Payback for exploited children of Blue Nile By Robele Ababya

December 8th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

There are three major drainage systems in Ethiopia. The first and largest is the western drainage system, which includes the watersheds of the Blue Nile (known as the Abbay in Ethiopia), the Tekeze, and the Baro Rivers in Gambella. All three rivers flow west to meet the White Nile in The Sudan. The second is the Rift Valley internal drainage system, composed of the Awash River, the Lakes Region, and the Omo River. The Awash flows northeast to the Denakil Plain before it dissipates into a series of swamps and Lake Abe at the border with Djibouti. The Lakes Region is a self-contained drainage. The Shebelle River begins in the highlands of Ethiopia and then flows southeast (traversing a distance of 1000 kilometers inside Ethiopia) and cross into Somalia towards Mogadishu. (Note: this paragraph is put together from various sources to induce the young generation to discover more about our rivers)

The rulers of Egypt expect Ethiopians to sit by and watch 85% of their waters flowing to Egypt in the face of persistent and humiliating hunger, starvation and famine that have characterized our motherland, Ethiopia, for decades. This irony of object poverty and related beggary amid plenty of natural resources must end.

In all fairness Ethiopia deserves veto power over waters originating within her territory and crossing her boundaries – and exercise that power responsibly in accordance with international law. Compassion, morality, natural law and virtues of respect for life should transcend any politically-motivated shortsighted benefit in resolving the centuries-old thorny issues between Ethiopia and Egypt. In this age of information and phenomenal advances in science and technology, equitable solution on the share of the waters of the Nile must be found in order to put to rest once and for all the longstanding acrimony between the two countries.

Unfortunately, the TPLF regime and the Egyptian government are hindrances to fostering the requisite political environment conducive to rational solution. Mubarak and Zenawi are both undemocratic determined to fish in troubled waters to stay in power. Both are responsible for the deterioration of regional stability, as detailed in the following paragraphs.

Mubarak set aside historical facts

President Mubarak deliberately set aside the following historical facts and lied in an attempt to get diplomatic exit from the boiling issue of the Nile waters. Below are cardinal examples of the past bloody and the present sour relations between Ethiopia and Egypt.
1. The Ethiopian Emperor Dawit I (David I) early during His reign (1382 – 1413) was arguably beset by recurring interference of Egypt with the internal affairs of Ethiopia. Consequently, the Monarch led a military expedition under His command and invaded Egypt reaching as far north as Aswan. In response, the Emir of Egypt forced the Patriarch of Alexandria, Mathew I, to send a delegation to persuade the Monarch to retire back to His Kingdom, according to Tadesse Tamrat. I recall the same being thought in our history class when I was a boy. Our history teacher taught us that the Emperor Dawit also threatened to cut off the flow of the Blue Nile waters to Egypt. He wanted to cause havoc among radicals under the influence of Egypt beyond the northern frontiers of His kingdom. (Source: Tadesse Tamrat, Professor of History, Addis Ababa University).
2. Ethiopia retaliated against Egyptian forces attempting to colonize the Red Sea coast during 1875 – 1877 Egyptian – Ethiopian War. Egypt gave up its attempt to colonize that area and left with humiliating defeat.
3. The active role that Egypt played in supporting Eritrean separatist dissidents is a recent memory. Egyptian support for secessionist rebels is well-documented in books written by distinguished authors. Recent articles on the websites both in the English and Amharic languages clearly tell the bitter experiences that Ethiopians of my generation and the generation in the aftermath of the breakout of the 1974 Revolution have lived through. Millions of lives have been lost and billions of dollars have been expended in fighting rebels supported by Egypt right from the days the traitor Woldeab Woldemariam took refuge in Egypt to spread vicious propaganda against Ethiopia which he served in key positions as a favored son of the Imperial regime. So, with all due respect, His Excellency President Mubarak, did not tell the truth when on 25 November 2010 he said: “This is the first time we hear that we support any group in any country. This is not something we do with any nation and this is not our form of conduct,” in response to Zenawi who accused Egypt of impending war against Ethiopia.
4. The President went on to mislead the world that: “We have very amicable relations with Ethiopia,” adding: “I was surprised by these comments because this is something we cannot do with any Arab or African country.” But the fact of the matter is that Egypt keeps a watchful eye of an eagle over projects to do with the river Nile by riparian states; its diplomats do everything in their power including corrupt African officials to subvert any attempt to harness the Nile waters by such states. The recently revealed lobbying by Egypt to delay the South Sudan Referendum is a typical example of interference in the internal affairs of African countries
Why Zenawi hyped the Nile issue now
Zenawi told Reuters that “Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the Nile and that Cairo was supporting rebel groups in an attempt to destabilize his nation”. This is a very serious accusation and people ask whether Zenawi’s is just being provocative or has grand strategy; it is argued that his hyped stance over the issue of the river Nile is not going to help in negotiations and that he does not have to worry about popular support for another five years.

The motive for the hype depends on a set of complex and interrelated factors, inter alia: Zenawi’s reportedly deteriorating health; continuity in power of the TPLF/EPRDF party after the expiry of his present five-year term; extent of Communist China’s financial and political support to the one-party bad governance in Ethiopia; regional stability; extent of continuance of immoral flow of funds to the coffers of the brutal regime despite its grave human rights violations and robbery of votes; importance attached by the Western powers to the strategic location of Ethiopia; conflicting competition for the usurpation of Ethiopia’s fertile land resource among India, China, Saudi Arabia et al; resolve of Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora to expose in unison the well-documented abuses of the regime and bring it to justice, tenability of double digit economic growth, ability of the regime to support its bloated government, fulfilling the pledge to provide three meals a day for each and every citizen.

Zenawi had in effect endorsed Egypt’s power of veto over the Nile waters in the agreement that he and Mubarak signed in 1993. By doing so he had foreclosed any chance of negotiation with Egypt. His blunder done in secret is now in the public domain and this betrayal is making him nervous. He had relied on the power of the gun to misrule Ethiopia for the last two decades. To remain in power during his present 5-year term and ensure monopoly of power for his TPLF party, he will still absolutely rely on his security forces despite his effort to endear himself to the Ethiopian people by his rhetoric over the Nile. Ethiopians will never forgive him in the face of his massacring of democracy and atrocious human rights records; for the same reason, he is not so sure about continuity of generous direct donor support to his regime.

So, confounded by complex situations mentioned in the two paragraphs above, one would conclude that, Zenawi has chosen forming alliance with China as his grand strategy while preaching democracy. This strategy will help him crush or muzzle protestors against unmet promises in the fait accompli one-party state, Ethiopia.

Torturer Zenawi cannot be trusted as a leader that will promote the wellness of the Ethiopian people; he has to be forced to relinquish power and be brought to justice for his betrayal in the secret Nile Accord 1993 and heinous crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

One of the foremost challenges for true Ethiopians is to demand and enforce payback for exploited children of the Blue Nile by compelling dictators in Cairo and Khartoum to oblige.


Free all political prisoners in Ethiopia!

  1. Drama
    | #1


  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    When Egypt says it has “a veto power over nile , Nile is a natural gift to egypt and etc and tells to ethiopia about their agreement with their former boss[ colonizer]‘ shows that even if they immigrated from arab and have been living in africa for a long time, still they are arabs. They are not only arrogants but also ignorants. Really have the egyptians read their history and have enough knowledge about their own country’s hisotory. 36,000 egypt’s soldiers had involved in in 1875-1877 war and 30,000 were killed by ethiopians and the rest 6,000 were Pow including the son’s of egypt’s president at that time. His son was released after he became a chritian. Ethiopia must not ask any one to use it’s GOD given natural resource.WATER is a natural resource like natural gas, oil , gold and any others. Why should ethiopia buy oil when sudan and egypt take their oil to the world market and sell ? Why do not they give their oil to ethiopia freely? why doesnot ethiopia claim oil from sudan and egypt ? because it is theirs. So they need water, they should pay for it. Abbay is one of ethiopia’s natural resources. nobody has a single right to share or to talk. They can use untill ethiopia’s elites start to use their brain and work together. Thank brother robele ababiya. we need such a nationalist ethiopian who can come out and say no to arrogants. let us do our job and clean our country from the sons of bandas.

  3. Tulu Oda
    | #3

    Totally agree with the above comments

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Dec 10, 2006 9:49 pm Post subject: Colonel Abdissa Aga Reply with quote

    I believe, my fifth
    grade text book had two famous and inspiring
    short stories of Zerai Deress & Abdissa Aga.
    Obviously, Most of us have a glimpse of
    understanding about these most important
    and highly respected heroes. Now let’s
    examine closely the most fascinating
    achievements or actions of Colonel Abdissa Aga
    from the excellent article of Dr. Fikere Tolassa.

    Abdissa Aga
    Colonel Abdissa Aga was born in Welega. His
    father lost his temper and killed his own
    brother when Abdissa was about 12 years old.
    Though he went as far as Addis Ababa to
    appeal for the release of his father, he was
    executed. Sad and embittered, he joined the
    Ethiopian Army around the age of 14 and
    fought against Fascist Italy in 1936 in Ethiopia.
    He was captured and imprisoned in a
    concentration camp in the island of Sicily in
    Italy. There he met Captain Julio, a Yugoslav

    The two became friends and made a daring
    escape from the concentration camp taking
    with them a dozen prisoners to the woods.
    They returned to the camp a few days later, at
    night, led by young Abdissa who was terribly
    feared by the Italians. Abdissa choked and
    silenced the guards. He and Julio took off the
    uniforms of the guards. Two of the former
    prisoners wore the uniforms, held the guns of
    the dead soldiers, and stood at the gate of the
    camp pretending to be Fascist watchmen.
    Abdissa and Julio, followed by the other
    partisans Penetrated the camp, released all of
    the prisoners, fought with some of the Fascist
    officers, robbed them off their ammunitions
    and supplies, as well as trucks full of
    weapons, and drove back to the woods.

    They continued to fight in that manner freeing
    prisoners and robbing concentration camps,
    banks, government warehouses, etc. until
    their number grew to an army, and until the
    Italian Government battled with them fiercely.
    The partisans chose Abdissa to be their
    leader and called him Major. The Italian
    Fascists were terrified since they knew how
    brave Ethiopians were recalling the Battle of
    Dogali, Ambalage, Adwa, Maichew and
    remembering the bravery of Zerai Deres,
    whom later, Abdissa tried in vain to see and
    hug. Taking advantage of the fear of the Italian
    people, Italian gangsters painted their faces
    cook and started robbing banks and pillaging
    villages imposing as Abdissa and other
    Ethiopians who were also partisans together
    with him. Abdissa caught these awe-inspiring
    gangsters and executed them, since they
    were discrediting his name by their atrocious
    acts. The Italian Government did all it could to
    catch Abdissa by force. As they failed to do
    so, they tried to cajole and allure him by
    promising him a big post and by begging him
    to stop fighting and join their ranks. If I recall
    correctly, Abdissa shot the Italian officer who
    brought him the letter from the Italian

    Finally, the Second World War broke out. The
    Allied forces, Britain, the USA, France and
    Russia recognized Major Abdissa, Captain
    Julio and the rest of the partisans and began
    to supply them with arms and provisions.
    Major Abdissa Aga was chosen to lead the
    international army of partisans (former
    prisoners) which consisted of Americans,
    English, French, Ethiopians and other
    nationals. Captain Julio became the
    commander of the Yugoslav partisans. This
    way the partisans weakened Italy and
    contributed to their defeat. Major Abdissa Aga
    was the first hero who entered and captured
    the city of Rome sitting in a jeep, waving first
    and foremost the flag of Ethiopia, which was
    also tied around the arms of his international
    soldiers including Americans, French and
    English. When the armies of the allies
    reached Rome, they honored Major Abdissa
    Aga highly. The British made him the
    Commander of the British Military Police and
    sent him to Germany to fight against the
    German Army. He battled with the German
    Nazis in different cities, defeated them,
    controlled the cities and villages, and entered
    Berlin triumphantly again waving Ethiopian
    and British flags. He was in the spot light all
    over the world.

    At the end of the war, the British, the
    Canadians and the Americans wanted him to
    join their armies promising him high ranks. He
    refused adamantly saying that though his
    motherland, Ethiopia, was poor, he would still
    return to her and see the face of his Emperor
    whom he had missed for so long. This
    incensed the Allies, and believe it or not, they
    accused him of ravaging the Italian Fascists
    when he was a partisan. The French, the
    British, the Americans, even the Russians to
    some extent condemned him. Fortunately, a
    noble British general who had decorated him
    with medals previously fought for his release
    changing the prison sentence to financial fine,
    which was paid by Abdissa himself and the
    British Government.

    The great Ethiopian hero finally returned to
    Ethiopia longing to see his country and
    Emperor. The Emperor welcomed him and
    sent him to Ras Abebe Aregai, the then
    Minister of Defense so that he would employ
    him. Ras Abebe and some of the most
    important patriots Ethiopia were scared of
    Abdissa’s valor and feared
    for their own positions. So, instead of
    promoting him to a general, Ras Abebe sent
    Major Abdissa to the Holeta Military Academy
    as a simple cadet. After several months of
    hardship in Holeta he graduated as a first
    lieutenant, to the surprise of the British
    officers whom Abdissa used to command
    when they were in Europe. Abdissa was
    oppressed in the Ethiopian Army. He was sent
    to the Ogaden and fought against the Somali
    invaders displaying incredible courage and
    military tactics. In spite of what he did to raise
    the pride of Ethiopia and to safeguard her
    territorial integrity, he didn’t rise above the
    rank of a captain for many, many years until
    somebody (they say Captain Julio and
    Marshal Tito) drew the attention of the
    Emperor towards the end of the Emperor’s life
    and regime. The Emperor raised his rank to
    colonel and made him his bodyguard. Colonel
    Abdissa Aga the great died a few years after
    the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution

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