Hot issues including the Nile River saga By Robele Ababya
Tribute to the Blue Party
The heroic decision by the Blue Party in planning, organizing and brilliantly implementing the demonstration of 25 May 2013 was a phenomenal act of courage to which all freedom loving Ethiopians should pay tribute regardless of their affiliation to entities in the opposition camps or civic organizations. To this end MJFD (Ginbot 7) had set an excellent example under its editorial title: “ወያኔ የፈጠረዉ የፍርሀት ድባብ ሲሰበር” dated 06 June 2013.
The holy act of courage of the leaders of the Party and the hundreds of thousands of participants that took part in the inspiring demonstration has torn down the dark curtain of despair ushering in a beacon of hope and reaffirmation that individuals united in action are in the final analysis masters of their common desire to live in freedom, dignity, and prosperity in a truly democratic and compassionate society governed by the rule of law of their own making.
The demonstration has been an epic success story heralding the inevitable victory of the Ethiopian people and the vanishing of ethnicity-based political entities that are lagging behind with empty promises to change into a national stature by shedding off their tribal garb. The demonstration is a grand topic of the moment.
Legacy of Zenawi
The late tyrant Meles Zenawi left behind a series of time bombs ready to explode and destabilize the region to the utter disadvantage of Ethiopia which has no credible ally except the almighty God and her people as I always say. The decision by the communist TPLF warlords and their puppet Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to implement the legacy intact is solid proof that draconian problems are waiting to be overcome.
All the incendiaries are in place to ignite and unleash havoc to regional stability, inter alia: gross violations of human rights of citizens contrary to UN Declaration on Human Rights and the TPLF constitution; divisive ethnic policy; balkanization into nine ethnic-based federal states; Endemic corruption perpetrated by top TPLF warlords still untouched; give-away of fertile Ethiopian land (Emperor Theodros II has graphically illustrated that a spec of our fertile soil is vital to our national security); the Renaissance Dam: extensive and in-depth cost-benefit analysis including national and regional security; irrigation to grow food is priority for Ethiopia ; the ongoing Badme saga
All of the above and many other atrocious legacies of Zenawi have been debated upon sufficiently by several scholars and activists before. Therefore, I would like to expound briefly just on the above listed incendiaries, which signal the advent of diplomatic war leading to military engagements on a scale unfavorable to Ethiopia and her environ.
Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 signify internal weaknesses that would embolden extremist separatist movements (like OLF-old) and external enemies pursuing their objectives vigorously, the former seeking: (a) symbiotic advantage in the success of foreign enemies or (b) engaging in acts of sabotage harmful to Ethiopia; and the latter as always promoting the fragmentation of motherland Ethiopia into several innocuous units to its hold on power.
Items 5 and 6 are hot issues pitching Ethiopia against Egypt and Eritrea.
Contribution to the thorny debate over the Blue Nile River
God created the Nile River before Adam and Eve. Therefore it is not the fault of the past and present generations of Ethiopians and Egyptians to find themselves at the source and receiving ends of the River, respectively.
It is needless to mention that it took centuries to realize the scarcity of waters of the River. The Imperialist inspired treaties of the 1929 and 1959 that contemptuously disregarded Ethiopia allocated a lion’s portion of the waters of the River to the Sudan and Egypt. Therefore, Ethiopia has every right to declare the above said past treaties, to which she was not a signatory party, as null and void in the strongest terms while calling for a new transparent and fair agreement. The secret Accord of the 1993 between Zenawi and Mubarak concluded behind the back of the Ethiopian people is also null and void.
The real overriding priority now for Ethiopians is to remove the TPLF warlords that have been misruling our beloved country as an occupying power for the last 22 years. It is nonsense to brainwash our youth and deploy them into a war of mutual destruction with Egypt. Sensational slogans by extremist Egyptian leaders such as paying by ‘blood’ for a cup of the Nile water or the genocidal TPLF warlords insisting on construction of the RD with our ‘blood’ are cruel and laughable. Sabre rattling on both sides is a cover-up for their internal failures in good governance, which must be replaced by genuine democratic dispensation conducive to strategic cooperation.
I had written before that “The Blue Nile River is a natural bond of indispensable significance to Egypt and Sudan. Ibrahim Nasreddin of Cairo University’s Institute for African Studies said that “a 20-year-old feasibility study, a cooperative venture between some of the Nile’s source countries and donor states, to build 50 dams on the River Nile over 50 years has not seen any headway due to the high cost of these dams”. He added that “the projects would cost in excess of $40 billion. According to Nasredin, “none of the African states can afford this. They won’t be able to repay loans of such an amount.” Source: Article by Reem Leila, Al-Ahram Weekly January 5, 2011.” The present site of the RD with its site size reduced can be one of the networks of dams that could be built along the Blue Nile rivers and its tributaries in the Amhara and Oromia regions, as I had argued in my previous articles.
The Egyptian people and scholars should know that the Nile River would be insignificant without its tributaries from the Amhara and Oromia regions, which are in dire need for irrigation and electric power generation. In the interest of strategic cooperation in the development of the Nile Basin, democratic citizens of Egypt should be on the side of Ethiopians bent on changing the regime which has lost trust of the masses. And the Ethiopian people should do likewise in reciprocity. In this way costly war between two countries mostly victimizing the youth can be avoided.
Egypt is expert at ‘war of attrition’
As the legendary Professor Mesfin Woldemariam succinctly substantiated in his article based on reliable source, Egypt’s military stature is formidable. But it will not need to go into a conventional war because it would prefer the method of economic sabotage, subversive propaganda, misinformation, direct and indirect assistance to dissidents struggling to cede from Ethiopia, espionage, and diplomacy, among others. These could combine to badly weaken and gradually fragment Ethiopia, which is situated in a hostile environment in many respects and misruled by the TPLF warlords behaving like an occupying regime bent on the sellout of her vital national interests.
In the senseless Ethiopia-Eritrea war of 1998 -2000 over a small barren land of Badme close to 100 thousand combatants on both sides lost their precious lives most of them arguably young. Tigre commanders gave the marching order to the Ethiopian combatants to walk or crawl over the mine field. Our young and able-bodied patriotic soldiers sacrificed their precious lives but their surviving compatriots were denied victory by order of the traitor of Meles Zenawi halting their advance on Asmara.
Professor Mesfin is a stalwart living scholar with incomparable experience on burning issues pertaining to borders and geography of Ethiopia as well as in unleashing his disarming critique on Ethiopian policies including land reforms. I have enjoyed reading his numerous writings and talking to him in person. I am a living witness to his developing a military science curriculum for the former Imperial Ethiopia Air Force (IEAF) and lecturing the subject to not only to the Cadets for several years but also to other military institutions of Ethiopia.
Professor Mesfin is a national hero who has demonstrated his courage to express his scholarly views on burning national issues for decades and continues to do so without fear or favors. He abhors ignorance and rescues its innocent victims willing to be cured through reading his writings. I know that the fearless Professor was highly esteemed by the Cadets of the IEAF.
The Professor is undoubtedly well versed in military maxim that gathering intelligence and in-depth analysis of the strength and weaknesses of potential adversaries is of supreme importance to national security at all times. He is a proud Ethiopian who defined “Ethiopiawinet”. He is a formidable life-time fighter for human rights and independence from his home-base in Ethiopia, which is occupied and turned into hell by the brutal TPLF warlords. So the young generation is well-advised to take him seriously as a trusted friend.
The governments of Egypt and Ethiopia are hijackers of revolutions brewing in their respective countries. Both are birds of the same feather desperate to fend off popular wrath. They are in a secret pact to use the sensitive Nile issue to divert attention from their mortal predicament. Therefore the first priority is to dethrone the corrupt, inept, and genocidal TPLF warlords preferably peacefully followed by an-all inclusive method in self-defense.
The immediate and unconditional release all political prisoners including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba, Reeyot Alemu, Leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims et al is paramount!
No previous government in the history of Ethiopia has recognized or acceded to the treaties of 1929 and 1959. Therefore the Entebbe water agreement between six River Nile Basin states recently ‘ratified’ by the puppet TPLF parliament does not make sense coming as it did for political reasons after the misrule of 22 years by the troubled TPLF regime. Does the ‘ratified’ agreement give veto power to Ethiopia, which contributes 85% of the waters of the Nile to Sudan and Egypt?
We need inner strength and harmony to defend our country. I like the revolutionary song “ላንቺ ነው ኢትዮጵያ!” (It is for you Ethiopia) just as much as I adore “Tenesa Teramed” even now!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!