By Robele Ababya, 08 December 2010
There are three major drainage systems in Ethiopia. The first and largest is the western drainage system, which includes the watersheds of the Blue Nile (known as the Abbay in Ethiopia), the Tekeze, and the Baro Rivers in Gambella. All three rivers flow west to meet the White Nile in The Sudan. The second is the Rift Valley internal drainage system, composed of the Awash River, the Lakes Region, and the Omo River. The Awash flows northeast to the Denakil Plain before it dissipates into a series of swamps and Lake Abe at the border with Djibouti. The Lakes Region is a self-contained drainage. The Shebelle River begins in the highlands of Ethiopia and then flows southeast (traversing a distance of 1000 kilometers inside Ethiopia) and cross into Somalia towards Mogadishu. (Note: this paragraph is put together from various sources to induce the young generation to discover more about our rivers)
The rulers of Egypt expect Ethiopians to sit by and watch 85% of their waters flowing to Egypt in the face of persistent and humiliating hunger, starvation and famine that have characterized our motherland, Ethiopia, for decades. This irony of object poverty and related beggary amid plenty of natural resources must end.
In all fairness Ethiopia deserves veto power over waters originating within her territory and crossing her boundaries – and exercise that power responsibly in accordance with international law. Compassion, morality, natural law and virtues of respect for life should transcend any politically-motivated shortsighted benefit in resolving the centuries-old thorny issues between Ethiopia and Egypt. In this age of information and phenomenal advances in science and technology, equitable solution on the share of the waters of the Nile must be found in order to put to rest once and for all the longstanding acrimony between the two countries.
Unfortunately, the TPLF regime and the Egyptian government are hindrances to fostering the requisite political environment conducive to rational solution. Mubarak and Zenawi are both undemocratic determined to fish in troubled waters to stay in power. Both are responsible for the deterioration of regional stability, as detailed in the following paragraphs.
Mubarak set aside historical facts
President Mubarak deliberately set aside the following historical facts and lied in an attempt to get diplomatic exit from the boiling issue of the Nile waters. Below are cardinal examples of the past bloody and the present sour relations between Ethiopia and Egypt.
Why Zenawi hyped the Nile issue now
Zenawi told Reuters that “Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the Nile and that Cairo was supporting rebel groups in an attempt to destabilize his nation”. This is a very serious accusation and people ask whether Zenawi’s is just being provocative or has grand strategy; it is argued that his hyped stance over the issue of the river Nile is not going to help in negotiations and that he does not have to worry about popular support for another five years.
The motive for the hype depends on a set of complex and interrelated factors, inter alia: Zenawi’s reportedly deteriorating health; continuity in power of the TPLF/EPRDF party after the expiry of his present five-year term; extent of Communist China’s financial and political support to the one-party bad governance in Ethiopia; regional stability; extent of continuance of immoral flow of funds to the coffers of the brutal regime despite its grave human rights violations and robbery of votes; importance attached by the Western powers to the strategic location of Ethiopia; conflicting competition for the usurpation of Ethiopia’s fertile land resource among India, China, Saudi Arabia et al; resolve of Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora to expose in unison the well-documented abuses of the regime and bring it to justice, tenability of double digit economic growth, ability of the regime to support its bloated government, fulfilling the pledge to provide three meals a day for each and every citizen.
Zenawi had in effect endorsed Egypt’s power of veto over the Nile waters in the agreement that he and Mubarak signed in 1993. By doing so he had foreclosed any chance of negotiation with Egypt. His blunder done in secret is now in the public domain and this betrayal is making him nervous. He had relied on the power of the gun to misrule Ethiopia for the last two decades. To remain in power during his present 5-year term and ensure monopoly of power for his TPLF party, he will still absolutely rely on his security forces despite his effort to endear himself to the Ethiopian people by his rhetoric over the Nile. Ethiopians will never forgive him in the face of his massacring of democracy and atrocious human rights records; for the same reason, he is not so sure about continuity of generous direct donor support to his regime.
So, confounded by complex situations mentioned in the two paragraphs above, one would conclude that, Zenawi has chosen forming alliance with China as his grand strategy while preaching democracy. This strategy will help him crush or muzzle protestors against unmet promises in the fait accompli one-party state, Ethiopia.
Torturer Zenawi cannot be trusted as a leader that will promote the wellness of the Ethiopian people; he has to be forced to relinquish power and be brought to justice for his betrayal in the secret Nile Accord 1993 and heinous crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
One of the foremost challenges for true Ethiopians is to demand and enforce payback for exploited children of the Blue Nile by compelling dictators in Cairo and Khartoum to oblige.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!
Free all political prisoners in Ethiopia!