Seifu Tsegaye Demmissie — The last week`s Pro- Meles Zenawi demonstration in Washington DC using the Nile as one of the rallying issues, is Zenawi`s political maneuver in the waters of the Nile. The main purpose and timing of this maneuver are all combined in a manner which is meant to send out signals of deterent or scare Ethiopians struggling for democracy, freedom and justice. The tone of the message that came out from his mole rats who were forced to come out of their hiding burrows is that of intimidation and threats. They are typical of Zenawi`s horrible and ethno-fascistic rule. He will not achieve his political goal of keeping Ethiopians off the streets of Washington DC or any other western Capital. The marching of few TPLF and greedy souls in the streets of Washington DC will not scare Ethiopians.
The ethno-fascist Meles Zenawi has developed this false sense of total triumph over the Ethiopian opposition operating inside Ethiopia and the west where the major part of the Diaspora is based. The display of his followers and beneficiaries in the streets of Washington DC has obviously been intended to show his reach and presence in the Diaspora. However, the Nile an Ethiopian issue he should not encroach upon to provoke us. He should not be allowed to pollute or fish in our waters though he can not catch any big fish in them.
Meles Zenawi is well aware of the sensitivity of the Nile issue and the vital importance Ethiopians attach to it. Besides, he has realized the international or regional side of the issue and calculated to make a political capital or fortune out of it. However, as Ethiopians we have long known that Zenaw`s gains have always incurred lamentable losses on our country, Ethiopia. Zenawi`s gains of any kind including his adoption as the nasty child of the Global Aid Industry, are taking their tolls on our people and country. Therefore, his political maneuvering in the waters of the Nile will never fool and make us lose sight of his anti-Ethiopia stands, treason and atrocities. Zenawi will never be in a position to win the hearts and minds of Ethiopians and garner a commanding support. Nor will he be able to achieve his stated goal of crippling and demoralizing the democratic and genuine Ethiopian opposition. Despite their temporary setbacks, the Ethiopian opposition is capable of resilience and will strengthen themselves to continue waging the popular anti-fascist struggle.
It is obvious that we are located in or the proximity of a region where water is becoming a scarce resource and will likely be the source of future conflicts or wars. The pressure on or demand for this resource is increasing as a consequence of increasing population and unfavorable climatic changes in the region. Despite facing persistent and devastating famines, Ethiopia has not used or underused its water resources including the waters of the Nile for various reasons. It is ironical to witness Ethiopia which is also called Africa`s water tower suffering from periodic drought related famines. Droughts or failing rains are not the sole causes of famine in Ethiopia. A regime in control of the fertile or productive lands of the country and on a land selling spree should take its significant share of the blame. With Zenawi in power, there will not be any wonder if the fertile lands and waters of the country end up in the hands of hostile foreign powers.
The TPLF guys and their comrades in bellies who had taken part in the pro- Zenawi demonstration in Washington DC have only brought disgrace and shame on themselves. They can not promote the image of their paymaster and his rule in Ethiopia. The Nile issue is an Ethiopian one and should be left to Ethiopians. The members and supporters of the ethno-fascist Zenawi have got nothing to do with this issue. It is important to re-emphasize that Ethiopians never expect Zenawi to be the guardian or protector of the national interests of their country. Given the vital economic as well as political dimensions of the Nile issue, Ethiopians have persisted in their demands for transparency and accountability in any dealings with it. This is justifiable because we value the issue as part of our national interests. There are reports of his earlier secretive deals with Egypt in which Zenawi has agreed to accept the current unfair arrangement regarding the use of the Nile waters. This arrangement which is known to be based on the British colonial interests favouring Egypt is unjust and unfair and is not legally binding. The parties involved can not be bound by it.
The leaders of the TPLF with Zenawi in the forefront have been ridiculing any concern and demand for the protection and promotion of Ethiopia`s national interests including its rightful access to the Red Sea, as the politics of the chauvinists or Amharas. The demonstration of Zenawi`s guys and the sellouts clad in the politics of the chauvinists in Washington DC, should not come as any to surprize Ethiopians.
Ethiopia is not only the source of most of the waters of the Nile but almost all of the fertile and rich soil making particularly significant contributions to Egyptian agriculture. The Nile has played a significant role in the emergence and growth of the ancient Egyptian civilization and is the lifeline of the present day Egypt. Various expeditions were launched to find the source of the Nile. Thus a lot is at stake in the Nile issue. The Blue Nile contributes approximately 80-90% of the Nile River discharge and 96% of the transported sediment carried by the Nile originates in Ethiopia, with 59% of the water from the Blue Nile (the rest being from Tekeze , Atbara , Sobat and small tributaries). The erosion and transportation of silt only occurs during the Ethiopian rainy season in the summer, when rainfall is especially high on the Ethiopian Plateau; (http://en..wikpedia.org/wiki/Nile). Since the Nile is an International river, no country can justify sole ownership or an inequitable use of its waters and efforts aimed at having in place agreements for equitable and fair use of this resource are of crucial importance. The riparian countries need to work out and accept a fair and just agreement for the equitable and sustainable use of the Nile waters.
The Nile issue is a vital component of the national interest of Ethiopia which Zenawi has been damaging and undermining since his days in the bush. In fact, Zenawi in the palace has proved to be more detrimental to the national interests of Ethiopia. However, it is important to note that Ethiopia is not in a position to take care of its national interests since it is in the hands of Meles Zenawi. Egypt and the Sudan can exploit Ethiopia`s current weak position or absence to retain the former British Colonial treaty on the use of the Nile waters. As stated earlier, this treaty is known to favour Egypt and has remained contentious. Egypt`s direct or indirect hand (through other fellow Arab Countries) in destabilising Ethiopia is known to be connected to the Nile issue. It is worth recalling that Meles Zenawi has based the resolution of the so called border dispute with the Eritrean People`s Liberation Front (EPLF) on the colonial treaties which are defunct and void. He has done this deliberately or intentionally to harm and undermine the national interests and security of Ethiopia. Despite his political machinations using the Nile as an appealing issue, there is no reason for us Ethiopians to believe that Zenawi will reject the colonial treaty on the use of the waters of the Nile. His reported signing of the recent agreement among the upper stream countries can turn out to be a ploy designed to hoodwink these countries which are genuinely concerned with securing their national interests. They should be ware of Zenawi who plays a mecrenery role in Africa.