By Mustefa kedir
Tigrai Onlne - July 05, 2014
Recently the newly elected Egyptian President Abdulfetah Al-Sisi has expressed his desire to work cooperatively with the Ethiopian government with regards to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam construction. In addition to this, according to the recent briefing Ambassador Dina Mufti, FDRE Foreign Minister Spokesperson, made to journalists, General Al-Sisi is interested in coming to our country to have talks with his Ethiopian counterparts on their common interests. And if this is the true intentions of the Egyptian government, this could set straight all the antics of the previous Egyptian leaders on issues related to the Nile River. I think it will especially play its own role in wiping out backward thinking in this civilized day and age.
In the 21st century, where the world has narrowed down into a single village courtesy of the globalization web, solving problems democratically with a round table discussion is one display of civility. As disagreements are common phenomenon within social interactions, it is believed that their solution should not be undemocratic. The solutions in solving disagreements should be a path where all involved parties comes out equally benefitting. It shouldn’t involve hatching sinister plots and singing war tunes, by flaunting obsolete and antique thinking.
This type of undemocratic outlook not only is detrimental to the parties involved, but it will also cost a hefty price, by being isolated from the international community, for the party involved in the type of distorted outlook. As this type of olden times way of looking at things and thinking is unacceptable and does not have a place in the new age - it should be shrugged off.
In order to shake off this inhumane thinking, that had degraded down Africans from humanity, they had either separately or collectively fought against it; losing their lives, homes and being brutally tortured in the process. So, this racist cancer cannot be even entertained let alone being carried out in the continent. The colonialism thinking, that’s buried and dusted, did not have any acceptance at the continent’s former organization, nor will it under the new union organization.
However, some of the Egypt’s ruling elite and oppositions, who seems to not exist in the present day Africa, really wants to dust off this colonial thinking that has shamed and exploited the whole continent and bring it to foray in this day and age. And this act has led some to raise the question, “In which century are Egypt’s leaders living?”
The proponents of this thinking, very few brass of Egypt’s ruling elites and the oppositions, have attacked both the national interest of Ethiopia and the will of its people to escape poverty by condemning the construction of a dam through citing colonial-era treaties – a dam that’s important to our fight against poverty and a dam that’s built in an underlying principles of cooperation and mutual benefit.
They have been plotting sinister schemes which ranged from occupying Djibouti so that they can stop Ethiopia from importing the equipments needed for the dam’s work, up to suggesting that they are considering “all options” – including military action. According to this “official” plan of theirs, they were suggestions to send in their spies and destabilize our country by assisting rebel forces fighting the government in Addis Ababa in order to interrupt the building of the dam.
Not only this. They have even gone as far as saying direct military action should be taken against the dam, if the aforementioned options are unsuccessful. Of course the public and academics of the country have focused on their own internal problems rather than Nile politics. As they were occupied with their own agenda of protecting their revolution from being hijacked by the Muslim brotherhood; Morsi’s regime and some backward Egyptian politicians’ effort to gather anti-Ethiopian sentiment has failed.
All in all, it can be said that the empty threats and intimidation of these dinosaur politicians, who turns to colonial-era treaties in the 21st century, did not amount to anything. As any reader of this article knows, there weren’t any stones left unmoved by previous Egypt leaders with regards to conspiring to deter Ethiopia from using the Nile River. Shameful and unacceptable comments like, “we will sabotage the project through our spies; we will weaken Ethiopia by assisting rebel groups so that it can’t build the dam”, made by some of the country’s politicians, who are having hard time moving on with the times, can be mentioned to support the above claim.
It can safely be said that these types of comments are made out of not knowing, the peace loving nature of our people and the desire of East Africa countries to work cooperatively and develop as one. This is because our country’s government and people in addition to living peacefully and with respect with other countries of the region, they are economically intertwined so that they can reap the economic benefits that come from mutual development. Also, as they are well aware of the negative impact of one country being unstable have on the development aspirations of another country, I don’t think they’ll open their doors for Egypt’s sinister plots.
If the Egyptians went on with this unrealistic fantasy and plot to destabilize Ethiopia through Somalia, then they are in for a big mistake. This is because our country has a peaceful people-to-people relation which is laid on a firm base.
The people and government of our country have exerted huge efforts for the creation of the new Somalia and for its people to have some peace. And we can mention the brotherly ease Ethiopia’s government and people gave to the people of that country when they were struggling during the 21 peace less years; and the fact that they gave refuge to them as they would their own. And this has enabled the brotherly people for that country to consider our country as their second home and used it to get through their problems. Surpassing this, our government has played an irreplaceable role in weakening, destroying and in making Union of Islamic Court and Al-Shabaab; which are the troublemaker and menace of the region, irrelevant.
Both the Somalia government and people are well aware of all this. So, it would be unthinkable for a government and people to exchange this brotherly support for being an outlet of Egypt’s sinister plots. And if the Egypt’s are thinking of using Al-Shabaab as an option, they will hurt themselves before they can harm Ethiopia. I can name a few examples to substantiate my claim.
First of all the terror group is marginalized from its own people as a consequence to its inhumane cats it carried out on its own people, and is currently heavily weakened. And secondly, the terror group has declared itself as an Al-Qaeda faction and is blacklisted as a terrorist by Washington, a key ally of the Egyptian government.
Thus, I think it would be naiveté to think the terror group, which is weakened and marginalized, would be the outlet for Egypt’s sinister plot. The group is not capable to shoulder Egypt’s sinister conspiracies considering the fact that it’s marginalized from its own people, it doesn’t have enough manpower, its ailing economic capabilities and the repeated military defeats it’s sustaining from African Union forces. Even if the group is chosen to carry out Egypt’s dirty work, the outdated Egyptian politicians will not only be in squabble with Somalia’s federal government, but also with African Union (AU) – as supporting the terror group also means clashing with the Mogadishu government and the African Union forces who are fighting the terror group.
In addition to this, the fact that the terror group is blacklisted by the US government as terrorist and the fact that its Al-Qaeda’s faction will thwart the desires of Egypt’s ruling elite. This is because, if the outdated Egyptian politicians decide to work with the terror group in order to destabilize Ethiopia, then they will face strong condemnation from the western world and other peace loving countries. Surpassing condemnation, they might face hefty sanctions by being labeled as ‘terror sponsors’, just like the Eritrean government.
Considering these facts, I think it’s obvious that Cairo’s outdated and backward covert conspiracies plotted in the name of unfair and unjust water utilization will fail miserably, as it’s an intuitive and illogical calculation that doesn’t bode the continent’s new position in to account.
Of course Egypt’s ruling elite might look into using the Eritrea government, who has an agenda of its own to destabilize Ethiopia so much that every time it gets a mission to destabilize the region it gets a kick like using a ‘drug’. However, just like Al-Shabaab, the regime does not have the ability or capability to carryout Egypt’s sinister agenda. Nowadays, the Asmara regime is not even in a position to stand on its own two feet, let alone carryout a mission of this magnitude.
As the Asmara havoc squad is a dictatorial and undemocratic administration, it’s vehemently hated by its people. Its rule has enabled Eritrea to be in the front row seat in violating human rights. The regime is stirred by a very few handful peoples. There is no such thing as election in the country. As the hatred of the people including the Diaspora community is intensifying more than ever, and as its rapidly losing popular support, Shabiya is left without any considerable support.
The Ato Isaias administration; which orchestrate, train and arm terrorists through the 2% remittance tax it takes from its Diaspora citizens, is seeing the back of its entire citizen once its havoc agenda became clear for everyone to see. And some of the countries are even expelling Eritrea consulates who are found collecting revenues for terrorists – (note here that recently Canada has expelled Eritrean diplomat for using the consulate to shake down citizens for‘national defence’). Today the ailing Eritrea’s economy is in a downward spiral because of Shabiya. In addition to this, there are no openings for the regime to come back from its isolation from the international community, and for it to gain financial support. And if it decides to serve as a lackey to Egypt’s ruling elite, one to quench its havoc proclivities and secondly to gather its anti-Ethiopian colleagues, its internal problems and external pressure will inhibit it from doing so. Following hints that showed the regime’s vulnerability to a military coup, on top of its ailing economy, it’s clear that it does not have the ability or capability to carry out a lackeying job.
Nevertheless, if Ato Isaias decides to directly invade for the second time just like he did during the Hosni Mubarak era, supporting the position of some outdated Egyptian politicians, personally I would like to remind him of Ato Meles Zenawi’s one time comment – “we will make sure it (the regime) won’t invade us for the third time”.
And if anyways the Eritrean regime, just to fill its money sack, decides to disrupt our developmental aspirations by infiltrating its anti-peace and terrorist minions into our country, it should know the heavy arm of our valiant armed forces will be waiting for them.
So, considering the Asmara administration is freezed by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), it’s dried up financial source, and the pressure it’s sustaining from the army, it won’t be any of help for the Egyptian politicians. Instead, it would be behoove of some of the current Egyptian politicians (on the new government), who are having hard time to shrug off the Mubarak-era thinking, to know this kind of Canoodling with the Asmara aggressor-squad will marginalize them from the region countries. Thinking of destabilizing Ethiopia through the Eritrean regime; which is in its death bed, will have serious repercussion that can reach from Asmara to Cairo.
And the anti-Ethiopia minions the Asmara regime is sheltering don’t have the capability to be used as a lackey for the Egyptians. I say this because they have now reached an irrelevant state, vis-à-vis a rapidly dwindling number; after many of them were caught by the peace loving people of our country and as most of them give their hands to the authorities – since they don’t have any kind of cause or objective.
If it helps, I will raise an instance that shows how much the anti-Ethiopia forces that are based at Asmara are of no use – ‘OLF’, the terror group that started its lackeying job by shamefully claiming “we oppose the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam because it hurts Egypt’s interest”.
This terror group is not only wanted by the people of our country for its terror antics; as a consequence of its lack of commitment for its cause, the group has fractured into many parts so much that only Ato Isaias and its leaders can keep up with the exact numbers. As far as I know, the group has splintered into: ‘Geleta Dilbo’s OLF’, ‘Lencho Leta’s OLF’ and “Brigadier General Kemal Gelechu’s OLF’ etc … Maybe it’s even more than this. And there are some talks floating around that claims the Asmara’s ‘havoc’ administration has detaining some OLF members under house arrest.
In addition to these factors and to make matters worse, the terror group’s has reached an irrelevant state after its forces were beaten by the brave men of our forces. This kind of weakened and narrow-minded collection of people that don’t have a strong commitment to their cause would inevitably be brushed off by our valiant forces or will be caught by the peace loving people of our country, as its marginalized from the people as a consequence of its inhumane acts it carried out on the people.
So, ‘Can this terror group is capably of carry out Egypt’s backward politicians havoc strategy?’ – No, it can’t. Thus, understanding that using anti-Ethiopia forces, including this terror group, for their dirty work won’t amount to anything, it would be advisable for Egypt should turn their attention to the new age thinking of mutual cooperation.
Let us now move into the violent rhetoric made by the backward Egyptian politicians, which is taken as an alternative should the aforementioned options don’t materialize.
I think even the few Egyptians, who are proponents of the antique colonial-era treaties; agree that war is destructive and unimportant for all the parties involved. Unless it was through development or by working cooperatively, there was no nation that came out of the destruction of war. In this day and age where war is quickly moved aside from the table as an option, it’s quite baffling that some of the Egyptian politicians are still looking at war; which takes the lives of human and destroys properties, as an alternative.
Of course Ethiopians since the olden days are known for their peace loving attitude. However, they have never been intimidated nor threatened by anyone that comes to them not in peace. If they had been intimidated, they wouldn’t be able to pass to us a country that’s free, sovereign; and a country that’s having a rapid and sustainable growth. And I am sure that our Egyptians brothers are very aware of this identity of our people. According to some history scholars, Egypt has directly invaded our country more than 14 times. And have lost directly. One of those invasions is the ‘Gura’ war that was fought during the reign of Emperor Yohannes in 1869. In this war, the Egyptians were heavily defeated by the Ethiopians, which were led by the Ras Alula Nega.
All in all, it should be noted that our country and its people, which gives peace priority, are more than capable of defending either direct or indirect attack that can come from either some backward Egyptian politicians, local oppositions or their lackey, the Eritrea government.
Thus, it’s wise to know that there’s no chance to disrupt the dam’s construction, through terrorists and anti-peace forces, will work. So, our country and the people will continue on building the dam regardless of any intimidation and threats, as there is no force under the sky that would stop them from doing so. I think the recent interest shown by the newly elected President Al-Sisi to work with our country is a good thing.
Of course our country has previously been not able to utilize the Nile River for its development due to poverty and short-sightedness – of course notwithstanding previous Egypt leaders’ intimidation and threats on Ethiopians. However, today those short-sighted outlook and poverty have been broken by the sound policies and strategies of the FDRE government and by the strong commitment of our people. With it we have been able to be taken as a benchmark for rapid economic development. And this suitable environment has enabled us, the people, to build the GERD on our resource for our own national interest.
As the dam is being built by our people, who have been mobilizing from border to border; it’s protected by the people themselves. So, the realities of our country don’t allow for war or any other destructive ways to get the better of it in anyway. And it should be known that every possible openings are closed even if it’s tried. This is because trying to make the Nile River a personal property, using an outdated political game or through threats and intimidation, won’t have a happy ending in the new Ethiopia’s politico-economic reality.
Therefore, adhering to modern principles like discussion, mutual cooperation and ‘win-win’ approach, which benefits all the riparian countries, instead of an outdated undemocratic thinking is the way to go. The fact that the new elected President Al-Sisi came to Ethiopia to have talks on the common interests with Ethiopia is great move forward – as the other options are not beneficial for both countries.