What should Ethiopians expect from Meles’s two-day visit to Cairo? 15 SEP By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

September 16th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Whether the official visit by the Ethiopian prime minister that takes place within a day or two would become successful, i.e., beneficial for Ethiopia, should not be a matter of judgment call. Nor should its outcome be seen as something that easily yields to embellishment by spin-doctors, adept at either sanitizing bad outcomes or fabricating non-existent successes, and citizens get distracted from its real contents.

When it comes to Ethio-Egyptian relations, however, there is proven approach that does not require any of that or sophistry without foundation. It only takes a simple recourse to history and seek inspiration to set criteria to determine the security interests of Egypt and the economic benefits it plans to derive from the prime minister’s visit. Once that is understood, Ethiopia only needs to define what it wants from its relations with Egypt. In the light of that, I would prefer to measure the successes of this latest round of engagement between Ethiopia and Egypt by the quality of the agreement(s) they sign in the next days. Those agreement(s) should reveal:

• First, see that the signed trade and investment accords serve the interests of both sides; and
• Secondly, on the political front, their agreements, public or private, should show that there is nothing therein that helps predicate Egypt’s security interests on the Nile River on continued Ethiopia’s insecurity that we have witnessed in the course of our long histories.

Of course, achieving this calls for a confident state that relies on the support of its people. That would enable it to show its counterpart across the table that its security and continuity depends on the confidence citizens have in their government. This demands that the conditions obtaining in the country reflect continuing betterment in the lives of the people and the sense of security they enjoy. If not, people cannot be confident to plan for the next day with their sense of safety and dignity strong. That is where the Mubarak regime made the mistake of taking the people for granted only to be swept away by the 25 January Revolution.

As it happens, at this very moment both Ethiopia and Egypt have their respective serious difficulties. In Egypt, where the government is transitional, the population is still angry by the failure/refusal of the state to meet their demands for full freedom, justice and equality, the very premises of the 25 January Revolution. This anger has now escalated, manifesting itself with the launching of second phase of the revolution that now impinges on the political and security situation of the country. This has exerted huge demands on the state to deliver the goods and services it does not have. This is the situation in which agreement is being entered into.

In Ethiopia, the political, security and economic situations are increasingly posing serious challenges to the stability of the state. As its response to this situation, the state has responded with a wave of mass arrests and other repressive measures that are less likely to offer any solutions going forward. If the past is to offer any lessons, the measures now being implemented on the contrary are weakening the state, a situation that would make the Meles regime more nervous and its actions unpredictable.

Not least, the economic condition has been worsening for some time, although Ethiopia’s image is slowly being associated with economic growth. Nonetheless, at 40.6 percent by the end of August, inflation has robbed the gains. Because of that, since 2005 the lives of broad segments of Ethiopian society have been severely affected. Telling evidences of this situation came from market conditions around the New Year a few days ago. On such an important occasion as the New Year, prices of basic foods citizens depend on have gone beyond the reach of ordinary people. Together with other political and security impediments, this situation in the country has become symptomatic of severe national distresses that make Ethiopia vulnerable.

In the face of this, it is appropriate that Ethiopians should have concerns whether this is a propitious time for Ethiopia to engage in negotiations with a key neighbor, with which the country for centuries has had issues. The fear is that this difficult situation may weigh heavily on the prime minister compelling him to focus on his present predicaments and ignore the country’s long-term interests.

Certainly, it feels good when one sees assertive Ethiopia daringly rolls one dam and factory after the other, the question for citizens has been how do we pay for all that? Where does the money come that they don’t have. At the same time, Mr Sharaf, unlike Mubarak’s regime or its predecessors, has sought to address the situation through face-to-face meetings to find solutions. This should not be seen as a favor to Ethiopia; it should not feel compelled to respond in kind to this. If for some reason the Meles regime chooses to do that, without tangible benefits for its people, it would mean that it is deliberately committing another grave historical mistake, the correction of which would be extremely costly, if not impossible.

For benefit of the future, if there is any lesson to be drawn from the difficult or failed historical relations between our two nations it is the imperative need for identifying early on the commonality of interests. Once these are known, defining the parameters of cooperation or collaboration and any joint undertakings to be assigned for pursuance of national interests or common objectives become clearer. These minimize not only suspicions but also misunderstandings, thereby enabling Ethiopia and Egypt to inject confidence in their relations. In this regard, given the history of their relations, it is important, indeed beneficial, that Ethiopia and Egypt start from the scratch.

Above all, these are two countries that have missed numerous opportunities especially since the end of World War II. This has denied them possibilities to improve their relations to use the resources available to them for betterment of the lives of their peoples and beyond. Instead, they ended up dissipating their resources because of a wrong sense of security each tried to achieve for itself.

With that in mind, irrespective of what areas are covered in the coming agreement(s) Prime Ministers Meles Zenawi and Essam Sharaf would sign in a few days time in Cairo, as a citizen of Ethiopia I hold the view that the success of their endeavors can only be measured by how far the two sides go into redefining their relations and anchoring them on the principles of sovereign equality, mutual respect and promotion of mutual benefits, the underpinnings of which should be openness and transparency.

Egypt’s stands to gain, again on Ethiopia’s vulnerability

This September 17-18 visit comes at a time when Egypt’s economic activities have significantly declined, primarily because of the instability arising from the 25 January revolution. Business confidence in Egypt is low and prospects for new investments and expansion of existing enterprises seem to be crippled. For most of the past several months, the stock market has been signaling downturns. In addition, of Egypt’s two major export destinations, Libya has for months been reduced to rubbles because of the ongoing struggle against Gadhafi’s dictatorial regime and NATO’s bombings. Yemen is caught in the pangs of a revolution unwilling to go off; it is thus in no condition for development, to trade or absorb previous volume of Egypt’s exports.

Prime Minister Sharaf has a good grasp of the situation. For Egyptian investors, these developments have made Ethiopia and other Nile Basin states more attractive, a view Egypt’s government and businesses share. Therefore, the Sharaf government has set its eyes on three areas of investments in the Nile Basin countries. These are: agriculture, industry and construction, and were approved as a national strategy by his cabinet in March 2011, with a must attend invitation specifically directed to all members of the cabinet’s Nile council. Following extensive discussions, the government has set up adequate facilities to support privately owned Egyptian companies that commit to invest in Nile Basin countries in these three sectors.

Therefore, all the groundwork done Egyptian diplomats, politicians and strategists are welcoming Prime Minister Meles Zenawi with huge expectations not only to make up for the slack the economy has suffered from. But also as policy measures, they seek economic expansion and increased financial ties with Ethiopia—an instrument that enables Egypt to kill two birds with one stone. That is, through penetration of capital and economic expansion, Egypt aims at strengthening its influence in Ethiopia, 86 percent of its water source country. The truth of this is not lost on Dr Samir Radwan, member of the Egyptian board of trustees at the General Authority for Investment, who says, “Regardless of pessimism or optimism, investing in the Nile Basin is at the base of Egypt’s water security” (www.businesstodayegypt.com, April 2010).

Without being anti-trade and anti-foreign investment, I say that capital invested in Ethiopian agriculture would produce food for Egypt, and/or export to other markets with little return for Ethiopia. In industry, the capital would set up factories, or Egyptian engineers would operate on Ethiopian infrastructures or buildings, with no chance for domestic industries. In the import and export trade, Egypt would dominate the market with its goods, while Ethiopia has been more interested in exporting meat and live animals to Egypt, without any value added. For that matter, in 2009 after the agreement was signed, Egypt dragged its feet under various pretexts and in the end signed a separate agreement to import meat from Argentina and Kenya.

That is not the fault of Egypt. Ethiopia failed to protect and strengthen its private sector, which now is at a loss to understand its role in the national economy. The blame for that went to the incipient private sector that lacked guidance. It is in this situation that the state is edging to be in everything, without certainty that things would turn out right, and when it has failed even in its main task—management of the nation’s macroeconomic policies.

At this moment, Egypt is excited. After a meeting with the prime minister on 27 August in Addis Abeba, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said he expected the visit and the ongoing negotiations to “turn a new page in the relations between the two countries.” He was not alone in that. Although it is not clear whether he was echoing his boss or sincere about it, Egypt new envoy to Ethiopia Ambassador Mohamed Edris similarly opined, “Meles’s visit would mark a new phase in Egyptian-Ethiopian ties,” according to The Egyptian Gazette (2 Sept).

As for his tasks, he carefully hinted his “main mission is to build confidence and understanding between Egypt and Ethiopia.” From the outset, this represents a sharp departure from the past, especially from his cynical and hawkish predecessor who created undesirable hostility in a November 2010 interview when he dared to arrogate the entire Nile River to Egypt, alleging that Ethiopia has many rivers and abundant rainfall. In that, he only invited sharp rebuke of Ethiopian officials.

Incidentally, palace car Meles had sent was waiting for Mr Edris on arrival at the Bole International Airport to drive him to his embassy, courtesy of Meles Zenawi. This is not necessarily a requirement on the host country, especially when the country has long established embassy. However, it is a symbolic gesture usually reserved for countries with special relations, its signal and the message behind it have not escaped hawkeyed journalists in the Egyptian media. The key here is that, during his visit to Ethiopia last May Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has committed Egypt to a new beginning, based on give and take. The question then is, all its attention hinged on the Renaissance Dam (RD), would in Cairo Ethiopia end up giving more than it needs to because it has become aficionado for trade and investments, whose values are not often properly vetted?

Hailemariam Dessalegn in Cairo to finalize arrangements for the visit

Deputy PM and FM Hailemariam Dessalegn has already been in Cairo since Wednesday, 14 September, at the head of an Ethiopian delegation (working level), according to Egyptian news sources. Surprisingly, the news was not even reported by the national media, such as the national news agency that was established in 1942, or on the national radio and television ERTA; nor on the Ethiopian press agency (EPA). It was only Walta Information Centre, the ruling party outlet that devoted a few paragraphs without substance. Could this be deliberate attempt at deinstitutionalizing government agencies, while institutionalizing the ruling party’s outfits? Or is it because they were conserving energy for coverage of Ethio-Egyptian relations during the prime minister’s visit in Cairo?

Therefore, the Egyptian media is not only the first to report arrival in Cairo of DPM/FM last Wednesday. But also its reporting was well informed about purposes of the prime minister’s visit, as could be seen from the reporting covering the most crucial elements. Key in that report is they also highlighted Egypt’s focus: “to examine various areas of cooperation between the [two] countries as well as ways to increase Egyptian investments in Ethiopia”, according to http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/495535. Furthermore, it is reported that the two sides would discuss regional issues of relevance to both sides such as the situations in Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, as they put it very distinctly [pay attention here] also the famine in Somalia and drought in the Horn of Africa.

There has been general reticence on the Ethiopian side about purposes of the visit, much less prognosticating what they plan to achieve. Most striking, however, was the remark by Foreign Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on 29 August who after his discussion with his Egyptian counterpart in Addis Abeba in bland language told the media, “Ethiopia has keen interest to work closely with Egypt”, according to the webpage of Ethiopia’s foreign ministry. The only annex to that remark was his request to Egypt to share its rich experience in the tourism sector.

As to the tasks before the DPM/FM and the ‘pre-summit’ sort delegation he leads, I understand from the Egyptian foreign ministry briefing of 25 August that two-day meetings of a committee comprising delegations of the two countries would work on “setting a vision for exchanged projects and investments, and ways and means of activating the contractual framework between the two sides.” In simple terms, the committee would in these two days build on works undertaken through various channels, including contacts between the two prime ministers—in person and via other means, such as through their embassies. These second-tier officials would eventually come up with a communiqué to be signed by the prime ministers. Nevertheless, there is strong hunch that most of the core positions have already been sorted out at the highest level.

For instance, Meles and Sharaf met on 4 July in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on the sidelines of the 17 African Union (AU) summit. There is word that the two leaders have already clarified their positions. Accordingly:

a. The Nile Question would not be discussed in Cairo during Meles’s visit, since it was agreed already in June 2010, at the 18th session of the Nile council of ministers with Ethiopia as its chairperson, in line with Sudan’s proposal supported by Egypt, to discuss first the ramifications of the comprehensive framework agreement (CFA), renamed the Entebbe Accord, on downstream countries. Consequently, in line with that decision discussion on the Nile Question would only take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 27-28 October 2011.
b. There is no doubt that Egypt’s main concern now is the rush of dams Ethiopia is rolling, especially fear of public backlash. However, already during Prime minister Sharaf’s visit last May, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have agreed to the setting up of a tripartite mechanism to examine how the RD affects the flow of water to Egypt and Sudan. The initial understanding was that the committee’s conclusions would be considered before this visit. It is now clear that the committee has not even met. Egypt reported recently that it has not even selected experts to work on it.

c. Clearly, this implies that there is common understanding between the two prime ministers that the RD or other dams Ethiopia is proposing would not be raised as problem at this point. With all its intelligence in the largest embassy Egypt has in Addis Abeba, it should by now have all information it requires to decide its position. This is indication that Egypt is ready to live with the RD, not because of this visit, but because there is a change of policy in that country. Otherwise, it could have taken protest, even if it has no means of stopping it.

d. After all, unlike in Ethiopia, Egyptian society has stronger say on the Nile Question. In fact, that had been the only issue on which Egyptians and the Mubarak regime saw eye-to-eye, having fed them the mistaken belief that the Nile was Egyptian. The people believed that the Mubarak regime had provided adequate security and protection of Egypt’s control over the Nile. This stronger role and sense of popular participation has been strengthened because of the middle class in that country, especially the elites that run the bureaucracy.

e. In my opinion, therefore, this should not be seen as Egypt’s concession to Ethiopia. Awareness is needed in that regard not to make the mistake of considering reciprocity. When Egypt makes minor concession in one area, it would ask for huge returns in areas of vital importance to it.

f. The focus of the visit, to the extent possible would be trade and investments, not the Nile Question as the Egyptian foreign ministry tried to hint repeatedly.

Finally, the essential point here is that any understanding with Egypt has to be weighed in carefully, since it is capable of affecting Ethiopia’s vital interests for generations to come. Leaders in Egypt may have changed, but Egypt’s policy on the Nile could only undergo superficial changes. For that matter, the new government has not even mapped out its Nile policy. At this point, some pronouncements of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf we know nothing about official Egypt’s policy on the Nile River.

On Ethiopia’s side, the most serious problem could arise from the excessive politicization of the harnessing the Nile to rally support for the government. The push by everyone from local village leader to the federal government is accelerating its diminishing utility for propaganda purposes. There is no doubt the RD is a grand undertaking, our country’s symbol of its new assertiveness— if only eventually some may choose its utility more coolant for the anger brewing within the populace or souring sentiments overall.

  1. Development without freedom
    | #1

    What should Ethiopians expect from Meles’s two-day visit to Cairo? That he will be arrested?

  2. Daniel Mossissa
    | #2

    There is no doubt that the ethnical fascist Meles Zenawi stands for preserving and defending Egyptian interests. His hollow political dam or what he and his acdres call the Renaissance Dam is meant to distract attention from the pressing crises the country is facing. Ethiopians know Meles Zenawi and his intentions very well and do not expect anything positive from him.

  3. Ethiopia under stress
    | #3

    Well, we all know that Meles wouldn’t do anything that will benefit Ethiopia/ns. I assume that the woayane tyrant will offer Egyptians more land and the total ownership of Blue Nile as long the Egyptian government offer the bloody-hand dictator some kind of compensation for himself and his family.

  4. RaZa
    | #4

    i see lot of jealous Eritreans comin here and talkin nonsens.lol why? aint you Free Endpendent country NOW? so get outa our country Ethiopia and get lost to Your Areb Tilian Masters.huh it’s Hard to be from SingaPoooooooooooooooooooooooooooR)

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    Ato Kefyalew’s comment is important.It is good to enter into agreements that are strategically important for the people. As to the comment ethnical fascism let us forget it.Regarding the challenging problems ,the solution is at the hand of all Ethiopians.When the prime miister visited the US and invited Ethiopian Diaspora to invest in facilites that create jobs for their relatives and country ,most of them came with Big cars that consume huge subidized fuel.It is paradoxical.The Meles government ,though it might have weaknesses as it is composed of human people,it is doing many things any government is not doing on this Planet.It is feeding about 100 million people.It has defended remarkably the nation from circules of enemies.But,peopel like Daniel Mossissa take advantage of the achivemens and joke on the Meles government in which most of them are living with little resource the ‘Daniel Mosss-…] spend in a day.God will judge eventually ! Good work Meles.Do not expect too much from remenants of the old system that were concerned with Ethiopia’s size and not confort of its people.Eritreans will strong supporters of Ethiopian unity but the EGG Minded Brains in Menelik palace desttroyed the opportunity.To add to Kefyallow’s comment,let us work hard to create jobes,let us bring our Eritrean,Djiboutian and Somali brothers nearer.Then the Game will be over for all enemies of our people.GOD Bless Ethiopian Unity.Good work Meles Zenawi.

  6. Osman Mohamed
    | #6

    Game Over Chauvinists and Narro Nationalists.Democratic Ethiopia is heading forward with high speed like the NASA rockets.The new Ethiopia will be too far for you touch and feel.Hence,your perspection of the Ethiopian reality will be too far away.Simple advice to you people :Stop hatred .All Ethipians are equal.Above all open your eyes and be part of solution in the nation building.As to weaknesses not alone in a Government even in a small family you find many.But,the core idea should be to try peoples interest at the forfront.To do that positive contribution is expected from every one.Forexample,before 1991 only few were educated to comment or know delicate things.Now, the country is producing hundred of thousands of experts .Therefore, let us be realistic. Please ,Please do not be tribalist your self .Meles is internatinalist even more than that.You people do not even want to learn.You only dream of your recent leaders who reading speeched prepared by someone.Please respect your Gift from God from the historical town of Adwa.

  7. Osman Mohamed
    | #7

    Internal strengthe is the solution for Ethiopia.For this the Government and all other sections of the Society have to contribute.The Ethiopian people are really great people.Even the issue mentioned problem of inflation ,people are swallowing the burden and are helping the Government in many aspects hoping the future will be better.But, every thing has limit.Therefore, the Government has to do all things possible to bring down inflation and make the life of the population to reasonable level.Of course, the support of all Ethiopians including those who live abroad is vital.Ethiopians in the diaspora living abroad should learn from the Indians ,Chines and other Asian people.While small amount of money can change the face of your village , some of you are living extravagant and competing with Upper Class in the countries you live.Those people have solved the basic problems of their people.But,you people have huge loans to pay back- to your immediate family,relatives,your school,your village,your church or mosque ,etc.Therefore,let us be people who speak by good deeds not words.

  8. Osman Mohamed
    | #8

    As the issue of Woyane and Shabia, please let us differentiate opinions and organzations. Woyane means revolt for the better.Shabia means people.As to the organizations concerned even people within them can have commen concerns like some of you.Therefore,it is not good to generalize.When people like Ato Siye join you , you make them like lion .If people oppose to accept your ideas you curse them.It is good to co-exist and give chance for out Ethiopian people to give weight to the confronting ideas.

  9. Osman Mohamed
    | #9

    It is not possible to have 100 % of the population to have the same idea.But,let us all of us Ethioians identify the key common agendas and always stand for them.As to the present situation ,it seems some people have lost the pillar to lean on.If they are looking for new system from scratch ,that is not possible.If they belive in the existing situation but only change of people and some policies , it is not clear.General blackmail does not mobilse masses around your idea.Please come with clear agenda.Let us remember people like Tilahun Yigzaw and Walelegn Mekonen.We have always to come with noble and long lasting ideas.Especially,please forget the idea of asking some foregin countries not to help Ethiopia.You raise problems and then ask other not to help.How then are the problems to be solved.If say your prayers come true and you come back to Menelik palace and the same thing peopel will ask these countries not to help you.What is the impact on the country.Do you want to see another Somalia.It is only Democracy and Rapid Economic Development that keep the country United and Strong.

  10. Osman Mohamed
    | #10

    መልካም New Year.

  11. Yohannes Ke Dallas
    | #11

    The writer, Keffyalew Gebremedhin seems an insider or intellectual or both who knows a great deal about the situation of Nile basin countries issue. He is trying to convey a message that Moles as an Ethiopian figure and expected him to stands for Ethiopian interest. I labeled the writer as an insider because he seems that he does not know what the work and intent of Moles or deliberately forgets what this tyrant does to Ethiopia since he assume power. The track record of this anti-Ethiopian, dictator shows that he is the causes of all destructions to the country he is supposed to lead and protect its interest. I can jog the memory of dear writer if I may, by asking him to mention a single event that Moles stands and took measure for the interest of Ethiopia when it comes to neighboring countries issues like Sudan’s Ethiopia chunk of fertile land gift, Egypt’s Nile agreement to benefit Egypt, Eritrea’s independence that he begs the world leaders to confirm right away, Algier’s accord that passes a verdict to return Badme to Eritrea after 80,000 young Ethiopians pays the ultimate sacrifice, Indian’s, Arab’s and Chinese land grab with a dirt cheap price end evicting the Ethiopian people from their ancestral land at gun point and so on? When does Moles have been seen as a leader of his country when it comes to the national interest of Ethiopia? The answer is none. And for the writer who could thread softly, polite and indifferent for all the crimes of this dictator and expects him to negotiate with Egypt or any foreign country’s envoy for the interest of Ethiopia is expecting a dove from a snake egg. In my opinion, all this drama of Renaissance Dam is created right after the Arab spring for three main reasons that aligns with moles’s interest. 1) He has to create a national agenda that unites the people under the “hope and national interest” and distracts, hoodwinks them from the Arab uprisings. 2) He gets the idea from the American’s who could pay him handsomely to protect Israel’s security by controlling the source of Nile and dictate the terms remotely by using Nile as a bargaining chip to negotiate if the Moslem brothers gets a lion share of power in future Egypt’s political arena. 3) By doing so he planned to amass funds from ordinary citizens and from Americans that are direly needed by his government so as to extend his rule both. I called the writer intellectual because most scholarly people are too polite to call a spade a spade and they might need to speak of highly for the most notorious criminal and inject their version of truth in a civil way. Finally, if there is something to expect from this meeting those who does are the inner circles of woyane who could use the meeting to show Moles’s diplomatic ingenuity, as for the rest of Ethiopians, I do not think that any one is expecting a single accomplishment as long as Moles is there in the negotiating table. Ethiopian’s have been learned the hard way from all his negotiations.

  12. Atakilti
    | #12

    What is wrong with bringing more industry that will help generate more jobs to the country? What is wrong signing a new treaty in a spirit of peaceful co-existence? Who is this writer any way? Are we here to oppose everything no matter how it will benefit the society? What a waste of a space and time of this website!!!!

  13. Ethiopia under stress
    | #13

    Raza and the likes of you,
    Don’t flatter yourselves that, the only people who despise Meles are only Eritreans. Why in God’s name Ethiopians would love a dictator that locked countless number of Ethiopians and deny them their God given rights, slaughtered their family members and looted the country? How is it possible a penninless group of people became multi-millionaires in a few years after they’ve taken power of the poorest country in the world, without admitting robbing 80 million Ethiopians??? Please make a note of it–currently, Meles is one of the most hated individual in Ethiopian history, even worse than the other butcher Mengestu Hailemariam. Meles, Azeb and the rest of their crooked friends are hated by over 80 million Ethiopians to the point of wishing to them them to be hanged in the middle of merkato. Raza, sometime, take yourself out of your comfort zone and talk to non woyane Ethiopians who are well informed and you will know the reality how Ethiopians feel about your subhuman dictator that has been slaughtering Ethiopians since he came to power, robbing and selling the country. By the way, if it wasn’t for that Eritrean racist dictator Isayas, who trained tyrant Meles to hate and kill, Ethiopia wouldn’t be under one of the most cruel people in the world.

  14. baby
    | #14

    Please don´t expect postive ideas from meles game is over!!over!1
    go and chat for your cadres and i don´t expect from meles.

  15. anon
    | #15

    Osman Mohamed,
    What a shameful idea are you advocating in here; you seem to say in effect let me and my colleagues have our way forget about the majority of Ethiopians. Of course you have not stated it this way but what else is meant when you wrote?

    “Simple advice to you people: Stop hatred .All Ethiopians are equal.”

    The majority of rural Ethiopians are undergoing hunger you tell us all are equal. The all here must refer weyanes and their partners that is the only way I can understand what all means. Many Ethiopians are going to jail for being found member of a nonviolent opposition party. And you also talk about democracy and economic development. What democracy are you speaking about? Ethiopia is a police state that locks up journalists and ordinary citizens. The regime is rived with anxiety so much so it has become intolerant to anyone who is not member of TPLF.The tyrannical and authoritarian rule of Melese has now entered anew phase of the absolute one man rule of Marshal Legese.

  16. Abu Anja
    | #16

    Asalm Aliqum. What is it that Egypt can do to Africans what africans lacked? Africans must learn from the recent experience what happened to them and what is happening to them in Yeman, Libya and the Sudan. Arabs use Islam and brotherhood to decieve Black Africans for their own ends. They were trading oil during sanaction with aparthied South Africa, while at the same time excoriating Black Africans not to recognize Isreal and fight their own war. How comes one forget the Arabs crucial role while Somalis’ who profess blood releatioship and identify as an Arab cut each other throats? Meles is their agent and is always happy to carry other peoples water. Wake up Ethiopians.

  17. Bilal Jemal
    | #17

    The fascist and racist Meles Zenawi is inflicting irreparable damages on Ethiopia.He has secretly given away fertile land to Sudan and landlocked Ethiopia. The hodams and weyannes praising aite Meles Zenawi are devoid of any national feeling and creatures living to fill their bellies. The ethnic discrimination and marginalization we are suffering at the hands of the fascist ethnic leader are taking the country to conflicts and bloodshed. The fascist aite Meles Zenawi is making big noise about the nile dam to stave off public uprising in Ethiopia. His cadres and hodam hirelings never mention about the millions starving in Ethiopia and are trying to deafen us with their paymaster`s song of the nile dam.

  18. Only one Lord
    | #18

    You don’t seem to understand or don’t care for others if they live or die as long as you have extra money in the bank and your children are well fed and go to the best schools in USA, EU and even in Ethiopia. Meles, his wife, the rest of TPLF cadres and a few greedy Ethiopians control the country and own the major businesses milking poor Ethiopians and pocketing the Aid money that is intended to help and feed poor Ethiopians. The majority of Ethiopians are straggling to get one meal a day and millions are expected to die according to UN report. Why is it so hard for you people to understand the actual situation in Ethiopia? How do you justify that only one ethnic group and a few greedy Ethiopians get all the benefits while millions of Ethiopians abused by the TPLF government and more millions of Ethiopians starve to death? Woyanes, if you claim yourselves to be Christians supporting a brutal regime, you need to think again and speak to your priests and your pastors.

    | #19


  20. wizomezoo
    | #20

    Meles Zinawi,whose lives has he been wasting and whose farmlands has he been selling for little or nothing,anyway?

    Trust! Zinawi? Never again.Egyptian rulers made Meles Zinawi and exported him to Ethiopia defective.What for Meles Zinawi is useful to Ethiopia? It is just that the Egyptian rulers felt an urgent desire to modify Zinawi,their make so that he will perform internal operation against Ethiopia.Ethiopians don’t trust Meles Zinawi with Ethiopia because Meles Zinawi was caught red-handed deceiving them on any and all critical and imprtant national and international issues and concerns.

    I am not avoiding the question;is this Zinawi’s last time to ever see Egyptian rulers again? On the morning when court hearing was to take place,Doctors who examined Mubarak appealed against the court hearing saying the client,Mubark was not and will not fit to stand the trial not due to alchol and drug abuse but he was bed-ridden.The court dissmissed the appeal and ordered Mubarak to stand trial either dead or alive.

    To Meles Zinawi,the resources that are available above and below the lands,in Ethiopia,the lands and the waters that make the teritory and boundry of Etiopia,and the lives of Ethipians are nothing but consumable products to buyers and are dispensable to international marketers and clientels to make profit in billons and make him wealthy and keep him on power.This man,Zinawi,he is a kind of person Ethiopians want him to see serve life in prison.

    Simply put it,Zinawi will tell Egyptian rulers this:What is good for me is better for Egypt not for Ethiopia.

  21. Anonymous
    | #21

    The writer brought good premises but concluded based on his selective outlook. A bit biased for me. One example – he tried to portray Egypt and Eth are on the same level or ground to negotiate. He even tried to argue Egypt and Eth both didnt capitalize after WWII senarios. This is so biased just to protect or not to condemn Eth previous leaders Janhoy and Mengistu. The fact is; Egypt used every opportunity alligning with the west and east at different times when we were consumed with local wars fueled by Egypt. Epypt played us out and they are so powerful my friend. The only Int’l fund we secured on the Nile is the World Bank 150 Million USD ( last 6-7 years ) on one irrigation dam but shared the amount with Epypt and I guess with other raparians. They are so powerful we were a laughing stock diplomaticaly until recently. But we are not even close to thier level – so any negotiation is good at any level – let alone on top leadership. I appreicate your effort compiling and lot of facts though.

  22. Rezene Kaddisaba
    | #22

    The writer brought good premises but concluded based on his selective outlook. A bit biased for me. One example – he tried to portray Egypt and Eth are on the same level or ground to negotiate. He even tried to argue Egypt and Eth both didnt capitalize after WWII senarios. This is so biased just to protect or not to condemn Eth previous leaders Janhoy and Mengistu. The fact is; Egypt used every opportunity alligning with the west and east at different times when we were consumed with local wars fueled by Egypt. Epypt played us out and they are so powerful my friend. The only Int’l fund we secured on the Nile is the World Bank 150 Million USD ( last 6-7 years ) on one irrigation dam but shared the amount with Epypt and I guess with other raparians. They are so powerful we were a laughing stock diplomaticaly until recently. But we are not even close to thier level – so any negotiation is good at any level – let alone on top leadership. I appreicate your effort compiling and lot of facts though.

  23. astra
    | #23

    It should be very clear for all that whenever Meles deals about Ethiopia, it is to sell it, at whatever price he could find, and pocket the money for himself and his family, or at best share it with his tribal Tigrean TPLF members. He will be ready to sell Ethiopia in whole or in part to the Egyptians. MARK MY WORD!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Development without freedom
    | #24

    The article sounds to me like propaganda article, more suitable for publication on weyenes’ websites than here.

  25. Atakilti
    | #25

    TO: Only one Lord:

    First you committed a very sad sin for thinking I am directly associated with the regime back home. I said sad because you are so blinded by bigotry that you will never believe me. If you are a Christian you should confess that to your priest and if you are a Muslim, you should make ablution and offer the required rak’as now, not tomorrow and later. Right now!!! I am not who you think I am. I have grown up children who I raised and paid for their education with my blood and sweat money. I never believed in handouts (unlike you) and not once in my lifetime looked for it. I have described who I am and what I do for a living on this website more once before.

    Do you really think incidences or crimes you mentioned in your comments have had happened? Do you have court permissible evidence for the crimes the current regime is in commission you indicated in your comment as shown below?

    1) ‘only one ethnic group and a few greedy Ethiopians get all the
    benefits’ while,
    1) ‘more millions of Ethiopians starve to death’
    2) ‘pocketing the Aid money that is intended to help and feed poor
    3) About me you said this: ‘You don’t seem to understand or don’t care for others if they
    live or die as long as you have extra money in the bank and your children are well fed
    and go to the best schools in USA, EU and even in Ethiopia’.

    These are your charges and the burden is on you now to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are (have been) committed. Remember no Amhara/Tigray-hater bigots around OLF or ONLF are allowed as witnesses in court. They are fixated or hell-bent rather, in wiping out all poor Amhara and Tigray farmers and civil servants in their sights. For that I can give you internationally documented evidence, not one but many.

    I also noticed some of your pals have been describing Meles and his regime as a ‘fascist’. Do you and other know domestic and international factors that must accompany a ‘fascist’ government and what realities nourish it? Do you? Do you expect me and millions others to believe that the current Ethiopian and international factors are the same as those in the 1920 and 30’s which brought Mussolini, Hitler and Franco to power in Italy, Germany and Spain? Do you? Are you 100% certain that Ethiopia is at least industrially developed as Italy, Germany and Spain of the 30’s? A regime can not be a fascist with borrowed money and AK-47’s. Your comrades in and around OLF and ONLF are working very hard to be just that. What these two ‘kerfafas’ have added to their arsenal is camels of load of missionary cake, halwas from their sponsors in Dubai and ghoulish benefactor in Asmara. These two have wondering aimlessly in the deserts of Eritrea and Ogaden for years now. You hear of them here and there when they callously kill innocent civilians. They don’t even know where there house is located. They are lost due to a serious loss of sense of direction, their heads spinning with vertigo.

    One thing you and I should be proud, in spite of all our differences:
    Our country, your and my country, that old beacon of hopefulness which refuses to dim out in a sea of hostile elements, that Good Ole’ Ethiopia, that Good-On-Earth Ethiopia who sheltered and protected both religions, Islam and Christianity, has reincarnated herself. She is finally getting her way out of abject misery and destitution. She has shouted ‘Enough is Enough’!!!! She has made every oppressed nation and nationality to stand tall upright and be proud of being an Ethiopian. She is glistening with 13-months of sunshine from East to West, from North to South. May God Continue to Bless Her and May God Bless The United States of America.

  26. wizomezoo
    | #26

    Zinawi has not gradually become a threat to Ehiopia;he was an operative to Egypt.I am afraid Zinawi might defect to Egypt.If our prayers were answered,God would prevent him from returing to Ehtiopia.Ethiopians,keep the faith,keep the fight.

    This man!Zinawi,first and foremost,is rude and cruel,dry and unsympatatic;therefore,I don’t expect him to vist Mubarak in a prison hospital.Worse now,Zinawi has become a horror and a terror to Ethiopians.Zinawi dislikes Ethiopians.What the hell is about Zinawi meets Egyptian rulers.Have you been noticing Zinawi lately? Coughing,sneezing, and rubbing his nose? He is going to Egypt to get a flue shot,who knows.But I see what you mean,Ethiopians.Well,sick or not,Zinawi can never be trusted at all.

  27. Only one Lord
    | #27

    #25 Atakliti,
    Your last paragraph says it all, where you stand and who you support regardless of the unspeakable atrocities Woyanes have been committing on Ethiopia/ns since they came to power even before. It is astonishing to me to know that, there are still few people like you who seems to be educated and yet still believe that Ethiopia is going in the right directions under the brutal TPLF regime that have been accused of Power and Human Rights abuse by Amnesty International. The fact you support a regime that used bullets instead of Teargas, locked up tens of thousands of Ethiopians, a regime that have given and sold our precious fertile land to foreigners, a regime that have stolen countless Ethiopian Tax Payers money-even UN have reported the missing of eight billion dollars from Ethiopian banks– and so on… tells a lot about you, why you justified the unjustifiable. May the Merciful God help you to open your heart to understand the sufferings of Ethiopians who have been wrongly accused and being tortured as we speak and for those countless number of Ethiopians who gunned down in Addis, Oromo, Amhara and even in Tigrea area.

  28. Atakilti
    | #28

    Dear Only one Lord:

    I would like to assure that I never said this regime is perfect. There were mistakes made and I believe the leader do understand where the mistakes were made. Democracy is not a one-hit home run. It is a process and during this process mistakes can not be avoided. When Herman Cohen announced in 1991 ‘No democracy, no aid’ he meant it. If we think Mr. Cohen was mistaken, then we are saying all Western powers have been mistaken. How can you imagine that one person has been bamboozling hundreds of tough headed individuals both in TPLF and EPRDF? If Meles and his closest allies have been as brutal as Ghadafi or Saddam, do you think the Western powers will give a slack that spanned more than 20 years? Just think about it. To be honest with you, I was very skeptical at the beginning. I thought the country was about to go asunder. I had some many sleepless nights in the early 90′s. Quite a few countries were falling apart. There was nothing left in the nation’s coffers. Not even to pay government employees salaries for a month. And EPRDF is the first victorious guerrilla army to share power from the get go. That is in history. It was unheard of particularly in the entire 3rd world. We know what would have happened if parties like EPRP folks were the victorious one. They would have been stuttering, mumbling and babbling into bloody mayhem and blame others. But God, The Almighty God unto whom our country stretched her hands for ages, responded positively and helped avoid convulsing bloodshed. EPRDF then even invited former Derg officials into the government as long as they did not commit crime before. That is not out of fears but it is an art of governance. Again, I am not saying no mistakes were made. That was why I politely asked the government to release Ato Eskinder on bail as soon as possible. I hope and pray they will do just that. But I don’t know much about the others. In fact, I never heard of most of them. I am sure there acts of terrorism committed in the last few months. Most of the crimes were committed by cutting off communication and power lines. There were pictures of such acts posted on some of the diaspora websites. I don’t this website posted such pictures. One of the websites was actually boasting about it. I am sure that agree with me in condemning such destructive and wanton acts. I am not sure if you are old enough to remember the days of Emperor Haile Selassie. One time, I took a train from Addis to Dire Dawa to pay my classmate a visit during a summer break. This was in the late 60′s. I remember seeing a microwave station erected on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere. There were no guards around it. It was left to the trustworthiness of the people. I understand it was there until the predecessors and mentors of present day ONLF blew it up just to get high from such action. Such establishments should not be a military target. They are the properties the entire population. Leaders of nations come and go but infrastructures will and should remain to be at the service of the people around them. I was stunned and saddened when some websites here among us were overjoyed by such destructive behavior. It is not right. It is terrorism in its content and those who sent those pictures to these websites should be questioned. The country has spent millions of dollars on laying down these infrastructures and those who harmed them and others who cooperated in such actions should be held accountable and punished according to the law. Again, I am not justifying the unjustifiable.

    I have a feeling that you and I can have a lively discussion and end it with a business note. And if you have to chance to meet my children and my wife, I am sure you will stop hating me as you do now and because I don’t hate you. I am just having a nice powow with you.

  29. Only one Lord
    | #29

    I rest my case, you’ve gone to the far end with no return like a cult worshiper. You’re not shy to blame Ethiopians as TERRORISTS, and at the same time, you blindly support a paranoid regime that is causing unspeakable and undeniable crimes on its citizens. Spilling the blood of countless number of innocent Ethiopians and throwing innocent people in a cold cell and torture them, is not as you put it a MISTAKE, like spilling a glass of milk. As a parent who loves my children more than life itself, I wouldn’t want to see any parent to experience a horrifying natural death of a child, let alone murdered or thrown in jail by its government. The brave and the courageous Freedom Fighter Eskinder Nega is not the only one that is being abused and mistreated by the current TPLF regime. The remarkable Eskinder is in jail, because he understands what is going on and Eskinder became the voice for the voiceless Ethiopians who are wrongly accused. If you feel for him, you should also feel for the rest of Ethiopians who are being tortured and rotting in jail without a day in court. The progress of a country shouldn’t be measured by how much a few hodams wealth, but by freedom, liberty and peace in the country. I still pray for you to understand the sufferings and the endless nightmares of hundreds of thousands Ethiopians parents whose children are locked up and murdered.
    If you haven’t read this heart-wrenching story, please read it and try to walk in the shoes of Eskinder’s child and Eskinder’s wife and many like them. Eskinder’s child will be affected by this horrible experience for the rest of his life. I know you wouldn’t want one of your children and your wife to experience nightmares like this. But in Ethiopia, this everyday happens in a daily basis. My friend, Ethiopians families are stressed and are living in fear of not knowing if their children or husbands would come home that night or thrown in jail and even murdered.
    I wish you well and at the same time, I pray God to open the hearts of you and the likes of you for the sake of humanity and peace. Good bye!

  30. Atakilti
    | #30

    Dear Only one Lord:

    I hope and pray that you have read my comment above with all due attention to detail. I am a father of wonderful grown up children and I have the toddler child of Ato Enkinder in my thoughts and prayers. That was and still is why I politely ask the Prime Minister to use all his good office to release at Enkinder on bail for the child’s sake and for humanitarian reasons. I also included in my polite request that Mr. Eskinder be provided with a means to provide for his family. I have done that already on this website before. I have read some of the articles Ato Eskinder posted on this or other websites and none of them showed that his a violent man. In regards to Ato Belay and others, I don’t really know anything about them. That is why I was not able to comment about them. I hope you respect my right not to comment about them. And I never accuse the Ethiopian people of terrorism. If you consider thugs from Mogadishu as smitten as angels and you want me to see them as peaceful groups then you and I have fundamental differences about them. I shall never accept killing civilian contractors as part and parcel of a legitimate fight for liberation. I fiercely disagree with those who get high or have found romance in blowing up public infrastructures such as communication and power lines. Also, no one should be at liberty of calling any one with a bigoted term. If someone writes an article falsely accusing anyone, he/she should be held accountable and taken to court for due justice. We all remember what General Ariel Sharon did to the folks with Time magazine in 1993. He took their blabbing mouths to court on libel for accusing of being directly involved in the Sabra and Shatilla massacre. They were smacked with a guilt verdict. And they apologized for their egregious behavior. That is why I am being very careful about the rest of individuals who were recently jailed. And I never, in my wildest dreams, dared to accuse the Ethiopian people of terrorism. If you say so, then you are just making it up.

  31. Only one Lord
    | #31

    Most of us know how to read between the lines and understand it very well, thank you very much!

  32. Atakilti
    | #32

    Dear Only one Lord:

    Thank you for changing your mind about me.

  33. Anonymous
    | #33

    we Ethiopians do not expect anything from the dictator’s visit. the dictator is an enemy of the people of Ethiopia. do you expect any good from a public enemy Legesse?

  34. Only one Lord
    | #34

    Peace loving Ethiopians, please beware of SNAKES in the grass. There are people who speak on both sides of their mouths who are staunch supporters of a heartless and merciless dictator that has looted and slaughtered countless number of Ethiopians.

  35. aha!
    | #35

    First of all if you want to report of the visit of the Prime minister please do so if you are in the capacity of news anchorman. The analyises on the feasibility of the dam for hydro-electric generation and irrigation and the cost of transmission line costs has not been studied, the initiation of the dialogue should not and could not be any different than it had been undertaken with the member nations depending on the Nile River. As I previously learned from an article in the media, there are other 20 plus tributaries that well sreaded out throughout the country tat are waiting to be harnessed for electric generation and irrigated farming. Irrigated farming both from the Government Projects susbstituting food aid to self-help aid and private ventures to mitigate drought and reduce shortages of cereals and other crops.

    Comparative analysis has not been made between the the two set set of ideas for infrastuctural development has not been made with no source of funding from the internationa market, to depend on meager finacial wealth of the public specially by coersion at time of rampant inflation is not typical of capitalistic and democratic society.

    As there are no independent braches of the government, I doubt, if there has been a thorough debate in the parliament over the Nile-Dam Project.

    As I already said before the revitalization of the water catchment basines of the Northern and Central Highlands Highlands, should have taken priority, in terms of soil and water conservation, cropping system, tillage pracises and afforstation to avoid floods and raise productivity, and siltation of dams, if and when constructed.

    This is only a diversionary tactic, away from the non-violent uprising of the silent majority of Ethiopians to freedom from autocratic, ethnocratic rule/ethic dictatorship not to remove the leaders, but also to dismantle ethnicfedralism, and ethnic secessionism with the underlying totaliarinism of the Derg regime and its own inclination to Marxisism. These ideologies have the direct and implicit support by ethnicfederalists of the teletafi and loyalist opposition parties, with ethnic agenda, and ethnic secessionists of the liberation movements posing to secede for Ethiopia on the bases of demarcated boudies endorsed by the nine major ethnic groups.

    Freedom and liberty of the individuals ahead of ethnic and secessionist rights, along Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethiopian National Interests and the sovereignity of Ethiopia take precedence the visit of the Prime Minister need only to be reported as one of the daily news, without a speculations, until such time that a Government of the people for the people and by the people is formed after dismantling ethnic fereralism, and ethnic secessionism along with the underlying totaliarinism, curtailing capitalism and democracy to prevail for the silent majority of Ethiopians.

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