The Phobia of Obang Metho Deleted From GERD

 

By Tibebe Abera 03-27-15

 

Dear Obang Metho,

I read your article on Ethiomedia about the agreement of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the GERD.  You were distracted by your hatred of TPLF and EPDRF in the middle of the writing.  Just deleting your phobia without altering any other content in your writing ended out to be an article of a concerned citizen.  Reread it please.

 

(Geneva, Switzerland)-- On March 23, 2015, a Tripartite Summit on the Nile was held in Khartoum, Sudan, hosted by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and attended by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Sisi, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. As an outcome of that meeting, these three leaders will sign an agreement of Declaration of Principles on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will later be presented to the Ethiopian Parliament for final approval. This agreement will include an impact study on the effects of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam—an electrical project located on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia—on countries downstream. The results of this study will further shape the outcome. Ethiopians have reason to worry, as the details are vague and open to interpretation. What will be signed away before really knowing the impact? What will be the potential effect on generations to come, not only of Ethiopians, but also South Sudanese, Sudanese, and Egyptians? Other people in riparian countries upstream from the north-flowing river could also end up being involved in some of the impacts.

The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), as an institution established for the wellbeing of Ethiopia, cannot remain silent on this important issue. The SMNE welcomes the change of rhetoric and politics on the part of the Egyptians and others and appreciates a principle-based approach, but much of it remains unclear. What will happen if the impact study shows a decrease in water flow to Egypt or other significant effects?

The highly sensitive issue over the use of the waters of the Nile River and its tributaries is not new. It has been a source of debate for years, particularly by riparian countries upstream from Egypt. We are not against the Egyptians having water, but we cannot settle for anything that does not take into account the interests of the Ethiopian people.

Ethiopians were not even present when the Anglo-Egyptian treaty involving the Nile was made in both 1929 and 1959, even though Ethiopia is the source of most of the Nile water. Ethiopia was neither invited nor consulted at either time; but yet, Egypt was awarded veto power over any project in Ethiopia that would hamper the flow of water. The outcome of both treaties was unfair and should not stand.

Any new agreement should be a cooperative one where the interests of all parties are considered. It will require some give and take by all parties so the agreement is fair and supports the people of each country. If it is fair to all parties, it will lead to harmonious relations between neighbors. If that does not occur and autocratic governments sign away the rights of their people; it will not be sustainable. Therefore, all signers, leaders of the Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, should take care. The SMNE is a principle-based organization of diverse Ethiopians, formed to bring a more democratic Ethiopia, but this also means we seek cooperative and supportive relationships with the people of neighboring countries. One of our primary missions is to bring people together; helping them to reconcile beyond their differences so as to work together to create an Ethiopia where there is opportunity for all—not only for one ethnic group or for a small group of regime cronies. We believe it starts by really engaging with others outside our own groups—by talking to each other rather than talking about each other. This can lead to building trust between previously estranged or alienated groups where difficult issues can be worked out.

Let us remember that the purpose of this God-given gift of the Nile River, which has continued to flow through our ancient lands from the beginning of time, was to give life and nurturance to its recipients along the way. Let us not be greedy, but let us find a way to share its benefits, caring about the wellbeing of each other. Let fair treaties, agreements, and contracts protect the interests of all parties against potential violations by others, including ourselves.

May God protect the interests of the people who rely on this precious gift of water?