Washington Update on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Washington Update
August 30, 2020
  1. Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
The U.S. State Department has threatened to halt up to $130 million in foreign assistance to Ethiopia in order to pressure Ethiopia to make concessions to Egypt in a dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. It isn’t yet clear whether the cuts will actually occur.
In any case, the move shows Trump’s clear bias in favor of Egypt, and his disregard for human rights or democracy. President Donald Trump has called Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “my favorite dictator.”
The Trump administration has refused to take strong steps in response to human rights abuses in Ethiopia, including the killing and displacement of millions of innocent people and the jailing and mistreatment of peaceful opposition leaders.
During a G-7 summit last year. Officials familiar with negotiations said the Trump administration has not approved parallel cuts in foreign assistance to Egypt.
Although 85% of the water in the Nile originates in Ethiopia, in the Blue Nile, the Ethiopian people derive very little benefit from the river. today, 83% of Ethiopians lack access to electricity; 94% rely on wood for daily cooking and heating.
Ethiopia continues to move forward with the dam, arguing that the hydroelectric project will significantly improve livelihoods in the region more broadly.
  1. Congressional letter
Twenty members of the U.S. Congress have signed a letter “to convey our serious concerns about the recent unrest in Ethiopia.” The letter notes “security force abuses, ethnic and religious violence, and the departure from democratic norms are alarming and have led to a more dangerous and unstable environment” and urges Pompeo to “engage with the Ethiopian government and all other stakeholders to prevent violence and protect civilians, to promote stability and better dialogue, and to support continued progress toward strengthening democratic institutions.”
The accurately describes the government’s failure to prevent violence and its anti-democratic actions, stating that “Ethiopia has experienced a regression in democratic principles in recent months, including limitations on free speech, arrests of journalists and opposition officials, and restrictions on internet freedoms.” It also notes that the consequences of a continuation or deterioration of the current situation are tragic for Ethiopia and would have undermine U.S. interests: “An unstable Ethiopia with violence, ethnic division, and politically motivated prosecutions will be a less reliable partner for the United States and will fail to project our democratic values. Ethiopia’s current situation will create lasting and harmful instability if it is not addressed, undermining its future and U.S. interests.”
The letter urges Pompeo work with the Ethiopian government and opposition to:
•Dialogue with all political parties on a plan for rescheduling elections, and renewed efforts to ensure a free and fair pre-election environment;
• An open internet and full freedom of speech for citizens, opposition parties, and the press;
• A revision to the state of emergency measures to reflect international standards, to safeguard against abuse and ensure that they are time-bound and in force only as absolutely necessary;
• Respect for due process and a fair and fully transparent judicial process for all those arrested during the recent unrest;
• A transparent and independent examination of human rights abuses reported by leading international groups and the media;
• A denunciation of ethnic and religious violence across the country, including those who may have used the murder of Hacaaluu Hundeessaa as a pretext for targeting those from other communities;
• A transparent and independent investigation into the murder of Hacaaluu Hundeessaa.
Mesfin Mekonen
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  1. Correction: Actually the cuts are permanent and effect immediately unless Ethiopia accepts Egypt’s demands that’s basically the point of the news leak from the State department. According to the hill newspaper Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has approved plans to halt some U.S. aid to Ethiopia, Foreign Policy reported on Friday. The Hill explains: The halt in aid comes as the U.S. mediates a dispute over a dam on the Nile River that’s pitted Ethiopia against Egypt and Sudan, according to Foreign Policy. The decision could impact up to $130 million of assistance to programs including security, counter-terrorism and anti-human trafficking. “The U.S. role is to do everything it can to help facilitate an agreement between the three countries that balance their interests. At the end of the day it has to be an agreement that works for these three countries.Egypt and Sudan, which depend on the Nile for much of their fresh water, are opposed to any development they say will impact the flow downstream, including the 6,000-megawatt power plant Ethiopia hopes to develop at the dam.”

    Question: what’s the word on the street about potential airstrike?

  2. Airstrike? I don’t know how that will come to fruition. First, The USA will not allow the invasion of a sovereign and friendly nation like Ethiopia. Most important of all imagine the disaster such airstrike will create. The Blue Nile will be lost to Sudan and Egypt forever. I don’t think Sudan will go for it. Also, there is still negotiation going. My hope is all these three countries will come up with a document amicable to everyone of them. There must be a middle point they will be nodding positively at.

    In regards to the cessation of the aid, such continued assist has to come at end at some point in time. USA has been so generous is providing financial aids for so many causes for so many countries. It proves that this is a country full of philanthropic people. We should all remember that USA was the first one to donate hundreds of life saving ventilators to the old country. It seems that many of these receivers of financials are addicted to the good-intentioned handouts. How long will you keep training security personnel? Till the end of time? I am sure our countrymen/women in such profession have already accumulated enough skills from years of the state of the art training and on the job experience to do an excellent job at it on their own. They are not as dumb as you think. So I’m not upset about the cancellation of this particular aid. It is such superfluous at this time. If you think there is air between Ethiopia and Good Ole USA, think again cuz you will be very disappointed.

  3. Obbo Farda,

    You were clearly wrong just a couple of weeks back when you insisted without any evidence that Trump the USA will not allow to cut foreign aid to Ethiopia. You had no clue what you were talking about then and you have no idea what you’re blubbering about now. How do we know you’re not pontificating as usual? From this window u got zero credibility on this matter.

  4. Dear Countryman/Woman DC Ethio,

    It is alright. You are entitled to your opinion and please do deny me the same right. Both you and I are not the policy makers. We are just reacting to a report. Even if the Trump administration decides to withhold financial aid to the old country so what? A giver has the right and the option to stop any aid that is not meant for humanitarian causes, You see, we Africans are so addicted to pan handling and handouts that we think it should be just a dead giveaway at all times. At some point somehow and in some ways we have to wean ourselves from such debilitating addiction.

    So calm down. We are not supposed to see each other as mortal enemies. It is a friendly game of differing opinions.

    Peace and blessings upon you and your family.

  5. DC,

    I agree. You’ve raised a good question. It’s a worrisome situation for our country. War is already underway unless you’re a willful ignorant. Ethiopia has been sufficiently destabilized and placed on shaky grounds. This is all a big screaming and flushing red sign that someone in collaboration with Egypt is already waging a sinister (and brilliant from a military stand point) war of invisible hands in Ethiopia. We are too easy to exploit. I am afraid their next move will be much more spectacular and bolder that will likely send Ethiopia into a tail spin of ethnic conflict. Then, one early morning BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. GERD will be dust in the Nile. By that time you wake up it’s too late folks. At the end nobody is to blame except we Ethiopians especially my generation of hippos and dinosaurs alike. We have failed our country over and over again.

  6. Ittu Aba Farda,

    No, you are mistaken again. I am one of the Obama people that you hate so much. I have first hand knowledge than you do. You’re just the same old pontificator. You’re entitled to free speech. We respect your right to pontificate.

  7. Ittu Aba Farda,


    No, not for us this not a game. That’s your problem you see advancing yourself at the expense of others and propagandizing against elected officials and their Ethiopian supporters as a game. You see using the “N” as a game. What a psycho. Is your failed fundraising a game too? Is your fake scholarship and human rights advocacy a game too? hmmmm not only did you smoke yourself out but you also revealed yourself. Interesting, that’s what we thought a long. that you’re con artist and a fraud. Yeah keep on damning down our serious public discourse that’s matter of life death for many of our people. That’s a game for you, ha???? No, it’s not a game for us. Unlike you, we have a life too many other important things than to make this a game moron. It’s not a game.

  8. Farda?

    “Friendly game”???? Dude, do you see your “prolific” role in fabricating years of propaganda of national security proportions for Ethiopia and the U.S as soccer match??? Sorry man go find your friends somewhere else. Don’t consider this friendship or friendly. You need to get a life.

  9. Ittu Aba Farda

    ምንነው ምንተስኖት እርሱ ካለው ላያልፍ በሽተኛው ባይለፈለፍ። From a women’s view እንዳተ ዝም ብሎ የሞያውቀውን የሚለፈልፍና ሌላ ሠው የማያከብር ወንድ በጣም BORING ነው። It’s a sign that ፍቅር መስራት አይችልበትም ማለት ነው። So you’re showing yourself.

    ነገር በትኩሱ ጨዋታ በወዙ

  10. Hi guys, particularly DC and General, forget Mtmitaye

    Ittu Aba Farda is way up in his considered opinion. He is at the top and you guys at the bottom. I pity you, looking up you’re breaking your neck. While I have a slightly different opinion of Ethio-American relationships, particularly wtth the Trump regime his views are much more coherent.

    General – “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. GERD will be dust in the Nile”??? What video games have you playing with your children these days?. That may be a wishful thinking, but you better start thinking as a grown up..

    Keep it up, Ittu!

  11. Awash Lemma (Ittu Aba Farda),


    ለሞኝ ከሳቁለት ለቅዘን ክሮጡለት

    ለሞኝ ንገረው ምን ይሰማ ብዬ ለብልህ ንገረው ምን ይሳተው ብዬ

  12. Dear Countryman Awash Lemma:

    I love the lines you quoted: BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, GERD will be dust in the Nile!!! Ok, let’s say that is done. Then what is gonna happen at coordinates 23°58′14″N 32°52′40″E right after that? You know what I mean? I know you will get it but these bigots, arsonists and human body snatches will never get it.

    Get a load of this. Lately the alpha lawyer was heard complaining about the dam and disqualifying it on ‘legal basis’. He and his other missionary canteen scavenging fellowship orphans and professors of handouts are telling their supremacist followers that the dam project was started and constructed without the consultation/participations of ‘their’ people cuz many of the major tributaries originate in ‘their’ territory. I tell you that seem to be giving a shout out to el-Sisi to do the BOOM BOOM for him. They go ‘Hi my master el-Sisi, Just for a chump change and some of your delicious halawa I can send it to smithereens!! Then I can release my blind and hate filled hooligans to destroy the ’empire’ called Ethiopia and every ‘N’ group of people and neo-Gobenas out there. You don’t need to send your fighter jets of lard $$$ commandos. Let me lick your boots for now, please!!!’. I tell you these are not products my glorious and harmonious Oromos. They are that after birth the midwife wrongly picked up. Just listen to what they are lambasting lately. They finally are not holding back. They are calling for the demise of an entire group of people. They are doing all this from their comfy homes here among us in the Diaspora hiding behind US and other Western nations citizenship. It seems that they have been getting indirect support that emboldens them more and more. Calling for genocide in a delicate country like the old country shouldn’t have been allowed to continue. Down, Down a group of people does not mean like denying them the rooms on the 2nd floor but it is calling for their massacre till their last one was cut down to pieces. It is not funny and it is not just something bad uttered to scoff about. It is calling for the murder of my wonderful friends I know my entire life including their loved ones. This is against what is in the Holy Scriptures I am committed to. I can’t let murders committed on innocent people in my name. Never!!! No sir!!!

  13. Dear Countryman??? he might as well say comrade, LOL HAHAHAH. Laughter is the best medicine.

    Ittu Aba Farda said: “I can’t let murders committed on innocent people in my name. Never!!! No sir!!!”

    What’s he talking about? Think this time he has lost not only himself but all of us on this one.

    Somebody please tell him not to put too many irons in the fire meaning don’t try to do too many things at the same time; focus on one thing at a time. No wonder he’s exhausted. He is trying to work 4 jobs at the same time! He has too many irons in the fire right now.

  14. Dear countryman Ittu,
    It is an absolute pleasure to read your posts. The reason some of your detractors revert to personal abuse is because they cannot match you in the battle of ideas. None of your detractors can string together a well thought out sensible argument. Just ignore the personal abuse and continue your contributions so that an alternative view is heard. Don’t forget most of your detractors are not engineers and lack the capacity to critical analyse for they are products of an education system that condemned our country to the chaos and the genocidal abyss it is in today. They are children of Marx, Lenin and Mao. The most cursed philosophy that has produced the likes of the house niggers Jawar Mohammed and Bekele Gerba. Have a great day.

  15. The question is not whether a hot war will break out but rather are we prepared for such a scenario if it was to happen The role of scenarios in defense planning is the key part of preparing to defend national security interests, and threats and challenges to these interests; national security policies and strategies; and the strategic concepts that have provided a framework for relating military forces to strategic ends. The scenario may or may not happen. That’s up to the civilian leaders to prevent from a hot war from breaking out. But from a military stand point you have to imagine all various possibilities and options of saving the country. The truth remains that Egypt with help from its powerful friends is taking advantage of the fluid political situation in Ethiopia. Of course any military adventure by Egypt will prove to be foolish and will be mutually assured destruction as Ethiopia will surely respond in kind. The questions is in such an unfortunate scenario what would the role of China be? How about Russia, EU, UN, etc? That’s still up in the air and it’s worth thinking about.

  16. Dear Coutryman/Woman ሞጽአተ ኢትዬጵያ

    Thank you again for living up to our glorious and legendary values. I guarantee you that our Civil and constructive discourse is being viewed by many others who will understand its positive message We try to spread. Bigots, murderers and proven arsonists infect others but we don’t. We don’t infect others but we persuade them for the good of those glorious people who produced us all. I look at our endeavor as having its own conversion/persuasion metrics. If we convince 100 countrymen/women bigotry, murder and arson are wrong, those will convince at least 50 more and multiplying into more than 300 in a short period even at a low conversion factor. We don’t spread disease but medicine of peaceful march to the Promise Land where the rights of the individual are protected and no one is allowed to be above the law of the land. When these bigots and arsonists call for the demise of groups of people with their ‘Down, Down’ battle cry we grab the Allah blessed hand of that Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Afar, Somali, Sidama and more than 80 innately harmonious people and continue on our march to that Promise Land!!!! I have no doubt about the success of our blessed effort. There is no ifs and buts about it. These merchants of hate and muezzins of destruction should not be left alone to their own device. They must meet their masters in the field. That is why you see them hurling insults at those they don’t even know in person. They choose to talk when they are supposed to listen first. For them every Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Somali, Afar and 80 others is a carrier of infectious diseases and must be done away with. They have their brains filled with lose screws. They have gone dangerously mad, crazy. They are busy fanning flames into a smoldering fire from their comfy homes here among us. Because they don’t give a damn. After all they have American, European or Oceanic citizenship. Who cares, right? They don’t care if that gem of the colored goes up in flames and if that happens they will blame other as usual. I hate to say this and pray to Allah The Most Merciful to forgive me for it. I wish they were not even born!!! They have sold their souls to Iblis.

    Peace and Blessings to you and your family!!!

  17. Ittu Aba Farda,


    ፈረስ ያደርሳል እንጂ አይዋጋም

    ድሀ በህልሙ ቅቤ ባይጠጣ ኖሮ ንጣት ይገለው ነበር

    ዶሮን ሲያታልሏት በመጫኛ ጣሏት

    ሁሉ አማረሽን ገበያ አታውጧት

  18. Based on equitable sharing, I was hoping Ethiopia will be able to hold to 1/3 of the 49 billion cubic metres (BCM) of Abay River’s water for Ethiopia’s needs. It seems USA is upholding the illegal share Egypt acquired in the 1959 Agreement with Sudan, excluding Ethiopia. Hence they will do anything possible to destabilise Ethiopia. It is very worrying as long as Trump is in office. From the piece above, USA is on board with all the unreasonable demands of Egypt.
    May God save Ethiopia.

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