Tigrai Online - June 04, 2013
Egyptian politicians caught plotting how to attack Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Unaware their meeting has been aired live on TV the Egyptian politicians were suggesting how to sabotage or attack the Ethiopian dam. The emergency meeting was called by the Egyptian President to review how the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is going to impact their country.
Here are some of the suggestions discussed by the Egyptians.
Younis Makhyoun, leader of an ultraconservative Islamist party, said Egypt should back rebels in Ethiopia or, as a last resort, destroy the dam. He said Egypt made a "strategic error" when it did not object to the dam's construction.
Makhyoun said Ethiopia is "fragile" because of rebel movements inside the country. "We can communicate with them and use them as a bargaining chip against the Ethiopian government," he said.
"If all this fails, then there is no choice left for Egypt but to play the final card, which is using the intelligence service to destroy the dam," said Makhyoun, whose Nour party won about 25 percent of parliament's seats in elections in late 2011 and early 2012.
Another politician, liberal Ayman Nour, proposed spreading rumors about Egypt obtaining refueling aircraft to create the impression that it plans an airstrike to destroy the dam."This could yield results on the diplomatic track," Nour said.
President Morse said “Egypt respects Ethiopia and its people and will not engage in any aggressive acts against the East African nation.”
The good and big news here is most of the politicians making the threats are members of the Egyptian opposition parties and they don’t hold an actual power at this time. The bad news is things can change in the volatile Egyptian political field any time and any one of these people can get to power to carry out their threats.
Before we get carried away about these moron politicians’ threats, let’s examine the situation carefully.
Since Ethiopia announced the diversion of the Blue Nile River last week for construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Egyptians have been acting they were surprised as if they did not know. In reality the Egyptians knew exactly what has to happen to construct a dam. Once the basic preparations are complete, the next stage is to divert the river so actual construction of the dam can start in the river bed.
If they have known the dam has been built and it is about 21% complete, why are they acting like they found out yesterday? Most of the talk is for internal consumption for the purpose of winning domestic votes and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is the hot subject for all the politicians. It is like in Ethiopia and the issue of ports, every Ethiopian opposition thinks they can get cheap support about the ports.
On the other hand the Egyptians have been working to undermine Ethiopia for the past hundred years to stop it from using the Nile River. Now that we arrived at the point of building a dam on the Nile River they are trying their best to sabotage us.
From sponsoring terrorists through Eritrea, Somalia and directly to lobbying world financial institutions not to loan money to Ethiopia, they have done it all. When they found out their efforts are futile and Ethiopia will complete the dam some of the politicians might think taking a drastic action is their only option.
The question for Ethiopia is what should be done to successfully complete the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam? The first thing we should not do is what the Egyptians are doing, panic.
We have known the Egyptians will not be happy partners in this, so we should not be surprised if they act irrational. That does not mean we should not be prepared for any eventualities.
The sooner we complete the project the better it will be for Ethiopia because the greatest protection for the dam is not the most powerful army or a cutting adage warplanes, it is the dam itself. Imagine water from the biggest lake in Africa rushing from the highlands of Ethiopia can do. It will be similar to the Biblical floods.
Tigrai Online Update May 04, 2013 at 1:48pm
"Due to the importance of the topic it was decided at the last minute to air the meeting live. I forgot to inform the participants about the changes, I apologize for any embarrassment caused to the political leaders," presidential aide for political affairs Pakinam El-Sharkawi said.
Tigrai Online Update May 04, 2013 at 9:19pm
Mohamed ElBaradei, National Salvation Front Coordinator, called on President Mohamed Morsy to apologise to Ethiopia and Sudan for “the irresponsible utterances” made during the national dialogue session held on Monday to discuss the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis.
Tigrai Online Update May 05, 2013 at 11:15am
Getachew Reda, a spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said late Tuesday that Egyptian leaders in the past have unsuccessfully tried to destabilize Ethiopia. "The Renaissance Dam is here to stay. It is advisable for all actors of the political establishment in Egypt to come to terms with this reality," Getachew said in an interview.
In addition Getachew Said "There are on the one hand people who still think that they can turn the clock back on Ethiopia's development endeavors including of course the construction of the Renaissance Dam," said Getachew. "Second you have people like President Mohammed Morsi, who according to the reports, said to have stressed that there is no point in trying to force Ethiopians, but the best solution would be to engage to Ethiopians."
"If there are still people who still think they can do the kind of things which leaders in the past such as (Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak were not able to successfully launch, then they are entitled to day dreaming," said Getachew.
Getachew said the Ethiopian government has no intention of harming Egypt. "We are not in the business of starving Egyptians to death. We are rather interested in the generation of hydro-electric power and there is nothing that will create any significant harm on the Egyptians as far the building of the dam is concerned," Getachew said.