Ethiopians Foiled Egyptian Orchestrated unrest
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, Sept. Oct. 23, 2016
Egypt’s strenuous effort to thrust Ethiopia into the abyss has completely flopped in the same manner as it did in the 2005 general election. Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam( GERD), which has been in full swing since 2011, is still proceeding effortlessly contrary to the erroneous information discharged by Egyptian media outlets controlled by the government.
Egypt is failing to come to terms with the simple fact that Ethiopia is no longer a banana state, and on many instances, it has demonstrated beyond doubt that it is capable of absorbing resilience testing shocks whilst carrying out government businesses as normal, and maintaining the prevailing law and order at the same time. Recently, the country was afflicted by a devastating El-Nino related drought that threatened the lives of nearly 11 million citizens but it managed to deal with it in a co-ordinated and efficient way without losing a single life.
The magnitude of last year’s drought was similar to the 1984-85 famine that caused an estimated one million deaths and millions more destitute. But the EPRDF government quickly mollified it by injecting 4 billion birr from government coffers and partial assistance from foreign partners. Twenty-five years of sheer hard work and perseverance has made Ethiopia prosperous and this in turn made it feasible to restrain the drought from turning into a devastating famine as used to happen during previous autocratic regimes. It must be noted of the fact that since the EPRDF came to power, the population has increased from nearly 50 to 100 million; and to successfully deal with a drought of this enormity where there are more mouths to feed now than there were previously, is an extraordinary feat.
Egypt is vehemently opposed to the idea of a fair distribution of the Nile Waters where 85% of it originates from Ethiopia. This status quo remained in place since the implementation of the 1929 treaty which was subsequently amended in 1959 to increase Egypt’s share. In 2011, the Ethiopian government announced the construction of 6000 MW generating GERD on the Nile River with an estimated outlay of $ 6.4 billion USD which would be raised from the public and state treasury.
This is an additional indicator for Egypt to note that Ethiopia has moved on from the bad old days and now has developed a stalwart economic muscle as a result of 25 years of hard work. At present, the Horn nation has arrived a stage where it is able to undertake simultaneous mega projects such as GERD ($6.4 billion USD), Adama Express ($612 million USD), Addis light railway ($475 million USD), Addis-Djibouti railway ($4 billion USD) to name but a few. Moreover, in 2014, Ethiopia’s GDP reached 1.5 trillion Birr, and during the life of GTP II, 2.4 million social houses of various sizes are expected to be built in various parts of the country costing billions of dollars. This is just a prologue and more will come as long as our country remains peaceful and stable as it has been the case since the Woyane led EPRDF liberated the nation from a brutal military regime.
The moment a declaration to build the GERD was made, Egypt has been frantically striving to halt it by using all sorts of avenues including initiating political turbulence that would eventually lead to civil war. Ethiopia’s economic growth is proceeding at a meteoric speed and Egypt is well aware of the inevitable demand for more hydro-power energy to run new industries and the Arab Republic wants to prevent this essential need at any cost. And to realise this, Egypt has devised twin strategies to be concurrently implemented in order to derive maximum damage to the country, and to the rapid economic growth that has been in progress over the last two decades and half.
Of course her preferred option is to remove the present government outright and plunge the nation into a knotty civil war similar to what is unfolding in Yemen, Libya and Syria where over 500,000 people have been killed to date. Arms and money have been freely flowing to Amhara and Oromia regions, and as part of Egypt’s agenda, diaspora extremists have been instructed to overplay the ethnic card and wage a sustained hate campaign against the Tigrian people. Some Tigrians residing in North Gonder, where Emperor Yohannes gave his life defending it from Mahdist invaders, have been brutally murdered and some have also lost their businesses estimated to be worth millions of birr. By way of information, the number of Amharas living in other regions is far greater than the other ethnic groups leaving elsewhere in the country added to together.
ESAT TV and radio, social-media, articles on Ethio-Media and Oromo Media Network have been used to orchestrate the crusade against the Tigrians in the same way as ‘Kangura’ newspaper, ‘’Radio Rwanda’’ and’’ Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines( RTLM)’’ were used in Rwanda to incite violence against the Tutsis resulting in the demise of 800,000 people in 100 days in 1994. It was shocking to listen to a report on ESAT TV which stated that to eliminate the TPLF, the Tigrian people must firstly be wiped out. Drain the water to kill the fish was the analogy that was used. Thankfully, this has been averted and the zealots who were paid by the extremists to carry out the pogrom have now been placed behind bars. The regional government of Tigrai should urgently conduct a census of Tigrians living outside their region and follow their circumstances by liaising with community leaders so that if a similar situation was to occur they can be evacuated to secure and safe places as quickly as possible.
The fall-back position for Egyptian was to instruct their stooges and ensure the destruction of foreign businesses and the intension of this being to force current investors to leave and dissuade others form making their way to the East African hub. In Sebeta alone, 11 companies that included textile and plastic factories were razed to ground making thousands of people jobless at a stroke. Even water reservoirs constructed for public consumption were obliterated in some parts of Oromia and Amhara regions. Also in Bahir Dar 9 out of 12 horticulture farms owned by American and Dutch investors were gutted.
But what happened to the cement plant owned by Dangote, the multi-billionaire Nigerian investor will haunt the country for many years to come. Dangote set up the factory with an outlay of $600 million USD and had plans to expand with additional US $450 million. In the first place, it was a great success to entice a high profile business man to massively invest in Ethiopia; and with time we will know if Dangote is going to pull the plug and move elsewhere or remain in Ethiopia and go ahead with his expansion plans.
Just to ensure an uninterrupted flow of Nile waters, Egypt is going all out to scupper Ethiopia’s economic success and once again make the nation perpetual recipient of foreign hand-outs for its mere survival. This is Egypt’s unambiguous agenda and followers of the diaspora extremists at home should know this simple fact. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s of Egypt is not the slightest bit concerned about the state of ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ in Ethiopia because he himself assumed power by overthrowing the democratically elected government of Mohamed Mursi and in the process killed nearly 2000 innocent people.
Egypt’s only option is to negotiate in good faith but the age-old mind-set that Ethiopian children should go hungry while the Egyptians fill-up their large tummies is no longer acceptable. That’s why for the first time in the history of the country the unfair arrangement that existed since 1929 was challenged by the late Premier Meles Zenawi as he strongly believed that the interest of the country came before the comfort and security of his party’s political power.
The EPRDF administration should now proceed urgently to repair the damage done by the unrest in addition to providing reassure to current and future investors that their businesses would be afforded government protection come rain or shine. Furthermore, the conditions that made it possible for foreign enemies and their trailers to cause havoc in the country and damage its image must be eliminated as a matter of utmost urgency. Also a proactive government media rebuttal unit ought to be established to challenge powerful organisations such as Human Rights Watch, International Rivers, Oakland Institute to name but a few. These entities have made it their daily function to disseminate damaging information about Ethiopia on behalf of Egypt and American neoconservatives and it is time to put a full stop to it.
Equally important that must be addressed urgently is the wrong perception of Tigrian hegemony generated by the extremists at home and abroad. The ruling party must dispel this erroneous assertion by providing statistical data, economic mapping and the ethnic composition of the bureaucracy in the metropolis as the deliberate misinformation has gone long enough unopposed and is being accepted as the gospel truth. The fact is that after 60,000 deaths of Tigrian youth in their prime, and 100,000 disabled combatants, most people in Tigrai would be lucky to obtain potable water once a month.
Egyptians telling a group of Oromos to establish their own country.