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“Ethiopia Shall Never Use ‘Our River’!” Egypt’s idiotic Motto

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Ambachew Dejene (ma74085@gmail.com)

Perhaps due to other burning issues in our home politics, I never wrote anything about the Nile whose origin and the lion’s share of its content are attributed to my nation, Ethiopia.

There is a good saying by an English poet, Lord Byron, “Till taught by pain, men know not water’s worth.”  Ethiopians, sending freely their golden liquid to Egypt for thousands of years, even without a word of “thank you” from those thankless Pharaonians, have been suffering from poverty for millennia. Ethiopia, if utilized her natural resources and Godsend opportunities such as Abbay river, would have been one of the richest countries in the world by now had she not been the target of all evils on planet Earth, even beyond. Of course, it is not uncommon that you would have zillions of enemies if you have something good, including even your internal loopholes which may systematically be interconnected with the external ones. When an entity is fragmented, it is natural that it becomes easy prey of its foes.

To my little knowledge, no any other country in the world is prisoner of its own wealth other than Ethiopia. You can imagine this simple analogy: Suppose you have a bread in your home, suppose an outsider from a distance comes and daringly orders you not to eat, even not to touch that bread of yours other than watching while the outsider himself voraciously gobbles the bread. The greedy outsider, the alpha and the omega of selfishness, never gets satisfied with the bread though he devours it in a seemingly perpetual manner. This outsider knows not any border for the realization of its id’s childish interests. The so called ego and super-ego of Freudian personality structure are non-existent in the dictionary of this outsider. This outsider and Egypt are the two sides of a coin. For a sane individual, Egypt is simply mediocre.

I am always confused of how the world is oblivious of Egypt’s behavior with respect to the Nile. She seems to be, or acts as if she is the source of the Nile and the world appears to willy-nilly accept this abracadabra. Not only in principle but also basically, any country with any natural resource is the first to use or utilize the resource(s) at its disposal. For example, Lesotho sells some four river waters to South Africa; Arab countries sell their fuel to the world; Brazil and Ethiopia sell coffee; Russia sells diamond to support her economy, etc. Other than the controversial river Nile, many transboundary rivers are used by all countries in question. But when it comes to Ethiopia, the story is ridiculously different. What a country is Ethiopia! And no country, even among the so called super powers, is willing to stand with the truth. Maybe Ethiopia is economically poor and militarily harmless? Maybe Egypt is rich and influential?…

For the past thousands of years, Ethiopia has never been beneficiary of her own Nile. This Nile has rather been the cause of Ethiopia’s suffering in a number of ways. First and foremost, this ‘cursed’ river has been transporting her fertile soil (silt) to the Sudan and Egypt. Second, it has been the main reason for the proliferation of enemies against Ethiopia both from within and without. The enemies assisted mainly by Egypt and other ‘stakeholders’ have been composing and employing so many harmful conspiracies so that Ethiopia gets engaged in an everlasting political turmoil because of which she couldn’t have any chance to use her resources for her economic progress and scientific civilization. It is obvious that the enemies of Ethiopia have been clever enough to distract Ethiopia from the path of development and make her join the highway of destruction instead, a highway which was already busy of entertaining countries such as Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, etc. You know the story of failed states and victims of ethnocentric politics in the near past.  …

It is funny and lamentably exasperating that Egypt sleeplessly has been trying to cut off the hands which have been used to feed her; this is a crime, a sin, and an immoral act of bestiality. To be an enemy of the source or origin of your life is ostensibly awkward. Ethiopia has never opposed Egypt while the latter constructed more than five dams and lots of small pools for entertainment and irrigation. Ethiopia has never opposed Egypt while she used the Nile in any way she chose including selling its contents to third parties.

But when Ethiopia began the GERD, Egypt became mad and engaged in all sorts of ill-mannered activities to disrupt the construction while she should be happy. Egypt didn’t want to read the international law on cross border waters which mandates the source countries that they have the right to use their rivers in a fair way as far as they don’t impede the flow of the water. When it comes to the Nile, it is puzzling that Egypt is not in a position to allow Ethiopia to use even a drop of it. Egypt must see an MD soon!

Now, the time for Ethiopia is approaching. It is a matter of life and death. Ethiopia must use her waters come what may. We Ethiopians know Egypt can’t threaten us and hinder us from using our river(s). If the worst comes, the first worst scenario is a war between Egypt and Ethiopia which I think is less likely.

Okay, suppose a myopic warmonger from Egypt’s side is going to ignite the war. And let’s assume that the war is begun today. Let’s take it for granted that Egypt has succeeded in blowing the GERD, which is, to me, so unlikely as well. Mind you! Unless Egypt colonizes Ethiopia and Ethiopia becomes an oversea province of Egypt, the current Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s government of the Pharaohs will never enjoy the benediction of the Nile River anymore.  This is an absolute truth. I will tell you why, just a little bit later.

On the other hand, Ethiopia and Ethiopians are really generous. We can go through so many ‘ifs’. If Ethiopia’s leaders were irreligious, they would force Egypt to pay money for their use of the Nile; If Ethiopian leaders were as cruel as those of the Egyptian ones, they could restrain the flow of Abbay; if Ethiopians were unkind, they could harm Egyptians through manipulating their source of breath, the Nile.

On the contrary,  if Ethiopia were Egypt and Egypt were Ethiopia, Ethiopia would never get even a glass of water from Abbay leave alone the free perennial flow of this river just free of charge. We Ethiopians are so different in this unparalleled bounteousness though the response from Egyptians is death and eternal suffering. I think now it is time for Egyptians to think twice with regard to the madness of their leaders. Bygones are bygones. Egypt has been “clever” for thousands of years. But now it is time out.

How can Ethiopians block the flow of the Nile to the Sudan and Egypt? Very simple. It is a matter of six months or perhaps a year. With little budgetary support from the government, if or when all the people of Ethiopia engage in a campaign of distorting the direction of all tributaries of Abbay, this internationally famous river will become downsized to a national level within a short period of time. Then after, the monotonous talk of negotiation between and/or among nations with regard to the Nile will be an item of history. As simple as that. By then, perhaps, the prediction of the bible will have been realized.

To me, Egypt cannot be a threat to Ethiopia anymore if Ethiopians come to their conscience and if God considers all the vicissitudes we have been in for the last few centuries. I am positive that Ethiopia will get a rebirth once again in the near future and all her enemies will deeply regret. All earthly evils seem to gather in Ethiopia now and conspire to dismantle this beautiful nation along with her children. Apparently, it seems that there could be some trying times ahead which may demand some severe sacrifice, but at the end Ethiopia and Ethiopians will come out triumphant. The birth pangs come before the babies…

God bless Ethiopia.      

10 Comments

  1. Grammatical correction to my English:
    … And, no country even among the so called super powers, doesn’t want to stand with the truth.
    This sentence should be as follows:
    And, no country even among the so called super powers, wants to stand with the truth.
    FYI – the error was the use of double negatives which is non-standard in the Eng. grammar.

    • Ambachew Dejene ከዳተኛ የአረብ ደንገጡር

      የማን ለምን አትለጥፍ የንተና የመሰሎጭ ጭርንቅላት ተልቷል ገንዘብ ብቻ ነዉ የሚያስበዉ ተኝተንም ቢሆን ወያኔ አያሸንፈንም ያላቹሁት ገና ለመሰናበት ስትቃረቡም ትክዳላቹ የአጋንንት ፈረሶች ሕፃናት መግደል ለጥንቆላ ነዉ የትኛዉ ባሕታዊ ነው የነገራቹ ሀብት ና ሰዉ ለመሰብሰብ ነዉ መሰለኝ ከናንተ ግሞች መልካም ቃላት ንጠብቅም ያልተጠቀምከው የስድብ ይነት ካለህ ጨምር የበታችነጥን ባዶነህን ሊሞላዉ ከቻለ ቀጥልበት የአሁኑ ወር ደሞዝ ተጨምሯል ትንሽ ዉሸት ያልተሰማ ክልበት እበት ኦሮሞንና ጉምዝን ቅማንትና አገዉ እየገደልህና እያቃጠልህ ዉነት

      ድፍድፉ ባናጥ ወጣ ደብል ኔጌቲቭ በንፁሃን ኦሮሞና ጉምዝ ደም ተጨማልቃቹሀል መጥፊያቹ ተቃርቧል ግብፅን የመተቸት አቅምም ሞራልም የላቹሁም ትጠፋለህ እንደ ዱቄት ተዋግታቹ ስታሸንፉ ሳይሆን ሕፃናት ስትደፍሩ ቄሶቻቹሁ እናንተን መርቀዉ ሲያሰናብቱ ዘር መርጠዉ ባደባባይ ሲያለቅሱ አያናቸው ለሆዳቸዉ የቀሰሱ የመነኮሱ የሰይጣን አገልጋዮች ናቸው ሥራቸዉ ይመሰክራል

      • እንዴ፣ እንዴ፣ እንዴ ዕብድም ድረገፆችን መክፈትና ገብቶት ባያነብም በኮሜንት ሥር የተወነጋገረ አስተያየት መስጠት ይችልበታል ማለት ነው። ይህ ሰው ጤነኛ ከሆነ እቀጣለሁ፤ ዘሀበሻዎች የመናገርና የመጻፍን መብት እሥከጥግ ነው የምታከብሩት። እውነቴን ነው ተባረኩ። ባላነበው መች ጭንቅላቱን አይ ነበር? በሰው አምሣል የሚንቀሣቀስ ሥንትና ሥንት ወፈፌ አለ ለካንሥ።

  2. Dear Brother Ambachew Dejene,
    Permit me to write simpleton words to describe Egypt’s attitude toward Ethiopia.
    Here they are >>> : The President of Egypt wouldn’t have dared to utter a word had the custodian of the Blue Nile
    was a CAUCASIAN RACE. COUNTRY. <<<< Instead, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A BEGGAR. I repeat, "he would have been a beggar." But to a BLACK RACE he displays his empty bravado, completely ignoring the Ancient, Mature, Exemplary History of PROUD INDEPENDENT BLACK ETHIOPIA for time immemorial. It is sad that Ethiopia had to deal with a vagabond. THE END

  3. “….Egypt …… Egypt ….”????

    START THINKING OUTSIDE THIS “…..EGYPT…SUDAN….EGYPT….” BOX , YOU ETHIOPIANS SEEM TO BE CURRENTLY ONLY IN WHEN IT COMES TO GERD’S FUTURE .

    FOR THE LONGEST THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT HAD BEEN DESPERATELY NEEDING TO OPEN UP ETHIOPIA’S EYES AND LEARN ABOUT THE WHOLE WORLD, ETHIOPIA NEEDED PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERTS AND INTELLIGENCE EXPERTS TO BROADEN ETHIOPIA’S HORIZON ABOUT ALL THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD BUT FOR QUIET SOMETIME ETHIOPIA FAILED MISERABLY IN DOING SO DISGRACING ALL ETHIOPIANS WHEN IT COMES TO THE IDIOTIC FOREIGN POLICIES ETHIOPIA IS STILL FOLLOWING.

    THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX WHICH THE ETHIOPIA’S GOVERNMENT’S (DIPLOMAT’S) ADVISORS FROM CHINA , WORLDBANK , IMF , EU …. ADVISORS PUT ETHIOPIAN ELITES IN.. THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT OWNS ALL LANDS INCLUDING ALL RIVERS OF ETHIOPIA ACCORDING TO THE CURRENT ETHIOPIAN CONSTITUTION. NO OUTSIDE FORCE CAN MAKE ETHIOPIA CHANGE ETHIOPIA’S CONSTITUTION NO MATTER WHAT. ONLY THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT GOT THE RIGHTS OVER ETHIOPIA’S LANDS AND RIVERS NOONE ELSE.

    Ethiopua need to focus not only Egypt but also on Europeans want that Nile to flow as it currently does. If Ethiopia wants to cut off serious amount of Nile water from flowing outside Ethiopia , then Sudan will cut some of the water to keep reserves, then after that then Egypt will cut off whatever amount Egypt needs to reserve for the Agricultural zones in Egypt , then the Aswan Dam will take as much as it needs finally whatever amount of water that finally goes out of Egypt towards the Europe EU member countries , the Mediterranean , Israel and other nearby counties will deplete tremendously affecting them in ways African governments are not made aware of the possible extent of this effect yet. If Ethiopia thinks Egypt or Sudan are the only ones Ethiopia might have to protect GERD from Ethiopia is heavily mistaken.

    -Egypt and Sudan will be the least of Ethiopia’s enemies because Egypt and Sudan might become Ethiopia’s allies if the three countries come down to some sort of agreement soon, so they build thrust amongst the three countries and sign military cooperation to all face the others together or

    -Egypt and even also Sudan might submit to those others and Ethiopia might have to face all of them alone or with only one amongst Egypt or Susan becoming Ethiopia’s allies.

    – Nile’s Water irrigation and river don’t just disappear when it leaves Africa as many think it does , that’s what the Western Educated African intellectuals think but the Nile River water got serious use to others outside Africa to those it reaches even after it flows outside Egypt/outside Africa. This was not really made a public knowledge because back then the colonial powers didn’t want Ethiopians / Africans to know that.

    IF SOMEBODY MANAGES TO BLOW UP ALL OF GERD TURNING THE WHOLE DAM. INTO ASHES AT THE SAME TIME AT ANY POINT IN TIME IN THE FUTURE AFTER GERD BECOMES FULLY OPERATIONAL SUDAN AND EGYPT WILL SUFFER TREMENDOUSLY , MAYBE SUDAN AND EGYPT WILL SUFFER AS MORE OR AS EQUAL AS ETHIOPIA DOES SUFFER BECAUSE THE FLOOD WILL BE HORRIBLE ESPECIALLY FOR SUDAN WHILE THE OTHERS OUTSIDE AFRICA WHO GET BENEFITS FROM NILE MIGHT BENEFIT TREMENDOUS FROM BLOWING UP ALL OF GERD TURNING THIS BIG DAM INTO ASHES IN ONE QUICK ATTACK. ETHIOPIA NEEDS TO BRING EGYPT AND SUDAN IN ETHIOPIA’S SIDE AND ETHIOPIA MIGHT NEED TO START RWALLY CONSIDERING THE POSSIBILITY IF UNITING ETHIIPIA , SUDAN AND EGYPT AS ONE COUNTRY. ETHIOPIA WILL NOT LOOSE BUT GAIN BY BECOMING ONE COUNTRY WITH SUDAN AND EGYPT. ALL THREE COUNTRIES NEED TO START EXPLORING WITH THE OPTION OF UNITING AS ONE WITH EGYPT AND SUDAN . ETHIOPIA GOT A BETTER CHANCE OF DEFEATING OUTSIDE AND INTERNAL ENEMIES BY GETTING MILITARY , ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INTEGRATION WITH EGYPT AMD SUDAN .

  4. ክቡር ወንድም ኣምባቸው ደጀኔ

    ኣንዲት ቁምነገር ከፈገግታ ጋር ይፈቀድልኝ::

    ነገሩ የተበላሸው እኛ የራሳችን ጽሁፍ ቋንቋ፣ በሰዋሱው የተገነባ፣ እያለን መሰረተ ትምህርታችን በባእድ ቋንቋ ስንታገል መኖራችን ነው። ኣስር ቋንቋ ማወቅ ሃጥያት ኣይደለም፤ አንዲያዉም ያስመሰግናል። የራስን ቋንቋና ስልጣንየ እርግፍ ኣድሮጎ መጣል ግን የዋህነት፣ ኣርቆ የማየት ጉድለት፣ ከዚያም ኣልፎ እስከራስን የመጥላት ባህርይ ያደርስል ። ከዝያ በኋላ ምን ይዘን ቀረን ? ትልቁ ሃዘን፣ ግዝየ የማይሸፍነው፣ እሱ ነው ።

  5. I, the great grandson of the wizard of Oz, how on earth would I have known that Ethiopia was home to so much water? Growing up as a child in Barotseland, home to just as much water, I reckon, if not more, perhaps, all I used to hear about Ethiopia was “hunger”, “drought” and “famine”; so much so that, while in College the word “Ethiopia” earned its way into the campus vocabulary of those days to mean “hunger.” If you were to hear someone call out the name “Ethiopia,” you instantly understood what he meant, the he was famished. This, I may add, was never said “jestingly,” no. It was said, rather, as a way of expressing sympathy for the people of a country up north; a country which I have since grown to love and respect.

    Decades have gone since then. Today, as a resident of this “Golden State,” commonly known as California, I would be a liar if I were to tell you that there is gold here. The only gold I have seen here is water, some of which comes from very far. Years back, I got to learn that California produces more than half of the food consumed in America, much of which is exported to far flung countries. Also to be cherished is another statistic that, within the United States of America, California is the second largest producer of rice; second only to Arkansas.

    Please forgive my rumbling. I happen to be a great grandchild of the wizard of Oz. By this, I don’t mean to say that I was not well-brought up. Rather, I mean to say that I was ill-brought up. Reading your article made me feel as though one was “adding salt to injury,” not just for the preservation of the injury, but also to make it totally intolerable. What more do I need to say, if not only that there should be more bushels of rice coming out of Ethiopia for the export market. Please be so kind. I didn’t mean to be this obnoxious.

    Lastly, thank you very much for caring about the white man’s language and the use of “double negatives.” I, the great grandson of the wizard of Oz, would never want to hold you to so high a standard. English happens to be my third language. I love it, nonetheless; and not shy to use it imperfectly, if need be.

    Signed,
    Mei Matungu (Meaning Deap Waters)

    • Dear Mei Matungu, thanks for your ptecious time spent on reading piece.
      If I have understood you well, let me say this to slough off one of your perception about Ethiopia.
      Unlike many countries in the world, Ethiopia is rich in natural resources. She has many, many big and small rivers including lakes and ponds which are the dreams of countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel. She enjoys all seasons; winter, summer, fall, and autmun if I mentioned them correctly. These seasons are nightmares to many countries on this bloody planet. She has every mineral and fuel inside her womb. … Let me go to the “but” which you might expect it impatiently to know why we are poor despite all this wealth.
      BUT, we never had and still have good governance and administration. Perhaps due to her envying social and religious history, this nation is always attacked by foreign powers and she has been immersed in incessant wars. She couldn’t get better education for her children. On top of every problem I or anyone else tabulates, the coming into power of ‘good for nothing’ people (with some exceptions, of course) has greatly been affecting the dev’t of this nation. Due to the ignorance and its offspring arrogance, our nation happened to be an example of poverty. Her children are mistreated, imprisoned, killed, etc. at home. Therefore, they prefer to migrate and immigrate whetever their fate leads.
      Hope is the last thing to lose, people say so. I am Christian and hope that God has His own time to adjust such injustices. But He needs time. And the time dimension that exists between earth and sky seems to be unheeded by earthlings which is why we get desperate by the “delay” of God’s verdict. I hope Ethiopia will rise soon. There are signs. I strongly feel that what “is” now will definitely become “was” within few years as of now. I say this because we have been punished in a manner no other people of any nation has been so. We deserve freedom.

  6. This piece is very enlightening. I loved it.
    The poet didn’t remember the existence of the worr “gain” to use it in place of “worth”. If I were him, I would say like this to maintain the rythm or ryhme:
    “Till taught by pain, men know not water’s gain.”
    instead of:
    Till taught by pain, men know not water’s worth.”

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