In the name of Abay [Blue Nile] – to unite us or to enslave us? By Ephrem Madebo

May 2nd, 2011 Print Print Email Email

As we walked across the intersection of Massachusetts Av and Church St . . . ababa….ababa “where is MIT” asked my anxious son who was visiting the Boston area for the first time. I replied – why don’t we first see Harvard and then go to MIT? He said: I want to see MIT first. We went back to our car and drove toward Harvard Bridge. For the most part, the genesis of this commentary was put together somewhere between Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] in Cambridge, MA. So if you think or feel that I sounded professorial anywhere in the commentary, please don’t blame me ‘cause I may have been influenced by my new environment.

I’m sure most of us still remember the Conficker computer “worm” that caught cyber-security experts by surprise in November 2008. The worm infiltrated millions of computers around the globe; and for the first time ever, cyber-security elites of the world were forced to work together to find and defeat the bad guys who created the worm. Well, believe it or not, our country Ethiopia and its 85 million people have been infected by a human worm for the last 20 years. The worm that infected our country is so dangerous because it is part of us and one of us – and understands the fabric of our society.

Some of us have passively become a host for this worm that knows no limit what so ever, and some of us have been so selfish that we have become part of the worm. Yet some of us have been deceived by the worm and have become temporary outposts of the worm. This worm [aka TPLF] is a very mischievous worm that delivers its treacherous payload so cunningly and so revengefully with grudge. My fellow countrymen/women, If a computer worm unites security experts of different countries around the globe, then why can’t we stick together and fight the ‘worm’ that feeds on our blood? After all- aren’t we people of one nation? We must leave the past behind us and face our enemy together; otherwise, it is very difficult to fight an enemy that has outposts in our head.

Through the years, Ethiopians have repeatedly challenged Meles Zenawi’s regime, but his power has never been endangered like it was in March 2001, in May 2005, and this year during the North African revolution. In March 2001, when the TPLF party split into two, sneaky Meles saved his crown by gobbling strong men like Seiye Abraha and Gebru Asrat and took total control of the party. In 2005, he used US made Humvees and savage agazi forces to hang on power that he conclusively lost. In 2011, after he witnessed the ousting of two of his friends [Ben Ali & Hosni Mubarak], Zenawi changed his weapon of choice from outright carnage to psychological warfare. Especially, when he saw the revolutionary spirit of the Ethiopian youth and the determination of everyday people, Zenawi changed his strategy from killing us to duping us- at least temporarily.

In the span of just two months, Zenawi has touched three hot-button issues of national security that he and his party have been avoiding for the last twenty years. The timing and the substance of Zenawi’s message is nothing more than a brain washing technique aimed at influencing our value system, emotion, and behavior. He is using these thoroughly exhausted conning techniques to keep Ethiopia’s supreme power within his family and to reinforce public attitudes and behaviors favorable to the long term objective of the TPLF party.

By the way, what is going on and what is this old dance with an old song? Is this an apology, or just a sympathy seeking change of tone? If this is an apology, it is long overdue and this is not the way to apologize . . . no way Jose! If it is a change of tone, it is too little and too insincere –We need to change the music, the dance, and of course the entire orchestra.

Meles Zenawi is a man who insulted the intelligence of the Ethiopian people as many times as the number of days he’s been in power. He is also a man who used the trust of the innocent to rally our nation behind his hidden agenda. The Ethio-Eritrean war in which Ethiopia pulled out a decisive military victory, but lost the political cause of the war is a good example. War is a phenomenon as old as the earth itself, and throughout history, countries have fought countless wars where victors imposed their economic and political will on losers. In Zenawi’s Ethiopia things are different. In the 1998-2000 war, Ethiopia won the war decisively, but thanks to the enemy within, Ethiopia was forced to negotiate in terms of the losing party. Today this same man who negotiated on the blood of seventy thousand Ethiopians has come with the same old tricks to divert public attention from a possible North African like revolution in Ethiopia. Here are some of his tricks:

December, 2010 (in an interview with Reuters)

“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”- Meles Zenawi To begin with, this is a response unprovoked and a warning uncalled-for. The warning was intended for three audiences: the Egyptian government, the international community and the Ethiopian people. Obviously, none of the intended audiences gave Zenawi more than a lip-service response. For the Ethiopian people Zenawi was playing the role of past heroes like Emperor Yohannis and Emperor Menlik, but the public questioned his intent and asked him – where is this new love coming from? Of course what Zenawi said about the bravery of the Ethiopian people is a long standing truth, but farsighted Ethiopians inside and outside Ethiopia were good enough to quickly identify that the truth told with bad intent damages the nation than all the lies put together.

February, 2011 (in an interview with the domestic press)

“We have to facilitate ways for Eritrean people to remove their dictatorial regime. We have no intention to jump into their country but we need to extend our influence there. If the Eritrean government tries to attack us, we will also respond.” – Meles Zenawi
Sometimes it is really difficult to call Meles Zenawi a healthy man because a person is as healthy as the number of lies he tells. When he came to power in 1991, Zenawi told us that the next generations of Ethiopians have to refer to the dictionary to know what war is. Forget the next generation; Zenawi’s own 23 years old daughter has read more books on the Ethio-Eritrean war than a dictionary. Just seven year after he promised the ‘Pax Romana’ of Ethiopia, he fought two very costly wars with Eritrea where close to 100k young life perished from both sides. The cause and the outcome of the Ethio-Eritrean war is one of the darkest moments in the history of proud Ethiopians who in history are known as non-aggressors, but yet are punishing warriors when provoked. Zenawi’s Ethiopia is the first country ancient or modern to resolutely win a war and lose everything what the war was all about. Imagine this is after sacrificing more than fifty thousand young Ethiopians- mind you; this is the same man that’s once again beating the drum for another war against Eritrea and Egypt. Can we afford a war? Why do we trust a traitor anyway?

March, 2011(in an interview with the press)

“We are planning to carry out a number of important projects, including a major project on the Nile” – Meles Zenawi For the last twenty years, truth and integrity have been under siege in Ethiopia, and as result, public confidence in PM Zenawi has steadily declined, as has the credibility of the entire TPLF party. Any Ethiopian that browsed the Growth and Transformation Plan document can easily notice that the “Millennium Dam” project that consumes close to $5 billion is conspicuously missing from such a huge “transformational” plan. In fact, the word “Nile” [aka Abay] is not mentioned in the entire document, and the word “Dam” is mentioned only once [in a parenthesized sub-topic] in the 85 page GTP document. This simply means that either the “scientific leadership” of the TPLF regime did not use the science of planning when it laid down the GTP, or none of those “accomplished scientists” from the Ethiopian IV League of “Dingay Mamrecha” had a clue on the significance of such a huge project nicknamed – Grand Renaissance Dam. This is what worries me; and as a matter of fact, I think every Ethiopian must be worried when just one man has the absolute power to switch on and off everything that concerns a nation of more than 80 million people.
The essence of what I am trying to say here has nothing to do with the Grand Renaissance Dam itself – my focus is not about what is in the dam or about the dam- my emphasis is about the timing of the dam and the hidden agenda behind the dam. It’s about the total failure of diplomacy that surrounds the dam. Yes, Ethiopia is a sovereign country and it can do whatever it wishes within its borders, but building a dam[on a river that touches the life of over 300 million people] just 45 km inside our boarder must not start with a derogatory diplomatic words. The regime in Addis Ababa should know better that building a dam on the Blue Nile River is as much political and diplomatic as it is economic. Besides, why is a regime that dismantled the Tana-Beles project and shipped all of its equipment to its home base of Tigray- now preaching about a another dam on the Blue Nile River? I’m sure the feasibly studies of the Renaissance project must have preceded the GTP- if so, why is a project so expensive, so large, and so complex, is not included in the well-publicized 5-years Growth and Transformation Plan? The answer is trivially simple – the recent hoopla of the “Grand Renaissance Dam” conceptualized and propagated by none other than Meles Zenawi is nothing but a pure “false flag” tactic.

By the way, how long did the engineering and the environmental study of the project take? Was the Benishangul-Gumuz sate involved in the process? Who are the experts involved in the study? The “Grand Renaissance Dam” project is a huge project that carries a significant amount of risk. Evidently, one of the ways to mitigate this huge risk is to involve seasoned outside experts in the implementation, engineering, and environmental study phases of the project. Has this been done? Where is the over 5 billion us dollar coming? No matter how much money the government squeezes from poor Ethiopians, let’s not fool ourselves – the project still needs at least more than four and half billion us dollar [assuming the project is completed within budget]. Where does this money come within the life span of the project which is 6 to 7 years? All these questions demand answer. This is not a project that can be decided in a single helicopter ride form Addis to Benishangul-Gumuz. We Ethiopians cannot and must not sit and say-“they know what they are doing and let’s leave it to them”. I swear to God- If these “Never mind” cases continue to crop up, they will have detrimental consequences on our country for many generations to come.

Fellow Ethiopians, our country is a plural society whose unity is threatened by inside and outside forces including its own leaders. Therefore, every Ethiopian understands that nation-building and unity is the first prerequisite. But, nation building and unity are infinitely meaningless if they come at the cost of freedom, democracy, and equality. To me, liberty and equality supersede everything including unity. When liberty, justice, and equality are absent nothing that exists fulfills my pursuit of happiness.

The current leaders of Ethiopia call themselves “developmental” state and do damage to the soul of the individual in the name of development. Should development take priority over freedom and human right of the individual? Well, this is a question of value and it gives rise to the following empirical question: Can a minority non-democratic and ethno-biased regime such as the TPLF achieve development goals with greater speed and effectiveness than a democratic government? My question for the “Yeah” Sayers is – how can the most hated divisive regime that has no public trust mobilize a nation and lead it to development?
The TPLF party and its ardent supporters [ such as Professor Andreas Eshete] have been misled by the view that authoritarian measures are necessary to maintain order and to bring about political, social, and economic modernization. This false view and Zenawi’s self-ordaining doctrine of single party system as the only means of accelerated economic development is totally bogus and is a doomed failure. In plural societies like Ethiopia, this type of regime is totally irrelevant.

In the last 20 years, Meles Zenawi and his gangs have made countless mistakes and they are still making mistake after mistake and after mistake. Yes, I do believe that one should never interrupt the enemy when it is making a mistake- but not when the enemy is a Zenawi type outlaw that has no regard for us and for our country. For twenty long years, Zenawi’s plan for Ethiopia was to divide its people; to loot its resources, and lay the foundation for the TPLF dynasty. Every time when our struggle gained momentum, Zenawi and his party diverted our attention from them to things like Bademe, Millennium Development Goal, Renaissance [ህዳሴ], war with Egypt, regime change in Eritrea, and Growth and Transformation Plan. When none of these conspiracy stories took our full attention, finally Zenawi and his bad men came in the name of Abay! Zenawi is a man who said Ethiopia does not need seaport, and we have already seen his handling of the 1998 -2000 senseless war with Eritrea. He is also known for selling our land and shrinking our boarder. There is much more to say about this remorseless man, but I hate thinking some of the things he said about our country let alone repeating them here. The Holy Bible says: Whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So why would one trust Zenawi anymore?

Meles is a man who goes sleepless to see a weak and a divided Ethiopia. So far he has divided us politically, and has weakened and subordinated the social and religious institutions of our country. In some cases Zenawi and his party have replaced our old social and religious institutions by new regimented institutions used to control the society. As a result, the Ethiopian people have been atomized unable to work together, to confide in each other, or even to do much of anything at their own initiative. People are too frightened to speak their hatred of the regime and are too terrified to share their hunger for freedom. All in all, some Ethiopians are too frightened to think seriously of public resistance. Instead, our fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters face suffering without purpose and a future without hope.

I believe it is our crucial obligation to enlighten our people that there should be time to never listen to any fear, and it is also our responsibility to help fellow Ethiopians break the fear barrier of the TPLF regime. We can do this if and only if we stand together, plan together, and execute our plan together. It is very important to let our people know that Zenawi’s force that seems insurmountable will be defeated and — the divide and rule politics, the abuse, the suffering, and the pain will disappear. The TPLF regime and the baggage it came with will vanish too. It is only our country that will remain when the shadow of the presence the worm that infected us has vanished. Therefore; we must come to our senses and stop throwing knife at each other’s throat. We must watch every move of the enemy than impeding the progress of our friends. Ethiopia is a shining star on the face of our existence, lets never allow Zenawi become an overcast between this shining star and us.

In the past, we’ve worked so hard against unity and we’ve been so indecisive. As a result, the past is still with us – the future is even worse if we sit and beg time and the gods do their magic. Fellow Ethiopians, the night may be as long as the road we’ve traversed, but trust me; the long awaited dawn will break and the new day will be all ours! Yes we are not on top of the mountain; but most definitely we are not deep in the valley either. I assure you with full confidence that we’ve started facing the right direction, therefore, all we must do is keep on walking. Yes, keep on walking!

  1. Behailu
    | #1

    Excellent work efrem as usual. My answer to your question is of course to ENSLAVE US!

  2. Anti_Woyane
    | #2

    Ato ephrem, thanks a lot for this beautifully written article, well balanced, articulate and goes some way in to the psycho analyses of the worm like behavior of this troublesome organization called the TPLF”. I would like to add some more light on the so called dam mentioned under ever mutating names, millennium dam, renaissance dam, etc. This regime does not have a moral right to build a dam taking hostage our freedom. What is the difference between Gadafi telling his citizens they will be rewarded with Dinnar fortunes if they switch sides and abrogate their quest for freedom and meles zenawi telling us we continue to be enslaved with an offer of a huge dam. What is the net economic return of this so called renaisaance dam. Ephrem has raised a legitimate question. Who are the “real” experts involved in the project when many of the “enemy” experts have been sidelined and persecuted? Few weeks back a helicopter (watch out here a government hiring a private helicopter while dozesn lie idle in the Ethiopian air force base) rented at 1500 USD an hour was crashed carrying two local consultants who are known more for designing boreholes and spring water supply. How can a government be trusted with the bond that it receives when it does this kind of renting helicopters and mysteriously causing a crash in a bid to steal away more money be way of damage loss. Is this not a project which is opening another gateway to richness to the swelling rank of EPRDF corruption empire?

    This dam is in fact a clandestine political campaign that forges alliance with Egypt with the aim of enslaving Ethiopia. This dam has for long been the wish of Egypt but Egypt could not force Ethiopia build this dam as it knows Ethiopia is taken as a strategic enemy that Egypt wants to besiege for eternity. But now a “win-win” formula has been device between meles and mubark. Accordingly meles will build the millenium dam that will reduce the siltation effect on the lake Nasser (The Aswan dam)that currently traps nearly 100% of the sediment that goes in to it. Mubarek in return will dismantle all the clandestine infrastructure of helping liberation fronts engaged in arms struggle against the oppressive woyane regime. This dam will regulate the flow downstream to Egypt which experiences a diminishing Nile river flow in the dry seasons of the upstream countries. Egypt has been wishing a dam be built so that such upstream dam releases more water thereby augmenting the dry season low flow that largely comes from the white Nile. Egypt further wants this dam is a hydroelectric and flood control dam so that any threat of flooding in future of Egyptian cities is minimized and the hydropower can be purchased at cheaper (non-competitive) price again as an exchange for waning the clandestine support to ” rebels” by egypt. As i reckon the visit by an Egyptian official is an official endorsement of the secret “win-win” strategy devised between mubarek and meles that has been going on for long. In this deal meles has once again typically sold Ethiopia’s sovereignty by declaring that the dam is a power only dam and will not be used for the much more needed purpose than power, i.e., growing food and irrigation based farm industry. Mubarek and Meles have for long forged a secret arrangement which were made at the expense of Ethiopia’s sovereignty while preserving Egypt’s historical privilege on the Nile river in return for stopping Egypt’s proxy war on Ethiopia. At one point in time Mubarek forwarded an idea of transferring some part of the Nile river flow to Palestine as requested by the late Yasir Araft, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader. Meles told Mubarek that he in principle has no opposition to such “sacred” move and that Mubarek can push forward with the plan. This and all the collusion Meles devised in the past and is devising now are short sighted moves by him who, ever since he assumed power by toppling his own comrade in arms in the bush, was preoccupied with prolonging his stay on power by devious means and at any cost even if that meant giving away sovereignty, sacrificing the organizational principles of his party or even the death of hundred of thousands of citizens. Nothing has so far changed under Meles’s clock and is unlikely to change.

  3. Dawit
    | #3

    Here we are reading another discure by the so called professor .first I want to remind you abay or GTP project is not prepared in one month to divert the attention since the areb uprising,is been in a making since 2009 ,go and read the articles (do ur home work) secondly ,99 % of Ethiopians are behind this project. I am not the sepporter of meles or TPLF but I always believe that abay and it’s use is the source of all problems in Ethiopia and it’s can be the solution as well. opposing this project or rallying people not to support it is an act of deception and will result discontent for the opposition from the people. other thing I say any development this government is doing in the country is good for the people of Ethiopia and its urgent to do it as they don’t have time to wait for berhanu nega and Al Mariam to come from their comfirt to set us free from meles.after all meles have shown some change since the 2005 election so let’s encourage and engage the development. Democracy is secondary it can only be achieved through time let’s feed our people how long have we waisted in the name of straggle now we can not afford to stand still in this economically fast changing world let’s provide our knowlage for our country better existence instead of hiding in west and seek the uprising of poor back home. We can only achieve political change if we engage within the country let’s go there and help eradicate poverty. then we know educated and well fead people will bring change them self .don’t expect all to be politician as there is no relevant to some or most of Ethiopians the quest of democracy as they stragel to make it to the next day so please see it from different angel don’t bang the same drum always time change so meles one last question when did u last see Ethiopia ?

  4. random
    | #4

    good artical except you provoked eritrea and was pushed back as your were deep into eritrea. Also, ethiopia was the agressor as it has it always been throughout it’s wars for the past 50 years.

  5. Mekari
    | #5

    The problem with the writer is found in the very first paragraph; “this commentary was put together somewhere between Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] in Cambridge, MA.” If it was “put together” somewhere between the corridors of arat kilo and sidst kilo, or the between Bole and ጎተራ, or between the ring road of Addis, or between BahirDar and Nazerath, or between Abay and Tekeze, or between Mekelle and Dessie, or between the real people of Ethiopia, then the many questions and diatribes would have been not raised. Your demise is your feeling of elitism and know-it-all attitude. For you to get out of your comfort zone and make a sound judgment for what’s happening is like expecting you to jump your own shadow. Your long essay will not and cannot hide you dishonesty. In the mean time, we the “deceived once” will be satisfied with what we got. This is a comment put between the corridors of our own MIT – Mekelle Institute of Technology and the university of BahirDar.

  6. Enanu
    | #6

    Dear Ephrem,

    I might not be as good writer as you are, but I might be as good a calculator of facts.

    In your rhetoric filled article, you mentioned “In the span of just two months, Zenawi has touched three hot-button issues of national security that he and his party have been avoiding for the last twenty years…

    You went on and described the three events which elapsed (December to March) about four months and definitely more than the two months you mentioned. Now, am I being picky here or is it that you are insulting our intelligence in an attempt to push through your sinister model for our country?

    Oh dear, you just don’t fail to amuse!

  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    Ephrem,

    Yamhal wei? When you say: “…issues of national security that he and his party have been avoiding for the last twenty years.”, either you are ignorant of your country political discourse or you are desperately trying to mislead leaders. Have you ever heard what is known as Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)? That is what the Ethiopian government was painstakingly working on for the past 20 years and not avoid the issue. Look, the agreement was only legalized ONLY two months ago thanks to Brundi signing it (remember how hard Egypt tried until last minute to stop Brundi from signing). So with this point, you are absolutely wrong and you need to apologize to your readers.

    On Tana Beles project, here is what I see from independent news channels: http://www.google.ca/#sclient=psy&hl=en&biw=1680&bih=867&source=hp&q=Tana+Beles+project&aq=f&aqi=g1g-v2g-b2&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&fp=8b5a1f5ac460de07 or http://www.ethiopian-news.com/ethiopia-tana-beles-a-multi-purpose-hydro-power-plant-inaugurated/

    So once again, as far as I can see it is your evil dream and evil wish to Ethiopia based on your narrow ethnic complexity that you are writing such rubbish, baseless and non-sense article. Grow up, Ethiopia is moving forward at a speed never seen before by any of your likes Haile Selassie (who burned villages in Eritrea and fed his dogs lambs while a million people died on your doorstep in Wello) or Mengistu who was simply empty container making noises and finally running away to Zim leaving you to be consumed to death with your desperation for power and being against Meles: one leader who is the most progressive minded Africa can get next to people like Mandela and few others probably.

    By the way, I am not even Ethiopian and I wish my country had a leader like Meles….I would have been African Singapore now (empty dream of us Eritreans)!

  8. Tizibet
    | #8

    Mehari,
    How about Mehari Institute of ignorance- it is still MIT – isn’t it?

  9. rezene kadissaba
    | #9

    Dear Efrem
    Were you part of the designing of Tekeze, awarded; and Tana (natural reservoir)- how about Gibe I, II,III ? Why are you now questioning the new dam design? Question yourself man – you want to sound you know Eth while in US – I couldn’t figure out how much is being done living in Sheger. This is federal state of Ethiopia we don’t pretend to know what the Gambella, Gondar, Nejo, Kemisse, Wukro, even semen shoa guys want or need. It could be electricity, Cinema, clinic, fertilizer, security – i dont know – in fact i don’t care. Let their representative worry about it. Because I live in Addis – we have acute transportation problem – but the guy in Metekel have no idea. In fact he doesn’t care and he shouldn’t. Do you see how you are just wandering where you fit? Between Boston and Alamata ( not ATL ) – read again its Alamata:))
    You have no say in Eth unless you organize yourself and lead Ethiopians living in US and abroad. This, my friend, unlike sitting and writing crap, takes some effort which all of you don’t want to go thru. First be important to your society/ community close to you – have their representation and respect – to the point of influencing US gov policy. This means helping Ethiopians in US with difficulties of Scholl, permits, home sickness,etc… Have an established entity in US – show us what you can do to the people around you -But I doubt you will have the courage to do that.

  10. Just
    | #10

    @ Tizibet. Do not be emotional. ‘Mehari Institute of ignorance”- is MII not MIT. be patient and try to understand what u r writing.

  11. Behailu
    | #11

    Anonymous 17:55- You said:

    “By the way, I am not even Ethiopian and I wish my country had a leader like Meles….I would have been African Singapore now (empty dream of us Eritreans)!

    Please have him and set us free. The difference between Esayas and Meles is that Esayas is Stupidly stupid and Meles is Stupid- that is all. If you nees stupid Meles, you are free to have him. We Ethiopians want neither stupids nor Stupidly stupids.

  12. Sheger
    | #12

    After they leased most of the land to Indian and Saudi companies, Egyptians and so on, they are asking us to come up with money for the dam, that is a complete insult to our integrity. And I think north Sudan is allover us too.

    Wake up people there is no a sine of human librity in their mind they only talk of it to inslave us just like they did to
    South Sudan and so on. We need to keep away this people from us or we will be sorry or more sorry.

    Freedom to Ethiopia!!!!!!…..which we don’t even have now and imagine the rest.

    Freedom to Ethiopia!!!!!!

  13. Samuel
    | #13

    Did you know this?

    ———————————————————
    Ethiopia: Zenawi Agrees to Extend Egypt’s Veto Power over Abbay
    May 3, 2011 at 3:19 am ·

    VOA News reported that “Ethiopia has agreed to postpone ratification of a treaty on sharing Nile River water until a new Egyptian government takes office to join the negotiations.”

    The treaty, the River Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), is designed to undo the colonial-era agreements giving Egypt and Sudan monopoly rights over the Nile’s water; these colonial-era treaties have given Egypt veto rights over all upstream projects, such as dams and irrigation. The upstream countries affected by the agreements are known as the Nile Basin countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. In short, the CFA is meant to end Egypt’s veto rights over the Nile.

    The River Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) would have been due for ratification on May 14, 2011, a long anticipated deadline – after 10 years of negotiations. Five countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, signed the CFA in May 2010, but, with the required sixth signatory not on board, the CFA was destined for rejection; however, Burundi saved the CFA by signing it in late February 2011. (The May 14, 2011 deadline was set a year ago when the first signatories inked the CFA – see the video from last year below).

    In the latest development reported by VOA News (as mentioned above), days before the May 14, 2011 ratification of the CFA, Mr. Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia has agreed to let the deadline pass and allow Egypt to continue having veto rights over the Nile and upstream projects “until a new Egyptian government takes office to join the negotiations” – estimated to be at least one more year.

    Egypt’s veto rights will affect the recently announced Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia. According to media reports, “the interim Egyptian government said it would oppose Ethiopia’s plan to erect a dam along its territory’s Nile water.” (EthiopiaFirst.com)

    Many critics of Mr. Zenawi have accused him of politicizing the Grand Renaissance Dam in order to distract the Ethiopian people from the Egypt- and Tunisia-type nonviolent protests. Millions of low income families in inflation-ridden Ethiopia were buying bonds, at the request of Zenawi’s government, to raise funds to build the Dam. Many struggling families have done so by giving up a one-month or two-month full wage under high-inflation economic conditions.

    It’s not clear why Mr. Zenawi would collect money from struggling families, during such dire economic conditions, to build the Grand Renaissance Dam, and then declare defeat when it came to the ratification of the very treaty that was needed to build the Dam in the first place. It’s also not clear why Mr. Zenawi would make a national mockery of people’s nationalistic feeling towards Abbay by promising a Dam he knew he’d not deliver – will Mr. Zenawi now say “I punk’d you!” to the nation, shamelessly?!

    What are the political ramifications of Mr. Zenawi’s agreement to extend Egypt’s veto power over Abbay by letting the May 14, 2011 deadline for the ratification of the CFA slip? These remain to be seen.

  14. Ethiopian
    | #14

    YOU KNOW WHAT YOUNG ETHIOPIANS LIKE MYSELF ARE TIRED OF. IT IS GOVERNMENT CRITICS WHO HAVE HIDDEN AGENDA, WHO INSULT THE INTELEGENCE OF YOUNG ETHIOPIANS TO ADVANCE THEIR POLITICAL DREAM. AS A CRITIC YOU SHOULD STATE THE FACT AND CRITISIZE THE GOVERNMENT BASED ON FACTS. BY SAYING I SWEAR TO GOD BLAH BALH IS NOT GOING TO WORK. MIGHT AS WELL SAY ENATE TEMUTE EMANANE. I THING OLDER POLITICIANS FORGET THAT, WE ARE IN A COMPUTER AGE WHERE INFORMATION IS ABUNDENT. PLEASE UPDATE YOUR BRAIN SOFTWARE TO 2011 AND NOT 1960. ANYWAYS INORDER FOR THE YOUNG GENERATION TO HAVE ANY INTEREST IN POLITICS THE OLD GENERATION MUST GO THAT MEANS ANY ONE THAT IS OLDER THAN 40. IN A POPULATION WHERE 85% IS YOUNGER THAN 30. HOW CAN WE RELATE TO OUR GRAND PARENTS.

  15. Eyoel
    | #15

    This article is simply a trash, I do not know what the excactly the message the author tried to convey however Meles Z is right when he said “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”

    that is true we will be united when it comes to our Enemies like Eritrea (leadership) or Egypt

  16. YEMM
    | #16

    ETHIOPIAN,

    You said rightly that this is the age of lap tops and gadgets. but do you know that Ethiopia is at the bottom of the league of nations in terms of Internet usage.

    -Do you know that this was done deliberately by the government of zenawi to curb the spread of information through the internet to the wider population.

    - Do you know that even in the few internet cafes that people attend in Addis Abeba, those people who visit the cafes are being spied upon and reported to the government security agents.

    - Do you know that mobile phone penetration in Ethiopia is the lowest in the whole of Africa, let alone the world.

    What has the computer age you are talking about done to Ethiopia, except that the people have been denied the right to use it. Is this what you call computer age for Ethiopia.

    -Do you know that you can not Write or speak any thing against the government in Ethiopia. Do you know that the free press is non existent in Ethiopia.

    I can go on and on. Wake up man. you are not doing any body a favour by trying to hide the truth.

    Ethiopian people deserve better than what they are getting from this government.

    Abuse , torment, hunger, starvation , beggary, imprisonment, torture, exile, harassment, nepotism, corruption etc are more suited to explain the current situation in Ethiopia- forget about your Computer Age!

  17. Behailu
    | #17

    Ethiopian,

    Interest in politcs? What a joke! Who tied your Your leg and hands? The young is not invited into politics, it is part of politics. That is exactly why Zenawi is muffling the young. The young should not wait its aging leaders to go to join politics. The young joins politics and pushes older leaders to step aside. Please get out of the closet and do what you need to do instead of whining like an old dog. Our struggle is not about young and old- its about freedom- its not even about political power- its about equality and human right. These things have nothing to do with age- they are universal values.

  18. Siifan
    | #18

    The Abbay issue is just raised to get Amharas’ support and to hinder the imminent Amhara-Oromo alliance, which is necessary to help the REVOLUTION erupt. Sure is that Woyane cadres are doing everything under the sun to divide and weaken the opposition. It is up to us, the supporters of the opposition, to act against this move of the cadres. That is why we continously push for the IMPERATIVE unity of those with similar ideology and for the optional alliance of ALL the anti-Woyane democrats. The opposition camp including the Oromo liberation movement should act together against the mafia group in Finfinne palace. For this to happen, the opposition groups need to agree on the rule of the game regarding the future arrangement: referendum or consensus or force.

    The rule of the game against Woyane is clear. Woyane didn’t give any chance for either a referendum or a consensus. What remains then is a force as the only means to deal with Woyane; that means only civil disobedience, armed struggle and public uprising are the choice, not the usual ‘election game’! But the opposition should also find the suitable rule of the game in the post-Woyane future politics: either consensus or referendum, excluding force. Then they do have only the following two options:

    - consensus on a middle ground for ALL; i.e on a ‘Union of Autonomous Nations’ in the region/empire called Ethiopia or

    - referendum on: an ‘independent nation like an independent Oromia’ VS a ‘union of autonomous nations in Ethiopia’ VS an ‘integration of the empire (no autonomous national areas like Oromia)’

    Force is only the last option for the opposition groups to settle the difference between each other, in case we will fail to agree on the above two noble ways (on consensus and referendum). If we must use force, then the result will be an ‘independence by force as in the case of Eritrea’, or a ‘union by force as it is now under Woyane’ or an ‘integration by force as it was under the Amhara rule in the past’. Now, the question to be answered is: are both the Oromo camp and the Amhara camp in a position to achieve their goal respectively by force? If the Oromo camp wants an Oromian independence in such a move by force, it must win not only the ruling Woyane, but also the opposing Amhara camp. If the Amharas want to impose an integration by force, they also need to win not only the ruling Woyane, but also the opposing Oromo camp.

    I don’t think this is feasible for both camps in the near future; that is why both the Amhara camp and the Oromo camp must make a compromise/have a consensus, not to fight each other, but build an alliance to be a stronger force against Woyane to achieve their common goal according to the consensus, i.e to achieve FREEDOM from Woyane’s fascism and a ‘UNION of autonomous nations’ as a compromise solution. Woyane cadres are now sensing that this possibility of an alliance between the Amhara camp and the Oromo bloc against their rule is approaching, that is why they are very busy to polarize, divide and fragmentize both camps.

  19. Sheger
    | #19

    Samuel and dear people, you should go on internet and google the UN and look for Ethiopian immigrants for the last 50 or 30 years.

    You what it says? This year 12 million that year 11million, this year 14 million….. It is so many millions it is not even possible that their is any body on the country. We know it is not true but what that tells us is that we barley exist and
    Some body is making up some lays so we fill like we are a million dollar people. Or they don’t know what to say.

    We have lived in so many wars and we have lost so many through famin and diseases and still are facing this matters.

    We can count our selves you know their is no invincible Ethiopian or a place far from our existanc where it is a problem
    To know how many of us exist.

    I will be back with more info on this some day soon.

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