችላሉ ብለው አረፉት፡፡ በመሐል ግን ከእብድ መሐል የተገኘ ጥሩ እንዲሉ ሞሀመድ አልበራዳይ የኢትዮጵያ እና የሱዳንን ህዝብ ይቅርታ ጠየቁ ባተሳተፉበት ስለ ሀገራቸው ሲሉ፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ ለዚህ ሁሉ የጦርነት ታምቡር የኢትዮጵያ መልስ አንድ ነበር፡፡ የተነገረው ነገር ሁሉ የታሰበም ካለ “የቀን ቅዠት ነው” የሚል፡፡ ሁለተኛው እና አሳፋሪው ነገር የሀገሪቱ ፕሬዝዳንት በትናነትናው ዕለት ሰኞ 11 ሰኔ 2013 እስላማዊ ፓርቲዎች (የራሳቸውን ጨምሮ) በጠሩት ኮንፈረንስ ላይ እርስበርሱ የሚጋጭ ነገር ግን ጦርነት ናፋቂ የሆነ ንግግርን አደረጉ፡፡ ወደዝርዝሩ አንገባም፡፡ የተባለው ተብሏል፡፡ ነገር ዋናው ጥያቄ ይህ እየጠደጋገመ ያለ የቶርነት ታምቡር ዋና ዓላማው ምንድን ነው የሚል ይሆናል፡፡ ይህን ጥያቄ ከመመለሳችን በፊት ግን የውሃ ጦርነት ሊነሳ ይችላል ወይ የሚለውን እንደሚከተለው እንዳስሳለን፡፡

ዕውን የውሃ ጦርነት በአባይ ይኖራልን?

እስካሁን ድረስ በውሃ የተደረገ ጦርነት የለም አልተደረግም ብለው የሚከራከሩ የውሃ ፖለቲካ አጥኚወች አሉ፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ውሃ በሀገራት መካከል በተደረጉ ጦርነቶች ዋና መነሻ እና ምክንያት ባይሆኑም በትንሹ የግጭት አቀጣጣይ እና መሳሪያ ሆኗል ብለው ያምናሉ፡፡ የሆኖ ሆኖ የዚህ ጽሁፍ ጸኃፊ የውሃ አካልን ለመቆጣጠር የተደረገ ጦርነት እንደነበረ ያምናል፡፡ ይህም በ19ኛው ክፈለ ዘመን በኢትዮያ እና በግብጽ መካከል የተደረጉት አስራ ስድስት ጦርነቶች የምንም ሳይኑ የውሃ ናቸው፡፡ በሁሉም ጦርነቶች ግብጽ ሽንፈትን አስተናግዳ ተመልሳለች፡፡ አንዳድ አጥኚዎች በተፋሰሱ እየቸመረ ያለውን ህዝብ፣ በዓለም አካባቢያዊ ሙቀት መጨመር እየጠጎሳቀለ ያለውን የውሃ መጠን እንዲሁም በሀገራቱ መካከል ያለውን የፖለቲካ እና አጠቃላይ እሳቤ ልዩነት፣ በታሪክ የነበረ ቁርሾ በመመልከት የናይል ተፋሰስ ከየትኛው ደንበር ተሸጋሪ ወንዝ የበለጠ ለጦርነት ተጋላጭ ነው ይላሉ፡፡ ነገር ግን ይህን የሚሉት አካላት ከግብጽ እና ግብጻውያን ፖለቲከኞች በሚሰሙት ንግግሮች እና አስተያየቶች የተጠለፉ እንደሆነ ማረዳት ከባድ አይደለም፡፡ ምንጊዜም ቢሆን ይኖራል የሚሉትን የውሃ ጦርነት ለማስረዳት እንደ ማስረጃ የሚያቀርቡት የሶስት ግብጻውያንን ንግግር  ነው፡፡

በ197ዎቹ መጨረሻ ከእስራኤል ጋር ስምምንት ያደረጉት የግብጹ መሪ ሞሀመድ አንዋር አል ሳዳት “ከአሁን በኋላ ግብጽን ወደ ጦርነት የሚወስዳት ነገር ቢኖር ውሃ ብቻ ነው” ማለታቸው በውሃ ጦርነት አቀንቃኞች ዘንድ የተመረጠ ማጣቀሻ ነው፡፡ ሌሎቹ ማጣቀሻ ግብጻውያን ቡትሮስ ቡትሮስ ጋሊ እና እስማኤል ሰርጋልዲን ናቸው፡፡ በ1988 ዓ.ም. የግብጽ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር በነበሩ ጊዜ የኋላው የተባበሩት መንግስታት ዋና ጸኃፊ ቡትሮስ ቡትሮስ ጋሊ “በክፈለ ዓለማችን ቀጥሎ የመደረገው ጦርነት በውሃ ምክንያት እንጅ በፖለቲካ አይደልም”  ማለታቸው ነው፡፡ እንዲሁም በ1995 የዓለም ባንክ ምክትል ፕሬዝደንት የነበሩት ግብጻዊው ኢስማዔል ሰርጋልዲንም በፈንታቸው “ባለንበት ክፍለ ዘመን ብዙዎቹ ጦርነቶች የተደረጉት በነዳጅ ዘይት ምክንያት ነበር፡፡ ነገር ግን የሚቀጥለው ክፍለ ዘመን ጦርነት በውሃ ይሆናል” ማለታቸው የብዙ ፊደላውያን ማጣቀሻ ነው ስለ ውሃ ጦርነት፡፡ እንግዲህ ግብጻውያኑ በዚህ ዓይነት ስልት የውሃ ጦርነት ተፈርቶ ሳይበላ እንዲታደር ነበር ሙከራቸው በአባይ ተፋሰስ፡፡ ነገር ግን ይህ ሁሉ ቃላዊ/አፋዊ የሆነ ነገር እንዳለ ሆኖ በ21ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን እውን የአባይ ውሃ ጦርነት ይኖራልን?

የአባይ ውሃ ጦርነት ይኖራል ብሎ የሚያስደፍር አንዳችም ነገር የለም፡፡ ነገር ግን ኢትዮጵያ አጆቿን አጣጥፋ ጥቀመጥ ማለት አይደለም፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ በውሃ ምክንያት ጦርነት የማስነሳትም ሆነ የመግጠም ፍላጎት የላትም፡፡ ግብጽም ከጦርነት አተርፋለሁ የሚል እምነት አላት ብዮ አላምንም፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ የረጅም ጊዜ ጠባሳው ለእነሱው ስለሚከፋ፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ ጦርነት ይሁን ካለች ልትል እምትችለው ግብጽ ናት፡፡ ይህንም በተደጋጋሚ ፖለቲከኞቿ ሁሉም አማራጮች ክፍት ናቸው ማታቸው ይህን ያሳያል፡፡ በመቀጠልም ፕሬዝዳንት ሞርሲ ስለ ውሃ ሲናገሩ “ደማችን የውሃው አማራጭ ነው” ማለታቸው ቃላዊው ንግግራቸው አስቆጭ ቢሆንም በኢትዮጵያ በኩል “ውሃ ከደም ይወፈራል” የሚል ንግግር እንዳለ ያጡታል ብዮ አላምንም፡፡ ይሁን እና የግብጽ ፖለቲከኞች ከቃላዊነት ፉከራ እና የጦርነት ቀረርቶ ዘለው ወደ ተግባራዊ ጦርነት ያመራሉ ብዮ አላምንም፡፡ ይህም መሰረታዊ ምክንያቱ የግብጽ ብሔራዊ ጥቅም በአባይ ላይ በጦርነት የሚጠበቅ እና የሚከበር ስላልሆነ ነው፡፡ ይህ ማለት ግብጽ ጦርነት የማትጀምረው ለኢትዮጵያ ወይም ለሌላ አካል ብላ ሳይሆን ለራሷ ብሔራዊ ጥቅም ስትል ብቻ እና ብቻ ነው፡፡

አንደኛ ግብጽ የአባይን ውሃ በጦርነት ማስገበር አትችልም፡፡ በአፍሪካ በሀብት ብዛት ሁለተኛ የሆነችውን እና እንዲሁም የመከላከያ ሰራዊቷ የተደራጀ እና በጠንካራ አቋም ላይ ያለችን ኢትዮጵያን መውረር ዋጋ እንደሚያስከፍል ታውቀዋለች፡፡ ወጋው ተከፍሎም ውሃው ያለመቋረጥ እንዲፈስ ማድረግ አይቻልም፡፡ ምክንያም አቶ መለስ ዜናው ያሉትን ልዋስ እና “ግብጽ ኢትዮጵያ አባይን እምዳትጠቀም ለማድረግ ኢትዮጵያን ሙሉ በሙሉ መያዝ ይጠበቅበታል፡፡ ይህን ደግሞ ማንም አላደረገውም፡፡” ሊደርገውም አይችልም፡፡ እንኳን ግብጽ ኢትዮጵያን አሜሪካም በአቅምም በምንም የምታንሰውን አፍጋኒስታንን መቆጣጠር አልቻችም ነበር በቅጡ፡፡ ሁለተኛ ግብጽ ካደረገች ልታደርግ የምትችለው የግድቡን ቦታ በአየር መደብደብ ነው፡፡ ያስ ያዋጣል ወይ ብንል አያዋጣም፡፡ ምክንያቱም አንደኛ የኢትዮጵያ እርምጃም ተመሳሳይ ነው የሚሆነው፡፡ ይህም ማለት ከአስዋን ግድብ ግርጌ ተቀምጦ እንዲህ ዓይነት እቃ-እቃ ጨዋታ ውስጥ ይገባሉ ብዮ አላስብም፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር ተያይዞ የሚነሳው ሃሳብ የተገለጸው የረጅም ጊዜ ስልታዊ ኪሳራ ነው የሚሆነው ልግብጽ፡፡ ዞሮ ዞሮ የውሃው ምንጭ ኢትዮጵያ ነው፡፡ ይህ ማለት ደግሞ ግልጽ ነው፡፡ ወደ ዝርዝሩ አልገባም፡፡ ሶስተኛው ግብጽ በአባይ የተነሳ የማትገባበት ወደ ጦርነት የማትገባው ለአማራጭ የውሃ አቅርቦት የሚወጣው ወጪ እና ለጦርነት የሚወጣው ወጪ ትርፍ እና ኪሰራ ስሌት ሁለተኛውን ስለሚያገነው ነው፡፡ ግብጽ በዓለም ካሉ ሀገራት በከርሰምድር/ground water እጅግ ሐብታ ከሚባሉት ሀገራት አንዷ ናት፡፡ እንዲሁም ደግሞ ዙሪያዋን በቀይ ባህር እና በሜዲትራኒያን ባህር የተከበበች ሀገር ናት ግብጽ፡፡ ይህ ማለት ለጦርነት የምታውለውን ገንዘብ የከርሰምድር ውሃ ብታወጣበት ወይም ደግሞ የባህር ውሃ ብታጣራበት ይቀላታል፡፡ በ1990ዎቹ የግብጽ ውሃ ሚኒስትር የነበሩት ዶ/ር ሞሐመድ አበድል ሀዲ ራዲ ለሳንታዊው አል-አህራም ጋዜጣ በ1995 “የሰውም ሆነ የገንዘብ ወጭው ሲታይ በውሃ ምክንያት ከሚደረግ ጦርነት ይልቅ ምንም ብዙ ገንዘብ ቢጠይቅ የባህር ውሃን ከጨው የመለየት ስራ/desalination ወጭ ምንም ማለት አይደለም” ብለው ነበር፡፡ የአሁኗ ግብጽ ለጺከኞችም ይህን ያጡታል የሚል እምነት የለኝም፡፡ አራተኛው ምክንያት ጦርነት እንዲሁ ዘው ብለው የሚገቡበት ነገር አይደለም፡፡ የአፍሪካ ቀንድ እና ሰሜን አፍሪካ ሲነካካ የሚነካኩ ብዙ ጉዳይ ያላቸው አካላት አሉ ይህ እንዳይሆን የሚፈልጉም የሚጥሩም፡፡ አምስተኛ የግብጽ ውሃ ሚኒስትር ሞሀመድ አል ዲን እንዳሉት ግብጽ ጉዳዩን ውደ ዓለመአቀፍ ገላጋይ ኮሚቴ ልትወስደው ትችላለች፡፡ ሶስተኛ ወገን ባንድም በሌላም መልኩ መግባቱ ስለማይቀር፡፡ ስለዚህ የውሃ ጦርነት በአባይ ላይ ሊኖር አይችልም፡፡ እድሉ እጅግ በጣም ጠባብ ነው፡፡ ሌላው ቢቀር ለውክልና ጦርነት እንኳን ቦታው የለም (በሌላ እትም እንመለስበታለን)፡፡ ታዲያ ይህ ሁሉ ነገር ካለ የእነ ፕሬዝዳን ሞሀመድ ሞርሲ ደም ማሽተት እና የጦርነት ታምቡር መደለቅ ምክንያ ምንድን ነው? ይህን ከመመለሳችን በፊት አንዲት አጭር ጥያቄን እንጠይቅ እና እንመልስ፡፡

ግብጽ ለምን የኢትዮጵያን አባይን ማልማት ትቃወማለች?

በአባይ ላይ የጠደረጉ ጥናቶች እንደሚያሳዩት ከሆነ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የሚሰራ ማንኛውም ግድብ እና ሰው ሰራሽ ሐይቅ ለግርጌ ሀገራት ያለው ጥቅም እጅጉን ከፍ ያለ ነው፡፡ ግብጻውያኑ ይህንን ጠንቅቀው ያውቃሉ፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር በማያያዝ ጉዳት ካለ የሚደርሰው ጉዳት እጅጉን ኢምንት ነው፡፡ ይህንም ጠንቅቀው ያውቃሉ ግብጻውያን፡፡ ነገር ግን ግብጽ በኢትዮጵያ አባይ ላይ በሚሰሩ የውሃ ፕሮጀክቶች ላይ አይኗ ደም የሚለብሰው በሁለት ምክንያት ነው፡፡ አንደኛው የኢትዮያ እነዚህን ግድቦች መስራት ፖለቲካዊ መልዕክት ስላለው ነው፡፡ ለግብጽ ከአሁን በኋላ የአባይ ወንዝ ጉዳይ አዛዥ ናዛዥ ነኝ መላት እንደማትችል፣ በአባይ ወንዝ ማንም የበላይ ወይም የበታች ሀገር እንደሌለ፣ ሁሉም ሀገራት እኩል እንደሆኑ ስለሚናር ነው፡፡ ሁለተኛው አበይት ጉዳይ ግብጽ አለመታደል ሆኖ ፍርሀተ-ኢትዮጵያ/Ethiophbia ያለባት ሀገር ናት፡፡ ይህንም Hydropolitics of Eastern Nile Basin: the Nexus between Water Shaing and Benefit Sharing Arrangements  በሚል ጥናታዊ ስራ ለማተት ተሞክሯል፡፡ ስለዚህ ጨዋታው የእምነት ማጣት ወይም የጥርጥር ነው፡፡ ይህም ኢትዮጵያ ግብጽን ለመጉዳት ተኝታ አታውቅም ከማለት የፍርሀት ምንጭ የተቀዳ ነው፡፡ ከዚሁ ፍርሀተ-ኢትዮጵያ ጋር የሚያያዘው ጉዳይ በግብጻውያን ዘንድ ተንሰራፍቶ የሚታየው የግንዛቤ ችግር ነው፡፡ ይህም በእያንዳነንዱ የኢትዮያ የውሃ እንቅስቃሴ ውስጥ እስራኤልን እና አሜሪካን እጃቸው እንዳለ አድርጎ መሳል ዋና ምክንያት ሊሆን ይችላል፡፡ ስለሆነም ዋናው የግብጽ ትኩረት እና የግድብ ተቃውሞ ከሱዳን ጥቂት አስር ኪሎ ሜትሮች የሚርቀው ግድብ ውሃውን የሚስር እና የሚቀንስ ሆኖ ሳይሆን የፖለቲካ እና ስነልቦና ጉዳይ መሆኑ ነው፡፡

 የግብጽ ውሃ ጦርነት ታምቡር ዓለማዎች

ፕሬዝዳንት ሞርሲ የሚመሩት መንግስት የጦርነት ከበሮውን የሚደልቁት እንደ እኔ እምነት በሁለት አበይት ምክንያቶች ነው፡፡ አንደኛው ውስጣዊ ሲሆን ሁለተኛው ደግሞ ራሱ የአባይ ውሃ ፖለቲካ ነው፡፡

ውስጣዊውን ችግር በአባይ ማስተንፈስ

እንደሚታወቀው ከቀድሞው አምባገነን ሆስኒ ሙባርክ በአረቡ ዓለም በተቀጣጠለው የመንገስት ለውጥ ምክንያት ከቤተ-መንግስት ከወጡ ወዲህ ግብጽ ራስምታቷ ጨምሯል፡፡ ለረጅም ጊዜ ከፖለቲካው መድረክ ውጭ የነበሩት አክራሪ እስላማዊ ቡድኖች የሀገሪቱን ፖለቲካዊ ምህዳር እንዳሻቸው እና በፈለጉት አቅጣጫ ለመዘወር መከጀላቸው አንድም ከሀገራቸው ሊበራሎች እና በሐይመኞት እና መንግስት መለያየት ከሚያኑ ሁለትም ከዓለምአቀፉ አካል-በተለይ ከምዕራውያን ጋር አላትሟቸዋል፡፡ የሙስሊም ወንደማማቾች ህብረትም ሆነ ወደ 11 የሚጠጉት ሳላፊስቶቹን ጨምሮ እስላማዊ ቡድኖቹ ሀገሪቱን ከነጻ ሊበራልነት ወደ እስላማዊ ቅኝት የመውሰድ አዝማሚያም ለክርስቲያኖች የሚዋጥ አይደለም፡፡ በዚህ መሐል እንግዲህ ራሳቸው ፕሬዝዳንት ሞረሲም እንደ ፈርኦን መሆን ቃጥቷቸው ስለነበረ ሀገሪቱ ከመቼውም ጊዜ ተከፋፍላለች በውስጥ ፖለቲካ፡፡ ለዛም ነው በሰኔ 30 ቀን ፕሬዝዳንት ሞርሲን ከስልጣን ለማወረድ ቆርጠው የተነሱ አማጮች/rebels በሚል ስያሜ በመንቀሳቀስ የፕሬዝዳቱን ስልጣን እየተገዳደሩ ያሉት፡፡ ዓለማቸውም ወደ 15 ሚሊዮን ድምጽ በማሰባሰብ ፕሬዝዳንቱን ከስልጣን ማባረር ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም ይህን የተቃዎሞ ማዕበል የሚያስተነፍሱበት አንዳች ጉዳይ መጣላቸው ልፐሬዝዳንቱ፡፡ የአባይ ጉዳይ፡፡ ይህንም በተመለከተ ተቃዋሚ መሪዎቹ-ራሳቸውን አማጭ  ብለው የሰየሙት አስታባሪዎቹም ፕሬዝዳንቱን የሀገሪቱን የውስጥ ችግር ለማተንፈስ የአባይን ውሃ ፖለቲካ እየተጠቀሙ ነው ሲሉ የከሰሷቸው፡፡ ይህንም ሲያስረግጡ በሰኞው ንግግራቸው “ልዩነታችንን አስወግደን አንድ መሆን አለብን” ማለታቸው እና ባፈው ሳምንት በፕሬዝዳቱ ቢሮ ከተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች ጋር ለመወያየት በሚል በጠሩት እና እጅግ አሳፋሪ በነበረው ድራማ ላይ ዋና ዋና ተቃዋሚዎች ሞሐመድ አል-ባራዳይ፣ ሀመዳን ሳባሂ እንዲሁም አመር ሙሳ አለመገኘታቸው ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም ይህን ልዩነት ለማክሸፍ ፕሬዝዳንቱ የአባይን ጉዳይ የአብርሐም/ኢብራሒም በግ አድርገው ማቅረባቸው ነው፡፡ ግን ይህ ነገር ለግብጽ አጠቃላይ ብሔራዊ ጥቅም ያዋጣል ወይ… መልሱ አይደለም ነው.. ዓለም እየተመለከተ እየታዘበም ነ ውና

የጦርነት ታምቡር እንደ የሽሚያ/ፉክክር ድርድር ስልት

በቀዳሚነት የአባይን ውሃ የውስጥ ፖለቲካን ለማተንፈስ እየተጠቀሙበት ቢሆንም ከፍ ያለ ዓላማው ግን ይህ የጦርነት ታምቡር አካሄድ የኃይል-ተኮር ዲፕሎማሲ / coercive diplomacy የድርድር አካል መሆኑን ይህ ጸኃፊ ያምናል፡፡ ከመግቢያችን የጠቀስነው የናይል የትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ የዚህ የግብጽ ፖለቲከኞች ቀርረቶ ዋና አካል ነው፡፡ ነገሩ እንዲህ ነው፡፡ ከላይ እንደተጠቀሰው የራስጌ ሀገራት ግብጽ እና ሱዳን ፈረሙም አልፈረሙም የናይል ወንዝ ተፋሰስ ኮሚሽንን እንሚያቋቁሙ ስምምነቱን በፈረም አሳይተዋል፡፡ ግብጽ ደግሞ ይህ ነገር አልተዋጠላትም፡፡ ምክንያቱም የ1959 ስምምነት በራስጌ ሀገራት ዘንድ ተቀባይነት የለለው መሆኑን ስምምነቱ ስለሚደነግግ፡፡ ስለዚህ ግብጽ አሁን ኢትዮጵያ እየሰራች ያለችውን የታላቁ ህዳ ግድብን ለዚህ ስምምነት ማፍረሻ ዋነ መሳሪያ ለማድረግ ነው ትረቷ፡፡ ላላፉት ተከታታይ ቀናት ጆሮ እስኪበሳ ድረስ ግብጻውያን ፖለቲከኞች ሲደሰኩሩት የነበሩት ቃላት ይህ የሚሰራ ግድብ “የውሃ ደህንነታችን እና የውሃ ኮታችንን” በፍጹም መንካት የለበትም የሚል ነው፡፡ ነገር ግን ይህ ኮታ የሚባል ነገር ከራስጌ ሀገራት ዘንድ አይታወቅም፡፡ ስለሆነም ግብጽ ይህ ነገር በሀገራቱ ዘንድ በተለይ 86 በመቶ ውሃ በምታበረክተው ኢትዮጵያ ተቀባይነት እንዲያገኝ ትፈልጋለች፡፡ ይህን ለማሳካትም ወደ ድርድር ከመግባቱ በፊት ነገሩን ማጮህ አንድ ስልት ነው፡፡

በአንድ ጉዳይ ድርድር ሲካሔድ ሀገራት የራሳቸውን ፍላጎት በሌሎች ላይ ለመጫን ወይም የሌችን ሀገራት ጥቅም ለራሳቸው ለማዋል እጅግ በጣም ጫፍ ላይ ይቆማሉ፡፡ የመደራደሪያ መነሻቸውም ይህ ነገር የእኛ ቀይ መብራት ነው የሚል ሀተታ ይቀናቸዋል፡፡ በሰኔ 2 ቀን 2013 የግብጹ ፕሬዝዳንት አማካሪ  ያሉትን ማስታወስ ለዚሁ ጥሩ ማሳያ ነው፡፡ አማካሪ እንዳሉት “ኢትዮጵያ የግድቡን ስራ ማቆም አለባት ካሆነ ግን ሁሉም አማራጮች ክፍት ናቸው” የሚል ነበር፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ በኩል የጠሰጠው መልስም ግልጽ እና አጪር ነበር፡፡ “የግድቡን ግንባታ ማቆም የማይታብ ነው” የሚል፡፡ ግብጽ ግድብ ግንባታው እንደማይቆም ታውቀዋለች ነገር ግን የችግሩን አሳሳቢነት ለማግነን እና ለማጦዝ እንዲህ ዓይነት ቃላዊ የጦርነት ቀረርቶዎችን ማስተጋባት እንደ አንድ ስልት መጠቀሟ ነው፡፡

አሁን ባለው የአባይ ውሃ ፖለቲካ እና ከግድቡ ጋር በተያየዘ ስለሚነሳው ግርግር ሁለት ነገሮችን እናስተውላለን፡፡ ይህም አንደኛው ግብጽ የፉክክር እና ሽሚያ ዓላማን ያማከለ ስልት ስትከተል በአንጻሩ ኢትዮጵያ የትብብርን ዓላማው ያደረገ ስልት ትከተላለች፡፡ ከግርጌ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ከወትሮው በተለየ ሱዳን ኢትዮጵይን በመቀላቀል የትብብሩን ስልት መርጣለች ምክንያም ግድቡ የሚሰጠውን ጥቅም ስለምታውቅ፡፡ የፉክክር ወይም የሽሚያ ድርድር አካሄድ በመሰረቱ ከሌላኛው ተደራደሪ የበለጠ ለመውሰድ የሚደረግ ጥረት ስለሆነ የሚጠቀማቸው ዓላማ ማሳኪያ ስልቶችም በዚያው የጦዙ ናቸው፡፡ ይህም ሌላኛውን ተደራዳሪ የማሸማቀቅ፣ የማንኳሰስ፣ አመጣብሃለሁ የማለት፣ የዛቻ ወዘተ ንዑስ ስልቶችን ይጠቀማል፡፡ በዓለም አቀፍ ግንኙነት ይህ ነገር ለምሳሌ የሰራዊት ሰልፍን እንዲሁም የተሟሟቀ ወታደራ ልምምድን ይጨምራል፡፡ ሰሜን ኮሪያን እና የባለፈውን የሰሜን ኮርያን ግርግር አስታውሱ፡፡ (ለግንዛቤ ያክል ግብጽም ከሳዑዲ አረቢያ ጋር ብቅርቡ ወታደራዊ ልምምድ ትጀምራች፡፡)፡፡

ድርድርን ወደ ፉክክር/ሽሚያ ዓላማነት የሚቀይሩ ሀገራት በዙ ጊዜ ስለራሳቸው የተጋነነ ወይም የተሳሳት ምስል ያላቸው ሀገራት ናቸው፡፡ እነዚህ ሀገራት እጅግ በጣም ጠንካራ እና የማይደፈሩ፣ በማንኛውም መንገድ የፈለጉትን እንደሚያደርጉ፣ ራሳቸውን ልዕለ-ኃያል አድርገው የሚያስቡ ናቸው፡፡ ይህ በመሆኑም ብዙ ጊዜ ትምክህተኝነት እና ማንአለብኝ ባይነት ያጠቃቸዋል፡፡ ያም ትምክህት ከፍ ሲል ሌላውን የመናቅ እና የማናናቅ ነገር ይታይባቸዋል፡፡ ይህም ብዙ ጊዜ የተሳሳተ የውጭ ግንኙነት ፖሊሲ እንዲቀርጹ ምክንያት ይሆናል፡፡ የናዚ ጀርመን፣ የሰሜን ኮሪያ፣ የኤርትራ፣ የግብጽ፣ የኢራን፣ የዚድ ባሬ ሶማሊያ ወዘተ የዚህ ሰለባዎች ናቸው፡፡ ግብጽም የዚህ ቡድን አባል መሆኗን በተደጋጋሚ አሳይታለች፡፡ አሁን ያው ግርግርም የዚሁ አካል ነው፡፡ ለራስ ከተሰጠ የግነት ምስል የመነጨ የማያዋጣ አካሄድ፡፡

በአንጻሩ ኢትዮጵያ የምትከተለው ስልት የትብብር ዓላማ መሰረቱ ሲሆን ይህም ሁሉም የተፋሰሱ ሀገራት በፍትሐዊነት ከውሃው ፍሬ እንዲጠቀሙ ከመልካም ጉርብትና የመነጨ እና ኃላፊነት የተሞላበት ስራ ነው፡፡ የትብብር ዓለማ ይዛ በመነሳቷም የዓለምአቀፍ የባለሙያዎች ቡድን እንዲመሰረት በማነሳሳት እንዲሁም ደግሞ ግብጽ እና ሱዳን በግድብ ግንባታው ድርሻ እንዲኖራቸው በመጋበዝ ኃላፊነቷን ተወጥታለች፡፡ የጦርነት ቃላቶች እየተወረወሩም ኢትዮጵያ በጋራ መግባባት ላይ የተመሰረተ መርህ እንዳላት አሳይታለች፡፡ ይህ ማለት ግን ነገሩን በአዋቂነት እና በጥበብ መያዟ እንጅ ሌላ ምንም ምክንያት የለውም፡፡ ይህንም የግብጽ ፖለቲከኞች ጠንቅቀው ያውቁታል፡፡ ነገር ግን የሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች ፖለቲከኞችም ሆነ የሰላፊስቶቹ ጩኸት ከግብጽ የረጅም ጊዜ ጥቅም አንጻር አዋጭ አይደለም፡፡ ይህ የግብግብ እና የፉክክር አካሔድ ግብጽን በተሳለ ምላጭ ላይ የመራመድ ያክል ያደማታል፡፡ ይህ የጦርነት ታምቡር የሚደለቅባቸው አካላትም-ኢትዮጵያ የሚባለውን እየሰሙ ነውና፡፡

ጥቆማ ለኢትዮጵያ እንደ ማጠቃለያ

ኢትዮጵያ የያዘችው ትብብር መር ዓላማ ዓለምአቀፍ ህግጋትን የጠበቀ እና ከጸብአጫሪነት በራቀ መልኩ እየወሰደችው ያለው እርምጃ እና መልስ የሚያስመሰግን እና የሚያኮራ ነው፡፡ የሆነ ሆኖ ሁሌም እንደምለው መጻኤ ሁኔታዎችን ስናሰላስል እጅግ የከፋ ነገርን አብሮ ማሰቡ የአዋቂ ነው፡፡ በዚህም እንተማመናለን፡፡ ሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊ የጋራ ግንዛቤ እንዲኖረው ህዝባዊ የምክክር መድረክ እንዲደረግ መልዕክታችንን እናስተላልፋን፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር በማያያዝ ወደ ፊት ክግብጽ ጋር ሊኖር በሚችል ድርድር ወይም ውይይት የኢትዮጵያ አቋም መሆን ያለበት የማይናወጥ እና የማይሸራረፍ ነው፡፡ ስለሆነም ከኢትዮጵያ አንጻር

የግብጽ ኮታ/ Egypt`s share ወይም አሁን ያለ የመጠቀም መብት/ Current Uses and Rights የሚሉ ነገሮች ቦታ የላቸውም፡፡ በማናቸውም መልኩ ግብጽ እነዚህን ቃላት እና ሐረጎች ለመሰንቅር የምታደርገው ጥረት በጥንቃቄ መመርመር ይኖርበታል፡፡ ስለሆነም በኢትዮጵያ የሚሰራው የታላቁ ህዳሴ ግድብ በግርጌ ሀገራት ላይ የጎላ ጉዳት እንደማይኖረው በዓለመአቀፍ ባለሙያዎች ቡድኑ የተረጋገጠ ስለሆነ ግብጽ ለምታነሳው ጥያቄ መልስ መሰረቱ ይህ ነው፡፡ ግድቡ በግርጌ ሀገራት ውሃ ፍሰት ላይ የሚያደርሰው የጎላ ጉዳት የለም የሚል፡፡ The Dam will not have significant harm to downstream water flow.

የሆነ ሆኖ በአንድም በሌላ መልኩ ሰዎች ናቸውና የግብጽ ፖለቲከኞች መሳሳት ካለ ድንገት ኢትዮጵያ አጥሯን የማጠባበቅ ስራ መስራት ይኖርባታል፡፡ ይህም እየሆነ እንደሆነ እናምናለን፡፡

በተጨማሪም አሁን ያለው የግብጽ መንግስት አካሄድ እና ንግግር የዓለምአቀፍ ህግጋትን የሚጻርር ስለሆነ ጉዳዩን ለሚመለከተው ዓለመአቀፍ አካል ማሳወቅ ተገቢ ነው፡፡ ይህንም የተባበሩት መንግስታት ጸጽታው ምክር ቤት በንቃት እንዲከታተል ማድረግ ተገቢ ጉዳይ ነው፡፡

በ21ኛው ክፍለዘመን በውሃ ጦርነት እገባለሁ ብሎ መፎከር አንዳድ ጦርነት ሰባኪ ጋዜጠኞችን ከማስደሰት እና እንዲሁም ውሃ የጦርነት መነሻ ይሆናል እያሉ የሰበኩ አንዳንድ ፊደላውያንን ከማርካት የዘለለ ፋይዳ የለውም፡፡ ሰላም እና ትብብርን መሰረት ያደረገ አካሄድ መፍትሐየው ለጋራ ጥቅም ይውላል፡፡ ሀገራትም በጋራ ይበለጽጋሉ፡፡

የአባይ ውሃ ጦርነት ታምቡር ከምድረ ምስር እና አንደምታው

ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው

Nile new diversionየሰሞኑን የአባይ ውሃ ፖለቲካን ልብ ብሎ ላተዋለ ግራ መጋባቱ አይቀርም፡፡ የግብጹ ፕሬዝዳንት ሀገራዊ የውይይት መድረክ ብለው በሰየሙት እና የኢትዮጵያን የታላቁ ህዳን ግድብ አጀንዳ አድርገው በጠሩት ጉባኤ ላይ እጅግ ሀገራቸውን ያዋረደ እና ያሰደበ ተግባርን ፈጥመዋል ግብጻውያን ፖለቲከኞች፡፡ አንዳንድ ፖለቲከኞች በተለይም አክራሪዎቹ ኢትዮጵያን በውሸት ወሬ ፍርሃት እንልቅባት ከማለት ጀምሮ እስከ ታጣቂ ኃይሎችን አንርዳ እስከማለት እንዲሁም ወታደራዊ ኃይላችንን እና የስለላ መረባችንን ተጠቅመን ግድቡን እናውድምም ያሉ አልጠፉም፡፡ ይህ ያሉት ነገር በሙሉ ፖለቲከኞቹ የሚመኙት ነገር እንደሆነ የሚታወቅ ነገር ነው፡፡ ባይናገሩትም የዕውነት ምን እንደሚያስቡ ስለሚታወቅ አዲሰ ነገር የለውም፡፡ አዲስ ነገር የሆነው ይህ ውይይት በቀጥታ ለዓለም ህዝብ በትዕይንተ-መስኮት (ቴሌቪዥን) መተላለፉ ነው፡፡ ይህም በርግጥ ትልቅ ጥቅም አለው፡፡ ለረጅም ጊዜ ኢትዮጵያ ግብጽን እንዲህ ሸማቂዎችን እያስታጠቀች ነወ ብላ ስትከስ ግብጽ በበኩሏ እኔ በፍጹም አላደረግሁም ሀራም ነው እያለች ድስኩሯን ታሰማ ነበር፡፡ ዛሬ ግን ይሄው የሆነው ሆነ እና ዓለመ ጉዱን ገለጸው፡፡ ይህ ውይይት የፖለቲካ ፓረቲዎቹ እንጅ የግብጽ መንግስት ሀሳብ አይደለም ሊባ ይችላል፡፡ ይባል፡፡ ነገር ግን ፕሬዝዳቱ ሳያውቁ በስህተት በቀጥታ ስርጭት አየር ላይ ዋለ ማለት ዘበት ነው፡፡ ይሁን ግድ የለም ምኞታቸውን ነው የገለጹት፡፡ ምኞት ደግሞ አይከለከልም፡፡ ግን አንድምታው ምንድን ነው፡፡


ሀ. ዛቻ የድርድር አካል?

ግብጻውያኑ አንዳንዴ ያሳዝናሉ ያስገርማሉም፡፡ አባይን መያዝ እና ምንም ሳይነካ ሀገራቸው እንዲገባ ይፈልጋሉ፡፡ ይህ ሲሆንም ሌላው ወንዙን የሚጋራ ህዝብ ምንም መብታ ያላቸው አይመስሉም፡፡ እነሱው ማ ውሃ እንደሚጠቀም እና እንደማይጠቅም ፈቃጅ እና ከልካይ መሆንን ይሻሉ፡፡ ይህ እንዴት ሊሆን ይችላል…? ምልሱ ግልጽ ነው፡፡ ሊሆን አይችልም የሚል፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ይ በትዕይንተ-መስኮት የተላለፈ ወሬ እና ድራማ አንዳች ነገር በውስጡ አለው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያን በተመለከተ፡፡ ይህም አንዲህ ማጓራትን እና ዛቻን የድርድር አካል ማድረግ ነው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ ጦርነትን ለማስወገድ ብላ አባይን መገደቧን የምታቆም እንዳሆነ ጠንቅቀው ያውቁታል፡፡ አንዳችም ስንዝር ወደ ኋላ እንደማትልም ተገንዝበዋል፡፡ በ90 ሚሊዮን ልብ ውስጥ ያለን ነገር እንዴት ማስወገድ ይቻላል? አይሆንም፡፡ ነገር ግን በዚህ ግርግራቸው ውስጥ ግብጻውያ ደጋግመው የተናገሯቸው እና ከአፋቸው ያልነጠሏቸው ቃላቶች አሉ፡፡ “ይህ ግድብ የውሃ ኮታችንን መቀነስ የለበትም፡፡ ይህ ግድብ የውሃ ዋስትናችንን መንካት የለበትም፡፡” የሚሉ፡፡ የትኛው የውሃ ዋትና ተብለው ሲጠየቁ መልሱ ወደ 1959 ከሱዳን ጋር የተደረገ የውሃ ክፍፍል ስምምነት ይወስደናል፡፡ ነገር ይህ ስምምነት ለኢትዮጵያ ምኗ ነው? ምኗም አይደለም፡፡

በዓለምአቀፍ የስምምነት መርሆ መሰረት አንድ ሀገር በሀገራት መካከል በተደረግ ስምምነት ሊቀየድ ወይም ተገዥ ሊሆን የሚችለው አንድም የስምምነቱ አካል ሆኖ ተደራድሮ እና አምኖበት ሲፈርም እና ሲያጸድቅ ነው፡፡ ሁለትም ስምምነቱ በሌሎች ድርድር ሂደት ከተፈረመ እና ከጸደቀ በኋላ አመልክቶ ከገባ ነው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ ይን ሁሉ አላደረገችም፡፡ ስምምነቱ ሲደረግ የጋበዛት የለ፡፡ እሷም አላመለከተችም፡፡ ስለዚህ አያገባትም፡፡ ይልቅ አንባን አንድ ነገር ላስታውስ፡፡ ይህ ስምምነት ለኢትዮጵያ ታላቅ ብሔራዊ ስድብ ነው፡፡ የአባይን ከሰማንያ ስድስት በመቶ በላይ የምታመነጭ ሀገር የሥምምነቱ አካል ሳትሆን የተፈራረሙት ሀገራት ስምምነቱን “የአባይን ውሃ ሙሉ በሙሉ ለመጠቀም በተባበሩት የአርብ ሪፐብሊክ (ግብጽ) እና በሱዳን ሪፐብሊክ መካከል የተደረ ስምምነት” ሲል ይጀምራል፡፡ ከዚህ በላይ ስድብ ከየት ይመጣል? ሁለተኛው ስድብ ውስጥውስጡን እንተው እና ዋናውን ጉዳይ ለማንሳት ይህ ስምምነት ተብየ የአባይ አጠቃላይ ዓመታዊ ፍሰት ለግብጽ 55.5 ቢሊዩን ኩቢክ ሜትር፣ ለሱዳ 18.5 ቢሊዮን ኩቢክ ሜትር እንዲሁም ሰሐራ በረሐ ላይ በተሰራው የአስዋ ግድብ ምክንያት ለትነት ከ10 ቢሊዮን ኪዩቢክ ሜትር በላይ ያከፋፍላል፡፡ እንግዲህ ግብጽ ይህን ነው የውሃ ደህንነቴ/ዋስትናዬ ወይም የውሃ ኮታዮ የምትለው፡፡ የሰሞኑ ጩኸትም ይህን ነገር ተቀበሉን ነው፡፡ ይህ እንግዲህ ከላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት አንጻር የሚሆን አይደለም፡፡ በአባይ የትብብር ሰምምነት ማዕቀፍ ውስጥ ያለ ነገር ስለሆነ ከግድቡ ጋር የሚያይዘው አልነበረም፡፡ ነገር ግን ግብጽ የአባይ አውራ የሆነችውን ባለ ብዙ ውሃዋ ሀገር ኢትዮጵያን ግድቡን ስሪ 1959 ስምምነትን በጓዳ ተቀበይ አይነት ጥሪ መሆኑ ነው፡፡ ግን ይሆናል ወይ? መልሱ አንድ ነው አይሆንም፡፡ ታዲያ ግብጻውያን እንዲህ ለምን የጦርነት ታምቡር ደለቁ?

ለ. ፖለቲካን ከውስጥ ወደ ውጭ

ወደ ዝርዝሩ አንግባበት እንጅ በአሁኑ ስዓት የቀድሞውን መሪ ሞሀመድ ሆስኒ ሙባርክን ከስልጣን ካወገደች በኋላ ግብጽ በሁት እግሯ የመቆም ነገር አልሆንላት እያለ ተቸግራለች፡፡ የፕሬዝዳቱ እንደ ፈርኦን ልሆን ብሎ ወዲያ ወዲህ ማለት፣ ከፍትህ ሚኒስቴር ጋር በተያያዘ፣ ከሊበራሎች ጋር በተያየዘ እንዲሁም እጅግ በጣም ከሚያከሩት ከሳላፊስቶች ጋር በተያያዘ፣ የሐይማኖትን ጉዳይ ተከትሎ በክርስቲያች ላይ እየደረሰ ያለው ችግር እንዲሁም የህገ-መንግስቱን በግርግር እና በሁካታ መጽደቅ ተከትሎ ያለው መከፋፈል በጥቅሉ የሞርሲን ወንበር እየነቀነቀው ይገኛል፡፡ እናም ትንሽ የህዝባቸውን ሀሳ በአንድ ጥላ ስር የሚያሰባስብ ፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎቹን ከመረበሽ የሚያበርድ ትኩስ ዳቦ ሲፈለግ ይሄው ግንቦት ፍጻሜው ሰኔ መጨረሻው ሆኖ አገኙት፡፡ ስለሆነም አንደኛ የኢትዮጵያ አባይን ግድቡን በሚገባ ያለመስተጓጎል ለመስራ እንዲያስችል የወንዙን አቅጣጫ በተወሰኑ ሜትሮች የማስቀየሷ ዜና አባይ ወደ ሌላ አቅጣጫ ያስተላለፈች እና ያፈሰሰች በማስመሰል የተሰራጨው ዘገባ ጥሩ ምቹ ሁኔታን ፈጠረላቸው፡፡ ሁለተኛው ደግሞ የህዳሴ ግድቡን አጠቃላይ ሁኔታ በተለይ በግርጌ ተፋሰስ ሀገራ የሞያደርሰው የጎላ ጉዳ እንዳለ እና እንደሌለ የተሰየመው የባለሙያዎች ቡድን የመጨረሻ ሪርፖርቱን ይፋ ማድረጉ እና ተጨማሪ ጥቅሞች ካሉ ድንገት ያልታዩ ጉዳቶችም ካሉ የማህበራዊ እና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ጥናት ቢደረግ ብሎ ያቀረበው አስተያየት ለፕሬዝዳት ሞርሲ እና መንግስታቸው ሰርግ እና ምላሽ ሆነ፡፡ ቢሆን መልካ ነው የተባለውን ነገር ግብጾች የኢትዮጵያ ጥናት የቆየ ነው ይቀረዋል ወዘተ ወደሚል አተካራ ገቡ፡፡ ነገር ግን የባላሙያዎች ቡድኑ ሪፖርት በግርግ ተፋሰስ ሀገራ ላይ የሚያመጣው የጎላ ጉዳት የለም የሚለው ለግብጽ ብቻ አልተነበባትም፡፡ ስለሆነም አቅጣጫ ማስቀየሱን እና የሀገር ውስጥ ፖለቲካውን ማተንፈሱ ለሞርሲ በግማሽም የሰራ መሰለ፡፡ ለዚህም ነው 11 እስላማዊ ፓርቲዎች በአንድ ተሰብስበው ለቅዳ ህዝባዊ ኮንፈረንስ ለመጥራት የቆረጡት፡፡ ከዚህ ጋር ተያይዞ ግብጻውያን ምርጫ እንዲደርግ ይፈልጋሉ አሁን የሹራ ካውንስል ምርጫ፡፡ ስለሆነም አባይ ጥሩ የምርጫ ካርድ አይደለም ብላችሁ ታባላችሁ?

ሐ. የውክልና ጦርነት

እዚያ ማዶ ሆኖ ክፉ ሰው ተጣራ

እዚህ ማዶ ሆኖ ክፉ ሰው ወይ አለው

ጎበዝ እንጠርጥር ይህ ነገር ለእኛ ነው፡፡ (ፋሲል ደሞዝ)

ሁለት የግብጽ ጄኔራሎች ወደ ሶማሊያ ሞቃዲሾ አምርተው ነበር በዚህ ሳምንት፡፡ የመሄዳቸው ዋና ዓላማም እንዳሉት የሶማሊያን ወታደራዊ ተቋማት እንደገና መልሶ ማቋቋም ነው ብለዋል የዜና ማሰረጫዎቹ፡፡ ነገር ግን የጦር ጥናት ሀ ሁን አስተማረ የሚባለው ቮን ክሎስዊትዝ “የሚመጣው/ነገ ትናንት/ያለፈው ነው” ይላል፡፡ ግብጾቹም ሆነ ኢትዮጵያ ለምን እንደሆነ ያውቁታል፡፡ ሶማሊያ የምታሳዝን ሀገር ናት፡፡ እዚህ ደረጃ የደረሰችው እና ብትንትኗ የወጣው አንድም ክፉ መሪ ጥሎባት ነው ዚያድ ባሬ የሚባል፡፡ ዋናው እና ተያያዡ ጉዳይ ግን ዚያድ ባሬን ልቡን ያሳበጡት የሳዳት እና የሙባርክ መንግስታት ናቸው ከግብጽ፡፡ ሶማሊያ ኢትዮጵያን ስትወርር በግብጽ ተባርካ እና ተዘክራ ነው፡፡ ከዚያድ ባሬ ውድቀት በኋላም አንዱን አንጃ ከአንዱ አንጃ እየለያየች ለእሷ ፈረስ የሚሆኑትን ብቻ ትሰበስብ የነበረችው ግብጽ ሶማሊያን መንግስት አልባ እንድትሆን ካደረጉ አገራት ቀዳሚዋ ናት፡፡ ምክንያቷም አንድ እና አንድ ነው የውክልና ጦርነት፡፡ ኢትዮጵያን በውክልና ጦርነት ለማዳከም ወይም የብሔራዊ ደህንነት ስጋት በመፍጠር ኢትዮጵያ ከልማት ይልቅ ብሯን እና ጊዜዋን በጦርነት እንድታሳልፍ ነበር የግብጽ እቅድ፡፡ የእስላማዊ ፍርድ ቤቶች ህብረትም ልብ ልብ የተሰማው ብግብጽ እና በመሰሎቿ ድጋፍ ነበር፡፡ ዳሩ ግን በአጭር ጉዞው መገታት ስለነበረበት ተመታ፡፡ ግብጽ እና አጋሮቿም አፈሩ፡፡ ታዲያ ይህች ዳርዳርታ በአዲስ መልክ ወደ ሶማሊያ ለመግባት የሚደረገው ሙከራ ግልጽ ነው፡፡ ሌላው ትልቁ ግልጽ ነገር ግን ሶማሊያ እና ሶማሊያውያን ጦርነት ሰልችቷቸዋል፡፡ የማንም የውክልና ጦርነት ማካሄጃነት ሰልችቷቸዋል፡፡ እናም ይህ የግብጽ ጉዞ ምኞት ነው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያን የማተራመስ ምኞት፡፡ በርግጥ ለሞሀመድ ሞርሲ ፓርቲ ሙስሊም ወንድማማቾች ህብረት ወንድም የሆነው የሰላፊያው ፓርቲ የአልኑር ፓርቲ (የብርሀን ፓርቲ ማለት ነው ነገር ግን ሰውየው እና ንግግሩ የፓርቲውም ዓላማ ጨለማ ነው፡፡) ተወካይ የቤተ ምንግስቱ ድራማ ላይ የሶማሊ ታጣቂዎችን እናስታጥቅ የኦነግንም እናስታጥቅ ነበር ያለው፡፡ እነዚህ ሽምቆች ደግሞ መውጫ መግቢያቸው በምስራቅ ነው፡፡

የማጠቀለየ መልዕክት

የኢትዮጵያ መልዕክት አንድ እና አንድ ነው፡፡ ሰላም፡፡ በአባይ ውሃ በፍትሐዊነት እና ምክንያታዊነት ሁሉም የአባይ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት በሉአላዊ መሬታቸው ያለ ማንኛውንም የተፈጥሮ ሀብት የመጠቀም ተፈጥሯዊ መብት አላቸው፡፡ ወሰን ተሸጋሪ የሆኑትን የውሃ አካላት ኢትዮጵያ ፍትሐዊ በሆነ መልኩ እንጠቀም ስትል ኃላፊነት በተሞላበት መልኩ ነው፡፡ የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳ ግድብም የዚሁ አካል ነው፡፡ የፍትሐዊነት አካል፡፡ ስለዚህ ይህ ግድብ በምንም አይነት መልኩ የሚቆም አይደለም ለደቂቃዎች የሚስተጓጎል አይደለም፡፡ ግብጽ ከምንም በላይ የሚሻላት የኢትዮጵያ እጆች ለማቀፍ ተዘርግተዋልና መተቃቀፉ ነው፡፡ መተባበሩ ነው፡፡ ያ ሲሆን አባይ ለጋራ እድገት በጋራ ማልማት ይቻላል፡፡ ያ ካልሆነ እና ግብጽ እንዲህ መደንፋቷ ከቀጠለ እሱ ሌላ ነገር ነው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ በጊዜውም ያለጊዜውም ሊዘንብ የሚችል ዝናብ ወይም ካፊያ መኖሩን ተገንዝባ ነገሮችን በጥንቃቄ ማየት እንዳለባት ካፊየውንም ዝናቡንም በአስተማማኝ መልኩ የሚከላከል ጥላ ማዘጋጀት እንዳለባት ታውቀዋለች፡፡ ለዚህም ነጋሪ አያስፈልጋትም፡፡ ለዛም ነው በልጇ በገነት ማስረሻ በኩል እንዲህ ስትል ያዜመችው…

በፍቅር ብንይዘው አባይ ያገር ዋርካ

ለዓለም ይበቃል እንኳን ለአፍሪካ፡፡


ስንት ዘመን ቁጭት

ስንት ዘመን ፍጭት

ስንት ዓመት በጣሳ

ስንት አመት በወጭት

ፍሰስበት እና በሀገርህ ሜዳ

የሚቆጣን ካለ ያበጠው ይፈንዳ፡፡፡


Drama at the Presidential Palace and the Nile: An Ethiopian View and a Message to the People of Egypt

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

On Monday June 3, 2013 Egyptian Islamist President Mohamed Morsi convened political party leaders and representatives of religious groups in the country to discuss on matters regarding  the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The President’s call was welcomed by some political leaders while major figures such as Amr Moussa, Mohamed ElBaradei and Hamadeen Sabahi did not attend the meeting. The meeting was meant to have a national dialogue on matters of national interest in a country which is disturbed by domestic political disputes. This is the very reason why some of the opposition leaders failed to accept the Morsi and Ministersinvitation of the President. Be that as it may, the meeting of the Egyptian politicians was full of drama. It is both a tragedy and a comedy indeed. The tragedy is once ruled by the great pharaohs such as Ramses the Great seeing Egypt with such people who failed to see and consider the facts but run by their sensations and skinny feelings is amazing. The comedy is the solutions proposed by some of the politicians are laughable just like what another opposition leader Hamadeen Sabahi remarked regarding the Ethiopian Dam days before. It was the people of Egypt and Egyptians who are embarrassed and disrespected not the agenda on the round table where the participants sat around. This blogger do not want too much indulge into who said what issue here as it is covered here in this blog and in main stream medias across the world. In the following sections I will try to highlight what leads to the making of the drama from an Ethiopian point of view.

Two major factors can be attributed to such emotional responses and factors which precipitates the making of the drama in the presidential palace and the following heat in Egypt and the responses in the whole world to such news. Te first is directly related to the river Nile and the other has to do with the domestic politics of Egypt. In the first factor two major sub-factors can be identified. The First of the reasons is the way the news reported in mainstream media such as BBC, Washington Post, Reuters,  and the Egyptian media regarding the May 28 Ethiopia`s effective work of sidetracking or redirecting the course of the Blue Nile to undertake the civil and engineering work smooth. The way the news reported is problematic. Most of the media especially in Egypt reported as if the Blue Nile is diverted and changed its natural course to another place. By definition diversion is a process of taking the river to another place. For example the way Egypt did to the Nile through Al-Slam Canal to the Sinai Peninsula despite prohibited under international law. Another example could be again in Egypt the Toshka Project and the out of Basin water diversion made to turn the desert green in the South-western Egypt. But the May 28 Ethiopia`s work is not that. It was rather redirecting the course of the river for  a few  meters away to the right wing and brings it back to its natural course after some 500 meters so that it will continue its journey as usual to Sudan and Egypt. Hence let us ask one question. Is there any probability for the water to be reduced in this process? The answer is absolutely no. But the way the issue is circulated by the media for sure has created panic in Egypt.

The second major reason directly related to the GERD has to do with the submission of the final report of the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) on the GERD to the three riparian governments-Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Days before the submission of the report Sudan has stated that the GERD will not have negative effect on downstream states. Following the submission however the government of Egypt under Mohamed Morsi aired amazing remark of the report. To help us compare the fact from the hearsay let us highlight the major statements in the IPoE Report. According to IPoE report, firstly the GERD will not significantly affect downstream states. Secondly, the dam will be beneficiary to all the riparian states. Thirdly, the design of the dam meets international quality and standard. While saying this, the IPoE report recommended to undertake assessments if there are any economic and social benefits to be shared and if there are any related hazards to be minimized. Bear in your mind, dear readers, it is conditional sentence. The Report recognizes the benefit of the dam and that it will not significantly harm water flow to downstream states. The recommendation is made as a suggestion to increase the benefits of the dam and to minimize if there are unobserved risks. Despite such a fact the Government of Mohamed Morsi stated that the study done by Ethiopia is “inadequate”-a term used by the president not by the IPoE Report. Such a rush of the president of misquoting the IPoE report, in my view, costs both the Government of Egypt and its image in the eyes of other riparian states and their people. Following this the it was seen as necessary to call opposition parties and conveyed them for a national dialogue which was full of nonsensicality.

This blogger needs to comment on one point regarding the comment by Younes Makhloun who is the chairman of the Salafist Al Nour Party. According to the Chairman, people in his party “believe that Egyptian agreement to the building of this dam would be a dangerous strategic mistake, because Ethiopia-and Israel and the USA, which are behind it. [and] would use it [the dam] as a lethal bargaining chip to pressure Egypt.” I am not surprised to hear such Israelization of the Nile from a Salafist leader whose perception of the Jewish State of Israel to the north of his country is not a secret. It is none of our business in their issues with Israel. Israel itself can protect herself What do we concerned about is though when our country Ethiopia is inappropriately attached to Israel. I reassure all Egyptians that either Israel or the USA has nothing to do with the GERD. Such Israelization is a discourse constructed by a bunch of paranoid academia who do not know the facts on the ground but run by their sentiments and feelings which are moulded by their enmity to Israel.  The GERD is Ethiopian and only Ethiopian project with a good intention for development and to increase the benefit of the shared River Nile to all peoples sharing it. It must be clear that, it is Ethiopia`s natural right to use its water resources. But Because the Nile is a transboundary watercourse Ethiopia recognizes such a natural phenomena and uses the waters of the Nile responsibly by considering the needs of those brothers who shared the river. Ethiopia`s call at Guba is of peace and cooperation not of war. The Slafist leader with others advised to attack Ethiopia from within by supporting anti-Ethiopia forces. Will this help Egypt? The answer is no.

Now let us turn to the second major reason why such a drama happened. As we are following from the news from Egypt, the government president Mohamed Morsi has faced oppositions from different sectors. One can not deny that Morsi use the Nile dispute to serve his heating politics to bring about all the political forces under one umbrella of national purpose. Hence, despite accepting the positive recommendations of the IPoE report where two Egyptian, two Sudanese, two Ethiopian and four international experts participated in, Morsi boot the ball in the wrong place. It is self-fooling if one argues that the President may even do not knew about televising his meeting with the opposition party leaders. The President’s words were diplomatically calculated-despite some slip of tongue and limited. His spears of words were limited and toned-down unlike his likes from Al Nour Party. The idea is while serving his political gains at home the President exposes his contenders as foolish and who do not know how to speak about foreign policy and its instruments in public arena such as in live television broadcasting despite the participants did not know that the meeting was televised. In any case, the President seems aiming at changing the course of the domestic politics in to external issue where all the parties can agree with. My idea here is that the President rather than using the GERD to externalize his domestic politics and the crisis he face he could do use constructive dialogue which will resulted in a win-win situation to all the riparian states sharing the river Nile.

I thank Mohamed Morsi for conveying that meeting and for televising it live from his palace. He indeed do minimize cost and energy for people like me who researches on the Nile from spending time to search for policy documents of all opposition parties of Egypt in scrutinizing what do they feel about the GERD. They speak their heart and what they think of Africa, Ethiopia and the GERD in short and precise way which is clearly understood. But do the people of Egypt think they way they do? I doubt that and these bunch amateur artists who do not know acting in the public arena.

Message to the Egyptian People

We in Ethiopia have one history which we are proud of all the time. Ethiopia has no any historical record of invading another country for nonsense. But we were invaded by aggressors yet we gave them a lesson. From Gedarif to Afar, from Gundet to Gura, from Sati through Dogali and Mekele to Adwa, these all in the 19th century. I know the Egyptians do know this very well. Those guys who were suggesting such sabotage, supporting disgruntled Ethiopians, circulating rumors (the funniest of all) all these are ludicrous. Even some went on saying sending the military and intelligence to undertake attack against the dam. Some went on saying we should intervene in Ethiopia`s all domestic affairs including politics. Did these people forget that Ethiopia is a sovereign state with a people and an army to defend their country as their fathers did? I think they were playing a dram so they were chitchatting. As Ato Getchew Reda- Spokes person of the Prime MInister Hailemariam Desalegn responded, what these guys trying to say such as attacking Ethiopia, is a day dream.

All the drama in Cairo`s presidential palace was a drama and let us leave it in its own arena. But ethiopia`s message to Egypt and Egyptians is not of war but peace, not of suspicion but trust, not of conflict but cooperation. The message from Ethiopia is let us use the waters of the Nile together. We are children of the same river-the mighty and mysterious the Nile-let us fetch and drink it together. This is our general message to you. When it comes to the GERD in particular, we are building the dam a few kilometers away from our border with a brotherly people of Sudan. Its benefits are recognized and recorded by the IPoE. To reassure our brothers in Egypt though I retreat to say it here that we are building the dam to generate thousands of megawatts of electricity that will help us to operate industries so that we can lift our people from poverty. Regarding Israel I tell you in the name of the Nile whom we drink together, no external power-Israel or USA are in the process. We Ethiopians are the owners and runners of the dam. Ethiopia while laying the foundation stone of the Dam in 2011 have called both Sudan and Egypt to share the cost as they are also beneficiaries from the end results of the Dam. The fundamental message is therefore here in Ethiopia no one is to harm Egypt by arresting the flow of the Nile waters. It is now up to you-the people of Egypt to uncover the truth. We in Ethiopia say one river one people but your politicians are going the other direction. Would the Nile have mouth to speak; it would preach love, peace and cooperation. Dear politicians of Egypt leave the rhetoric and come to the win-win solution which Ethiopia has been calling.

No need for Egypt to worry about the Nile Dam

Ethiopia`s MInister of the Ministry of Water and Energy Alemayehu Tegenu reassure Egypt and Egyptians not to worry about the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam. The Minister went on saying that Ethiopia is ready to have dialogue on any issue that Egypt is concerned about. The following is the news report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.


Ethiopia’s Minister for Water Resources, Alemayehu Tegenu, has repeated that there is no reason for Egypt to worry about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The Minister said says construction of the Dam posed no threat to Egypt or Sudan: “We do not have any plan to harm downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt. If Egypt has some issues to discuss with Ethiopia, we are very ready to discuss them.” The report of the Technical Committee on the Dam was presented to the respective governments at the weekend. The report remains confidential but it concluded that the construction of the dam is meeting international standards and will not significantly affect the lower riparian states. The Minister made clear that the decision to divert the river which started last Tuesday, was unrelated to the completion of the Report. He said the diversion of the river was according to the schedule set earlier. He also underlined that the point that “river diversion does not to stop the flow of water to the downstream countries. River diversion means it is the rerouting of the river flow to facilitate the construction in the riverbed, nothing else.”

Available at: 

Ambassador Mohamed Drirr Met with Ex-Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa

According to  Daily News Egypt Ethiopia`s Ambassador in Egypt met with ex-Egypt`s Minister of Foreign Affairs and ex-Secretary General of the Arab League and Presidential Candidate Amr Moussa. Amr Moussa is currently leader of the opposition party Conference Party and the National Salvation Front (NSF) leader. Ambassador Mohamed Drirr has a two hours meeting with Amr Moussa on the recent developments on the Nile. Ambassador Mohamed has made clear to the opposition leader that Ethiopia has no any intention of harming egypt or affecting its access to the Nile waters.

Ambssador Mohamed Drirr told Amr Moussa that his country needs to maintain the friendly relations between the two countries. Both discussed on how to overcome the current crisis happened following Ethiopia`s work of redirecting the Blue Nile to accomplish the civil and engineering work of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The dispute is further escalated following the submission of the report of the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) on the GERD. According to the IPoE the GERD will not significantly affect water flow to downstream states-Egypt and the Sudan. The report further underlined that the Dam has a lot of benefits to all the riparian states. According to reports in the media and a press releases the IPoE has recommended to do further studies if there are any benefits to be shared or problems to be solved in the best interest of the Basin states. But such recommendation has been interpreted by the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as if the IPoE stated the study made by Ethiopia is inadequate.

Mohamoud-Dirir-Ethiopia-ambassador-to-egypt Amr

Following the submission of the report to the governments of the three riparian states directly concerned with the dam Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan, President Morsi invited opposition leaders and religious representatives to discuss on the matter. But the meeting between the president and the politicians was an embarrassment for both the politicians and the Egyptian people as a nation as most of the politicians were paranoid and suggested laughable comments in a mistakenly televised meeting. Following this drama opposition leader and the National Salvation Front Coordinator, Mohamed Elbardi has apologized the people and government of Ethiopia for what happened in the presidential palace in Cairo in his twitter account.  As reported by Egypt Independent Mohamed ElBaradei further “called on President Mohamed Morsy to apologize to Ethiopia and Sudan for “the irresponsible utterances” made during the national dialogue session held on Monday to discuss the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis.” It is in the middle of such situations that Ambassador Mohamed Drirr and Amr Moussa met. According to reports Ambassador Mohamed told Amr Mouusa that the “campaigns against Ethiopia in Egypt are not based on correct information.” Answering to one of the comments made in the president`s meeting Ambassador Mohamed stated that “Israel has no anything to do with the dam or its effects.” Bringing Israel and the USA into the Nile politics is the very character of the few paranoid Egyptians who have no correct information about Ethiopia`s development plans and Nile policy.

In another news Ethiopia`s Minister of Water and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu has reaffirmed Egypt not to be worried regarding the GERD. The Minister further stated that Ethiopia is ready to have dialogue on any matter with Egypt. This blog has learned that Ethiopia so far has not replied officially to the  Sunday`s embarrassing drama in Cairo.

Paranoid Egyptian Politicians Longing For War over the Nile

Following the submission of the final report by the International Panel of Experts on the Renaissance Dam Egypt`s Islamist President called for consultation with opposition party leaders. However, the meeting reveals the arrogance and ignorance of the Egyptian politicians in relation to the Nile. This blogger was following live twitter update from a journalist of the Daily Nation-Egypt who was updating readers live from the meeting. Those opposition party leaders participated in the meeting with their President are either totally ignorance of the Nile or they are naive in any international relations and foreign policy of their country. Some were advising the president to settle Egyptians in Ethiopia and other upstream states. Some others also proposed Egypt`s economic and political presence in Ethiopia including through civil society organizations. Some went further on advising the president to sabotage the dam. The following is the news report from the New York Times.  This blog will in detail discuss different scenarios and challenges ahead and their solutions in the coming days.



JUNE 3, 2013

CAIRO — Politicians meeting with Egypt’s president have proposed hostile acts against Ethiopia, including backing rebels and carrying out sabotage, to stop it from building a massive dam over the Nile River.

Some of the politicians attending Monday’s meeting with President Mohammed Morsi appeared unaware it was being carried live on TV. Morsi did not directly react to the suggestions.

Morsi called the meeting to review the impact of Ethiopia’s dam on Egypt’s share of the Nile’s water.

Younis Makhyoun, leader of an ultraconservative Islamist party, said Egypt should back rebels in Ethiopia or, as a last resort, destroy the dam. Liberal politician Ayman Nour proposed spreading rumors about Egypt obtaining advanced warplanes to scare the Ethiopians.

Egypt has in the past threatened to go to war to preserve its water share.

Egyptian Opposition and the President on the IPoE Report on the Nile Part I

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

The President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi meets with opposition leaders to discuss on the final report of the IPoE of the Renaissance Dam of Ethiopia. The IPoE which was established following Ethiopia`s initiation as part of brotherhood and good neighborhood to increase the benefits of the mega dam to the downstream states. Such decision of the Ethiopian government in fact shows how much the country is committed in accommodating the interest of its downstream neighbors. The IPoE on the renaissance dam has submitted its final report to the governments of three riparian states. So far Ethiopia and Egypt has issued statements in one way or another. The Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy in televised statement stressed that the final report of the IPoE has identified the benefits of the dam to all riparian states. The Report also declared that the dam will not significantly affect water flow downstream. It is recalled that the Report also recommended to do further research if there are other benefits to be identified or negative effects to be tackled. It should also be noted that the IPoE`s recommendation is on social and economic aspect of the dam not on the water flow.

Despite that is the fact the Egyptian presidency has remarked that the research and study done by Ethiopia is inadequate. This is however a play of words of taking what is recommended for if there are any problems or benefits statement as an indication of inadequacy. Egypt is concerned about water flow issues but according to the IPoE`s Report the Renaissance Dam will not significantly affect the water flow downstream.  Hence, the President`s remark is uninformed or is with other undisclosed intention.

Be that as it may the Egyptian presidency called political figures and opposition parties to discuss on the matter. Today on June 3, 2013 some opposition parties were gathered in the country`s palace. This blog has learned from Ahram Online that Hamdeen Sabbahi who previously remarked of using the Suez Canal to stop Ethiopia from constructing the dam was not attending. Ex-International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei’s Constitution Party also announced not to take part in the discussion. The Free Egyptian Party which announced also not to attend the gathering further in a statement “went on to slam the timing of the meeting as an attempt to distract Egyptians from crucial domestic issues, citing a planned protest by judges on Monday as well as a Sunday court ruling against the constitutionality of the upper house of parliament and the constitution-drafting committee.” Ex-Arab League secretary and once Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Amr Moussa also do not attend the meeting but “would instead send a memo to the president on the issue.” On the other hand, Egypt Freedom Party, Al-Wafd party and the Popular Socialist Alliance are those who attend the meeting with the president. It is time to the Government of Mohamed Morsi and Hisham Qandil to look into the current and long-term water interest of their country which can best be achieved through cooperation and mutual trust with upstream states. The construction of the GERD by no means is a threat to Egypt or Sudan except increasing benefits for all the riparian states sharing Abbay-the Nile.

Power Trade on the Nile-Egypt: The Missing Link

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

One of the projects of the Shared Vision Program (SVP) of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is “The Regional Power Trade (RPT) Project aimed to facilitate the development of regional power markets among the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Member States. By assisting  the NBI Member States to develop  the tools for improving access to reliable, low cost, sustainably generated power, the project is helping to contribute to poverty reduction in the region, over the long term.” This long term objective aimed at enhancing the power interconnection between the riparian states of the Nile so that they can become more integrated to solve common problems together and share the fruits of the Nile in mutually benefiting way. To achieve its objective, the NBI is structured in to two sub-basin programs-Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program (ENSAP) and the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (ELSAP). Each program has its own projects designed in a way to benefit the riparian countries. For example the ENSAP has eight projects of which Eastern Nile Regional Power Trade is the most important one-which is the subject of this short story.

abb9b70bThe objective of the Eastern Nile Regional Power Trade is “To promote EN regional power trade through coordinated planning and development of power generation and transmission interconnection and creation of an enabling environment.” One of the achievements of this project is the “Pre-Feasibility studies for three hydropower sites two in Ethiopia and one in Sudan including technical, environmental and social issues.” “Feasibility Study for the electric transmission interconnection” is also done. In one of the parallel projects in ENSAP related to the power trade, Ethiopia-Sudan Transmission Interconnection where almost all the works are done and power supply testing was embarked on August 2012. Ethiopia is also to be connected with Kenya on another project from Gibe III.

When we come to the Eastern Nile Power Trade however we find a missing link in the studies where the needed power trade is challenged by one of the biggest potential buyers of power in the Nile Basin-Egypt. Egypt despite its rhetoric of cooperation on the Nile it is working towards alienating itself from Nile related hydropower projects. This stance of Egypt is not though officially expressed but it is inferred from the power related projects and policies of the country. For instance, during his visit to Moscow, Russia, on April 2013 president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi called Russia to invest in the Energy sector in Egypt. As reported by Russia Today (RT) “Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak announced that Egypt proposed sending a delegation to Cairo “to resume cooperation in peaceful nuclear projects” to jointly construct new nuclear power plants. Cairo plans to build 4 GWt of nuclear power facilities by 2025.” While there is a huge potential of hydropower on the Nile Basin that will enhance cooperation and integration, Egypt`s initiation for nuclear energy should be scrutinized however.

According to the state run Ahram online, Egypt is heading with a new energy policy of connecting the country with Saudi Arabia. In a project which is planed to be completed by 2015 “Egypt signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia on Saturday to link their electricity grids, a project worth approximately $1.6 billion and generating about 3,000 megawatts of power, the Saudi embassy in Cairo stated.” Such Egypt`s move is one of the other proves that Egypt is alienating itself from the Nile Basin hydropower projects. In one occasion the writer of this story has learned from a close key informant that while asked in a workshop in one of the West African countries about connecting the power grids of the Nile Basin states, the Egyptian experts team unpleasantly responded that they are not interested in buying energy from hydropower plants in upstream countries because their country’s future energy investment is focusing on the nuclear sector.

Despite the multilateral water projects identified by the NBI and their prospect of mutual benefit and win-win gains in enhancing cooperation and bringing about further integration, the energy policies of Egypt is against those prospects and is a paradox that is self-evident. Countries such as Ethiopia and Sudan in the Eastern Nile have shown progresses in connecting their power grids to benefit from the fruits of the Nile mutually. The path opted by Egypt is though the missing link in connecting the whole Nile Basin`s power grid. What is the long-term aim of leaving the energy in the Basin then?


Ethiopia Beware the Phrases on any Nile Discussions

pm_hailemariam_auBy Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Egypt’s State Information Service announced that Prime Minister Hisham Qandil of Egypt met with Ethiopia`s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the later has pledged that the Renaissance Dam “will not affect the water share of Egypt.” This blogger believes that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn would not and will never say that the Renaissance Dam will not affect “Egypt`s water share” of the Nile as there is no any shared water so far in a way that egypt thinks. Egypt`s way of stating share is a water quota which it claimed there is but which Ethiopia and the rest of upstream states do not know. For upstream states the so-called previous agreements either colonial or bilateral are unacceptable and not their concern. It is the firm position of the Ethiopian government that the Renaissance Dam will not significantly affect the water flow of the Nile Downstream. It should be underlined that there is a very huge gap between the dam will not affect “Egypt`s water share” and the dam will not significantly affect flow of water downstream. As explained and discussed in this blog, this is the aged Egypt`s tactic of playing with words to push upstream states to accept the colonial and partial pseudo-agreements mainly the 1959 Agreement-which is totally unthinkable and impossible.

Hence this blogger retreats of urging the Government of Ethiopia to watch phrases and wordings in any negotiations and discussions of what so ever with the government of Egypt. Despite it looks easy and simple the implication is undoubtedly huge and devastating. It is the firm belief of this blog that, as was done before to State Minister Berhane GebreKirstos and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, he would be misquoted by the Egyptian media. This blogger further calls the government of Ethiopia to clarify the issue on the wordings to the Ethiopian people and make its positions clear to the governments of the Sudan and Egypt on the wordings. This blog retreats to say Ethiopia Beware the Phrases non the Nile.

Ethiopia Watch Out the Wordings: The International Panel of Experts on the Nile and its Final Report

International-Panel-of-Experts-on-Renaissance-DamZerihun Abebe Yigzaw

The International Panel of Experts (IPoE) on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has submitted its final report to the governments of the three riparian states-Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan. Ethiopia in good faith called the two riparian states to form the international panel of experts so as to investigate if the GERD will cause any significant negative effect to the downstream states. With the agreement between the Ministers of water affairs of the three riparian states the panel of experts was established with two experts from each of the three riparian states and four international experts chosen by the consensus of the riparian states. After its establishment the IPoE studied the designing and related documents and the project site at Guba-Benshangul Gumuz for almost a year. The mandate of the IPoE was to study the benefit of the dam to the riparian states and as well to investigate if the dam will cause any significant harm to downstream states and to propose any possible corrective mechanisms to the project owner-Ethiopia. Accordingly, the IPoE has submitted its final report to the governments of the three riparian states on June 1, 2013. Previously, this blog reported that, some Egyptian media were trying to influence the final report of the IPoE. And I have stated that, the final report will not by any means continue anything in reference to the phrases “Egypt’s or Sudan’s share or quota.”

Thus according to the final report which will be publically released for opinion after the governments of the three countries investigation, the following are the major findings. As announced in the media, the Report has stressed that the design of the dam meets international standards, the dam will benefit the three riparian states and it will not also create significant harm to the two downstream states. In case, if there are further benefits to be identified and any negative effects from the dam, the Report farther recommended the need to do additional research. The dam also recommends the need to work together among the riparian states. Following, the submission of the Report the Ministry of Water and Energy announced that it will take time to probe the final report and pledge to cooperate with riparian states on the Nile for mutual benefit and appreciated the works of the IPoE.

On the other hand, according to news from Egypt, Egypt State Information Service stated that, “The report also recommended changing and amending the dimensions and the size of the dam before embarking on implementation and setting a timetable illustrating the water revenues if the River Nile during the coming 60 years.” This is not, though, heard from the statement of the Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia.  In addition to this, Reuters citing the President of Egypt stated that, “Citing the findings of the report, the presidency said Ethiopia’s “studies were not adequate for a project of this scale, and the committee’s report recommended more studies of the economic and social aspects, the security of dams and water resources, not to mention the environmental aspects”.” On the same token the Egyptian state run ahram online stated that, ‘The report, according to the spokesman, recommended further social and economic studies into the dam’s impact, as well as further study of the environmental impact of the dam and its potential safety.”   The egyptian media and even Reuters have quoted the president of Egypt saying the study made on the dam is inadequate. It should be clear that recommending further social and economic studies does not mean that the study on the dam is inadequate. The Ministry of Water and Energy of Ethiopia in its televised  statement have stated that the recommendation   of the IPoE is to make further study on to identify if there are any other benefits or any negative effect. It must be underlined on if any. 

The governments of the riparian states must sit and discuss the matters on a round table than throwing words which will exacerbate divides. The way the Egyptian presidency announced its statements with an over negatively-toned voice will not help the cooperation needed between the riparian countries regarding the GERD or any other projects for mutual benefit.

Waiting the release of the report to the public, this blog urges the Government of Ethiopia to look in to the different phrases and words which might be inappropriately included. Words such as Egypt’s share/quota, Sudan’s share/quota-as these are contentious issues that Egypt needs upstream states to accept. Following the news reports from Reuters and Egypt State Information Service, this blog speculates that the Report may contain contradictory findings or messages of what so ever. The need for further study on the GERD may not hold the construction of the dam nevertheless watching after words is important. a

Ethiopia also say Water is Thicker than Blood-ውሃ ከደም ይወፍራል

The Roar and the Reality: What Hamdeen Sabbahi  and Abdel-Akher Hammad Missed

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

This piece is my response to the remarks made by two public figures from Egypt.


Today two known figures from Egypt have aired their views about Ethiopia’s mega project on the Nile-the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). In one way or another the tone of these two individuals known Egyptian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi  and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya mufti Abdel-Akher Hammad is similar. Hamdeen whil considering Ethiopia’s dam project tantamount to declaration of war, he said that “If such a war is forged against us, we are ready to fight and we will embark on it with all our strength to defend our honour.” Sabbahi on his part going on saying that Ethiopia’s decision to go ahead with the project – only days after President Mohamed Morsi’s state visit to the country – was “extremely humiliating to Egyptians.”   From this we can understand that, their concern is not the reality on the ground but the honor and pride of Egypt which it unfairly claimed for long due to the unjust help of its colonial master Great Britain. While talking about Egyptian pride and honor these two individuals seem to forget the pride and honor of Ethiopia and other upstream states.

Though, I do not blame these individuals for what they said. It is because they are from the old school and thinking incubated by Anwar Sadat and his successor Hosni Mubarak who only sees the Nile from one angle and denying other states as if they are not there with their people. Sabbahi is talking about using the Suez Canal to punish Ethiopia to stop it from utilizing the Nile waters. What he missed is there is other route to reach to Ethiopia despite the short way goes long but left a scar on the relation between the two brotherly countries. And this scar will be painful. And I hope and I think the government of President Mohamed Morsi is wise and knows what to say, what action to take, when and how-to maintain the good relation between the Nile Riparian states and to use the fruits of the Nile waters for mutual benefit.

 These issues must be clear to these people and all Egyptians. Firstly, the Nile is a pride and honor of all peoples and countries sharing the river. The Nile is a gift of all the riparian states and their people. Hence they have the right to utilize the waters of the Nile for any thing they want, at any time in accordance with international law and good neighborhood and brotherhood as children of one river-the Nile. Secondly, it is a publicly stated position of Ethiopia that Ethiopia has called downstream Egypt and Sudan that they should share the costs of the dam because they are also the beneficiaries from the end results of the GERD. By denying this fact as if they are not heard, the remarks proved to us that, they are still in their old school and fortress made by Sadat and enhanced by Mubarak which will profit nothing except suspicion and mistrust. Thirdly, it should be clear for Egyptians that there is no one in upstream-Ethiopia to harm Egypt. Ethiopia’s aim is one-to meet its energy needs and to lift up its people from poverty and hunger. Ethiopia must not and will not shackle its hand not to utilize its water resources while its people are dying of hunger and live in darkness while the whole Egypt turned to a shining jewel and while the Sahara desert is turned into something green. Ethiopia’s call is one-let us share the waters of the Nile together for mutual benefit.

Irrespective of the truths on the ground and rather than sorting out constructive arguments that will benefit the Nile riparian states, the two individuals run to yell about war. Who will benefit from war? Do they know the long-term consequence that will not be healed by one or two generations? What did Egypt profit from previous attempts of war from Ethiopia? Is war as simple as these individuals spoke? I think Alula Aba Nega, Khedive Ismail Pasha or Werner Munzinger must not be alive to remind these guys about the consequences of Gundet and Gura. War rhetoric will not help. It is destructive and its consequences sever. The means of war have been changing throughout history and a lot of transformation has been recorded with the change in technology. But this must be clear and underlined-the essence of war is not changed. I hope both individuals will regret for what they said. Alula Aba Nega

What amazed me is that, Sabbahi further going on saying that “a drop of water would exceed a drop of blood in value.” I hope Egypt`s Ambassador in Ethiopia Mohamed Idrees told him that we in Ethiopia also say Water is thicker than Blood. And the message is very clear. I retreat to say it, in Ethiopia our call is clear. Our message here at Guba where the dam is constructed is not of war but peace, not of hostility but friendship, not of suspicion but trust. Ethiopia has stretched its hand to hug; it is up to Egypt to accept this call of brotherhood as children of one Nile. We are saying አንድ ወንዝ አንድ ህዝብ-نهر واحد شعب واحد (nhar wahid she`ab wahid)-one river one people. But if you talk about blood and water we also say, Water is thicker than Blood.

Sheikh Abdel-Akher Hammad and Hamdeen Sabbahi

Here below i have posted what two known figures of Egypt  said about the recent developments on the Nile. I have put all what the Egyptian media Ahram Online report it. I have attached a separate response to these guys on a separate page.

Ethiopia dam is ‘declaration of war’: Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya

Sheikh Abdel-Akher Hammad calls on Egypt to defend its honour and oppose construction of Ethiopian dam
Ahram Online , Thursday 30 May 2013
Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam and the diversion of the Blue Nile is a declaration of war on Egypt, Sheikh Abdel-Akher Hammad of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya said on Wednesday. Abdel-Akher Hammad

On Tuesday, Ethiopia began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, one of the Nile River’s two major tributaries, as part of its project to build a dam for electricity production.

Speaking on Al-Arabiya satellite channel, Hammad claimed the move would reduce Egypt’s water supply and damage national security.

“If such a war is forged against us, we are ready to fight and we will embark on it with all our strength to defend our honour,” asserted Hammad.

Diplomatic negotiations should be the first step, he added.

Hammad went on to say the crisis should have been dealt with by the Mubarak regime.

The Blue Nile provides Egypt with the lion’s share of its annual 55 billion cubic metres of river 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 150 million.


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CORRECTION – Egypt could use Suez Canal to retaliate against Ethiopia dam move: Sabbahi
Opposition figure Hamdeen Sabbahi says Egypt could block Suez Canal to ships from countries that help Ethiopia build controversial dam on Blue Nile
Ahram Online , Thursday 30 May 2013
Egypt could close the Suez Canal to ships from countries that help Ethiopia build a controversial dam on the Blue Nile in the event that the dam threatens Egypt’s supply of Nile water, Egyptian Popular Current leader Hamdeen Sabbahi said Wednesday. “The state is capable of holding talks with the countries financing Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam project, especially China and Italy,” Sabbahi said.

He went on to assert that Egypt was capable of prohibiting ships from those countries from transiting the Suez Canal “until they stop harming Egypt’s interests.”

He also said that Ethiopia’s decision to go ahead with the project – only days after President Mohamed Morsi’s state visit to the country – was “extremely humiliating to Egyptians.”

In comments reported by Al-Ahram Arabic news website, Sabbahi also called on Egyptians to support the government in its dispute with Ethiopia over the dam.

On Tuesday, Ethiopia began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, one of the Nile River’s two major tributaries, as part of its ‘Renaissance Dam’ project for electricity production, a move that raised concerns in Egypt and Sudan that the flow of water could be disrupted.

A final report on the impact of the planned dam by a joint committee of Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian representatives is expected within days.

“We will not accept any pressure when it comes to our water supply,” Sabbahi said. “Solutions must be presented to avoid conflict.”

If Ethiopia continues with projects that harm Egypt, the nation will unite to deter an attack on its interests, he added.

Sabbahi said that while he fully supports Ethiopia’s right to increase its energy production, Egypt would not accept any reductions in its annual water supply.

If matters escalate, he said, a drop of water would exceed a drop of blood in value. The best way to avoid conflict is to open new initiatives for strategic cooperation in the Nile Basin, he added.

During the 21st African Union summit, President Morsi said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam had vowed to consider Egypt’s interests regarding the dam.

Egypt’s ambassador in Addis Ababa, Mohamed Idris, said Ethiopia’s intention to divert the Blue Nile had been known since November 2012.

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

Correction: Ahram Online had earlier quoted Sabbahi as saying that Egypt was capable of barring Ethiopian ships from crossing the Suez Canal. This is incorrect. Rather, he said that ships from those countries that financed the dam project could be prohibited from transiting the canal.

 Available at:–Egypt-could-use-Suez-Canal-to-retaliat.aspx 

Death on the Nile

INside Story Al Jazeera

As Ethiopia diverts the river to build a dam, we examine the impact on water supply for Egypt’s growing population.


The River Nile has been a source of life for millions over the centuries. Now Ethiopia is diverting water to build a giant dam, and those downstream who depend on the river, are left wondering when and whether this issue can be resolved peacefully.

The Nile is the longest river in Africa, flowing through 11 countries of the continent.

It has two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile is the source of almost 85 percent of the river’s water. It begins in Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia and flows into Sudan where it meets the White Nile in Khartoum – they then flow to Egypt as the Nile River.

Whether we have a bigger population or not, it is … our right to use our fair share in terms of using the Nile River.

Bereket Simon, Ethiopian minister of information

Ethiopia, one of the countries through which the river flows, wants to divert parts of it to create a $4.7bn hydroelectric dam, the 11th biggest in the world. The dam is part of a $12bn programme called The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The investment which aims to boost power exports has sparked concerns in Egypt and Sudan. The two countries say that the construction of this dam violates a colonial era agreement from 1959, which gave them rights to almost 90 percent of the Nile’s waters.

For hundreds of years, Ethiopian Kings have warned of their power to divert waters of the Nile but never made good on their threats.

“Now, what we are seeing with Somalia becoming increasingly fragmented, and the division of Sudan and Egypt having to deal with its internal problems, is … Ethiopia becoming more powerful. And as a result, Ethiopia can start to exert some of its rights and access to the river,” says Cleo Paskal, a specialist in water and food security.

The consequences of the Ethiopia’s dam could be very serious for Egypt, which as a dry country, is heavily reliant on the Nile for its water supply. And that supply could suffer a loss of between 11 and 19bn cubic meters of water, while the dam is being built.

According to experts, that would cause two million Egyptian families to lose their income.

Eighty four percent of the Nile comes from Ethiopian rivers. Egypt must thank Ethiopia for letting them use it for free so far.

Hiredine Rahimeto Abdo, a Facebook user

The Ethiopian dam could also affect Egypt’s electricity supply by 25 to 40 percent, which would leave Upper Egypt in darkness.

Lastly, with a growing population that is expected to hit 150 million by 2050, Egypt will need an extra 21bn cubic meters of water in order to cope with the growth, which makes the dam construction even more serious in the long term.

So, how is the Egyptian government going to deal with the construction of the controversial dam? And how can Egypt actually turn it into a beneficial project?

To discuss this, Inside Story, with presenter David Foster, is joined by guests: Bereket Simon, Ethiopian minister of information; Lama el-Hatow, co-founder of water institute of the Nile and specialist in water governance and climate change; and Cleo Paskal from Chatham House, specialist in water and food security and writer of Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map.

“There is going to be positive and negative impacts …. With this infrastructure project and in order for us [Egyptians] to move forward, we need to focus on the win-win opportunities and solutions that can come about from this dam and how Egypt can begin to cooperate with Ethiopians … in order to find that common ground where they can both begin to actually approach this dam together.”

Lama el-Hatow, co-founder of water institute of the Nile and specialist in water governance and climate change.


                                        Al Jazeera

Bringing the Sisterly Churches in the Nile Politics

It is obvious that the Ethiopian and Egyptian Orthodox Churches have a very historical and deep rooted relation and tie. The Egyptian newspaper Egypt Independent today on Thursday 30 May 2013 reported that the Patriarch of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church His Holiness Pope Tawadros II has not received any call from President Mohamed Morsy to play some role in the Nile dispute. The solution in solving the Nile dispute permanently is if the policy makers sit together and figure out what shall be done. And above all the problem in solving the NIle dispute is not from Ethiopia but from Egypt`s rigidity with the bilateral and colonial treaties which are obsolete. Regarding the Churches, Yes of course the two sisterly Churches do have role to play but in which way. We will discuss the matter in detail in other edition for now the following is the news from Egypt Independent from Egypt.
Pope Tawadros II: Church not asked to arbitrate Nile crisis
On Thu, 30/05/2013 – 12:20
Coptic Pope Tawadros II has said that the president’s office did not ask him to address the Ethiopian Church to resolve the Nile water crisis after Ethiopia began to divert the course of the Blue Nile on Tuesday.
Egypt fears this measure will reduce its water supply.
In a phone conversation with Anadolu News Agency, Tawadros said that he has not received a phone call from President Mohamed Morsy or any other government official regarding the issue.
Some in the Egyptian media have said that Morsy asked Tawadros to capitalize on the historical relations between the Egyptian and Ethiopian Churches and that he had agreed and had invited the Ethiopian Pope to an urgent visit to Egypt.
Meanwhile, a source from the papal headquarters said that, “The pope will not hesitate to help resolve the Nile water crisis if asked,” and added that Tawadros will meet with Ethiopian Church leader Abune Mathias in Cairo on 19 July and that they may discuss the issue then.
In statements to Anadolu, the same source emphasized that “the Ethiopian Church has no role in the Ethiopian decision-making process; it can give advice only.”
The Ethiopian Church has long-standing relations with the Egyptian Church, but it cannot actually intervene to stop the construction of the dam, the source added.
The last meeting between the former Ethiopian pope and the late Pope Shenouda III in November 2012 did not tackle the Nile Basin crisis, added the source.

The Grand Ethiopian Millennium Dam and the Cooperative Framework Agreement: A View from Ethiopia and Egypt: Part II

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Egypt`s View

In part I of this series I have stated the Ethiopian view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile (CFA). The view of Ethiopia is the view of all upstream states except Eritrea whose bandit styled leadership remains as a servant of the interest of its sponsors in its armed struggle against Ethiopia for decades. On April 2013 Eritrean leadership has reaffirmed that it supports the so-called historic rights of Egypt on the Nile waters which has no any legal base under international water law or state practice. Now let us see Egypt`s view of the GERD and the CFA separately.

The negotiation for the CFA took ten tough years. Despite the negotiation ended on 2007 hoping that Egypt followed by Sudan would come to agreement with upstream states the signing and ratification process was delayed for three years. In spite of the extraordinary summits of the Nile Council of Ministers in different cities from Nairobi to Addis Ababa to Cairo nothing was changed and on May 2010 Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and  Uganda and after a couple of days Kenya signed the agreement. On February 2011 Burundi became the sixth state in signing the treaty. The ratification process is also begun in countries such as Ethiopia. But Egypt and Sudan has publically declared that they will not sign the agreement on its current form. This situation created hydropolitical deadlock in the Nile Basin and it splits the Basin into upstream vs downstream positions. The question is then what is the main point of difference that appeared irreconcilable in such a way to make the countries rigid to accept?

The origin of the divide is the so-called previous or old agreements on the Nile Basin. In its entire history the Nile has never witnessed any multilateral and all inclusive agreement that binds all the riparian states. The only situation to talk is the CFA where all riparian states except Eritrea negotiated for 10 years. If there are agreements it is colonial era treaties concluded by colonial powers mainly Great Britain which was in control of much of the Nile Basin during the colonial era. In this regard the 1929 agreement is repeatedly mentioned. This treaty gave Egypt veto power on any upstream water projects and recognizes the so-called historic rights. And in post-independent Sudan and Egypt, in 1959 Egypt and Sudan entered in to an agreement and divide the total annual flow of the Nile in to three entities-Egypt 55.5 billion cubic meter of water, Sudan 18.5 Billion cubic meter of water and the evaporation in the Sahara desert from Lake Nassir which was created by the mega Aswan High Dam granted more than 10 billion cubic meter. Thus, these pseudo-agreements are exclusionary, partial and unfair where all other riparian states have no any legal or moral obligation to be abided by. Thus the negotiation for the CFA was meant to come up with new basin wide and all inclusive agreement which declares equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters for the benefit of all riparian states. Nevertheless, Egypt and Sudan failed to accept the outcome of the agreement because the CFA ignores the obsoleted agreements of 1929 and 1959. The main article dealing this issue in the CFA is Article 14(b).

Regarding Article 14 (b) all riparian states except Egypt and the Sudan agreed that Nile Basin States therefore agree, in a spirit of cooperation:

 not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State (Article 14(b))

But this was not accepted by Egypt and Sudan and Egypt proposed the replacement of the agreed statement by

not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin State. (Egypt`s proposal)

The main message of Egypt`s proposal was clear. As far as the Nile Basin is concerned, there has not been any current share or right given to the riparian states by agreement. Neither there is a quota allocated to. But Egypt was trying to maintain the unfair status quo through the CFA in the name of water security but was not accepted. The concept of water security is not that much developed as it has different meanings to different people and states. Nonetheless, what downstream Egypt trying to do is, to bring upstream states in its circles so that they can live in a situation where they are denied of their natural rights of utilizing their natural resource in their territory. Thus Egypt`s view of the CFA is an old wine in new bottle.

Having in mind its view about the CFA, let us look now the recent reports and views from Egypt regarding the GERD of Ethiopia. In recent days before and after Ethiopia`s diversion of Abbay-the Blue Nile River to smoothly undertake the construction of the GERD, Egypt`s officials, the president, the Minister of water and irrigation as well as the Egyptian media are stating that they are not against Ethiopia`s or any other Nile riparian`s water project as long as it is not against Egypt`s share of the Nile.

The English version of Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt Independent  quoting Egypt`s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Bahaa Eddin  reported that Egypt is not opposed to the construction of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, or to any other development project, as long as it does not impair Egypt’s interests. Ahram online on the other hand misquoted state minister of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebre-Christos said on Monday, as if he said, Nile dam will not impact Egypt’s water share. Ethiopia`s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is also misquoted as if he stated that `the dam
would not affect Egypt’s quota of the river.`
The two most repeatedly used phrases are `Egypt`s share` and `Egypt`s interest`. What are the messages of these phrases?

Egypt is using these terms in its mindset of the 1959 Agreement with Sudan which gives them 55.5 billion cubic meters as stated above. But no Ethiopian government would dare to say the GERD will not affect `Egypt`s share` on the Nile as there has never been any multilaterally agreed water quota allocated to the riparian states of the Nile so far. Sharing of water is a process that awaits the ratification of the CFA and it will be done when the Nile River Basin Commission is established as clearly stated in Article 15 and 16 of the CFA. Nevertheless, Egypt is trying to push Ethiopia to accept the unfair 1959 agreement between Sudan and Egypt through the GERD. The Egyptian Gazette reported that `It is hoped that the (Egyptian) Presidency will hastily settle this conflict with Ethiopia by signing an agreement committing Addis Ababa’s government to preserving Egypt’s quota of the Nile water and having the project implemented under the supervision of Egyptian experts, especially given Egypt’s good experience in
the field.`
So the message is clear and unambiguous. Egypt is trying to use both the GERD and the CFA (the dispute on Article 14 (b)) to achieve one objective of maintaining the 55.5 billion cubic meters of water annually. The conflict then lays here. When Ethiopia says the construction of the GERD will not affect the interest of the downstream states, it is not to refer and accept the interests defined in the obsoleted 1959 agreement but thinking in mind that the GERD benefits all of the riparian states with no harming any other state.


Concluding Remark

It will not help Egypt if it continues its cunning tactics with the old mindset of colonial and bilateral agreements that denies the interest and water need of upstream states? The answer is absolutely no. I have discussed some similar issue in this blog when I explained about The International Panel of Experts on the Grand Ethiopian Millennium Dam. Water projects in upstream Ethiopia are in the best interest of downstream states. Ethiopia`s mega water projects are helpful in enhancing and maintaining the health and integrity of the Nile River System which will result in improved environment and increased water flow. But this can only be achieved through cooperation, mutual trust and confidence. Hence Egypt`s policy makers, the media and the academia must throw away the shackles of the old Nile Basin which is based on colonial as well as partial bilateral pseudo-agreements. The future of the Nile and its peoples is in the hand of those who dream of an integrated, one river basin of peace, prosperity, mutual respect and mutual benefit. To make the long way short though Egypt followed by Sudan should leave the old school so that the Nile can quench all the thirsty in the Basin.

Sudan denies calling for Arab League intervention in Nile dam crisis – Politics – Egypt – Ahram Online

Following Ethiopia`s successful diversion of the Blue Nile Watercourse to make the civil and engineering work of constructing the mega GERD, it was reported that Sudan has decided to take the case to the Arab League. Despite the Arab League has no any thing to do with it, the news has surprised a number of people taking Sudan`s good relations with Ethiopia and its interest in the construction of the Dam. In addition to this Sudan is a country which is unnecessarily shackled by an outdated and unfairly signed 1959 Agreement with Egypt. Had it not been the case, Sudan would be with upstream countries and even finance portion of the GERD as it is the most highest beneficiary from the fruits of this marvelous project. Be that as it may, the following news is from the Egyptian Ahram Online about Sudan`s denial of the rumor circulated that it would take the case of the diversion of the Blue Nile to the Arab League.
Sudan’s foreign ministry claims negotiations are ongoing with Ethiopia to solve current impasse over construction of dam
Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 May 2013

Sudan denied reports circulated Tuesday that the Sudanese ambassador to Egypt, Kamal Hassan Ali, had called for the Arab League to intervene on the issue of a new dam being constructed by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile.

Ethiopia on Tuesday began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, one of the Nile River’s two major tributaries, as part of its project to build a new dam for electricity production.

The move, called “historic” by Ethiopian government spokesperson Bereket Simon, has prompted criticism from downstream Egypt, since the step could negatively affect the country’s water quota.

A Wednesday statement by the Republic of Sudan’s foreign ministry denied that Ali had mentioned Sudan’s “shock” about Tuesday’s events, as previously reported.

Moreover, the statement further stated that negotiations were ongoing in an attempt to solve the crisis.

The Blue Nile provides Egypt with the lion’s share of its annual 55 billion cubic metres of river 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 150 million.

Available at:

Egyptian ambassador: Ethiopia dam ‘a reality’ to cope with

The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm  reported that egypt`s Ambassador in Ethiopia Mohamed Idrees has seen that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is  a reality that Egypt and Egyptians must accept. In fact, it is true that the old Nile Basin is gone. There is no any state to command obedience with veto power.  all riparian states are equal and  each are entitled to benefit from their natural resources without asking or waiting for the permission or recognition of any other riparian. what is important is whether the riparian states are utilizing the nile waters equitably and reasonably. It is time i think for Egyptians to scrutinize and rethink their long standing rigid position on the colonial and bilateral or partial agreements. It is true that the accomplishment of the dam will benefit all the Basin states. The following is the full report by Al Masry Al Youm from its english version the Egyptian Independent  online.


Tue, 28/05/2013 – 12:21
 Egypt’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohamed Idrees described Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam as a “reality” that Egypt must cope with and added that his country’s goal in its ongoing dialogue with Ethiopia is not to shut down the project, but to find ways for both countries to benefit from it.

In statements to an Egyptian media delegation in Addis Ababa on Monday, Idrees said that the tripartite technical committee, made up of experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, will conclude its meetings in Addis Ababa on Wednesday and submit a report on the impact construction of the Renaissance Dam will have. He added that the committee members visited the dam on Monday.

Potential repercussions from the dam cannot be properly assessed before the committee has to submit its report, he said, while clarifying that the committee’s findings and any recommendations it makes will not be binding.

Asked if Egypt had proposed to Ethiopia alternatives for power generation that could replace the dam, Idrees said that this might be discussed once the committee submits its report.  Establishing power stations instead of the dam, however, would not produce sufficient energy, he added.

The dam is a national project for Ethiopians, one as significant as Egypt’s High Dam, Idrees said. He added that the Ethiopian prime minister, on the sidelines of the African Union summit, had reassured President Mohamed Morsy that Ethiopia did not seek to infringe on Egypt’s rights, and expressed to him the hope that the project would benefit Egypt and Sudan as well.

They also agreed that the project would be discussed further at the presidential and technical levels.

Previous discussions on this issue were constrained by tense relations between the two countries, which originated from the assassination attempt on former President Mubarak in Addis Ababa in 1995. After the 25 January revolution, relations thawed and the two countries exchanged official and cultural visits, Idrees said.

“It was wrong to confine relations with Africa to water issues and relations with Ethiopia to the issue of the dam…these relations have changed and Egypt now seeks greater interaction with Africa, but we still need coordination and a plan in order for these initiatives to be sustainable rather than cursory.”

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

This news report is from the Egyptian Independent online available AT:

The Grand Ethiopian Millennium Dam and the Cooperative Framework Agreement: A View from Ethiopia and Egypt: Part I

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

One of the most significant roles of international summits is its usage as a podium to facilitate conference diplomacy and it helps leaders, politicians and policy makers of different states to meet large number of counterparts at once. Following the celebratory summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to celebrate its 50th anniversary AUas a regional body dozens of heads of states and heads of governments of African countries gathered in Addis. Leaders and politicians from other countries as well as key figures were the attendants. This has helped leaders to discuss various issues in the sidelines the jubilee and they did. One of the active attendants since assuming power is President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt. Unlike Hosni Mubarak who denied to appear in any OAU/AU summits following the assassination attempt on his life in 1995 in Addis Ababa, Egypt`s Mohammed Morsi since last year attended AU summits. The group running Egypt since the February riot that led to Mubarak`s forced resignation has made it clear that it admits the previous regime`s wrong doings in denying Africa where Egypt`s life line rests in. His main issue beyond the AU summit was the issue of the Nile and he met leaders from the Nile Basin.

On the sidelines of AU anniversary summit the Islamist president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi met with Ethiopia`s prime minister Ato HAilemariam Desalegn and South Sudan`s president Salva Kirr. In line with this,  Ethiopia`s state minister to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Berhane GebreChristos while talking to reporters also stated about the Nile issue specifically about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Despite the Ethiopian government has made it clear long ago that the construction of the GERD on the Abbay-Nile River will not have negative effect on downstream states, following the meeting of PM Hailemariam and President Morsi and remarks of State Minister Berhane GebreChristos, the Egyptian media has been reporting about the issue by misquoting the leaders. This was followed by the remark of the Egyptian Minister of Water and Irrigation who said that “Talks broached the subject of the Renaissance Dam project and the Ethiopian prime minister emphasized his country’s eagerness to prioritize Egypt’s interests above their own” following the meeting of the two leaders. This misquote and misunderstanding of Egyptian media is seen also in their reporting about the International Panel of Experts on the GERD and Egypt`s view of the Dam in Ethiopia. Such narratives invite/pull us to scrutinize what the Egyptian policy makers and people in the media are thinking of the GERD in one hand and the Cooperative Framework Agreement on the other hand. As I clearly stated in one article what is important for Egypt to maintain the flow of the Nile is to engage with Nile riparians in trust and real multilateral engagement for cooperation and integration than cunning and divide and rule. But Egypt is still on the same boat but changing tactic and language so as to return the old game on the Nile and maintain the 1959 pseudo-agreement. How? Before we go to the details let us a little discuss about the Ethiopian view of the Cooperative Framework Agreement on the Nile (CFA) and what it means by the construction of the GERD will not negatively affect downstream states.

Ethiopia`s View

The plan for the GERD of Ethiopia has its roots from the study of the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) of 1964 which proposed the construction of a series of dams along the Abbay-Blue Nile River so as to generate tremendous hydroelectric power and to be used as water storage for downstream states (USBR 1964).Twenty-nine irrigation and hydropower projects were identified in the study. Nonetheless, it was the Fincha Dam only which was implemented and none other than that until recently. Among the hydropower dams proposed were Border, Mabil, Kara Dobi and Mendaia. The Border dam is around what the GERD is constructed on. The Border Dam proposed by the USBR and the GERD both are 21 Kilometers far from Ethiopia`s border with Sudan. After that USBR study of the 1960s, the current government of Ethiopia undertook a massive study on the water resources of the country and out of which Abbay River Basin Integrated Development Master Plan Project is the most intensive and broad one which is completed in 1998. The detailed master plan discusses tremendous issues and the economic potential of the Abbay-Blue Nile Basin.

The four dams on the Nile USBR

Image 1: The four dams proposed by the USBR 1964 

Thus, the GERD is selected due to the economic necessity that forced Ethiopia to utilize its untouched and unutilized natural resources. Ethiopia has a potential of producing about 45000 hydroelectric power out of which the Abbay-Blue Nile Basin alone has a potential capacity of producing 30000 megawatts of electricity. The economic factor is evident and self-explanatory. But the GERD for Ethiopia is beyond that as the Abbay River has the socio-cultural, political and psychological implication to the Ethiopian people. For obvious reasons the Abbay-Blue Nile is a transboundary watercourse and taking into account the interest of other states who shared the River is important issue so as to utilize the shared resource cooperative manner. Out of good faith and sense of brotherhood the government of Ethiopia has called downstream Egypt and Sudan to form an International Panel of Experts to study if the GERD has negative impacts. Nonetheless, from the Ethiopian side the GERD has no any negative impact on the downstream states as it is predominantly designed to generate hydroelectric power. No matter what the decision of the IPoE will be, Ethiopia will continue the construction of the Dam, as Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water and Energy of Ethiopia declared on May 2012.

Despite a multi-billion dollar project which needs external funding Ethiopia is constructing the GERD from domestic funding. It is the people of Ethiopia by cash contributions or buying of bonds that the Dam is being constructed. External funding for the dam is impaired due to the objection from downstream Egypt claiming that the dam will affect water flow reaching Egypt. Besides, the Nile Basin lacks any basin wide governing treaty that regulates water management and utilization. The only multilaterally negotiated treaty is the Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile (CFA) but so far it is signed by six upstream states (Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda). Downstream Egypt and Sudan has declared to join the treaty unless a water quota allocated for them without the consent and consultation of upstream states is respected disguised in the name of water security.

Ethiopia`s and other upstream Nile states position on the CFA is very clear and unambiguous. They have signed the agreement because the CFA declares the equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters where all riparian states are equal and no riparian is entitled for veto power. It would be for the good of all riparian states if the CFA is signed and ratified by all. Ethiopia is one step closer to ratifying the CFA. As clearly stated in Article 42 of the CFA, following its ratification six states it will come in to force and the signatories will establish the Nile River Basin Commission (NRBC)-a permanent inter-governmental organization on the Nile which will work towards implementing the CFA and make sure that the waters of the Nile is shared and used by the riparians in equitable and reasonable manner.

From the above narration we can understand that the CFA and the GERD are two different things from the Ethiopian point of view and they are indeed. The GERD is a unilateral project of Ethiopia as far as no downstream state is interested to take part in the construction. The CFA on the other hand is a multilateral treaty making process to govern the management and utilization of the Nile waters which nullifies the so-called “previous”, “old agreements” which has no any acceptance by upstream riparians as the pseudo-treaties are either colonial or bilateral. Nonetheless, the recent media report of the media and speech of Egyptian officers is surprising and astonishing. The Egyptians are stating that, “Egypt not opposed to Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam” as far as it will not reduce “Egypt`s share” on the Nile. The Egyptian media further reported that as mentioned in the beginning of this Article, that “Ethiopia has stated that its “Nile dam will not impact Egypt’s water share”. This is the usually cunning tactic of Egypt to monopolize the Nile waters by any means which we shall discuss. To be continued Part II.

Blue Nile makes way for GERD construction

As part of the construction of the GERD, the course of Abbay-the Blue Nile River is diverted temporarily. ETV has reported the following.

Written by M Tuesday, 28 May 2013 14:24

The diversion of the course of Abay (Blue Nile) River was successfully undertaken on Tuesday to make way for the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Speaking at the a ceremony held at the Guba, site of the GERD in Benishangul Gumuz State, President of the GERD  Construction Public Coordination Council and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnin  said the diversion of the River has been successfully done to utilize the resource for national interest.

The benefit of the GERD which is the fruit of the May 28 Victory is not only for the nation but also for neighbouring countries, he said. He also called up on the public to continue the support it has extended to the construction of the Dam since inception till the end.

Demeke said the government would remain focused to realize the vision of the late Great leader Meles Zenawi and martyrs, thereby promoting the Ethiopian Renaissance.

Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu for his part said the construction of the Dam is being carried out in such a way that it maintains the mutual benefit of the Nile basin countries. He said it would also enhance cooperation and economic integration and would not do any damage to the lower riparian countries.

Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation Mihret Debebe said energy projects like the GERD are very essential in developing countries like Ethiopia to deal with the growing energy demand. He noted that the government has embarked up on generating up to 8,000 MW energy at the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan period.

The GERD construction for which a corner-stone was laid by late Meles Zenawi two years ago has now reached 21 percent of its construction accomplishment.

The Dam which will have an installed capacity of 6,000 MW at its completion has created job opportunity for over 5,000 citizens. The Dam will have a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters of water.

The International Panel of Experts on the Grand Ethiopian Millennium Dam and the Egyptian Media

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Since the past few weeks the Egyptian media such as Ahram Online, daily news Egypt,  or Bikya Masr and other media outlets from other countries such as Al Arabiya have reported some issues in relation to the Nile politics in general. Different issues such as water war, the Hidase Gidib/Dam and the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) assessing the GERD and the CFA are mentioned in one way or another. But what is important to be noted here is some of the writings associated with IPoE and the way the Egyptian media reporting. Most of the reports from Egypt`s news outlets have been stating that they have information about the findings of the IPoE and for them it sounds that the IPoE will report that ‘the Dam in Ethiopia will not resulted in catastrophe and immediate drastic changes but it will recommend measures to be taken.’

Be that as it may, most of the news reports have though one thing in common that they say “the impact of a new Ethiopian megaRenaissance_dam 2 dam had revealed possible concerns of potential negative influence on Egypt’s share of the Nile Water.” And they ones quoted the President and the Minster of Water Resources and Irrigation have said that ‘they do not think the dam in Ethiopia might not harm Egypt`s share of the Nile.’ What must be underlined here is the phrase repeatedly stated as “Egypt`s share.” It must be clear that there is no any share or quota allocated to the Nile Basin states equitably and reasonably. The repeated statements of the Egyptian government as well as the media of this phrase is misleading and is an attempt to push the IPoE and the public as well as the scientific community on the Nile to accept what they have been unfairly claiming “Egypt`s share.”

The IPoE on the Nile Dam which was initially named as the Tripartite Committee is composed of ten experts. Each of the three countries Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan are represented by two experts of their own and another four international experts are in the panel. The IPoE officially commenced its study on 8 March 2012. According to the Terms of Reference, the IPoE on the GERD is reviewing the documents of the design of the Dam to enhance confidence and trust so that the benefits and costs associated the Dam can be studied and to assess the impacts, if any. In other words its work is more of technical and engineering aspect which is studying the benefits and costs associated with the Dam. If there are negative impacts seen then the IPoE will advise for measures. What must be clear is though the IPoE has no the mandate to discuss legal and political issues associated with the dam. In this context, it will never for sure mention the phrase “Egypt`s share” or “Sudan`s share”  in its final report expected end of May, as there is no any share allocated to the Basin states so far. Nevertheless, the Egyptian experts in the IPoE seconded by the Sudanese might have been pushing for this concept to be mentioned in the IPoE final report knowing the legal and political implication it will have. If it do mention the phrase the implication is Ethiopia has accepted that there is something called “Egypt`s share.” But I hope and I think and I am sure the Ethiopian experts and the four international experts in the IPoE will never let happen this in the report. It seems or sounds uncomplicated but the legal implication and the political crises it will create is foreseeable and is vicious. The CFA has divide the Nile Riparian states in to upstream Vs. downstream positions not because of any other reason but mainly because the CFA has no any room for any claimed “current uses and rights” on the Nile.

Hopefully, the IPoE will come up with a comprehensive, agreeable and scientific report. And if things have been going well and in scientific and apolitical manner for sure they will announce that the Hidase Dam will not affect the downstream states. Of course, till the dam is full it will need patience on downstream states and some measures will be taken. And I expect that the IPoE will recommend this. The Dam could be filled with in a short period of time-a year and half for example. But to maintain brotherhood and enhance trust and confidence, Ethiopia will be filling the dam slowly and it will take extended period to four or five years. Such a wise move will be another flavor of trust and enhance cooperation and integration among riparian states. What is always important is the trust and confidence the riparian states have. Then things will be going smoothly.

Though let us ask another side of the story. What if the IPoE report goes against the expectation of Ethiopia? Taking the long hand of Egypt and if apolitical scientific practice is thrown and unpleasant report is aired, what will then happen? The answer is clear Ethiopia will never stop the construction of the dam. It will press ahead and the Dam will be completed. The other question is what will be the reaction of downstream Egypt? This question is open for speculation. Let us leave this to a wait and see situation. But what is clear is though the Egyptians are well aware that Ethiopia is determined to finish the Dam at any cost and the country is capable of doing that, by cook or hook (say it Bond sales, salary contributions, loan on related projects as China recently did or …). IN a recent workshop held in the American University in Cairo under the theme “Egypt and the Nile” Fatma Al Zahraa Abdel Kawi the General Coordinator of Nile Basin Country Affairs and Nile Waters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt raised the same question but stranded in answering it. But from her face and the tone of expression of the words from her, one can understand that she was saying, Ethiopia will finish the dam by any means. Talking about the under construction of the dam she said, the GERD is in a situation where “Egypt will not accept or refuse the status quo.” The truth is that it is not about the status quo of the GERD rather it is about its completion and it must be clear that Ethiopia is determined to finish it. Then what will follow? Open to speculation but COOPERATION is the way out!!!

N.B. There is a more pressing issue that we need to address that the Egyptian media is reporting in recent days as well following the the celebratory African Union summit in Addis where the Ethiopian leaders are misquoted regarding the Nile Dam. In line with this the remarks that the egyptian leaders made including the President and the Minister of Water and Irrigation are important that we should look in to. I will come up with an article soon. The Grand Ethiopian Millennium Dam and the Cooperative Framework Agreement: A View  from Egypt and Ethiopia. stay tuned . 

Israelization of the Nile: The Paranoid Egyptian Academia and Upstream States of the Nile

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

The only Jewish state in the world-Israel has no any tie with the Nile Basin in any geographic contexts. But politics do connect them in one way or another. If there is any connection between the Jewish people and the Nile, it is that fact that the mysterious River had been in the mind of many Jews as their ancestors  were under the yoke of the Pharaohs before Mosses lead them to the Promised Land as clearly recorded in the Holy Bible. Needless to state the Jewish people for two thousands of years were dispersed across the globe and were subject to mistreatments everywhere. To halt such statelessness different countries were nominated to host them so that they can establish their own homeland. This proposal was designed and propagated by the founder of Zionism Theodore Herzl. The first feasibly seen place was Palestine in 1902 and when this was failed Herzl in 1903 went to Egypt which was under British control. theodor herzlHerzl asked a place for the Jewish people in the north of the Sinai Desert near Al Arish near Gaza Strip. But his claim was neglected by the then colonizer Great Britain. The aim of Herzl had he been successful of his request was planning to divert the Nile waters to the Sinai where the Jewish people would be settled so that their water need in the barren desert would be solved. Nonetheless, his request was rejected and he was not lucky to see the establishment of the Jewish state as he aspired for which came to realize after 44 years of his departure. It was following the recommendation of the United Nations General Assembly for the partition of Palestine on 29 November 1947 that led to the establishment and birth of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 .   Following such development a series of wars have been fought between the Arabs and Israel. Technically speaking, there is no peace between the Islamic dominated Middle East countries and the Jewish State of Israel. This situation has shaped the geopolitics of the region and Africa as well till today.

Egypt despite the normalization of its relations with Israel following the Camp David Accord of 1979 which resulted in the Sadat and beginrecognition of Israel by Egypt, it cannot be said that the peace deal is perfect that warmth the heart of the Muslim dominated Egypt unlike the exultation in Israel. Nevertheless since Mohamed Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin inked the agreement the government to government relation is normalized and no big war is fought between the big Arab country and the tiny Jewish state afterwards. Rather as a result of the Camp David Treaty Egypt has able to secure billions of dollars of aid from the United States and this has helped the country to build its muscles and to appear as an important ally to the West in the volatile Middle East.

Hence, linking Israel with the Nile Waters is then begun with such normalization of relations between the two former enemy states in 1979 where Egypt wants to create an artificial Nile Basin state through the diversion of the Nile out of its natural course and basin. Following this 1979 Treaty the then Egyptian president Anwar Sadat declared the construction of a new canal to bring water to Sinai so as to reclaim thousands of acres of land in order to resettle hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in the desert. He named the proposed canal Al Salam-which means Peace in Arabic. Sadat was proposing to connect Israel with the Nile waters and knowing their water problem he was calling Israel to have access to the Nile Waters. But diverting the waters of the Nile in to the Zionist state faced opposition from the neighboring Arab states and the people of Egypt itself. Nonetheless, the Al Salam canal has been constructed and is on its finish line. Al salam canlWhether the waters will go to Israel is a day dream which is next to impossible for many reasons of national (Egypt`s and Israel`s own politics), regional (Nile Basin states in the upstream are totally against any out of basin diversion) and religious and ethnic reasons (The Arab-Islam/Jewish divide).

What is astonishing in the Isralization of the Nile waters is that when Israel failed to accept the offer made by Anwar Sadat to bring the Nile in to Southern Israel, the academia in Egypt followed the construction of a new discourse of Israel`s involvement in upstream Nile states. This was propagated mainly during the rule of Hosni Mubarak who strengthened his ties with his Western allies than the Nile Basin states. According to the perception of the academia, Israel`s involvement in upstream states has led to the existing  hydropolitical deadlock  on the Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile signed by sis upstream states which is rejected by Egypt followed by Sudan. For these people, the new call by upstream states to sign a new Nile agreement is “politically motivated and ignited by Israel, which has been interfering in the internal politics of East African countries, especially Ethiopia.” Even Egyptian Generals are sighted “claim[ing] that Israel is helping upstream nations by encouraging their thirst for water and by financing the construction of four hydroelectric projects in Ethiopia alone.” This is however a mere accusation and paranoia of Egypt and Egyptian officials as well as the academia as they have no trust of upstream states.

It is obvious that the upstream states are calling downstream Egypt and Sudan to be part of the CFA only because the treatyNile TReaty declares there is no master and subject on the Nile Basin as all riparian states have the right equal access to the Nile waters. The CFA declares equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters for the benefit of all the peoples and countries of the Nile River. Countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania or Burundi are utilizing the Nile waters not because Israel needs them to do that but the need for energy and food necessitated to do so. The Israelization of the Nile waters by Egyptians is therefore emanating from their own construction and perception of the country called Israel but their misperception of the intention of upstream states of the Nile.

From such discourse of Israelization of the Nile the Egyptian academia seems to profit two things with no fruitful ends as far as Egypt`s water needs are concerned. Firstly, by Israelizing the Nile waters the Egyptian academia tried to shape the foreign policy making process of Egypt towards mobilizing the Arab World against Ethiopia or any other upstream state by relating the later with Israel. This accusation on the other hand might help Egypt to secure Arab sympathy and investment. In addition to this involving Israel as enemy of Egypt and its interest on the Nile, might help them to regain Arab trust which Egypt lost following the signing of the Camp David Accord. Secondly, the Nile is used as one instrument in Egypt to mobilize the ordinary people under one theme of anti-Israel sentiment by accusing Israel as if it involves in mega water projects in upstream states notably Ethiopia.

The discourse of Israelizing upstream Nile water developments and the Nile Treaty by the paranoid Egyptian academia can be related with many things. The most important one is the historical ties between the Biblical Israel and Ethiopia which has its roots from King Solomon of Israel and Queen Makida of Ethiopia. The perception of such relation is elasticized to consider even Ethiopia as a Judeo-Christian state which is more affiliated to Israel in the eyes of some because Ethiopia is the only the Ark of the Covenant. Secondly, the reason might be attributed to Israel`s investment relations and strong ties with almost all Nile riparian states on various issues of common interest. What makes Ethiopia`s relation with Israel further different is Ethiopia has had thousands of Jewish community called the Bete-Israel. Thirdly, it can be argue that there is exaggeration of Israel`s technical support on science and technology of water conservation mechanisms and drip-irrigation in some upstream states of the Nile.

Fourthly, it is not a surprise to hear and read such Israelization of the Nile from Egypt, taking the series of battles the Arabs and Abbay fallsIsrael fought coupled with the no war, no peace situation; technically speaking. For long Egypt and Egyptians have victimized of perceiving that he who controls the Nile controls Egypt-as the Nile is the only source of life for them. Thus any involvement of Israel in upstream Nile countries no matter what the issue of interaction is, it might be brushed with anti-Egypt move of Israel to control the Nile waters to make Egypt parched. Such discourse formation however will not help Egypt to maintain the flow of the Nile waters. Such rhetoric and accusations by the academia will simply add fuel to the deep-rooted mistrust between the riparian states rather than enhancing the sense of children of the river.

Thus it needs us to emancipate the Egyptian academia from such a paranoid perception of Israelizing the water developments in upstream Nile.  Unless, the Egyptian academia is changed it will make the short road long to establish confidence and trust between upstream and downstream Nile. Hence it necessitates the opening and enhancement of dialogue and discussion on the issue between the epistemic communities of the riparian states under the umbrella of One Nile, One People!!


To better share books and journal articles on water and related issues we will upload many more. For a time being some books are uploaded. we will add more soon.

Erlich_The Cross and the River_Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Nile

Ethiopia and Alexandria – Munro-Hay, Stuart (1997)

Zeitoun and turton

Sylvain Perret, Stefano_Farolfi,Rashid HassanW Water Governance for Sustainable Development

Okbazghi and Keren 2013

አባይ- ከ “እናትክን በሉልልኝ” እስከ “የደም ሐረግ ሆነ”፡ አባይ ተኮር ግጥሞች እና ዘፈኖች አጭር ቅኝት

ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው (ሚያዝያ 2005 ዓ.ም.)

አባይ የኢትዮጵያ ድጓ ነው… መቀነቷ ነው… ከላይ ትገራይን በተከዜ ሲያስገብር… ጎንደር እና በእነ አንገረብ እና ጓንጉ፣ በእነ ርብ እና በራ፣ በእነ ቲሽከና እና በእነ ዛሪማ ያሰገብራል… ጎጃም በግልገል አባይ.. በእነ ቢኮሎ እና ጩሞጋ እጅ ይነሳል… ወሎ በሽሎን ግብር አስጭኖ ይልካል… ሸዋ በደብረሊባኖስ አስባርኮ ጀማን ይገብራል… ደቡብ ለባሮ አኮቦ ይገብራል ከጋመብላ ጋር ተባብሮ… ቤንሻነጉል-ጉምዝ አባይን ያስተናግዳል በበለስ እጅ እየነሳ….ኦሮሚያ ስንቱ ተቆጥሮ… እነ ዲንደር፣ ጉደር፣ ሙገር፣ ፊንጫ፣ ዲዴሳ… ወዘተ ይገብራል… Abbayአባይ በቃኝን አያውቀም.. አይጠረቃ.. ዝም ብሎ ያገኘውን መጫን ነው.. የመጣውን ሁሉ መቀበል ነው.. እረፈትን አያውቀም.. ዝም ብሎ መፍሰስ.. ዝም ብሎ መጋብ.. ዝም ብሎ በረሐን መናፈቅ… ዝም ብሎ መሄድ… መሄድ…

ታዲያ በዚህ የግብዝ ጉዞው.. ውጭ በመናፈቁ ለዘመናት የገጣሚዎቻችን፣ የባለቅኔዋቻችን እና የዘፋኞቻችን ቀጥታ ይሁን አሽሙር ስድብን እና ዘለፋን አስተናግዷል አባይ፡፡ ሙገሳውም አልቀረለትም ደጉ ነገር… ይገባዋላ… አባይ አደል እሱ ለውበትማ… እውቅ ገጣሚያን ወርፈውታል… ንቀውታል… ሰድበውታል.. እሱም እረኛው የሚያሰማውን ዋሽንት እያጣጠመ.. እምቢልታውን እያደመጠ… አሸንዳ እና እስክስታውን እያየ.. ቅኔውን እየተመገበ… ደርት መደቃቱን እየታዘበ.. ረገዳውን እያጣጣመ… ሀገር ሙሉ አፈር አንደ ቅጠል እና እንደ ደንገል ተሸክሞ መሄዱን አላቆመም… ይህ የሆነው ግን እንደ ሰካራም በሰኔ፣ በሐምሌ እና በነሐሴ እየደነፋ… እያጓራ… በተቀሩት ወራቶችም በለሆሳስ እና በእርጋታ ቢጣራ ሰሚ አጥቶ ነው.. ስሙ እዩኝ እያለ እሚያይ አልነበረውምና… ስድብን እንደ ቅቤ እየተቀባም ቢሆን ግን መሄድ ነው እሱ.. ማን ከልክሎት…

ብታሰረፉኝ ደግ በመደብ አድራለሁ

ሂድ ካላችሁኝም ስጓዝ እኖራለሁ

ምርጫችሁ ምርጫየ እኔ ሰው አይደለሁ… (ዘአ)

እያለ እንደሚሄድ ያስታውቅበታል….

እጅግ ተቆጥተው ከሰደቡት ደማምነቱን.. ውበቱን እንኳ ለመናፈቅ እና ለማድነቅ ጉሮሯቸው ያልከፈተላቸው እጅግ ብዙዎች ነበሩ… ምክንያቱም አባይን የጎሪጥ እያዩ… በውሃ ጥም የሞቱት.. ተርበው በአባይ ዳቦ ለመጋገር ባለመቻሉ.. እንጀራ ለማብሰል ባለመድፈሩ ብዙዎች በረሀብ አለንጋ ተገርፈዋልና…. ከመጀመሪያዎቹ ሰዳቢዎቹ መካከል ገጣሚ እና ባለቅኔ ኃይሉ ገብረዮሀንስ (ገሞራው) ዋነኛው ነው.. እጅግ ሰዋዊ በሆነ አተራረክ አባይን ከእነ ወላጁ ይወርፈዋል ገሞራው… እንዲህ ሲል…

«እናትክን!» በሉልኝ

ይፈሳል ይሉኛል፣ አባይ ዐይኑ ይፍሰስ
ያን ስንቱን ወገኔን የውሃ እጦት ሲያምስ
የድርቀት ጋንጩራ ሲበላ ስንቱን ነፍስ፣
ውሃ ውሃ እያለ ለጋው ሲቀነጠስ
ናይል አባያችን . አለ ነበር ሲፈስ
ለፈፀመው ደባ ለሰራውም ግፉ
«እናትክን!» በሉልኝ በዚያ የምታልፉ

እርግጥ ነው አባይን እስከ እናቱ መሰደቡ አግባብ ነው… እስማ ግዑዝ አይደል ሀገሩ ነበርቻ ማልማት የነበረባት… ሰው ሀገር ናትና.. ሀገርም ሰው ናትና… “ቢያ ጀቹን ቢየ ሚቲ ቢያ ጀቹን ነማ”-ሀገር ማለት መሬት አይደለም ሀገር ማት ሰው ነው እንዲሉ ኦሮሞ አባቶቻችን… በርግጥ ደ/ር በድሉ ዋቅጅራ ለልጁ ለኬር ሰላም እንዲህ ብሏት የለ…

ልጄ ሀገር ማለት ሰው ነው

አትሰሚው አትናገሪው…

አባይ-ግዮን እንደ ያሬድ ዘጨጎዴ ያሉት ታላላቅ ባለቅኔዎችንም ዱላ ተቀብሏል.. በመዝባሪነት እና ክፉ ወላጅ አስለቃሽ፣ ወላጅን አሳዛኝ፣ እንባ አራጭ የሌባ የዘራፊ ተምሳሌት ሆኖ ተስሏል… እንደሆነም ተነግሮበታል…  ባለቅኔው እንዲህ ብለውታል ዘመን በማይሽረው ፍልስፍና…

ፅሩዕ ምግባረ ግዮን ልቡናሃ ለኢትጵያ አንደደ

አምጣነ ቤታ ከረየ ወንዋያቲሃ ወሰደ፡፡ (ግዕዝ)



ምግባረ ብልሹ አባይ የኢትዮጵያን ልብ አሳዘነ

ቤቷን በርብሮ ንብረጾቿን ወስዷልና፡፡ ማለት ነው፡፡

ጋሽ ጸጋዮ ገብረመድህንም በእሳት ወይ አበባ አባይን ተራቅቆበታል፡፡ የስልጣኔ ምንጭነቱን፣ ውበት ሀብቱን፤ ቅርስነቱን፤ የኩራት ምንጭነቱን፤ የካም ሀበትነቱን፤ ለሀገሩ መከራነቱን ብሶትነቱን ወዘተ በውብ ቋንቋ ተርኮታል፡፡ እንዲህ ሲል

አባይ የምድረ ዓለም ሲሳይ

የቅድመ-ጠቢባን አዋይ

አባይ የጥቁር ዘር ብስራት

የኢትዮጵያ ደም የኩሽ እናት

የዓለም ስልጣኔ ምስማክ

ከጣና በር አስከ ካርናክ

በእቀፍሽ ውስጥ እንዲላክ

እያለ አውድሶ አንዲህም ወርፎታል…

በመመለክ በመመስገን

ጽላትሽ ከዘምን ዘመን

በአዝዕርትሽ አበቅቴሽ ሲታጠን

አቤት አባይ ላንቺ መገን፡፡

እያለ ገማናነቱን ይገልጥበታል፡፡ የአለሙን ፍረደ ገምድልነት፣ የታችኞቹ ተፋሰስ ሀገራትን ውለታ ቢስነት እና የኢትዮጵያ ብቻ መቆም ከስልጣኔ መሰረትነቷ እያነሳና እየጣለ የጥንታውያን ኩሽ ግብጽ አጥኝ እና ገጣሚው ጋሽ ጸጋዮ እንዲህ ይቀጥላል

አድርጎሽ ቅድመ ገናና

ዛሬ ወራቱ ራቀና

ምድረ-ዓለም ያነችን አድናቆት

ፈለጉን መሻት ተስኖት

እንዲህ ባንቺ መንከራተት

ታሪክ ወሮታሽ ጠፍቶበት

ትላንት በባዕድ ጩኸት

ዛሬም ባላዋቂ ሁከት

ቋንቋ ለቋንቋ ቢራራቅ

የቅድሚያሽ ንድፍ ላይፋቅ

እዚህ ደማም እዚያ ተማም

መበልሽ ብቻ ባይበቃም….

እያለ ውስጠ ሚስጥሩን ይገለጽበታል፡፡ በምንጩ ያለው ክብር ከደማምነቱ እና ውበቱ ሳይዘል ተማም ተብሎ አለመበላት አለመጠጣቱ አቤት አባይ ያንች መገን እንዲባል.. ጉድ እንዳስባለ.. ራስ እንዳስያዘ እንዳስነቀነቀ ይገልጽበታል ጋሽ ጸጋዮ፡፡

አባይ ያላቃጠለው የለም… የመለያየት ምሳሌም ሆኖ በዘፋኞቻችን ነግሶ ቆይቷል…

አባይ ወዲያ ማዶ ዘመድ አሉኝ ማለት

ዋ…! ብሎ መቅረት ነው ውሃው የሞላ እለት….

እንዲሉ በሀገረኛ ዘፈን፡፡

አበበ ብርሃኔም

ዓሳው እያማራት

ውሃው እየጠማት

አባይ ዳር ነው ቤቴ

ብትል ማን ሊሰማት

ብሎ የኢትዮጵያን ጩኸት ጩኋል፡፡

እጅግ ውብ በሆነ አራረክ እና ፍልስፍና በሙዚቃ አባይን እንደ እጅግአየሁ ሽባባው የተራቀቀበት አለ ለማለት አያስደፍርም፡፡ ጂጂ የአባይን ምንነት… ገመናውን… ውስጠ ሚስጢሩን ብሶቱን ችግሩን.. ፍትጊያውን አሳምራ ገልጻዋለች፡፡ እንዲህ ስትል የሚያምረው ውበቱን እና ሰማያዊነቱን አጥንት በሚሰረስር ዜማ ታዜመዋለች…

 የማያረጅ ውበት የማያልቅ ቁንጅና

የማይደርቅ የማይነጥፍ ለዘመን የጠና

ከጥንተ ከጽንሰ አዳም ገና ከፍጥረት

የፈሰሰ ፈልቆ ከገነት…

ግርማ ሞገስ የአገር ጸጋ የአገር ልብስ

በማለት ወረድ ትልና እጅግ ውስጥን በሚያም እና በሚያሳምም.. እንዴት ለእነሱ ብቻ ሆንክ በሚል ቁጭት የበረሐ ሞገስ ብቻ ሆንክ.. ለምን ተውከን እኛን በሚል ቅላጼ እንዲህ ተለዋለች

ግርማ ሞገስ አባይ…..

የበረሐው ሲሳይ

የበረሐው ሲሳይ…

ብነካው ተነኩ አንቀጠቀጣቸው

መሆንህን ሳላውቅ ስጋና ደማቸው

የሚበሉት ውሃ

የሚጠጡት ውሃ

አባይ ለጋሲ ነው በዚያ በበረሐ…

በማለት እልም ባለው በሰሐራ በርሐ ህይወትን መዝራቱን አሳምራ ትገልጸዋለች… አባይ ሲነካ ተነካን የሚሉትን ግብጾችን ከላይ የነካካችው ጅጅ ወረድ ብላም በሀገራቱ መካከል ያለው አተካራ እና ከወንዙ ጋር የተያያዘውን ፍትጊያ እንዲህ ትለዋለች….

አባይ አባይ አባይ

አባይ ወንዛ ወንዙ

ብዙ ነው መዘዙ፡፡

ጅጅ አባይን ለግብጾች ብቻ ስጋና ደም መሆኑ ከነከናት.. ምንጩን ሳይስብ መብረሩ አሳረራት.. እናም ዝም ልትለው አልፈለገችም… እንደ ሰው አናገረችው… እንደ ሰው ጠየቀችው… እንዲህ ስትል…

አባይ የወንዝ ውሃ አትሁን እንድ ሰው

ተራብን ተጠማን ተቸገርን ብለው

አንተ ወራጅ ውሃ ቢጠሩህ አትሰማ

ምን አስቀምጠሀል ከግብጾች ከተማ? አባይ ግን የሰማት አይመስልም ነበር ዝም ብሎ መሄድን ስራየ ብሎ ይዞ ነበርና… አልጋ የሚሰራለት ያጣው አባይ… መደብ የሚያበጅለት ግዮን… በዋሽንት እንጉርጉሮ የተሸኘው ታላቁ ወንዝ.. አባይ ማደሪያ የሌው ግንድ ይዞ ይዞራል ካላችሁኝ.. ልበራራ ወደ ማደሪያ በሚል ግልፍተኝነት እና ብስጭት ቁልቁል ወደ ምስር መስገሩን አላቆመም ነበር….

በዚህም በዚያም የተጀመረው የድርድር ሂደት እና የስምምነት ጭላንጭል መገራገጭ ሲያጋጥመው የተመለከተ… በተፋሰሱ የግርጌ እና የራስጌ ሀገራት ስምምነት መጥፋቱን ያስተዋለው ደግሞ የድምጻዊ ግዛቸው ተሾመ ጎጃም የሚል ዜማ ነው…. እንዲህ ሲል…

ኧረ ነይ ኧረ ነይ ኧረ ኧረ በመስኩ

የአባይማ ነገር አልታወቀም ልኩ፡፡

ውጣ ውረዱን.. ያልተፈታውን ችግር.. መዘዙን.. ውስብስበነቱን ሲገለጽ ነው እንዲያ ማለቱ… ነይ እስኪ በመስኩ እንነጋገር… እያለ ያባብላታል ፍቅሩን… መልክቱ ግን ለስምምነት እየተጠራች ነበር በግርጌ ያለቸው እህት ሀገር… አሁንም እየተጠራች ነው መስማቷን ግን እንጃ….

በዚህ መሐል ነው እንግዲህ እጅግ ግሩም የሆነው የገነት ማስረሻ ጪስ አልባው ነዳጄ ብቅ ያለው… እስካሁን ከላይ ያየናቸው ግጥሞች እና ዘፈኖች ቁጭትን እና ብሶትን አለመስማማትን መጥራትን የሚገልጹ ናቸው፡፡ የገነት ማስረሻ ዜማ ግን ለየት ይላል፡፡ ምንም ቅኔ የለውም.. ግልጽ ያለ መልዕከት ነው… ግልጽ ያለ ጥሪ ነው.. ገነት ማስረሻይህ ሙዚቃ የወጣው የታላቁ የህዳሴ ግድብ የመሰረት ድንጋይ ከመጣሉ በፊት ነው…. የጣና በለስ ሀይል ማመንጫ ከተገነባ ማግስት… የናይል ተፋሰስ የትብብር ስምምነት ማዕቀፍ ጉዳይ በጦዘበት ሰሞን… ገነት ማስረሻ በዚህ ግጥም.. አባይ ለኢትዮጵያ ምን እንደሆነ.. ከፍ ሲልም ለተፋሰሱ ሀገራት ምን ማድረግ እንደሚችል እና እንዴት እንደሚበቃ.. የሰላም ዋስትና እንደሚሆን ትገልጽና… ይህ የማይጥመው ካለ ግን በሊማሊሞ እንዲያቋርጥ በግልጽ ትናገራለች…. እስኪ በምዕራፍ በምዕራፍ የተወሰኑትን ስንኞች እንሂድባቸው…

ገነት የሀበት ምንጭ ነውና ጭስ አልባው ነዳጄ አልዋለሁ ትልና ለኢትዮጵያ ብቻ ሳይን ለሌሎችም እንደሚተርፍ እንዲህ ትገልጻለች…

 ጭስ አልባው ነዳጅ-አባይ

እንኳን ለእኛ ቀርቶ ለሰውም ይተርፋል

ጭስ አልባው ነዳጄ ብለው ምን ያንሰዋል፡፡


አባይ አንተ እያለህ ታላቁ ወንዛችን

መሳለቂያ አንሆንም በድህነታችን፡፡

 ቁጭት በቃን ተግባር ነው አሚያሻው ስትልም እንዲህ ትላለች… በማስቀጥልም ጥሪዋን ታቀርባለች.. እንፋቀር.. እንተባበር ትላለች…

 አባይ ወርዶ ወርዶ ወርዶ ሲሰለቸው

ዛሬስ ለወገኑ ስለ ሀገሩ ቆጨው


አባይ አንተ እያለህ ጭስ አልባው ነዳጅ

አልመለከትም እኔስ የሰው እጅ…


አባይ እኔ አንተ ያለነው ቅርብ ነው

ከተስማማንማ ሙያ በልብ ነው፡፡

ከተፋቀርንማ ሙያ በልብ ነው፡፡

ከተግባባንማ ሙያ በልብ ነው፡፡

 ገነት አባይ አልጋ ሊሰራለት እንደሆነ.. እንግዲህ እየዘለሉ ግንድ ይዞ መዞር እንደሚቀርለትም እንዲህ ታበስራለች…

ማደሪያ ሳይኖረው ግንድ ይዞ ይዞራል

የሚባለው ተረት ከእንገዲህ ይቀራል…


 የገነት ማስረሻ ሙዚቃ ልዩ የሚያደርገው አንድ ነገሩ የሚከተለው ስንኙ ነው… ለዘመናት የቆየውን የኢትዮጵያን ለጋስነት እና ዝም ባይነት እንደ ፍርሃት የቆጠሩ ወገኖች እንዳሉ በዚህም መፎከሪያ ሆንን ትላለች ገነት… ባለቤትነቱንም በጣም ታመጣው እና የማንም አይደለህም የእኛ ነህ.. አንተን ሳንጠቀም ስልለቀቅንህ… እነሱ ተጠቅመውህ.. አስተኝተውህ ስጋና ደማቸው ሆነህ በእኛ ረሐብ ተሳለቁ ብላ ትቆጫለች…

አባይ እኔ እና አንተን ሳይሉን ቸር ሆነን

ፎከሩብን እንጅ ማን አመሰገነን

በራሳችን ውሃ በራሳችን አፈር

ተዘባበቱብን ተመጠጠ ከንፈር፡፡

የቁጭት ዘመን አብቅቷል እንደልብህ ሁን አባይ … አልጋ ይሰራልሃል አለችው… እንደ ልብህ ፍሰስ.. ለምን የሚል ካለም ያው ሜዳው ያው ፈረሱ.. ውረድ እንውረድ ትለዋለች…

ስንት ዘመን ቁጭት

ስንት ዘመን ፍጭት

ስንት ዓመት በጣሳ

ስንት አመት በወጭት

ፍሰስበት እና በሀገርህ ሜዳ

የሚቆጣን ካለ ያበጠው ይፈንዳ፡፡፡

 የነገር ሁሉ ማሰሪያ.. የሰላም ሁሉ መንገድ ሰላም መሆኑን ያልረሳችው ገነት ጥሪዋን በድጋሚ ታስተላልፋለች… ኑ እንተባበር ትላለች…

በፍቅር ብንይዘው አባይ ያገር ዋርካ

ለዓለም ይበቃ ልእንኳን ለአፍሪካ፡፡

ይህን የገነት ማስረሻን ሙዚቃ ልብ ብሎ ላደመጠ ሰው አንድ ነገር ይረዳል… ሙዚቃው ሙሉ በሙሉ የኢትዮጵያን ኦፊሴላዊ አቋም በግልጽ ያለምንም ጉድለት ያስቀምጣልና…

የገነት ማረሻን ሙዚቃ ተከትሎ እጅግ ብዙ ሙዚቃዎች ወጥተዋል… እጅግ ብዙ ግጥሞችም ተገጥመዋል… ማሰሪያው ግን አርቲስት ጌትነት ነው-በአባይ ሀረግ ሆነ…

አርቲስት ጌትነት የጥንታዊውን የስልጣኔ መሰረትነቱን፣ ስረብዙነቱን… መከራብዙነቱን.. አስለቃሽነቱን… እንዲህ ሲል በትዝታ ይገልጸዋል….

ለአዕላፍ ዘመናት ስንት ታሪክ ሰርቶ

ስንት ተውልድ አይቶ

ስንት ዓመት ተጉዞ እዚህ የደረሰው

ግዮን ስረ ብዙው

አባይ ስመ ብዙው

ናይለ ገጸ ብዙው

የፈለቀበቱን የቃልኪዳን ስሩን መሬቱን ፈንቅሎ

ጥቁር አፈር አዝሎ

ሀገር አንጠልጥሎ

ውሃን አፈር ጭኖ ከሰው ቋት ማፍሰሱን

የወነዝ እንባ ሆኖ ሀገር ማስለቀሱን

በሀዘን በቁጭት የሀገር ፊት መጥበሱን

አንጀት መበጠሱን….

በመቀጠልም የአባይን መቀየረ.. የግዮንን ውስጥ ልብ ቤቱን መመልከት መጀመሩን መጸጸቱን እንዲህ በሰወኛ እያዋዛ ይገልጸዋል… ጸጸቱን ተከትሎም ጥለቅ ስርነቱን እና ከደም መወፈሩን አበሰረ ጌትነት እንዲህ ሲል…

በአገር ግፍ መዋሉን መበደሉን ትቶ

ባለፈ ተግባሩ በጎደፉ ስሙ አፍሮ ተጸጽቶ

በጊዜ ንስሃ ከዘመናት መርገምት ከበደሉ ነጽቶ

ከቆየ ልማዱ ከኖረ ምግባሩ ከባህሪው ወጥቶ

ውሃነቱን ትቶ

ወንዝነቱ ቀርቶ

እንዳንዳች ምትሀት ከቃልኪዳን ስሩ እየተመዘዘ

በአንድ የስሜት ግለት በአንድ የስሜት ሲቃ

ሀገር ጫፍ እስከ ጫፍ ሰቅዞ እየያዘ

ትውልድን ከታሪክ ታሪክን ከሀገር ስቦ እያዋደደ

አስማምቶ እያሰረ

ስሩ የጠለቀ

ግብሩ የረቀቀ

ውሉ የጠበቀ አባይ ሀረግ ሆነ ከደም የወፈረ

ይሄው ከዓናችን ስር ዘመን መሰከረ

ይሄው ከእጃችን ላይ ግዮን  ተቀየረ

ጌትነት የአባይን መቀየር በዚህ ብቻ አላስቆመውም… ሸፍጡ ብረት ማንሳቱ… ጥሉ በዚሁ መድረቅ እንዳለበትም ጥሪውን እንዲህ ሲል አቀረበ…

ከእንግዲህ ባገሩ ሳቅ እና መስኖ እንጅ እንባ ሆኖ ላይገርፍ

ከእንግዲህ ላገሩ እጁ ላይታጠፍ

ጸጋው ላይገፍ

ግቱም ከቶ ላይነጥፍ

ከእንግዲህ ፍቅር እንጅ ሸፍጥ እና ድለላ ስሩን ላያስረሱት

ከእንግዲህ ምክር እንጅ ብረት እና ሴራ ውሉን ላያስረሱት

ያገር ውርስ እና ቅርስ እራት እና መብራት

ዋስ ጠበቃ ሊሆን መከታ እና ኩራት

“የሀገር ውርስና ቅርስ ራትና መብራት፣

ዋስ ጠበቃ ሊሆን ክብርና ኩራት፣

ይኸው በአዲስ ዘመን አዲስ ቃል ዘመረ፣

 ከራሱ ታረቀ ካፈሩ መከረ፣

 ለሀገሩ ቆመ በሀገሩ አደረ፣

 ዜማና ቅኝቱ ረገደ ምቱ፣

 ከግዜ ከትውልድ ከሀቅ ሰመረ፣

ሃገርን ባንድ ነዶ ባንድ ልብ አሰረ

ይኸው ካይናችን ስር ከእውነት የነጠረ ከእምነት የጠጠረ፣

 አባይ ሃረግ ሆነ ከደም የወፈረ፡፡


በማቀጠልም ጌትነት የሀገሪቱ ህዝብ ብሄሩን በመላ እንዲህ ሲል ይጣራል…

የአንድ ወንዝ ልጅ ሁሉ ይህን የአባይ ሀረግ ከእምነትህ ጋር ቋጥረህ

ከጋራ አንገት መድፋት ከጋራ መሳቀቅ ከጋራ አፍረት ወጥተህ

በያለህበቱ በየዓለማቱ ጥግ በአንተነትህ ኮርተህ

አንተ ማነህ ሲሉህ

ከወዴት ነህ ሲሉህ

በሙሉ ራስነት አንገትህ አቅንተህ

ድምጽህን ከፍ አድረገህ

ደረትህን ነፍተህ

የአባይ ልጅ ነኝ እኔ

ጦቢያ ናት ሀገሬ በል አፍህን ሞልተህ….

ርግጥ ነው.. ጌትነት በዚህ ግጥም አባይ ለኢትዮጵያ እንደተቀየረ በገልጽ አስቀምጧል… አባይ ከደም የወፈረ ሐረግ ስር ሆኗል.. ወደ ውስጡ ተመልክቷል… የተቀረውን የቤት ስራ መስራት የእኛ ፋንታ ነው…. ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር…!!!

World Bank turns to hydropower to square development with climate change

The World Bank is making a major push to develop large-scale hydropower projects around the globe, something it had all but abandoned a decade ago but now sees as crucial to resolving the tension between economic development and the drive to tame carbon use.

Major hydropower projects in Congo, Zambia, Nepal and elsewhere — all of a scale dubbed “transformational” to the regions involved — are a focus of the bank’s fundraising drive among wealthy nations. Bank lending for hydropower has scaled up steadily in recent years, and officials expect the trend to continue amid a worldwide boom in water-fueled electricity.

Such projects were shunned in the 1990s, in part because they can be disruptive to communities and ecosystems. But the World Bank is opening the taps for dams, transmission lines and related infrastructure as its president, Jim Yong Kim, tries to resolve a quandary at the bank’s core: how to eliminate poverty while adding as little as possible to carbon emissions.

“Large hydro is a very big part of the solution for Africa and South Asia and Southeast Asia. . . . I fundamentally believe we have to be involved,” said Rachel Kyte, the bank’s vice president for sustainable development and an influential voice among Kim’s top staff members. The earlier move out of hydro “was the wrong message. . . . That was then. This is now. We are back.”

It is a controversial stand. The bank backed out of large-scale hydropower because of the steep trade-offs involved. Big dams produce lots of cheap, clean electricity, but they often uproot villages in dam-flooded areas and destroy the livelihoods of the people the institution is supposed to help. A 2009 World Bank review of hydro­powernoted the “overwhelming environmental and social risks” that had to be addressed but also concluded that Africa and Asia’s vast and largely undeveloped hydropower potential was key to providing dependable electricity to the hundreds of millions of people who remain without it.

“What’s the one issue that’s holding back development in the poorest countries? It’s energy. There’s just no question,” Kim said in an interview.

Advocacy groups remain skeptical, arguing that large projects, such as Congo’s long-debated network of dams around Inga Falls, may be of more benefit to mining companies or industries in neighboring countries than poor communities.

“It is the old idea of a silver bullet that can modernize whole economies,” said Peter Bosshard, policy director of International Rivers, a group that has organized opposition to the bank’s evolving hydro policy and argued for smaller projects designed around communities rather than mega-dams meant to export power throughout a region.

“Turning back to hydro is being anything but a progressive climate bank,” said Justin Guay, a Sierra Club spokesman on climate and energy issues. “There needs to be a clear shift from large, centralized projects.”

The major nations that support the World Bank, however, have been pushing it to identify such projects — complex undertakings that might happen only if an international organization is involved in sorting out the financing, overseeing the performance and navigating the politics.

The move toward big hydro comes amid Kim’s stark warning that global warming will leave the next generation with an “unrecognizable planet.” That dire prediction, however, has left him struggling to determine how best to respond and frustrated by some of the bank’s inherent limitations.

In his speeches, Kim talks passionately about the bank’s ability to “catalyze” and “leverage” the world to action by mobilizing money and ideas, and he says he is hunting for ideas “equal to the challenge” of curbing carbon use. He has criticized the “small bore” thinking that he says has hobbled progress on the issue.

However, the bank remains in the business of financing traditional fossil-fuel plants, including those that use the dirtiest form of coal, as well as cleaner but ­carbon-based natural gas infrastructures.

Among the projects likely to cross Kim’s desk in coming months, for example, is a 600-megawatt power plant in Kosovo that would be fired by lignite coal, the bottom of the barrel when it comes to carbon emissions.

The plant has strong backing from the United States, the World Bank’s major shareholder. It also meshes with one of the bank’s other long-standing imperatives: Give countries what they ask for. The institution has 188 members to keep happy and can go only so far in trying to impose its judgment over that of local officials. Kim, who in his younger days demonstrated against World Bank-enforced “orthodoxy” in economic policy, now may be hard-pressed to enforce an energy orthodoxy of his own.

Kosovo’s domestic supplies of lignite are ample enough to free the country from imported fuel. Kim said there is little question that Kosovo needs more electricity, and the new plant will allow an older, more polluting facility to be shut down.

“I would just love to never sign a coal project,” Kim said. “We understand it is much, much dirtier, but . . . we have 188 members. . . . We have to be fair in balancing the needs of poor countries . . . with this other bigger goal of tackling climate change.”

The bank is working on other ideas. Kim said he is considering how it might get involved in creating a more effective world market for carbon, allowing countries that invest in renewable energy or “climate friendly” agriculture to be paid for their carbon savings by industries that need to use fossil fuels. Existing carbon markets have been plagued with volatile pricing — Europe’s cost of carbon has basically collapsed — or rules that prevent carbon trading with developing countries.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to establish a stable price of carbon,” Kim said. “Everybody knows that.”

He has also staked hope for climate progress on developments in agriculture.

Hydropower projects, however, seem notably inside what Kim says is the bank’s sweet spot — complex, high-impact, green and requiring the sort of joint public and private financing Kim says the bank can attract.

The massive hydropower potential of the Congo River, estimated at about 40,000 megawatts, is such a target. Its development is on a list of top world infrastructure priorities prepared by the World Bank and other development agencies for the Group of 20 major economic powers.

Two smaller dams on the river have been plagued by poor performance and are being rehabilitated with World Bank assistance. A third being planned would represent a quantum jump — a 4,800-megawatt, $12 billion giant that would move an entire region off carbon-based electricity.

The African Development Bank has begun negotiations over the financing, and the World Bank is ready to step in with tens of millions of dollars in technical-planning help.

“In an ideal world, we start building in 2016. By 2020, we switch on the lights,” said Hela Cheikhrouhou, energy and environment director for the African Development Bank.

It is the sort of project that the World Bank had stayed away from for many years — not least because of instability in the country. But as the country tries to move beyond its civil war and the region intensifies its quest for the power to fuel economic growth, the bank seems ready to move. Kim will visit Congo this month for a discussion about development in fragile and war-torn states.

Kyte, the World Bank vice president, said the Inga project will be high on the agenda.

“People have been looking at the Inga dam for as long as I have been in the development business,” she said. “The question is: Did the stars align? Did you have a government in place? Did people want to do it? Are there investors interested? Do you have the ability to do the technical work? The stars are aligned now. Let’s go.”

This article is originally posted by: , Published: May 8 on the Washington Post. Available at:

The Nile: Why multilateralism and no room for divide and rule?

By: Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

Unlike many transboundary watercourses across the world the Nile Basin is not lucky to have either multilateral treaties or customary rules to govern the utilization and management of its life giving waters. Even the Basin had no a multilateral body to facilitate negotiation for equitable and reasonable water share among the riparian states. Before the mid-1990s the Nile Basin was hosting a one state show where Egypt was determined to do whatever it wanted on the Basin and to allow or deny who would use the Nile waters and to what level. This self-claimed dictatorship was not exclusively attributed to Egypt`s power of “deciding who gets what, when and how.” Rather before the 1960s the European colonizers favored their downstream colony Egypt at the expense of upriver countries as they were hunger for raw materials such as cotton to their booming textile industries mainly Britain. Ethiopia despite independent at the time was passive in involving in Nile waters related affairs either with the colonial powers or downstream Egypt or Sudan in the post-colonial period for long.

Following the independence of Nile states in East Africa and Equatorial Lakes Region Egypt benefited from recurrent, destructive and savagery civil wars that the upstream countries from Ethiopia to Uganda, from Rwanda to Burundi found themselves chained. This trend has continued till the late 1990s. It was a period which was perceived as a zero-sum-game where Egypt was determined to win at the expense of other upstream states and their natural rights to use their water resources in their own territories. The old Nile Basin, however, starts to fade-away with the establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)-which established in 1999 as a transitional institutional arrangement to establish a Nile River Basin Commission to govern the utilization and management of the Nile waters. IN fact, the old Nile Basin is a dead end and a New Nile Basin is delivered. For the first time in the history of the Basin all riparian states except Eritrea (an observer in the NBI) gathered under one umbrella called the NBI and start to negotiate basin wide inclusive  Nile Treaty for the equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters.

After ten years of negotiation the countries of the Nile come up with the Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile (CFA) which firmly founded on the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters. The CFA declares that “Nile Basin States shall in their respective territories utilize the water resources of the Nile River system and the Nile River Basin in an equitable and reasonable manner…” (Article 4(1)). Under Article 4(2) the treaty outlines the different relevant factors to determine equitable and reasonable utilization. At the same time Article 5 (1) of the CFA states that “Nile Basin States shall, in utilizing Nile River System water resources in their territories, take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm to other Basin States.” The agreement further stipulates different principles such as protection and conservation of the Nile River System and its ecosystems (article 6), regular exchange of data and information (Article 7), planned measures (Article 8) and so on which are basis for transboundary watercourse management. By and large the aim of the CFA is to establish Nile River Basin Commission (NRBC) as permanent intergovernmental organization “to promote and facilitate the implementation of the principles, rights and obligations provided for in the CFA” (Article 16). The CFA in general is a foundation to better enhance cooperation between the Nile Riparians and to ensure benefit from the fruits of the Nile to all riparian states equitably and reasonably. It is a means to create a positive-sum-game where all riparians are determined to win. No one is to lose.

The CFA was then signed on May 2010 by Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Recently South Sudan has declared to join the club for justice and equitable utilization of the Nile Waters. Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to join soon. While Ethiopia is initiating the ratification of this treaty Egypt and Sudan have still persisting not to sign the Agreement with the aim of maintaining the old zero-sum game on the Nile Basin. The major point of difference is on Article 14(b) of the Agreement which states that that the Nile Basin States agree “not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State”. But Egypt and Sudan object this statement and Egypt propose its replacement by “Not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin States.” Egypt brought this infant concept called Water Security in the negotiation process for the CFA just to maintain the so-called “old agreements”-namely the 1929 Colonial Treaty and the 1959 Bilateral Agreement between Egypt and Sudan, which only benefits mainly Egypt seconded by Sudan at the expense nine sovereign states. If the other riparian states were to accept what Egypt proposed it would be tantamount to putting a colonial yoke via a pseudo-treaty which would take the Nile Basin nowhere but a vicious-circle of mistrust and suspicion.

Sudan could accept the CFA had it been free to decide by its own regarding the waters of the Nile. Many reasons can be enumerated.  One can guess the hydropolitical quandary Sudan finds itself. It is imperative for Sudan to join upstream states and enhance multilateral cooperation efforts so as to increase its benefits from the Nile waters. Nevertheless, Sudan is shackled by the 1959 Agreement with Egypt to have similar policy with the later and one cannot also undermine the long hand of Egypt in Sudan`s domestic economy and politics. Be that as it may, despite with all the fortunes and win-win gain it carries the CFA is still not embraced by Egypt and Sudan and it is evident that the CFA will not hug these countries unless they accept Article 14(b) as agreed by upstream states. Unsurprisingly, however, Egypt is still not tired in using the same old strategy of divide and rule the Nile Basin-which is a dead end.


Egypt`s Divide and Rule in the Nile: The Origins

The Nile Basin as a matter of its nature has divided sub-basins-which can be broadly categorized as the Blue Nile; which represents all waters joining the Nile from Ethiopian Highlands which accounts 86% of the Nile (Abbay, Tekeze and Baro-Akobo) and the White Nile which originates from the Equatorial Lakes Region accounting 15% or less of the total Nile flow. For long Egypt has used this natural divide as a God sent opportunity to divide and rule the riparian states so as maintain its grip on the Nile. Egypt has followed two strategies in this regard. One is establishing pseudo-cooperation efforts witnessed through the so-called Hydromet, Undugu and Tecconile. All these institutional attempts were initiated by downstream states mainly Egypt and designed to maintain its selfish interest. In these processes Ethiopia was not as active as it had to be. One of the reasons is that, it was marginalized from these processes by Egypt`s systematic and chicanery tactics by focusing on White Nile states. The other main reason was Ethiopia itself was passive and preoccupied by the long protracted civil war which drained the country`s resources.

The second mechanism employed by Egypt has been weak unhelpful bilateral dealings with countries in the Equatorial Lakes Region. Egypt for long was able to maintain bilateral and partially multilateral relations with the White Nile states. The very purpose of this move was to alienate Ethiopia from the rest of upstream states. These all processes coupled with years long civil war in some of the White Nile States such as Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and their smugness of the water resources they have other than the Nile or their less contribution (15%) to the whole Nile System assisted Egypt to succeed with this strategy of divide and rule the Nile. This has continued till the end of the 1990s which marked the beginning of new era in the Nile Basin as upstream states emerged as more assertive than ever before with Ethiopia`s proactive and leading role. As mentioned earlier despite the change in political dynamics in upstream states with their growing assertiveness that resulted in the CFA after ten years of negotiation, Egypt is still with its old stratagem.

Egypt`s Lost Trials of Divide and Rule Since the CFA 

Following the signing of the CFA what the then regime of Egypt under Mubarak did was the same old story of trying to divide upstream states. Mubarak`s regime had invited leaders of Congo and Burundi to visit Egypt for bilateral cooperation, negotiations and to boost their relations. For instance between March 13, 2009 and August 2010 alone Egypt and Burundi exchanged 23 high-level ministerial visits. In 2010 Egypt invited DR Congo for high ranking official visits where President Joseph Kabila visited Cairo in May 2010. The focus of Egypt after the five upstream states signed the CFA was strengthening its bilateral relation with these two states which was an attempt to play them not to sign the Agreement. Nonetheless, despite Democratic Republic of Congo did not yet signs the CFA Burundi has joined the club as the 6th riparian on 28 February 2011.

One of the most extraordinary happenings following the decision of the upstream states of the Nile to sign the CFA was the most frequent diplomatic visits between Egypt and Eritrea. Between March 4th, 2009 and June 10th, 2010, the two countries exchanged some 23 diplomatic visits from both sides including the visit of Eritrea`s president to Cairo. Following such developments Eritrea`s dictator remarked that the signing of the CFA by upstream states “not only aggravates the situation but also creates tension.” In this context, it was the president`s idiocy which was uncovered and it ones again affirmed that he is still shouldering not the interest of the Eritrean people but his sponsors during the civil war in Ethiopia before Eritrea`s secession.

Egypt`s relentless trials of bilateralism in the Nile Basin was not bound to the upstream states in the White Nile states alone. It was the headlines of most news outlets that in the aftermath of the signing of the CFA a lot of business men from Egypt and different ministers had visited Ethiopia in mass. The focus of these visits was more or less on bilateral trade and investment affairs. Nevertheless, those moves had never been more than a show to the rest of upstream states to focus on bilateral relations instead of the multilateral path. It was a kind of demonstration to the White Nile States, as if Ethiopia has had a very strong bilateral relation with Egypt that would have undermined the multilateral path on the Nile so that the White Nile States would follow. These all ups and downs of Egypt were merely unsuccessful trials to halt the progress of upstream states from signing and ratifying the CFA.

Despite the old regime of Egypt under Hosni Mubarak was trying hard to reverse the CFA, upstream states better able to push ahead and enhance upstream-upstream cooperation so as to ensure equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile Waters. In the meantime Hosni Mubarak`s regime was awash by the Arab riot and a new transitional government under the Supreme Council of the Armed Force came to power in Cairo. Following this change, Egypt`s Public Diplomacy Delegation visited Ethiopia and Uganda so as to request the upstream states to delay the ratification process of the CFA to give Egypt time till new government with full constitutional power was established in Cairo to reconsider the Agreement. The Delegation vowed and avowed that relations between Egypt and the rest of the Nile Upstream will never be back to what it looks like during the period before the Egyptian riot that casted out Mubarak`s regime.  They even went farther and gave the impression that they were unhappy about the colonial treaties on the Nile. Upstream states then as a good gesture and brotherhood as children of the same river accepted the request. Nonetheless, despite Egypt formed new government with full power, it has never shown any policy shift except buying time to finish its mega fait accompli water projects to monopolize the Nile Waters-mainly Toshka and Al Salam (We will see these projects of Egypt and their impact in future negotiations in other edition soon).

The New Government under President Mohamed Morsi and Prime Minister Hisham Qandil rather than joining the multilateral approach of accepting the New Nile Treaty for mutual benefit and sustainable peace in the Basin follows the same tread of their predecessor-a failed attempt to divide and rule the Nile Basin. The emphasis of the Government of Egypt has been bilateral cooperation and engagement with the Nile Riparian states. Their last failed attempt was a move to bring the new sovereign and independent South Sudan to join the club of downstream states where South Sudan has nothing to profit.

Egypt`s high delegation visit of March 2013 led by Prime Minister Qandil to South Sudan was headed with twofold objectives to attain despite covered in the name of boosting bilateral relations and cooperation. Firstly Egypt geared to beseech South Sudan not to join the CFA and accept the 1959 Agreement which was signed between Sudan and Egypt while South Sudan was battling for its independence.  Secondly Egypt was trying to persuade South Sudan to complete the construction of the Jonglei Canal which would increase water reaching Egypt and Sudan by drying up South Sudan`s wetlands in the Sudd Swamp. But a few days after Qandil`s visit as reported in the media South Sudan`s Water and Irrigation minister Paul Mayom Akech told local radio station that “South Sudan does not recognize-and underline does not recognize-the content of the 1959 agreement.”  He further affirmed that his country is “already a long way to joining the Cooperative Framework Agreement, being an entity within which all the Nile Basin countries come together and discuss how best they could utilize the water resource.”

One of the reasons that I argue that Egypt is focusing on bilateralism is farther manifested during Mohamed Morsi`s two days visit to Sudan on 5 April 2013. In his remarks to reporters, it was reported that he said, “Egypt’s ties stumbled in the past, but now we are together [with other Nile states], with possibilities of enhancing cooperation that satisfies the interests of all sides,” is a very welcoming remark.” And he farther went saying there is no crisis on the Nile. But the very agenda of the visit was to strengthen the bilateral relation between Egypt and Sudan. To that end he met with Islamist leaders in Sudan and stated that his country needs “the Nile Axis of world development between the Arabs, Islam and Africa to be a source of rebirth, but that this cooperation and unity is not aimed against anyone.” In this remark the President of Egypt deliberately or not attempted to Islamize and Arabize the Nile waters and its politics. One must not be confused and played by the name Africa immersed together with Arab and Islam. If the president was talking about “the Nile Axis development” that included upstream states of the Nile, it would not be necessary to say “that this cooperation and unity is not aimed against anyone.” The question is then; will Egypt sustain its budge with old tactics that will neither setback the upstream states from ratifying the CFA nor prevent them from utilizing the Nile waters in their sovereign territories?

The Way Out 

In recent news, it is reported that Egypt has experienced “water per capita decreases annually due to the continued population growth, industrial development and agricultural expansion” according to Egypt`s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Dr. Mohamed Bahaa’ Eddin. With the rapid population growth in other riparian states and the increase in the demand for water coupled with global environmental change such as climate change Egypt or any other single country in the Nile Basin cannot coup up with water shortage unless cooperative efforts are taken. UN reports and other studies are showing that the world will face sever water crises in the coming decades where the problem will be more sever in arid and semi-arid regions such as in downstream Nile. Thus the only way for riparian states of the Nile to ensure sustainable utilization of the Nile waters is when they multilaterally engage in cooperation and mange the river holistically.

One cannot deny the legal and political wrangling between upstream and downstream states of the Nile regarding the CFA and the future of multilateral engagements. The wrestle is between justice and unjust. The skirmish is between adopting a path to swim together or to sink. Egypt and Sudan are clinging with their objection to the CFA due to Article 14(b). But it must be clear for Egypt and Sudan that, it is unthinkable for upstream states to recognize any colonial or bilateral agreement signed without their say and to the worst where all these agreements are against their vital national interest. Because this is a route which escorts to the deepest ocean with no life boats nor with necessary energy to swim but to sink as a result of competition for scramble of the water. Besides, there is no any moral, political or legal obligation for upstream states to accept and bind by these pseudo-agreements. The solely available way to break the stalemate is when Egypt and Sudan come on board and sign the CFA. Yet, the CFA can only enfold Egypt and Sudan if and only if they accept Article 14(b) as agreed by the majority riparian states because it is for benefit of all.

The new leaders in Egypt should clearly understand that the old wine of the old regime of attempting to monopolize the Nile waters through different unhelpful strategies of trying to divide the upstream riparians will not be successful as each and every upstream state understands the water needs of both the present and future generation. Upstream states sign the CFA and are on progress to ratify it because they know all riparian states are winners from basin-wide multilateral cooperation efforts to better maintain the health of their shared resource and to increase its economic and developmental benefits. Hence, signing and ratifying the CFA and establishing the Nile River Basin Commission is the better way to search for solutions. In my view, the Egyptians have witnessed the significance of basin wide cooperation through the different projects of the NBI. Water can be increased through environmental rehabilitation efforts such as afforestation in upstream states. Furthermore, the more states cooperate is the better they will be integrated the lesser violent conflict to breakout. Egypt like Sudan can benefit from cheap energy produced from hydropower plants in upstream states while upstream states can also benefit from energy export. This water related cooperation will also catalyze cooperation and integration in non-water areas such as trade and investment. Sudan should also decide for itself and join the club of the CFA as it will be the greatest beneficiary. I think the Egyptians are aware of that free-ride and unilateral water development projects in a way that undermines the interest of other riparian state will worse hurt them since they are at the mouth of the river. It is not through cunning bilateralism or selfish unilateralism that riparian states can best ensure win-win gains and shares the fruits of the Nile but only through multilateralism. That is why, the Nile has no more room for divide and rule since all upstream states are speaking the same language-equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile Waters by all and for all the peoples of the Nile.

Uncovering the True Image of an “Extremist Diaspora”

Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw

This piece is my reflection on Prof. Alemayehu G/Mariam`s (Al Mariam) recent article on the Nile which is posted in his blog and shared on Facebook. I am writing this piece not because the article is that much worthy to be responded but the big title of the man as Professor and Lecturer of Political Science is misleading to readers as if the piece was forwarded from expertise point of view. Thus the nudity of his piece should be uncovered. In my view, from the very beginning the article lacks integrity and the writer has wrote it with a framed mindset that misses its point and rests on the personification of the Grand Renaissance Dam (GRD) rather than assessing it from the perspective of its relevance at the national and regional levels as well as the challenges it faced on the ground. Most of the time when we narrow things down to personal levels we will miss many important issues and our message went astray. This is what happens to Al Mariam in his piece entitled “Ethiopia: Rumors of Water War on the Nile?” One can identify three general points of Al Mariam in his not less than five pages article. Firstly, for Al Mariam the Grand Renaissance Dam (GRD) is built to glorify a person-i.e. the late PM Meles Zenawi. Secondly, the whole article talks and defends unfairly claimed Egypt`s interest on the Nile arguing that the construction of the dam will be catastrophic for them and Sudan as well. Thirdly, he prophesized that war is inevitable on the Nile where Egypt is declared a winner and he give the impression that he is happy about that.  His piece, in my view is flawed as most of the arguments are not backed by balanced data and his gloomy picture of the dam and its drastic impact is made in Egypt.

Al Mariam`s conclusion rests on personalizing the dam and he left out the place of the IMG_1001historical trajectories that Ethiopia came through in relation to Abbay-the Nile and the consequences of the unutilized river which endangers the national security of Ethiopia for at least the last 200 hundred years. And through the lines of his article I discover that Al Mariam is not updated with the Nile Hydropolitics and the ongoing cooperative efforts on the mighty river. I need to make clear that though it does not mean that Al Mariam`s piece have no any relevance. Firstly, the single reflective concern of Al Mariam`s piece would be his concern on how to finance the dam but because he is absorbed by personalizing the dam he missed his target. Secondly, Al Mariam`s piece mirrored the nudity of some extremist Diaspora who have failed to have a boundary between the ruling elite in Ethiopia and Ethiopia. The problem is his piece orbits around Meles and Meles only. For him the dam is by Meles and for Meles and so is a damned dam of illusion. My focus here is then to pick out Al Mariam`s own arguments and challenge him by acquainting the fact and showing how his arguments are flawed.


One of the interesting quotes of Al Mariam is the 2010 interview of the late PM Meles Zenawi`s with the Reuters. The general message of this interview was a call to Egyptians to come to the 21st century and to leave their old aged position on war and sabotage. The late PM stressed that the only solution to the Nile problem is not of war but peace which must be achieved through negotiation and cooperation. For Al Mariam the late PM`s remark was an insult. Let me quote both Meles and Al Mariam.

“I am not worried that the Egyptians will suddenly invade Ethiopia. Nobody who has tried that has lived to tell the story. I don’t think the Egyptians will be any different and I think they know that…The Egyptians have yet to make up their minds as to whether they want to live in the 21st or the 19th century.” (Meles Zenawi)

“With taunting, dismissive and contemptuous arrogance, Meles not only insulted the Egyptian people as hopelessly backward but bragged that he will swiftly vanquish any invading Egyptian army.” (Al MAriam).

Here is the point Al Mariam missed. Meles did that remark not with arrogance and insult to the Egyptian people. I am so amazed that Al Mariam even did not try to criticize the war drums of Egypt from Anwar Sadat to Hosni Mubarak. He mentioned the ‘arrogance’ of Anwar Sadat as a declaration to defend national interest where as Meles Zenawi`s remark was an arrogant speech of insult. Let me be clear here. Meles was reminding the Egyptians of their defeat in Gundet and Gura in the 19th Century and that war is not always a solution on the Nile. That is true. The PM also called the Egyptians “to make up their minds as to whether they want to live in the 21st or the 19th century” is not as a people but as a government in their foreign policy orientation to Ethiopia in particular and to the Nile Basin in general. To remind reader a little about Egypt`s foreign policy on the Nile, allow me to mention a few lines of the origin of the current Nile policy of Egypt. Egypt`s foreign policy on the Nile is remarked in the 19th century by Werner Munzinger who was a Swiss adventurer and mercenary who died in Afar in his attempt to invade Ethiopia as a mercenary of Khedive Ismail of Egypt during the reign of Yohaness IV of Ethiopia. According to Munzinger, “Ethiopia with a disciplined administration and army, and a friend of the European powers, is a danger for Egypt. Egypt must either take over Ethiopia and Islamize it, or retain it in anarchy and misery.” This has been what the Egyptians doing since the 19th century.

If Al Mariam has the evidence that Egypt never tried to conquer Ethiopia and defeated from the 1832 Battle of Gedarif to the 1876 Battle of Gundet, let us see. Between this period 16 big battles were taken between Ethiopia and Egypt where the former defeated the aggressor. The last direct confrontation between Egypt and Ethiopia was in 1876 at Gundet where Ras Alula Abba Nega`s sword, Emperor Yohaness`s leadership and the blood and bone of Ethiopian patriots sealed the victory and gave a lesson to Egypt. For the detail I invite the reader to read a book by Sven Rubenson entitled “The Survival of Ethiopian Independence.” If Al Mariam can furnish us with evidences that Egypt have not doing anything bad to retain Ethiopia in misery by aiding anti-Ethiopia forces from Sha`abia to the militias in today`s Somalia, let us be proved wrong. Al Mariam appeared to collide with history and its facts by trying to cover up the intrigues, conspiracies and plots to destabilize Ethiopia. So Melese`s call was direct and clear. Rather I would say Al Mariam uses what Meles spoke out to accuse the later as arrogance and whatever which emanates from personal animosity than the message it carries in maintaining national interest which is true. Thus, it would be nice if Al Mariam sets the boundary between Ethiopia and Meles Zenawi. Both are two different things. Emperor Hailesellassie I, Menegistu Hailemariam, Meles Zenawi all have gone but Ethiopia remains here with us. I am not writing this for the sake of defending Meles or EPRDF just it is the truth and the national interest of my beloved Ethiopia and my dream of seeing the Nile quenching the thirst of millions like me!!


What is astonishing in Al Mariam`s mumbo-jumbo is that there is a lot of yelling and call for water war-a war that, according to Al Mariam, Egypt is determined to win and declared a winner. Here is what he said. “What will Egypt will do if Meles’ “Grand Renaissance Dam” is in fact built? “Simple.” They will use dam busters to smash and trash it.” It will be unsurprising for readers that this piece was written by an Egyptian but it is written by a person who claimed he is Ethiopian and his name sounds so-Alemayehu Gebremariam . Let us not forget that what Al Mariam wrote as a personal view is the mirror of the message we have read from the leaks from Stratfor that Egypt was planning to demolish the dam. Two faults here. Firstly, Al Mariam who has lived outside his country for long and who do not know what is going on here, what is the capacity of Ethiopia and so on has believed that his country is deemed to defeat in a battle with Egypt. It sounds that he is a prophet of war and an all knowing man to the extent of knowing who will win. What an absurd. Secondly, for Al Mariam war a simple and ordinary thing which countries can wage it whenever they need to do so. Let alone developing countries with tremendous socio-political and economic challenges, even superpowers go to war after assessing and reassessing the profits from the war and how much danger they have faced. I think this is not hidden for a political scientist who is teaching Political Science whole his life in the most powerful country in the world-the USA. Let me remind the reader one incidence regarding the war rhetoric on the Nile. In the mid 1980s when Sudan was planning to build a dam on the Nile there was uproar in Egypt. Later in the 1990s considering the assassination attempt on the then president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa which is believed to be orchestrated by Sudan there was a greater chance for war. Then Hosni Mubarak came out and declared if Sudan is to build the dam, he warned he would ambush it by jet. But he did not. The dam is completed. In general, such war drums in the Nile so far are not far from bluffing in recent years except the indirect attack through aiding militias and bandit regimes. The support of Egypt to Islamic courts in Somalia and to Eritrea during the Ethio-Eritrean war is a palpable illustration of such proxy-war.


With an attempt to discuss about the overall impact of the dam on Egypt and Sudan, Al Mariam run to quote an Egyptian ex-minister of Water, Mohamed Nasr El Din Allam as a reference to back his claim. Here is what he wrote;

“There is little doubt that IF the “Grand Renaissance Dam” is completed, it will have a significant long term impact on water supply and availability to the Sudan and Egypt. The general view among the experts is that if the dam is constructed as specified by the regime in Ethiopia, it could result in significant reduction in cultivable agricultural lands and water shortages throughout Egypt. According to Mohamed Nasr El Din Allam, the former Egyptian minster of water and irrigation, if the dam is built “Millions of people would go hungry. There would be water shortages everywhere. It’s huge.” 

For Al Mariam the Egyptian is an expert and is quoted from that a point. This has no any problem as far as it would be stated after a thorough investigation and study. What Al Mariam quoted was, however, the official position of Egypt which epitomizes its national interest. Al Mariam`s double peccadillo lies here, by failing to state the counter argument of the Ethiopian side as if the country has no any water expert on the area, he referred to the official position of Egypt as an expertise view. Here I m forced to quote William Shakespeare, O Shame! Where is thy blush? I, as a researcher on the Nile believes on assessing, how much the dam is environmentally damaging. It is after the environmental risk assessment that the government run to this project because it finds out that the benefits outweigh the costs. What Al Mariam did was preposterous as he exaggeratedly portray the gloomy pictures of the dam alone which shows the deviousness of his piece and enunciates that it is made in Egypt for Egypt.


Al Mariam in his piece stabbed to be fair when he ‘discuss’ the legal dispute on the Nile for the reason that there is no any way out and any person to blame. In fact, the so called “old agreements” (both the 1929 Agreement between Egypt and Britain and the 1959 Agreement between Sudan and Egypt) have been contested by Ethiopia and other upstream countries. As a professional lawyer and Professor of Political Science, however, he did not give us his views except quoting Gebre Tasadik Degefu`s book and stating unnamed pundits again and again.  Analyzing and assessing the overall political and economic environment, it can be argued that all the so called “old agreements” were signed between Egypt and Egypt. Because, the 1929 Agreement was between Egypt and Britain where the later was still in occupying the former with its hunger for cotton for its textile industries. The 1959 Agreement was also concluded between independent Egypt and Sudan. But the irony was because the new government in post-independent Sudan asked for fair share on the Nile it was toppled by coup d’état and a new pro-Egypt president came to power to sign the agreement in Egypt`s favor.  Nonetheless, for years Egypt and Sudan have been trying hard to make these “agreements” binding on non-signatory and non party states to the treaty claiming that water treaties are territorial treaties like boundary treaties which should be inherited from colonialism. But the response from upstream states is clear. Through time they have been allying and show their brotherhood and common interest on the Nile and their determination to change the unfair and colonially inherited pseudo-agreements. That is why the 10 years negotiation yielded the Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile (CFA) or the Entebbe Agreement-which nullifies so called “previous/old agreements” and declare that the Nile belongs to all the Basin countries and their people.  This agreement is signed by all upstream countries except DR Congo which is believed to join the club for sure. South Sudan hopefully will apply for accession to the treaty. But Egypt and Sudan have stated they will not sign the CFA due to their rigidity to control each and every drop of the Nile waters through the old bilateral and colonial “agreements.” What makes Al Mariam`s piece more Egyptian again is his comment on the new agreement-the CFA. It reads;

“This agreement allows construction of projects that do not “significantly” affect the Nile water flow. Egypt has rejected the Agreement because it necessitates renegotiation of its share of the Nile water and surrender of its veto power guaranteed under the old agreements.” 

In the mentioned commentary, Al Mariam knowingly or unknowingly failed to mention the cornerstone of the CFA and focused on one principle called the no significant harm. The CFA is an agreement rest upon the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. Yes for obvious reasons any water project on any of the states in the Basin should not affect the interest of the other basin state “significantly”. But whether it is in international water law or politically charged negotiations what constitutes “significant harm” is not yet clear as compared to what constitutes equitable and reasonable utilization. So the agreement gives the primacy to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. In fact, the evolution of international water law does indeed show that precedence is given to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. Nevertheless, downstream countries mainly Egypt propagate for the “no significant harm principle” to have the upper hand in any negotiations on the Nile and they infinitely endorse it in their discussions and writings by leaving aside the most just and fair principle-the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. That is what Al Mariam in fact did. This makes him firstly, a propagator of the national interest of a country which stands against a country where he is born and where he in most of his writings aspires to change for democracy. In this piece, indeed he does stand against the national interest of Ethiopia. Secondly, as professor of political science and law, he dismissed the relevance of the use of such a meaningful principle (equitable and reasonable utilization) by endorsing the no-significant harm principle. I am saying this because we must be aware of the message as discourse is constructed in such a way. For sure some Egyptian on line news sources such as Bikya Masr will quote him as a professor of Ethiopia saying this and that.

From the above statement of Al Mariam there is an endorsement and recognition that he made for Egypt. For him Egypt has a share in the Nile waters which it does not want to renegotiate. From the Ethiopian perspective there is no any share of water allocated to the basin states. But Al Mariam phrases of “its [Egypt`s] share” is a tale from Egypt and by Egyptians. But his statement does not reflect third party. He state it as if he is Egyptian and for Egypt.


“To add insult to injury, the Meles regime has the gall to say that it intends to sell the power from the “Grand Renaissance Dam” to the Sudan, Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula once construction is complete. That is not only nonsensical but downright insane! Why would Egypt or the Sudan buy power from a dam that damns them by effectively reducing their water supply for agriculture and their own production of power?”

The above belittling of Al Mariam uncovers that he has no any information on contemporary developments on the Nile since the establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative or his piece is something collected from hearsay.  For obvious reasons at this point I thought it would be nice for him if he did visit the cyber world to have information about some projects of the Nile Basin Initiative at least from their website before posting this piece. The power to be produced from the Grand Renaissance Dam is for both internal consumption and for export. That is true. But the question is, however, where is the insult and where is the nonsensicality of this plan because it is stated by the government of Ethiopia that Egypt and Sudan will buy the power generated? There is a very general plan and project to build power interconnections across the whole Nile Basin even to South Africa which is supported by the International Financial Institutions. One of the projects of the Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program of the Nile Basin Initiative is for instance Ethiopia-Sudan Transmission Interconnection which is a plan to provide low cost electricity to the countries. In addition to this there is a mega project on the Shared Vision Program of the Nile Basin Initiative on Regional Power Trade. Here the following is taken from the Initiatives website about this program: The Development objective of the Regional Power Trade Project (RPT) is “to facilitate the development of regional power markets among the Nile Basin countries” with the long term goal of “contributing to poverty reduction in the region by assisting the NBI countries in developing the tools for improving access to reliable, low cost, sustainably generated power”.

If riparian countries of the Nile open their eyes and develop the trust and confidence between them the construction of the dam is a blessing for all. What is lack in the Nile Basin today is trust as the history of the Basin is characterized by civil wars, water war bluffing, mutual intervention and mutual suspicion. These all are results of historical and political constructions since the time of the Ottoman Turks through the British then in post-colonial eras. But these constructions are to be vanquished as time goes by and what we are observing is that. Countries are negotiating on a round table and obstacle regimes like Hosni Mubarak are gone. There is an opportunity to establish, enhance and cement the emerging trust between the Basin states.

Now let us be focused and see what fruits the GRD furnish Ethiopia and the downstream states that Al Mariam appeared to stand to fight for.  The construction of the GRD has many benefits to downstream countries. Firstly, it will regulate water downstream and avoid catastrophic flood especially in the Sudan. Secondly, one of the serious problems in downstream Egypt and Sudan is sedimentation and siltation in their huge dams such as the Rosaries Dam in the Sudan and the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. This sedimentation is destroying their water reservoirs and water canals as a result of which the life of these infrastructures is at risk. The downstream countries need some sort of measure in upstream to mitigate the headache they have been expensively fighting by their own but which they failed to solve. The construction of the GRD then will halt the problem. Not it will be used as a sediment warehouse but because environmental rehabilitation programs are being undertaken in upstream Ethiopia which will significantly reduces soil erosion and sedimentation in the highlands of Ethiopia which is a mutual benefit for all riparians of Eastern Nile Basin directly and to Equatorial Lakes Countries indirectly. Thirdly, an outcome of the environmental protection projects to avoid sedimentation is increasing water availability. Water availability is dwindling in the Nile Basin but through cooperative environmental rehabilitation programs it can be increased through afforestation and water resource conservation. In line with this the construction of the dam will increase water supply by eliminating the huge evaporation loss in downstream dams in an open desert in the Sahara. In other words, the dam can be served as a water tanker for Egypt and Sudan. Again what is needed is trust. During the last 14 years Nile Basin riparian states have come a long way in building relative confidence and trust as compared to the last century. There are positive outcomes and signals of green light to further cement the trust. This is in fact one of the achievements of the Nile Basin Initiative. Fourth, downstream states will have access to cheap energy from Ethiopia. No doubt, as compared to Egypt and Sudan geography blessed Ethiopia with the potential of producing thousands of megawatts of electricity. The GRD is one of such a blessing. The World Bank through the NBI is financing some of the projects in the region knowing it benefits the whole region and the oil dependent Arabian Peninsula in the long run. Here again the benefit is mutual because Ethiopia will increase its revenue by exporting power and the buying countries will have cheap power. So where is the insult?

The Ethiopian, Al Mariam`s fear as he loudly spoke is that the GRD will significantly reduce the water reaching downstream countries Egypt and the Sudan. For sure there will be some impact till the dam is filled. There will be mechanism for that. Merowe Dam is a huge dam in the Sudan. Its construction has taken years and it had a little impact till it was filled. Furthermore, this baseless fear of Egyptians and the ‘Ethiopian’ Al Mariam is reflected by covering up the irrigation system and tradition that Egypt has kept since the Pharaohs. Egyptians practice an irrigation system which is based on flood in the dessert where precious and scarce water is extravagantly used for the production of rice and sugarcane in the desert. In my view the construction of the dam will boost the relation of the Nile riparians if trust and confidence is enhanced and it will help the riparian states to share the benefits of the GRD in particular and the Nile waters in general. Furthermore, it should be clear that unlike Al Mariam, Egypt`s fear is not because Ethiopia is building the dam for hydroelectric power generation. In one interview Isham Qandil PM of Egypt while he was a Minister for Ministry of Water and Irrigation stated that, his country recognizes the energy need of the upstream countries and the construction of dams upstream. Indirectly he was referring that the problem is when large scale irrigation is introduced and the waters diverted from the natural course which will be catastrophic. Again it is lack of trust nothing more nothing less. But I retreat to ask Al Mariam, where is the insult and the nonsensicality?

Concluding Remarks

In general terms the rigidity of Egypt orbit around its aged stance on the so called “old agreements” where there is no agreement with upstream countries. If the upstream countries are meant to accept these” pseudo-agreements” they have nothing left as every drop of water is shared between Egypt, Sudan and evaporation in the Sahara. What Al Mariam indirectly calling us is, to accept these “agreements” without creating facts on the ground such as water infrastructures for future unavoidable water allocation negotiations because sooner or later these “agreements” are to be replaced by  the CFA. Egypt and Sudan has developed a lot and have facts on the ground to argue for in negotiations which will weigh in negotiations.

To sum, what Al Mariam trying to do is to tow readers to accept that because the dam is being built during the reign of EPRDF and the corner stone is laid by a person he opposed, it is a curse and failure. As he said it is a dam of the damned. Al Mariam`s hogwash, however, serve one purpose. It once again brought the true image of an ‘extremist Diaspora’ and its perception of Ethiopia. For Al Mariam and the ‘extremist Diaspora’ Meles is Ethiopia and Ethiopia is Meles, EPRDF is Ethiopia and Ethiopia is EPRDF.   For Al Mariam and his comrades the dam is a dam of illusion. For Al Mariam the dam is for Meles and it is for war with Egypt and a total destruction. The language he used to persuade his readers is targeting Ethiopians with terrorizing effect to stop them from supporting the construction of the dam due to fear of war and destruction by a country called Egypt which Al Mariam declared the winner. This is absurd. In fact, for Al Mariam he thought he was declaring war against the late PM of Ethiopia and his mates in EPRDF. But his spears are thrown against the dreams of poor Ethiopians who have wished the Nile flowing in Ethiopia. His sling is targeting those who chant and sing and pass their messages through music, tales, stories, poetry and books aspiring the damming of the Nile to quench the multitude thirsty and to feed millions of hungry. Al Mariam`s sword is out of its scabbard targeting thousands of Ethiopians working sleeplessly in the heart of Guba shouldering the rime of the night and the humidity of the day. There are thousands who educate themselves about Abbay and who dedicated their whole life to see this day come true. There are many also from the Diaspora who left the fat dollars from Western universities but serving their motherland in any possible way they can. They are doing this because they have a boundary between the ruling elite in Ethiopia and their country Ethiopia. Because this people know the difference between an individual and more than 80 million people who want to see their country to return to its glory. Long live Ethiopia!!

This article is first published on the Ethiopian Reporter. It is available at: 

አባይ፣ ኢትዮጵያ እና ሳዑዲ አረቢያ

በዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው


ሰሞኑን የአባይ ውሃ ፖለቲካን በተመለከተ እጅግ አነጋጋሪነቱ የቀጠለው በሳዑዲ አረቢያው ምክትል የመከላከያ ሚኒስቴር በካይሮ-ግብጽ የዓረብ ውሃ ስብሰባ ላይ ያደረጉት እጅግ ያልተጠበቀ የተባለለት ንግግር ነው፡፡ ምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስቲሩ ካሊድ ቢን ሡልጣን ኢትዮጵያ እየገነባችው ያለው የህዳሴ ግድብ ለግብጽ እና ሱዳን አደጋ እንደሆነ አትተዋል፡፡ በዚህ ያላቆሙት የሳዑዲው ልዑል ኢትዮጵያ አረቦችን ለመጉዳት አርፋ የማታውቅ ሀገር እንደሆነች ሁሉ ገልጸዋል፡፡ ብዙዎቹን ያስገረመው ነገር ቢኖር የልዑሉ ይህ ንግግር የራሳቸውን ነው ወይስ የመንግስታቸውን/የሀገራቸውን አቋም የሚገልጸው ተብሎ የተለያዩ አስተያየቶች ተሰጥተዋል፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ መንግስት በኩልም ጉዳዩን በትኩረት እንደያዘው በመግለጽ በኢትዮጵያ የሳዑዲ አረቢያን አምባሳደር በመጥራት መስሪያ ቤታቸው ማብራሪያ እንደጠየቀ፤ አምባሳደሩም ይህ የሳቸውም ሆነ የሀገራቸው አቋም ሊሆን አንደማይችል እንደገለጹ ሰምተናል፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ከሳዑዲ አረቢያ ንጉሳዊ አስተዳደር ይፋዊ የሆነ ማስተባበያ አልተሰጠም፡፡ ካለም አልሰማንም፡፡ ይህም ሰውየው የተናገሩት ነገር ምንድን ነው ብለን ደግመን እንድንጠይቅ ያስገድዳል፡፡ እኔም በዚህ ጽሁፍ ይህ የሰውየው ኢትዮጵያን የተመለከቱበት የተንሸዋረረ መነጽር የታሰበበት እና መልዕክት ያዘለ እንጅ እንዲሁ ያልተነገረ እንደሆነ ስለማምን አስተያየቴን እና ሀተታዮን እንደሚከተለው አሰፍራለሁ፡፡ Renaissance_dam_Sultan Khalid saudi

ሳዑዲ እና አባይ ምን አገናኛቸው?

ሳዑዲ አረቢያን እና አፍሪካን (አባይን) የከፈለውን ቀይ ባህርን ስናስብ እንዴት ሳዑዲ አረቢያ ከአባይ ጋር ልትያያዝ የምትችለው ብለን ላናስብ እንችላለን፡፡ ምንም አይነት መቀራረብም ሆነ ጉርብትና የላቸውም፡፡ የሰውዮውን መልዕክት አዘል ንግግር ስናስብ ደግሞ ሳዑዲ አረቢያ ለግብጽ እና ለሱዳን ጠበቃ ለመቆም የተናገረችው ሊመስለን ይችላል፡፡ ይህንም ከተለያዩ መላምቶች አና ምክንያቶች ብለን ከምናስባቸው ጉዳዮች እየተነሳን ልናትት እንችላለን፡፡ ሆኖም ግን የአባይ ውሃ ፖለቲካን ጠለቅ ብለን ስንመረምር የምናገኘው እውነት ሳዑዲ አረቢያ በአንድም በሌላም መልኩ በአባይ ውሃ ፖለቲካ ውስጥ እጇን ለማስገባት መጣር እንዳለ እንረዳለን፡፡ ይህንም ከኢትዮጵያው ባሮ (ጋምቤላ) በተከዜ-አትባራ (ፖርት ሱዳን) እስከ ቶሽካ ፕሮጀክቶች እንደሚከተለው እንቃኛለን፡፡

ሳዑዲ ስታር፡ የማን እና ለማን ነው?

ከቦሌ ዓለምአቀፍ አውሮፕላን ማረፊያ ጥግ ብቻውን ሀገር ሆኖ የሚታየው ትልቁ የሚልኒዮም አዳራሽ በአንድ ወቅት በውጭ በኩል ባለውን ግድግዳው እጅግ ትልቅ የሆነ ማስታወቂያ ሰቅሎ ነበር፡፡ ስለ Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc የሚያወራው ያ ማስታወቂያ እጅግ አረንጓዴ የሆነ የሩዝ ማሳ ያሳያል፡፡ ባለቤቱ ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊ የሳዑዲው ዜጋ ሼክ መሀመድ አል አሙዲ ናቸው፡፡ በምዕራብ ጋምቤላ ወደ 10000 ሄክታር መሬት እጅግ ርካሽ በሆነ የሊዝ ኪራይ (158 ብር በዓመት ለአንድ ሄክታር) የተረከበው ይህ ድርጅት እስከ 2020 ድረስ ወደ 2.5 ቢሊዮን የአሜሪካ ዶላር መዋዕለ ንዋይ እያፈሰሰበት ያለ ይህ ፕሮጀክት ዋና ምርቱ ሩዝ ሲሆን በዋናነትም ለውጭ ገበያ የሚቀረብ እንደሆነ ይገለፃል፡፡ በምግብ ራሷን ያልቻለችው ኢትዮጵያ ለም መሬቶችን ለግዙፍ ካምፓኒዎች እየሰጠች ሲሆን በዋናነትም የውጭ ምንዛሪን ለማግኘት፣ የስራ እድል ለመፍጠር እንዲሁም የቴክኖሎጂ ሽግግርን ለማምጣት እንደሆነ ይታመናል፡፡ ከዚህ አንፃር እሳቤው ባይከፋም ትኩረት የሚያሻው ጉዳይ እንደሆነ ግን ሳንገለጽ አናልፍም፡፡ እንግዲህ ሳኡዲ ስታር የተባለው የሼክ አል አሙዲ ድርጅትም ምርቱን በዋናነት ለሳዑዲ አረቢያ ሊያቀርብ የታሰበ እንደሆነ የታመነ እና የተነገረ ነገር ነው፡፡ ባለሀብቱም ሳዑዲ ንጉሳዊ ቤተሰቦች ጋር ካላቸው መቀራራብ ጋር ተነጋግረው የተጀመረ ግዙፍ ፕሮጀክት እንደሆነ በአንድ ወቅት በኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዥን ሲናገሩ መስማቴን አስታውሳለሁ፡፡ ይህ የሚያሳየን ሳኡዲ አረቢያ በአንድም በሌላም መልኩ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ካለው የአባይ ውሃ አጠቃቀም ጋር በተያያዘ የራሷ የሆነ የጥቅም ፍላጎት አላት ማለት ነው፡፡ ጋምቤላ ውስጥ ያሉ ወንዞች የአባይ ገባር መሆናቸውን ልብ ይሏል፡፡

ዋናው ጥያቄ የሚሆነው ይህ ጥቅም እያለ አንዴት የሳዑዲው ምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትር በእንደዛ አይነት መልኩ “ኢትዮጵያ የአረቡን ዓላም ለመጉዳት ቦዝና አታውቅም” ሊሉ ቻሉ? ከዚህ ላይ ለሲሰመርበት የሚገባ ጉዳይ ሀገራት የተሻለ ነው የሚሉትን ጥቅማቸውን እንደሚያሳድዱ ግልጽ ሊሆንልን ይገባል፡፡ ይህ ጥቅማቸውም ፖለቲካዊ፣ ማህባራዊ (ባህላዊ፣ሐይማኖታዊ) እንዲሁም ኢኮኖሚያዊ ሊሆን ይችላል፡፡ ከዚህም በመነሳት ሚዛን ወደሚደፋው ጥቅማቸው ያጋድላሉ ማለት ነው፡፡ ሳዑዲ አረቢያም ያን እንዳደረገች የዚህ ጽሁፍ ጸኃፊ ያምናል፡፡ ይህንም ለመረዳት በሳዑዲ አረቢያ እና በታችኞቹ የአባይ ተፋሰስ ሀገራት (ግብጽ እና ሱዳን) መካከል ያለውን ከአባይ ውሃ ጋር የተያያዘ ግንኑነት ማጤን ይገባል፡፡

የግብጹ ቶሽካ ፕሮጀክት እና ሳዑዲ አረቢያ

አሁን በእስር የሚገኙት የቀድሞ የግብጽ መሪ ሆስኒ ሙባረክ በ1997 እኤአ “New Nile Valley Project” “የአዲሱ የናይል ሸለቆ ፕሮጀክት” በሚል ግዙፍ የሆነ የሰሐራ በረሐን የማልማት እቅድ ነድፈው ያም እቅድ ተግባራዊ እየሆነ ይገኛል፡፡ በተያዘለት እቅድ ከተከናወነ ይህ ፕሮጀክት በ2017 እኤአ ሙሉ በሙሉ ይጠናቀቃል ተብሎ የተጠበቀ ቢሆንም በአንድም በሌላ መልኩ የማጠናቀቂያ ጊዜው እስከ 2020 ድረስ መሆኑን በቅርብ ጊዜ ከወደ ግብጽ የወጡ መረጃወች ያሳያሉ፡፡ ይህ ፕሮጀክት በዋናነት ሁለት ምዕራፎች ያሉት ሲሆን አንደኛው በሰሜን ምስራቅ ግብጽ የሚገኘው የአል-ሰላም ቦይ (canal) ፕሮጀክት ሲሆን እሱም ውሃ ከአባይ ግርጌ በመጥለፍ ወደ ሲና በረሐ ማሻገር ነው፡፡ ይህን በማድረግ ብዙ መቶሺ ሄክታር መሬት በማልማት ወደ 750ሺህ ግብፃውያን ለማስፈር ያለመ ነው፡፡ ዋነው እና ትልቁ ፕሮጀክት ግን የቶሽካ ፕሮጀክት ሲሆን ይህም የደቡብ ምዕራብ ግብጽ በረሐን ለማልማት ያቀደ ፕሮጀከት ነው፡፡ ይህ ፕሮጀክት አሁን ባለው ሁኔታ 2020 እኤአ ያልቃል ተብሎ ይታሰባል በግብፃውያኑ ዘንድ፡፡ ፕሮጀክቱ በዋናነት አዲስ ግብጽን በበረሐው ለመፍጠር ያቀደ ሲሆን የተለያዩ ብዙ የውሃ ቦዮችን እና ውሃ መምጠጫ ፖምፓዎችን በመገንባት ላይ የተመሰረት ነው፡፡ ይህን በማደረግ በረሐውን በማልማት ወደ 3ሚሊዮን ግብፃውያንን የማስፈር እቅድ አላቸው፡፡ እንደ ግብፃውያኑ ከሆነ ይህ ፕሮጀክት ውሃውን የሚያገኘው በናይል ላይ ከተሰራው የአሰዋን ግድብ ጀርባ ከሚገኘው የናስራ ሐይቅ ነው፡፡ ግብፃውያኑ ይህን ስራ ማንንም የላይኛውን የተፋሰሱ ሀገራት ሳያናግሩ ሲሰሩት ውሃውን የት እንደሚያመጡት ያሰቡ አልመሰሉም፡፡ እንደነሱ በ1959 እኤአ ከሱዳን ጋር የተፈራረሙት በሌሎቹ ሀገራት ውድቅ የተደረገው “ስምምነት” ለራሳቸው በሰጡት እና በመደቡት 55.5 ቢሊዮን ሜትር ኩብ ራሽን/ኮታ መሰረት “ያላቸውን” ውሃ ለመጠቀም በማሰብ ነው፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ይህ ኮታ በሌሎቹ የላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ዘንድ ተቀባይነት ስለሌለው ግብፃውያኑ ውሃውን የት እንደሚያመጡት አሁንም ግልጽ አይደለም፡፡

እንግዲህ የሳዑዲ አረቢያ ሚና በዚህ ፕሮጀክት ላይ ምንድን ነው ስንል ታላቅ ኢንቨስትመንትን እናገኛለን፡፡ የሳዑዲው ልዑል አል ዋሊድ ቢን ጣላል ቢን አብዱላዚዝ አልሳዑድ  (al-Walid bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud) The Kingdom Agricultural Development Company የተሰኘ ካምፓኒ ባለቤት ሲሆኑ ግብጽ ውስጥ በጥቅሉ ከ2 ቢሊዮን ዶላር ካፒታል በላይ የሚያንቀሳቅሱ ሲሆን በቶሽካ ፕሮጀክት ደግሞ ከ10ሺህ ሄክታር በላይ መሬት ተረክበው የተለያዩ የግብርና ምርቶችን ለማምረት ከግብጽ የውሃ እና መስኖ ልማት ሚኒስቴር ጋር ተፈራርመዋል፡፡ በየመቱም በሚሊዮኖችን በዚሁ የቶሽካ ፕሮጀክት አካል በሆነው መሬት እንደሚያፈሱ ገልጸዋል፡፡ ስለዚህ እዚህ ላይ ሊሰመርበት የሚገባው ጉዳይ ግብጽ ውስጥ መዋዕለ ንዋያቸውን እያፈሰሱ ያሉት የሳዑድ ቤተሰብ የሆኑት የንጉሱ ዘመድ እና ልዑሉ አንጅ ከኢትዮጵያዊ እናት የተገኙት አል አሙዲ አይደሉም፡፡ ይህም ማለት ለሳዑዲ አረቢያ ቤተ መንግስትም ሆነ ለምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩ የሚቀርቡት ሼክ አል አሙዲ ሳይሆኑ ልዑል አል ዋሊድ ቢን ጣላል ናቸው፡፡ ስለዚህ የምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩ ንግግር ከዚህ አንፃርም ሊታይ ይችላል፡፡

ተከዜን ወደ ፖርት ሱዳን-ሪያድ?

ግብፅ እጅግ ውድ የሆነውን ውሃ በበረሐ ሩዝ እና ሸንኮራ አገዳ እያመረተች እንዲሁም ልቅ የሆነ የጎርፍ መስኖ በመጠቀም ውሃን ለትነት እያጋለጠች እንደምታባክን በአደባባይ የሚታይ ድርጊት ነው፡፡ የሆነው ሆኖ የናይልን ወንዝ ከተፈጥሯዊው መጓዣ መንገዱ እያወጡ ወዳሰኛቸው ቦታ መውሰድ ለግብፃውያኑ የተከለከለ አይመስልም፡፡ ሌሎች የላይኛው ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ያን እናድርግ ብለው ቢነሱ የግብፃውያኑ መልስ ምን ሊሆን እንደሚችል መገመት አያዳግትም፡፡ ሆኖም ግን “የአዲሱ ናይል ሸለቆ ፕሮጀክት” ብለው የሚሰሯቸው ስራዎች ቶሽካም ሆነ አል ሰላም ሁሉም ናይልን ከተፈጥሯዊው መፍሰሻው የሚያስወጡ ናቸው፡፡ ለምሳሌ አል ሰላም ቦይ በአንዋር ሳዳት ዘመን ሲወጠን ዋና ዓላማው የናይልን ውሃ ከሲና አሳልፎ ወደ ኔጂብ በረሐ በመውሰድ ለእስራኤል መስጠት ነበር፡፡ ደፋሮቹ ግብፃውያን በ1980ዎቹ መጨረሻ እና በ1990ዎቹ መጀመሪያ ላይ አንዱን የናይል ታላቅ ቅርንጫፍ እና ገባር የተከዜን-አትባራ ወንዝ ጠልፎ ወደ ሪያድ-ሳዑዲ አረቢያ በቀይ ባህር በኩል ለማሻገር እቅድ እንደነበር ዳንኤል ክንዴ የተባሉ ምሁር በ1999 እኤአ ባወጡት መጣጥፍ እንዲህ ገልጸውታል፡፡

በሰዓት 4.5 ሚሊዮን ሊትር የሚሆን ውሃ ከአትባራ (ተከዜ) በመጥለፍ ወደ ቀይ ባህሯ የወደብ ከተማ ፖርት ሱዳን ከዚያም ወደ ሪያድ ሳዑዲ አረቢያ በቀይ ባህር በኩል ለማሻገር በግብጽ ሙሉ ድጋፍ የ2 ቢሊዮን ዶላር ስራ በአርቃቂዎች ተጀምሮ ነበር፡፡ እንደ እቅዱ ከሆነ ሱዳን በሁለት መልኩ የምትጠቀም ሲሆን አንድም ከአትባራ (ተከዜ) በስተምስራቅ የሚገኘውን ጠፍ መሬት ለማልማት የሚያስችላት ሲሆን እንዲሁም በቀይ ባህር ዳርቻ ያሉ ፏፏቴዎችን በመጠቀም በሰዓት ከ7000 ኪሎዋት በላይ ኤሌክትሪክ ለማምረት ያስችላታል፡፡ ሳዑዲዎቹም ግብፅን እና ሱዳንን (በዚህ ፕሮጀክት ምክንያት) ለሚያጡት የመስኖ ውሃ በግብርና ካፒታል ኢንቨስትመንት እና  በኢንዱስትሪ ፕሮጀክቶች ያካክሱታል፡፡

ፕሮጀክቱ ተጠናቆ እና እንደ እቅዱ ሄዶ ቢሆን ኖሮ የሳዑዲ አረቢያዋ ከተማ ሪያድ ለመጠጥ የሚሆናትን ውሃ ከተከዜ አትባራ ልታገኝ ነበር ማለት ነው፡፡ በመካከለኛው ምስራቅ ሀገራት ካለው የውሃ እጥረት እና ድርቀት አንፃር ይህ ፕሮጀክት ለሳዑዲዎች ታላቅ ገነትን የመፍጠር ያክል ነው፡፡ በአሁኑ ሰዓት የዚህ ፕሮጀክት አጠቃላይ ሁኔታ ዝምታ እንጅ ተግባራዊ አልሆነም፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ካለው የሳዑዲዎች የውሃ ፍላጎት አንፃር ጠፍቷል ማለት ይከብዳል፡፡ ሆኖም ይህን ዕቅዳቸውን አዳፍነውት ሊሆን ይችላል፡፡ ምንም ያስቡ ምን ግን የውሃ ፖለቲካ ተንታኙ ወዳጄ አቶ ወንድወሰን ሚቻጎ እንዳሉት ይህ ፕሮጀክት ዕቅድ ይዳፈንም ሸልፍ ላይ ይቀመጥም ሊሳካ አይችልም፡፡ እንደ ዋና ምክንያት የሚያቀርቡትም አንድም ኢትዮጵያ ተከዜ ላይ የገነባችው ግድብ ግብጽ እና ሱዳን ወደ ሪያድ ውሃ እንላክ ቢሉ የትም ሊያመጡ እንደማይችሉ ያስታውሳቸዋል-ኢትዮጵያ ቀዳዳውን ከደፈነችው ደፈነች ነውና፡፡ ሁለትም የላይኛው ተፋሰስ አገራት በአጠቃላይ የናይልን ውሃ ከተፈጥሮ መፍሰሻ መስመሩ ለማስቀየስ የሚደረግን ማናቸውም ድርጊት መቃወማቸው አይቀርም፡፡ በአጠቃላይ ሲታይ ግን የኢትዮጵያ እና የሌሎቹ የላይኛው ተፋሰስ አገራት ከሚገኙበት አንጻራዊ ሰላም አንፃር በአባይ/ናይል ወንዝ ላይ የራሳቸውን ፍላጎቶች ለማሟላት የልማት ስራዎችን መጀመራቸው በታችኞቹ ተፋሰስ አገራትም ሆነ ከሩቁ የናይልን ወንዝ ለመጠጣት ምራቃቸውን ሲውጡ ለነበሩ አገራት (ሳዑዲ አረቢያ) በቀላሉ የሚዋጥ አይሆንም፡፡ ስለዚህም ያገኙትን ማናቸውም አጋጣሚ በመጠቀም የአባይ አውራ እና እናት የሆነቸውን ወደ 86 በመቶ ውሃ የምታበረክተውን ኢትዮጵያን መወረፍ የሚያስገርም አይደለም፡፡ በዓለምአቀፍ ግንኙነት ምንግዜም ቢሆን ቋሚ ጥቅም እንጅ ቋሚ ወዳጅ መፈለግ ሳር ውስጥ መርፌን መፈለግ ያክል ነው፡፡ እንግዲህ እንደ እኔ እይታ የምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩ ንግግር ብሶት የወለደው ጉርምርምታ ሲሆን መንግስታቸውን አይወክልም ለማለት አያስደፍርም ካላቸው ፍላጎት አንጻር፡፡ ይህም የአረቡን ዓለም ራስን እንደ አንድ የመቁጠር እና ግብጽ ኢትዮጵያን ከሌላው ዓለም ለመነጠል ከምታደርገው ጥረት እንዲሁም ኢትዮጵያ እና ሳዑዲ አረቢያ ካላቸው ጅኦፖለቲካዊ ሽኩቻ እና በምስራቅ አፍሪካ ላይ ካላቸው የጥቅም ግጭት አንጻር የሰውየው ንግግር ተመክሮበት ተዘክሮበት የተወረወረ እንጅ በከንቱ እና በድንገት የተወረወረ ቃል አይደለም፡፡ ከዚህ አንጻር አንዳንድ ነጥቦችን እንደሚከተለው እናያለን፡፡

የግብጽ ኢትዮጵያን በአረቡ ዓለም የማግለል ስትራቴጂ ስኬት?

በ1994ዓ.ም. (2002 እኤአ) በጊዜው በነበረው የማስታወቂያ ሚኒስቴር የአሁኑ የመገናኛ ሚኒስቴር (Ministry of Communication) በኩል ይፋ የሆነው የኢትዮጵያ የውጭ ግንኙነት እና ደህንነት ፖሊሲ ከአረብ አገራት ጋር ስለሚኖረው ግንኙነት እና የፖሊሲ አቅጣጫ ሲያብራራ ዋና እንቅፋት ሊሆን የሚችለው ግብጽ መራሹ ኢትዮጵያን ከአረቡ ዓለም ለመነጠል የሚደረግ ድብቅ እና ግልጽ ሴራ ነው፡፡ ለዚህም በዋናነት ግብፃውያኑ ሐይማኖትን (እስልምናን) እንዲሁም ብሔርን (አረብነትን) ሊጠቀሙ እንደሚችሉ መገመት አያዳግትም፡፡ ከዚህ አንፃር የእስልምና እምነት መሪ የነበሩት ነብዩ መሐመድ “ራስን ለመከላከል ካልሆነ በስተቀር አቢስኒያን አትንኩ” የሚለውን ውግዘት በተለያዩ መንግድ እየሰነጠቁ እና እያተቱ ኢትዮጵያን ጸረ-አረብ እና ጸረ-እስልምና አድርጎ መሳል የግብፃውያኑ ዋና መለያ ባህሪ ከሆነ ሰነባብቷል፡፡ የተለያዩ የመገናኛ ብዙሃንም ሆነ በትምህርቱ ዓለም በዩኒቨርሲቲዎች የሚታተሙትን ጽሁፎች ስናስብ ይህን እውነታ እናገኛለን፡፡ የእነ ሞሀመድ ማጋሎማቲስ ጽሁፎች፣ የግብጽ የተለያዩ ዜና መሰራጫዎች ጽሁፎች፣ እንዲሁም ወደ አማርኛ የተተረጎመው የእነ ደ/ር ረጀብ መጽሐፍ የዚህ ማሳያዎች ናቸው፡፡ ይህም የሚያሳየን ኢትዮጵያን አትንኳት የሚለው የነብዩ መሐመድ ውግዘት እየተሸረሸረ ይሆን ወይ የሚለውን ስናስብ ከዛ በላይ እንደሆነ ማስተዋል እንችላለን፡፡ ስለሆነም ይህ ሽግግር የሚያሳየን ኢትዮጵያን በአረቡ ዓለም ለማስጠላት እና ለማስነከስ የሚደረገው ጥረት ወደየት እያመራ እንደሆነ ነው፡፡

ኢትዮጵያ እና ሳዑዲ አረቢያ በአፍሪካ ቀንድ

ከንጉሰ ነገስት ቀዳማዊ አጼ ኃይለሥላሴ ዘመን ጀምሮ ሳዑዲ አረቢያ ኢትዮጵያን ሊወጋ ለተነሳ ኃይል ሁሉ ቅድስናዋ እና ድጋፏን ስትቸር ኖራለች እየቸረችም ነው፡፡ ጣሊያን ኢትዮጵያን በወረረች ጊዜ የሳዑዲ ድጋፍ አልተለያትም ነበር፡፡ ደርግን ለመጣል በተደረገው የትጥቅ ትግል ሻዕቢያን የመሰሉ ጸረ-ኢትዮጵያ ኃይሎች ግብጽ መራሽ የሆነ የዓረቡ ዓለም ድጋፍ አልተለያቸውም ነበር፡፡ ለዛም ካሳ ይመስላል የአስመራው ኮበሌ አረብ ያልሆነችው ኤርትራ በታዛቢነት ማዕረግ ለአረብ ሊግ እንድታጎበድድ እጅ የሰጡት፡፡ አሁንም ቢሆን ሳዑዲዎቹ በምስራቅ አፍሪካ በተለይም በአፍሪካ ቀንድ በኩል ያላቸውን ፖለቲካዊም ሆነ ሐይማኖታዊ ጥቅም ለማሳደድ ያልቦዘኑት፡፡ ይፋ በሆነ የተባበሩት መንግስታት የጸጽታው ምክር ቤት ውሳኔ (1724/2006) መሰረት በሶማሊያ በወቅቱ ሞቃዲሾን ይዞ ለነበረው ለእስላማዊ ፍርድ ቤቶች ህብረት ድጋፍ ይሰጡ ከነበሩት ግብጽን ከመሳሰሉት አገራት ተርታ ሳዑዲ አረቢያም አንዷ ሆና ተጠቅሳለች፡፡

ከዚሁ ጋር ተያይዞ ኢትዮጵያን እና ሳዑዲ አረቢያን አንድ ሊያደርጋቸው የማይችል እንዲሁም እጅግ ከሚያጣለቸው ጉዳይ አንዱ የሳዑዲ አረቢያ የእስልምና ፍልስፍናዋን በሌሎች አገራት በተለይ በምስራቅ አፍሪካ ብሎም በኢትዮጵያ ልትጭን የምታሳየው ሙከራ ነው፡፡ እስላማዊ መንግስትን በመመስረት እንዲሁም የእስልምናን ሐይማኖትነት ብቻ ሳይሆን መንግስትነት የሚሰብከው ውሃቢያ ከ1929 እኤአ በኋላ እየገነነ እንደመጣ ይነገራል፡፡ ዋና መሰረቱን ሳዑዲ አረቢያን ያደረገው ይኸው እምነት ምስራቅ አፍሪካን በራሱ ፍልስፍና ለማስገበር ያለደረገው ጥረት የለም፡፡ ሳዑዲዎቹ ከነዳጅ በሚያገኙት ረብጣ ዶላር በመመርኮዝ በአንድም በሌላም መልኩ ይህን ለማሳካት ይጥራሉ፡፡ ይህንም በአገራችን ኢትዮጵያ ነፍስ እየዘራ እያየነው እንደመጣን ግልጽ ነገር ነው፡፡ ኢስላማዊ በጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችን በዋናነት በመጠቀምም ይህ እምነት ራሱን ሊያስፋፋ ሲሞክር ይስታዋላል፡፡ ከጥቂት ወራት በፊት አሁን በኬንያ ጥገኝነት ጠየቁ የተባሉ አንድ የቀድሞ ሚኒስትር ባለቤት ከሳዑዲ አረቢያ ኢምባሲ የባህል እና ሐይማኖት አታሼ ቢሮው ጋር በተያያዘ በቁጥጥር ውለው በእስር እንደሚገኙ ይታወቃል፡፡ በአንድ የግል ጋዜጣም የቀድሞው ሚኒስትር ባላቤታቸው ለመስጊድ ማሰሪያ በእናታቸው ኑዛዜ መሰረት እርዳታ ጠይቀው እንደተሰጣቸው ያም ብር ለዚሁ ዓለማ እንጅ ለሽብር ሊውል እንዳልሆነ ገለፃ ማድረጋቸውን በቅርቡ ያነበብነው ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ ኢዚህ ላይ እንዲሰመርበት የምሻው ጉዳይ ይህ እየሆነ ያው ነገር ከምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩ ንግግር ጋር ተደምሮ፤ በኢትዮጵያ እና በሳዑዲ አረቢያ መካከል ስላለው ግን በይፋ ስላልተገለጸው የግንኙነት መሻከር ፍንጭ የሚሰጥ መሆኑን ነው፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር ተያይዞ በሶማሊያ በኩል ለሶማሊያ መንግስት እጅግ  ብዙ ሚሊዮን ዶላሮችን ከሚለግሱት አገራት መካከል አንዷ እና ዋናዋ ናት ሳዑዲ አረቢያ(የአሁኑ የቱርኮች አገባብም አሳሳቢ ነው በራሱ)፡፡ ይህም ከኢትዮጵያ ጋር የራሱ የሆነ ፍጥጫ እንዲኖር ማድረጉ አይቀርም፡፡ሳዑዲዎቹ በሶማሊያ ላይ ያላቸው ማናቸውም እንቅስቃሴ በሐይማኖትም፣ በፖለቲካም ይሁን በኢኮኖሚ መስኮች ከኢትዮጵያ ጋር ግጭት ውስጥ ሊከታቸው እንደሚችል መገመት አያዳግትም፡፡ ትናንት የነበረ ዛሬም ያለ ነገር ነውና፡፡

የምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩን ንግግር ተከትሎ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት የሳኡዲ አረቢያ መንግስት ማብራሪያ እንዲሰጠው መጠየቁ ይታወሳል፡፡ ሆኖም ግን በይፋ የተነገረ ነገር እስካሁን እንደሌለ እናስተውላለን፡፡ በቅርቡ የሳዑዲ አረቢያ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ልዑል ሳዑድ አል ፌይሰል (Saud Al-Faisal) የሁለቱ አገራት ግንኙነት በጥሩ ሁኔታ እንደሚገኝ ብቻ ከመጀመሪያው ሂጅራ ተነስተው መጥቀሳቸውን ብቻ እናስተውላለን፡፡ ለመገናኛ ብዙሃን ገለጹት በተባለው ሀተታ ልዑሉ የሁለቱን አገራት ግንኙነት በጥሩ ሁኔታ እንዳለ ይግለጹ እንጅ በይፋ የምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትራቸው ንግግር አገራቸውንም ሆነ መንግስታቸውን እንደማይወክል በግልጽ አልተናገሩም፡፡ አላስተባበሉምም፡፡ ወይም ይህን ነገር መስማት ለሚፈልገው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በይፋ አልተነገረም፡፡ ምክንያቱም ስላላስተባበሉ፡፡ የመንግስታችን አቋም አይደለምም ስላላሉ፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር ተያይዞ ሊነሳ የሚገባው ጥያቄ ለምን የሳዑዲ አረቢያ መንግስት የምክትል ሚኒስትሩ ንግግር እንደማይወክለው ካወቀ በይፋ ሊያስተባብል አልቻለም? አልሞከረም? ጓዶች የሰውየው ንግግር በድጋሜ እለዋለሁ የተመከረበት፣ የተዘከረበት እና የታሰበበት እንጅ እንዲሁ በከንቱ እና በድንገት የተወረወረ አይደለም፡፡

ምን ይበጀን?

እንደ አንድ ኢትዮጵያዊ የሳዑዲ አረቢያውን ምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትር ላመሰግናቸው እወዳለሁ፡፡ ምክንያቱም አስበውትም ይሁን ሳያስቡት በንግግራቸው የሳዑዲ አረቢያ መንግስት ስለ ኢትዮጵያ ምን አይነት አስተሳሰብ እንዳለው አስረድተውናል፡፡ ነግረውናል፡፡ የሰውየውን ንግግር እንዲሁ የተወረወሩ ቃላት አድርጎ ማሰብ “አይ ተው ጅብ እግሬን እየበላ ነውና ዝም በል” እንደ ማለት ይቆጣራል፡፡ ስለሆነም ኢትዮጵያ ከሳዑዲ አረቢያ ጋር የተያያዙ ማናቸውም ጉዳዮችን ደሚገባ እንድታጤን እድል የሰጣት ይመስለኛል፡፡

የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት የማያወላዳ እና ግልጽ የሆነ የፖሊሲ መመሪያ እያዘጋጀ እና ወቅቱን እየዋጀ መሄድ አለበት፡፡ የሰውየውን ንግግር ተከትሎ በመንግስትም ሆነ በህዘቡ ዘንድ የታየው ግርምታ የሚያሳየን ምን ያክል ኢትዮጵያ እና ኢትዮጵያውያን በቋሚ ወዳጅነት ላይ እያመንንነ እንደሆነ ነው፡፡  የተጠየቀውም ጥያቄ “እንዴት ሳዑዲ ወዳጅ ሀገር ሆና ምክትል መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩ እንዲህ ይላሉ?” የሚል ነበር፡፡ አሁንም በዓለምአቀፍ ፖለቲካ ቋሚ ጥቅም እንጅ ቋሚ ወዳጅ እንደለለ በማወቅ ፖሊሲሰያችን ከዚህ አንፃር መመርመር ይኖርበታል፡፡ አሁንም እንላለን፡፡ ባንዴራ (ሰንደቅዓለማ) አፍቃሪ ሀገር ወዳድ ኢትዮጵያዊ የሀገር መከላከያ ሰራዊትን ማደረጃት እና ሳይንሳዊ ማድረግ ለሀገር እና ብሄራዊ ጥቅሟ ደጀን ነው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር!!

Utilizing The Nile: A Matter of Life and Death for Ethiopia

Sanyii Belayineh Hunde

There have been different narratives regarding the management and utilization of the world`s longest river-the Nile. These stories mainly are reflected in different forms and styles. But their messages have been the same. One of the narratives is based on obsolete, partial and unfair self declared water `right` propagated by the most downstream state-Egypt. According to Egyptian policy makers, they have “a historical right to the Nile which is declared under the 1929 exchange of notes with Britain and the 1959 agreement with Sudan.” But, Egypt`s such self-declared `historic right` is a historic wrong which Egypt is not yet trying to undone and solve. Based on such a historic wrong, Egypt has claimed that it has a fixed amount of water i.e. 55.5 Billion Cubic meters of the Nile waters.

Based on the aforementioned wrongly self-declared claim, it is common for Egyptians saying that, that fixed amount of water is a matter of life and death for Egypt. In a futile attempt to justify this claim, Egyptian pundits and politicians state that ‘their population is rising therefore they need more water than the 55.5 BCM, they have no any other water source except the Nile, other riparian states in the Nile Basin has other water sources such as rain and other rivers etc…’ This unconvincing and baseless justification is more or less very strong when it comes to Ethiopia which is the source of more than 86 percent of the waters of the Nile.

For Egyptian policy makers, as they have heard saying it repeatedly, “while the Nile is a development issue for Ethiopia, it is a matter of life and death for Egypt.” As stated this narrative is not new. It is one of Egypt`s attempts to thunderously tell its version of the `Nile is a matter of life and death for Egypt` and undermining Ethiopia`s and other upstream states` claim on the management and utilization of the Nile waters a mere development issue. But the truth is the contrary.

The Nile: A Matter of Life and Death for Ethiopia too!!!

As stated earlier Egypt`s attempt of narrating the Nile as a matter of life and death for Egypt is a mere attempt to undermine Ethiopia`s just claim. In fact, Ethiopia`s humble and smooth use of language might helped the Egyptian narrators as Ethiopia has been saying “its aim of building dams on the Nile is to alleviate poverty and achieve development to millions of poverty stricken Ethiopians.” However, the Nile is a matter of life and death for Ethiopia as it is to Egypt. In fact, Ethiopia needs the waters of the Nile not simply to achieve developmental objectives but to answer a question of survival. The Numbers do indeed speaks louder than anything else why developing the Nile waters has an indispensable and irreplaceable role in Ethiopia`s political, economic, as well as socio-cultural life.

As clearly stated, in Ethiopia`s “Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy” document, achieving “rapid development is not merely important in raising the standard of living of the people, but also a guarantee of national survival.” Therefore, if Ethiopia is to continue to survive as a country, in this globalized and fast growing Darwinian world, it must able to achieve rapid socio-economic development that benefits the Ethiopian people. The document further stressed that, “assuring accelerated development and raising the living standard of [the]… people of [Ethiopia] is critical in preventing [Ethiopia]… from disaster and dismemberment.” But the question is, how can Ethiopia achieve the intended developmental goal which has a direct link with its survival? How can Ethiopia able to survive as a country by dismantling its number one enemy-poverty which has been a threat to its national security?

The answers to that question basically rely on whether Ethiopia is able to turn its natural resources into an asset apart from ‘establishing a democratic order in a multi-ethnic Ethiopia’ as the document clearly states it. Therefore, the key to Ethiopia`s development and alleviation of poverty is at the mercy of developing the available water resource of the country. The total annual volume of Ethiopia`s surface water is estimated 122 billion cubic meters of which more than 96 percent flows to the neighboring countries mainly to Sudan and Egypt, Somalia and Kenya. Out of the major river basins of the country, the Nile in Ethiopia covers 70% of the country`s total surface water. This makes the Nile life for Ethiopia. The detail arithmetic of the mentioned figure makes the Nile the issue of life and death for Ethiopia. Here is why.

One of the mysteries of the Nile river in Ethiopia is the total area that it covers. The Nile Basin in Ethiopia accounts 32 percent of the total area of Ethiopia. It traverses two-third or six of the nine regional states under the current federal arrangement-namely Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Benshangul-Gumuz, Gambela and Southern, Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State. One can, therefore, imagine how many people lives directly in the Basin in particular and in the mentioned regional states in general. According to statistics from the State of the Nile Basin Report of 2012 prepared by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), 40 percent of 86.5 million population (almost 39.5 million) lives directly in the Basin. There is a higher figure, however, in 2014 as reported by the world Population Review, which is estimated at 96.5 million which makes Ethiopia the second populous country in Africa next to Nigeria. Out of this, more than 67 million population lives in the six regional states mentioned above. One has to also take in to consideration that the total population of Ethiopia will grow to more than 187 million by 2050 double from where it is now. This rapidly growing population, therefore, needs water to survive.

Energy is fundamental to achieve socio-economic transformation in any country. Without Energy it is impossible to achieve development and alleviate millions of population from poverty. Energy is the backbone of development. Despite such truth and its rich potential, Ethiopia is one of the energy hungry countries of the world as access to modern energy sources is very limited. The country`s major energy source is biomass fuels which aggravates the deterioration of the natural environment because trees are cut down to meet energy needs especially in the rural areas. In Ethiopia more than 65 million people have access to electricity. And electrification rate in the country is very low which is about 74 percent in urban areas and 24 percent in the rural areas-where nearly 84 percent of the total population lives. This is the lowest even in Sub-Saharan standard. If we compare this with Egypt it is astonishing. Electrification rate in Egypt, for instance, is 100 percent in urban areas and 99.6 percent in rural areas. This shows the gap in energy access between the two countries. Besides, the demand for energy in Ethiopia is growing by 32 percent which is a high rate as compared to the 25 percent demand growth for the last 5 years. Despite government attempts to solve, energy shortages, power outages and power rationing are not exceptions in Ethiopia. The energy shortage in the country in one way or another has a huge negative impact on the country`s fastest growing economy. Ethiopia to sustain its economic growth and development, energy security is a matter of necessity. Therefore, Ethiopia has to find some way or mechanism to tackle the energy poverty that it faced. The Nile has the answer!!

The Nile Basin in Ethiopia is the power house of the country. Ethiopia is blessed with hydropower potential-thanks to its geography. Research findings estimate that the country has a potential to generate 45000 megawatts of hydroelectric power which makes Ethiopia the second potentially rich country next to the Democratic Republic of Congo which has a potential of generating almost 100,000 megawatts. Despite this huge potential Ethiopia has produced not more than 2100 megawatts which clearly shows the country`s hydropower potential is underutilized. In fact, this will change when Ethiopia accomplishes its mega hydropower projects in Gibe III and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and other forthcoming projects. Out of the aforementioned 45000 megawatts of hydropower potential two-third or almost 30000 megawatt is in the Nile. Ethiopia, to solve its energy hunger, therefore, has to develop the Nile. Besides, it is worth noting that the energy that Ethiopia will produce will be its petroleum oil and source of foreign currency. This will benefit not only Ethiopia but also the electric buying neighboring countries who will have access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. The Nile is energy, the Nile is life!!

Due to climate change rainfall patterns at the global level is becoming unpredictable at the global level. Ethiopia is  country which suffered from a long history of rainfed agriculture. Ethiopia`s reliance on rain for its agriculture cost the country millions of lives due to drought and shortage of water. Ethiopians in the 1970s and 1980s were survived by the mercy of the food aid from the developed world. The 1973 news coverage and broadcast of the Hidden Famine by Jonathan Dimbleby, the mid 1980s Live Aid concerts and the released charity song “We are the World” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” are eternal testimonies to that tragic history.  It is, therefore, difficult to continue to survive as a people and a country while stretching hands to the erratic rain in a situation where the country is exhibiting rapid population growth. Hence, switching to irrigation is not a luxury for Ethiopia rather a necessity triggered by a need to survive.

Despite there are various figures about the irrigation potential of Ethiopia, many agrees that the country has 3.7 million hectares of irrigable land. Here again, the Ethiopian Nile comes to the equation. Of the mentioned figure nearly 2.3 million hectares of land or 62 percent of the total irrigable land is in the Nile Basin. To put it more clearly, the three sub-basins of the Ethiopian Nile namely Abbay/Blue Nile, Baro-Akobo and Tekezze sub-basins have 1,001,000, 985,000 and 317,000 hectares of irrigable land. Is not the Nile Ethiopia`s bread basket? Is not the Nile a matter of life and death for Ethiopia?


To sum, according to research findings Ethiopia so far has able to utilize nearly 5 percent of its total surface water. When it comes to the Nile it is a meager. Ethiopia utilizes less than 1 percent. The numbers shown above are calls for Ethiopia that Ethiopia must utilize its water resources. This writer remembers a speech by Ethiopian famous engineer Tadesse Gaileselassie in 2007 when he remarked that, “It would have been a great importance that the students` movement of the 1960s in the Haileselassie I University sloganeered Water to the Farmer in line with the famous Land to the Tiller slogan of the day.” It is true that, the recent initiatives taken by Ethiopia are signaling that Ethiopia has firmly, truly and passionately take utilizing the country`s water has no other alternative.

What is interesting, as well, is Ethiopia`s firm stand that when it is utilizing its water resources, it is not with a blind eye of let me and me alone use the water. It is the country`s unchanged policy and principle that, utilizing the waters of the Nile or any other transboundary water in its territory is based on fairness and equity. Egypt or any other downstream country has to thank Ethiopia for this as there are countries in other transboundary watercourses with little concern for other users downstream. Irrespective of the bad memories due to the injustice done by Egypt against Ethiopia, the later still has open arms to utilize the Nile waters equitably and reasonably.

Therefore, it should be underlined that, the Egyptian narrative that the Nile is a mere developmental issue for Ethiopia and a matter of life and death for Egypt is far from the truth in Ethiopia. The Nile is a matter of life for Ethiopia as it is to Egypt despite little degree difference. And of course, it is worth noting here that Egypt is one of the water rich countries in the world taking its huge and exploitable ground water. In any case, trust and confidence and strong belief in mutual benefit and win-win gains is the solution.


UN Watercourse Convention will come into force on 17 August 2014

By Hydropoletikakademi

May 31 2014

On 19 May 2014, Vietnam became the 35th party to the 1997 UN Convention on the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses. This means that on 17 August 2014, 90 days after that 35th ratification was deposited, the Convention will come into force.

Long in coming, the Convention’s success was never guaranteed. Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997, the Convention appeared set for ratification as 103 of the UN’s Member States voted in favor of it. Only three countries voted against – Burundi, China, and Turkey – while 27 nations abstained and 33 were absent from the vote. That vote, however, masked long-standing disagreements over how transboundary fresh water resources should be allocated and managed. In particular, upper and lower riparians disagreed between the primacy of the Convention’s cornerstone principles of equitable and reasonable use – favored by most upper riparians – and the doctrine of no significant harm – preferred by most lower riparians (for a more detailed analysis of the UNGA vote on the Convention, as well as the disparate interests, see my article).

Lackluster support in the years following the Convention’s inception suggested to some that the treaty was doomed to failure. More recently, though, the rate of ratifications more than doubled (18 in the first 12 years in comparison to 17 over the past five years). While that resurgence may have been due, in part, to the efforts of World Wildlife Fund (which in around 2009, added implementation of the Convention to its advocacy agenda), it also suggests a broadening recognition that nations have an obligation to cooperate over transboundary freshwater resources. Maybe it’s the threat of climate change, or concerns over dwindling domestic water resources. But, the fact that states are willing to bind themselves to the procedural and substantive norms of the Convention is a promising sign.


Map of State Parties to the UN Watercourses Convention

Entry into force of the Convention, though, is not the last word on the matter. In fact, this milestone raises as many new questions as existed leading to its implementation. For example, what does the geographic distribution of member states indicate for the global success of the treaty? Of the 35 ratifications, the vast majority are from either Africa (12) or Europe (16); only two ratifying parties are found in Asia and none come from the American hemisphere; five others are from the non-African Middle East region, albeit a total of eight MENA nations are now a party to the Convention. At the very least, this distribution suggests a certain geographic bias toward (and against) the Convention.

In addition, what will implementation of the Convention mean in practice? How will nations implement its mandates within their borders and in relation to riparian neighbors? Why have nations in the Americas and Asia eschewed ratification? What does the entry into force of the Convention mean for the UNECE Water Convention, which is already in force in much of Europe and on 6 February 2013, opened its membership to the rest of the world? And, what will the Convention’s implementation mean for existing regional and local transboundary freshwater agreements?

In the coming weeks, the IWLP Blog will host a series of essays addressing many of these intriguing questions. We have invited some of the most knowledgeable scholars and practitioners to offer their perspectives on the Convention’s imminent entry into force as well as on its future. As part of this series, we invite you to participate in the conversation by submitting comments at the bottom of each essay and add your own perspectives and opinions to the discussion. As you formulate your thoughts, you might want to review a prior series hosted by the IWLP Blog and prepared by Dr. Alistair Rieu-Clarke and Ms. Flavia Loures (see here and here).

The entry into force of the Convention is a significant landmark development in the international community’s efforts to better and peacefully manage transboundary fresh water resources. Whether this achievement translates into improved and more peaceful cooperation is a future that has yet to be written.


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