Nile and other rivers as key to new policy after TPLF demise – By Robele Ababya

April 23rd, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Starting with tribute to Heroic Ethiopians in London (more…)

Starting with tribute to Heroic Ethiopians in London

This writer was extremely delighted to learn that “TPLF ploy in London was totally ruined”, vide the inspiring report by Dr. Wondimu Mekonnen, dated 18 April 2011. Fellow citizens in London deserve lofty congratulations for their success in dealing a devastating and humiliating blow to the ploy of TPLF invaders engaged in deceit and extortion – to rip off citizens in the Diaspora in order to buy weapons to nip the inevitable Ethiopian uprising in the bud. The embarrassing defeat dealt to fiendish TPLF cadres is a huge victory for Tensae Ethiopia (resurrection of Ethiopia). The event exposed the trigger happy vampires of the TPLF regime that they could not do better than threaten to kill or harm peaceful demonstrators. But Ethiopians are saying ENOUGH!

Right of states to defend their natural resources

A sovereign state has the right to defend its fundamental values, human resources and physical resources by all means at its disposal – diplomatically and militarily as required if the threat to these values comes from external sources and through an all-inclusive participatory democratic governance and prudent economic management at home in order to unify the people as legitimate owners of their common values. Such right is enshrined in national policies and the constitution of that state.

Unfortunately in the case of Ethiopia the ruling tribal minority government has neither the will nor the capability to put in place a viable policy of development and enduring peace given its atrocious record of the past 20 years. So the Ethiopian people are set for an uprising to demand a new democratic dispensation and hasten the demise of Zenawi for that to happen.

Nations such as Ethiopia blessed with priceless resources including human capital, land, and water should essentially develop, prudently use, and protect said resources at any cost. In the circumstance of land being sold or leased unscrupulous’ investors’ or ceded to the Sudan and an exorbitant share of the waters of Ethiopia crossing her boundaries, the issue becomes critical requiring internal harmony politically and strength militarily underpinned by smart diplomacy as briefly dealt with in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 under the caption below.

Unifying power of Ethiopian rivers and lakes

1.Internally: One has not got to be a rocket scientist to look at the lakes and network of rivers on the Ethiopian map to appreciate our interdependence as multicultural society. On further observation one would soon find the lakes and the rivers (LRs) are powerful bonds holding us together. No matter how the federal system is arranged neighboring regions have to cooperate on the use of the waters of the lakes common to them and rivers crossing their boundaries. Otherwise there would be chaos and instability eventually leading to strife. So the prospect of creating mini-states that Article 39 of the TPLF is encouraging and the graduates of the obsolete school of “Nations and Nationalities” should be laid to rest as one of the outcomes of the impending uprising in Ethiopia.


(i) The successful Egyptian uprising has opened a new chapter for the development of amicable relations between Ethiopia and Egypt based on reciprocal respect for their vital national interests. The new democratic dispensation in the latter has opened the much needed political space for the pundits on both sides to identify projects on the best use of the waters of Blue Nile taking cognizance of the fact the river is a natural bond of indispensable significance to both countries. Ibrahim Nasreddin of Cairo University’s Institute for African Studies said that “The Nile can provide water for all of the countries that depend on it. Even if upstream states managed to build dams — and it is far from certain they can — they will hold less than five billion cubic meters of the River Nile’s 1,660 billion cubic meters and will not affect Egypt’s share of the water. So there is no need to panic.” Nasredin claims that: “And even if dams are built, Egypt will benefit most since they will prevent mud from reaching the Aswan High Dam thus lowering the pressure on the existing structure”. “Moreover, it is reported that billions of cubic meters of the Nile waters are lost by evaporation annually; the challenge is to reduce this loss drastically.

(ii) “A 20-year-old feasibility study, a cooperative venture between some of the Nile’s source countries and donor states, to build 50 dams on the River Nile over 50 years has not seen any headway due to the high cost of these dams”, says Nasredin, adding that “the projects would cost in excess of $40 billion”.

(iii) According to Nasredin, “None of the African states can afford this. They won’t be able to repay loans of such an amount. You have to ask whether donor countries would be prepared to provide such enormous funding for just five billion cubic meters of water.” Source: Article by Reem Leila, Al-Ahram Weekly January 5, 2011;

(iv) Water expert Diaa El-Qousi stresses that Egypt’s cooperation with other Nile Basin countries is based on a sense of neighborhood and an understanding of mutual interests and is likely to be an ongoing process that will encompass educational, irrigation, electricity, agriculture and industry-based projects. He goes on to state that “Egypt’s immediate focus will be on issues deriving from the ecology of the Nile Basin and on prospects for economic integration among the riparian countries that provide Nile water in a way that will ensure the maximum utilization of resources. Egypt is taking steps towards implementing joint projects with Nile Basin countries and is seeking agreement on future plans. Within this context, economic and trade relations between Egypt and Ethiopia are developing rapidly. The volume of Egyptian investments in Ethiopia is expected to increase to more than $1.1 billion.

3.Continentally: The cooperation between Egypt would open the door for regional economic block involving Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti eventually leading to political confederation or federation. This would be a powerful block in bolstering and expediting the African Union to realize continental integration. The saving of resources from such arrangement would be enormous.

The Nile and other rivers are key resources at the center of our domestic and international policy in the future. It is interesting to note that 85% of the Nile waters reaching Egypt emanate from the Amhara, Oromo and Gambella regions – which have NO representation in the Executive Committee (Politbureau) of the brutal TPLF/EPRDF Party. Zenawi is a formidable obstacle to the emergence of the wonderful possibilities mentioned in 1 – 3 above. The position of Egypt was one of cooperation even before the uprising. Therefore, he evaded the real issues to divert attention from the looming uprising.

Man does not live by bread alone (Luke 4.4)

It was Jesus who said: “Man does not live by bread alone”. There is also the old adage that “We don’t live to eat; we eat to live”; the second part of the quotation nicely fits with the demand for dignity, liberty and freedom that was the driving force to the spectacular achievement of the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt culminating in the disgraceful fall of Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali from power and in the aftermath of their demise dismantling their respective oppressive political party, security and administrative machines built over 30 years and 23 years by the latter.
Dignity, liberty and freedom are not material values; they are not easily measureable. And we eat to live a health life in the hope that our insatiable thirst for these values will be enriched through education, creativity and productivity in a decent working environment, which Zenawi’s policy cannot provide.

Sources of inspiration in writing this piece

Discussions held with long-time friends and colleagues resulted in the following consensus, which experts can express in terms of principles for policy formulation:

1.Liberty, freedom, dignity, democracy, prosperity & inclusivity are inviolable national values; these values are fruits of peaceful popular uprising that Ethiopia should support;

2.Justice for martyrs, victims of genocide, torture and incarceration since 1991;

3.Robust defense force and internal harmony are essential to preserve and protect national values;

4.Pursuit of good neighborly relations respecting mutual interests would be in the best interest of regional harmony and development as well as in the avoidance of regional wars/armed clashes thus substantial saving of resources that would otherwise be spent on military weapons;

5.Democratic Egypt and Ethiopia will play key roles in stabilizing the region and promoting development thus becoming formidable political forces to contend with; will be partners in the development of the Nile Basin – a key factor of regional policy to avoid war;

6.Respect and compliance with international conventions, treaties, laws and protocols to which Ethiopia is a signatory party;

7.Right to ownership of private property including urban and rural lands;

8.The politico-economic monopoly of the Endowment Fund For Rehabilitation of Tigray must end for it is in the best interest of transparency, fairness and national harmony;

9.The invasion of Somalia proved immoral & counterproductive; it will take a long time and exact a heavy price to normalize neighborly relations, which all sides should pursue in good faith;

10.So, seeking compromise with the Zenawi regime at this point in time when popular uprising is on the threshold does not solve the multiple gross problems caused by the inept TPLF regime. ENOUGH! No more of TPLF misrule of 20 years.

Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia!

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    I think the above writer is a very measleading Egyptian Guay. He is realy very ignorat of the source of the nile of Ethıpıa. By the way I am from the oromo people of Ethiopia. Whom I assume an Ethiopian and a black African whom I realy regrateful of the Egyptian meschivous and dıvıde and rule principle whıch has adopted form theır prevıous colonıal masters. We Ethiopians have long history of freedom and we are people of who can not be mıscheaved simply even by the ‘wıse’ Eurpeans let alone by the Egyptians who were under colony. But I would like to mention one impotant thing about the wrıter by his name ‘’ for one thing he accepts the common share of the Nile river on the other hand he wants to to divide the country ınto nation and nationalty of the country. thıs shows that the Egyptians still do not want the real share of the river among the riparyan countries. To your ınformatıon ıf you are ıntersted ın the bırth area of the pM (melese) the area contributes more than >25% of water through the Tekeze river which is above the White nile. But thıs is not the matter why do you want to mention the ethnic of the country than the country at all. If you lıke ın Egypt the nile does not belong to moslums of Egypt whıch mıgrate from the arab world but belong to Chrıstıans who were ın the area before christ.So, you moslims have no write to argue on the Nile river.If melese who is an Ethıopian going ın the write truck to solve the Nile river.
    But I would like to advise you that It is not to support melse or any other body but to support the idea whıch is true not only supported by Ethiopians but also by other Black African countries like(Kenya, Uganda,Burundi, Ethiopia,Ruanda and Tanzania and DRC). We africans are requesting our rıght to use the water not to protect the two Arab countries(Northern Sudan and Egypt) from the river use.
    Finally I would like to remined all the Ethıopıans and Black African people that Egyptians unless and otherwise put their signs on the new Nile Agreement we should not stop our struggle against our write to use the river Nile. But from exprience and history the Egyptians would like to divide all the Black African Nile countries based on the tribes which adopt from their colonial masters. But we should be keen to our advantages and our people benefite and we should attentively struggle them ın all regurds until they come to the table and sıgn the New Nile initiative agreement. We should not be mıschıved by theır false propoganda that says please gıve us time and dicuss again becouse it is more tha a century that they were using the water by protecting the other contries by dıfferent means and stıll they are doing their best to throw away the agreement ınto bascket by lobbing their colonial masters as before. In addition we have been dicussing about the issue for more than 15 years but the Egyptian response to the discussion was a deaf ear and the were trying to assure that the Nile river is their historical and legal gift. Which is realy a word which undermined the the process of peacfull dıscussion and which trys to deprive of our right to use the water.
    Let us Be wise and support the govenment of Ethiopia and the other Black African countries.

  2. YEMM
    | #2

    Robele, As usual you hit the bulls eye, with the analysis you presented here. I quote,

    ” ….On further observation one would soon find the lakes and the rivers (LRs) are powerful bonds holding us together. No matter how the federal system is arranged neighboring regions have to cooperate on the use of the waters of the lakes common to them and rivers crossing their boundaries. Otherwise there would be chaos and instability eventually leading to strife. So the prospect of creating mini-states that Article 39 of the TPLF is encouraging and the graduates of the obsolete school of “Nations and Nationalities” should be laid to rest as one of the outcomes of the impending uprising in Ethiopia….”

    One can see the flaud in the idea advanced by the TIGRAI PEOPLE lIBERATION fRONT (TPLF)or woyane. The TPLF constitution is not worth the paper it is written on. What benefit have the TPLF brought to the Tigre people apart from making a few TPLF cadres wealthy. The constitution allows each ethnic group to break up into mini states, but TPLF is preventing OLF, OPDF, and the Ogaden People Liberation front from exercicing their right.

    So why did the TPLF wrote such a constitution ? If any of these ethnic groups succeed to set their ethnic enclaves, then you can see the mess and blood shed arising from disputes over land boundaries, water rights over the lakes and rivers that criss cross Ethiopia, grazing rights over land people have used for generations and many other issues. The region will be a lot more unstable as a result of interference by foreign interference who seek to dominate and exploit the region.

    Look at what is happening in Eritrea. Eritrea has become a destabilising force in the region as ut continues to groom and support various ethnic liberation forces and others operating inside Ethiopia. The lack of peace and stability in the horn of africa after the EPLF took comtrol of eritrea is evidence for all to see that creation of mini states is not a viable option.

    The TPLF constitution was written to divide and rule Ethiopa., but it has badly backfired on them. the TPLF are im a position where they are not able to trust anybody exceppt their loyal cadres. This will eventually lead to their demise which has already began

    | #3

    Anonymous #1,
    Why disguise as an Oromo? Don’t you think we can figure you out from your writing that you’re a woyane? How pathetic! Egypt won’t be any worse than what Woyanes are doing to Ethiopia/ns.
    By the way, HAPPY EASTER to all Ethiopians and DEATH to all woyaneeeees! May this Easter be the end of TPLF.

  4. Assta B. Gettu
    | #4

    Caring for others and especially for one’s own neighbors

    Rich in natural resources and amazing history, Ethiopia must demonstrate to the Egyptian people that Ethiopia cares about Egypt and never tries to use its natural wealth to intimidate or frighten the Egyptian people.

    To tell you the truth, and the only truth, Ethiopia caress about the Egyptians, and that it cares about them so much, it has allowed its River Nile to flow to Egypt freely and feed the Egyptians for centuries. It is through the kindness and generosities of Ethiopia the Egyptians are still alive and ambling around the Nile River Delta in Egypt.

    Indeed, Ethiopia cares about the Egyptian people and especially about the people of our faith, the indigenous Coptic Egyptian Christians who have been under tremendous stress and oppression by the old and the new Egyptian Muslim government. However, Ethiopia has been sending the River Nile to Egypt to sustain the lives of both the Egyptian Christians and the Egyptian Muslims. Even though Egyptian Muslims’ fairness toward the minority Coptic Christians does not match with the absolute freedom the Ethiopian Christians have given to the Ethiopian Muslims, Ethiopia has never tried to retaliate against the Egyptian Muslim government for mistreating the Egyptian Coptic Christians.

    Ethiopia cares about Egypt and does not want to erase the historical relationship we Ethiopians have had with the Egyptian people: we used to bring Archbishops from Alexandria, the center of Christianity and great learning. We attribute our apostolic seat to the Apostle St. Mark of Alexandria. In fact, we vividly remember the 20th Pope of Alexandria, St. Athanasius, appointed Frementious (Abba Salama) in 329 as the first Bishop of Ethiopia on the request of Abraha and Atsbeha, the two Ethiopian Christian kings at that time.

    Also, we cannot deny Alexandria has produced great Biblical scholars such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, who played a great role in the Council of Nicea (325), St. Cyril of Alexandria, leader of the Council of Ephesus (431), and many other prominent African scholars such as St. Augustine. And it has been a great privilege for us Ethiopians who have had very close relation with the Church of Alexandria; therefore, we cannot ignore Egypt, and we will continue taking care of the Egyptian people. We will not want to see Egyptians die of hunger because of the dam of the River Nile. We rather would like to dismantle the dam than to see the Egyptian people suffer and perish as the result of the diversion of the River Nile. After all, such cruelty is not in the nature of the Ethiopian Christians; if the Ethiopian Christians were cruel and inhumane, they could not have sheltered and protected over 40 million Ethiopian Muslims for over a thousand year.

    Ethiopia cares about Egypt and remembers very well it was in Egypt that our Lord Jesus Christ and his mother Mary, with Joseph and Salome, stayed until the death of their enemy Herod, king of Judea. The Egyptians may hate us because of our great water, the River Nile and because of our friendship with Israel, but still Ethiopia cares about Egypt and its citizens: Christians and Muslims.

  5. Gash Polisu
    | #5


    you are no less divisive than your TPLF masters ! you said, “ıf you are ıntersted ın the bırth area of the pM (melese) the area contributes more than >25% of water through the Tekeze river which is above the White nile.”

    i do not know if Tekeze contributes 25% if the Nile river but I know that Tekeze originates from Amhara region, North Wolo, Woldya. So your attempt to brag about “your area” is simply futile and we will divert Tekeze from its origin if you ever establish your Abay Tigray republic!

    do not panic for now! happy/merry fasika!

  6. gab
    | #6

    I think every body has to support the goverment.we should take out of the poletics,this is national issue it is good for both side poltics. if oppositon are thinking free gift of democracy from eprdf as bribe to support the dam they must be silly and fool. this goverment formed by gun and will go by gun if we don’t fool ourselves we don’t need popular uprising now becase we don’t have real organised party both in miltary and poletically .if the uprising explode today our mother and fathers will be killd with out doubt by OLF AND ONLF GUNS because the only active movent only these two parties.remmber what happend HARAR in Asebot how they killd them

  7. kentu
    | #7

    So many weyane media they are tacking about Abay dam. we ethiopian people we are not interested about abay all corner of the land is abay the main issue here is first unity, integrity,equality democracy and so on Look all other nations they have more wealth than Ethiopia like Nigeria,Libya and so on ,so natural resources are not first priority look japan they don’t have and thing but they are the rushiest, nation not because of natural resources but unity, equality 2 if there is no political stability inside the conspiracycrtrey or outside all this project it can be destroyed by single dynamite.Look what says meles we are changing eri regime how come to take badme takes 100 thousand people and billions of dollars to march 5 miles so calculate to reach Asmara i thing the entire population is gone.2 eritrean regime is different from 10 years ago in 1998 1/3 of the army were ethiopian origin,2 now he is using modern planes,3it is different war beyond borders even in bombing Addi’s the main port Djibouti all civilian military airlines are target all hydroelectric power, ethiopian shipping line is hijacking even inside internation waters so i thing if weyane tray the iit is the end of weyane for good he need to learn from derg regime 200 thousand were in eritrea but when shaibia cut the main road no logistices i thing the next war is the same Djibouti eritrean army orgin were a big obstac but now they desert to their countris there is no conspiracy 7

  8. Yetesemaw
    | #8

    How a great Idea is it

  9. Oda Tulu
    | #9

    #1 Anonymous is a TPLF agent. As Gash Polisu said Tekezie originates fro the Amhara region.

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