Al Mariam’s Commentaries / January 9, 2023
Is the Biden administration a “friend” of Ethiopia?
Following the US-Africa Summit last month, the million dollar question is whether Ethiopia and the US have kissed and made up.
Some Ethiopians suggest bilateral relations have turned a corner with the ceasefire agreement and US-Ethiopia relations will soon be in an upswing.
Others cautiously note recent developments merely point to a thawing out of bilateral relations after two years in deep freeze over the terrorist war in Northern Ethiopia.
Some non-Ethiopian “experts” suggest the nomination of Ervin Massinga (soon to be confirmed), an African American, as US ambassador to Ethiopia signals a reset/reboot in bilateral relations.
Many informed Ethiopians are cautions and skeptical and would rather wait and see.
They say all that glitters is not gold and the public display of cordiality and amiability between PM Abiy Ahmed and President Joe Biden during the US-Africa Summit last month should be taken with a grain of salt.
A crusty, cynical and skeptical lawyer, political scientist and professional doubting Thomas I know who slices and dices facts for a living says any change in relations between the Ethiopian Government and the Biden administration is skin-deep.
Says he, “I believe improvements in bilateral relations only when I see it, slice and dice it.”
True the Scripture verse: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?”
I know the Ethiopian cannot change his black skin but can the bald eagle change its white feathered head?
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is reputed to have said, “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”
Despite the quaint witticism attributed to Kissinger, what he actually said was, “We have permanent interests and values that we must nurture and defend.”
I should like to believe the developments during the recent US-Africa Summit provide some hopeful signs of improvements in bilateral relations between Ethiopia and the Biden administration.
But I am not convinced they will lead to real engagement.
I believe the wounds inflicted on Ethiopia by the Biden administration are too deep and harrowing to heal in a short time.
For the past two years, the Biden administration and the Ethiopian Government have been at odds, indeed at loggerheads, on the question of the terrorist TPLF war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
The Biden administration backed the terrorist TPLF to the hilt. That has angered and deeply disappointed, disheartened, disillusioned and dumbfounded the majority of ordinary Ethiopians.
I have been asked so many times, “Why does the US support the terrorist TPLF?”
Truth be told, over the past two years, the Biden administration has resorted to all kinds of dirty tricks — sanctions, pressuring multilateral institutions to deny or withhold loans, manipulate the United Nations to launch “human rights investigations”, appointment of special envoys, coordination of demonization propaganda with the Western press-titute media and tactical support including satellite intelligence to TPLF fighters — to bring Ethiopia down on its knees.
In my November 21, 2021 commentary, I made the “legal case against US state-sponsored terrorism in Ethiopia.”
With all of the pre-Summit recriminations about “human rights violations,” “unhindered access,” protection of civilians,” “ceasefire, “removal of Eritrean troops”, etc., I expected to see some verbal pyrotechnics from the Biden administration against Ethiopia in much the same way as occurred in the first meeting between the US and China in Alaska in March 2021.
Despite my skepticism and cynicism, I was pleasantly surprised that neither Biden nor members of his administration tried to deliver a sucker punch to PM Abiy.
Much to the astonishment of many observers, during the US-Africa Summit in mid-December 2022, PM Abiy Ahmed and President Joe Biden appeared in informal setting and exhibited sociability, good will, rapport, manifest comfort in each other’s presence and amity.
Some have humorously described photos of their informal appearances as bordering on “lovey-dovey.”
I noted the only thing missing while PM Abiy and President Biden were watching the World Cup game was the popcorn.
In my commentary on the outcome of the Summit, I concluded with one of Donald Rumsfeld’s, former US Defense Secretary, brain teasers:
As we know [about Africa and the US], there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns.
In other words, “Que sera sera! Whatever will be, will be.”
Turning to the GERD elephant in the living room
Will the Biden administration try to arm-twist Ethiopia, as did the Trump administration, into signing over its sovereign rights over the Abai (“Nile”) River to Egypt?
The looming and soon to become cantankerous issue between the Biden administration and Ethiopia is resolution of the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with Egypt.
The Biden administration wants to dictate the terms of the GERD agreement to Ethiopia just like the Trump administration.
There are known knowns, known unknowns and the unknown unknowns in the Biden administration’s policy in Ethiopia and particularly on the GERD.
Known knowns about Biden administration’s policy in Ethiopia
That the planets revolve around the sun and the earth is not the center of the universe is a known known. Copernicus proposed the idea and Galileo proved it.
Ethiopia-US relations date back to 1903 when the two countries concluded a treaty of commerce “to perpetuate and strengthen the friendly relations which exist between” them.
The Biden administration claims the “diplomatic relationship between the United States and Ethiopia is important, complex and focused on four broad goals.”
There are many known knowns about the Biden administration’s policy in Ethiopia over the past 2 years.
The Biden administration has
fully supported the terrorist TPLF’s efforts to overthrow the legitimately elected government of Ethiopia providing material and tactical intelligence support.
used sanctions and threatened to expand the use of sanctions over the past 2 years to bring Ethiopia to its knees.
sought to economically paralyze and thwart massive economic reforms in Ethiopia by pressuring multilateral lending institutions such as The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to deny and delay loans and debt restricting by using “the voice and vote of the United States in the respective institution to oppose any loan or extension of financial or technical assistance to the Governments of Ethiopia.”
sought to effect regime change in Ethiopia by coordinating pressure with the European Union, the United Nations and by pressuring certain Middle Eastern governments to pressure Ethiopia claiming the Ethiopian Government is “using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war is putting at risk the lives of millions.”
undertaken efforts to delegitimize and discredit democratic elections certified by the African Union as free and fair.
pressured Ethiopia to limit its relations with China and sought to eventually make Ethiopia the graveyard of China in Africa.
waged a relentless media campaign globally in cooperation with various fake news outlets including CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, etc. and so-called human rights organizations s such as Human Rights Watch and amnesty International to spoil the image of Ethiopia and demonize its leaders.
waged psyops (psychological operations) against the Ethiopian people to create alarm, fear, panic and despair.
Sought to weaponize the United Nations and its Security Council to isolate, ostracize, sanction and persecute Ethiopia.
provided “humanitarian aid” with only the Tigray region in mind although the entire Northern part of Ethiopia was affected by the terrorist TPLF war.
sought to drive a wedge between Ethiopia and Eritrea and by denying Eritrea’s sovereign right to self-defense after it was attacked repeatedly by missiles and ground incursion by TPLF forces.
demonstrated contempt and disrespect to Ethiopian leaders as the legitimate government of Ethiopia demanding to meet without regard to protocol.
sought to devise “ways to embarrass the Ethiopian government given its role in the unfolding catastrophe in the Tigray region and beyond.”
appointed special envoys who cannot tell the difference between their ***hole and a hole in the ground. One proved to be a “hitman for the TPLF” and the other a selfie-addicted gourmand who belongs in the kitchen than the diplomatic halls.
The list can go on and on.
Known knowns about Trump/Biden policy on the GERD
It is a known known that US administrations have proven beyond a shadow of doubt they will put their thumb on the scale in favor of Egypt in the GERD dispute.
In his February 29, 2020 blog, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn expressed surprise over the so-called GERD agreement “facilitated” by former Secretary Steven Mnuchin and The World Bank’s president David Malpass:
The fact that the U.S. Treasury Department is in charge of this effort is surprising. In any other administration, the State Department, which actually has expertise on this issue, would broker the agreement. So, I wonder. What are the United States up to?
Ambassador Shinn then hit the nail on the head:
The United States seems to be putting its thumb on the scale in favor of Egypt. Perhaps it is time to make the agreement public so that everyone can see what the United States is proposing.
As I have expansively argued in “My Private Letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Talks,” the Trump administration tried to snooker Ethiopia into a “discussion” and then shove down Ethiopia’s throat an agreement Mnuchin, Malpass and Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry cooked up in the back room to the exclusion of Ethiopia.
Then Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew denounced the Treasury Department’s announcement by declaring:
The statement issued by US Treasury on GERD is unacceptable & highly partisan, Ethiopia believes in continued engagement with Egypt & Sudan to address the outstanding issues and finalize the Guidelines and Rules on a win-win basis for all.
The Ethiopian Government issued a statement which effectively accused Secretary Mnuchin of trying to scam Ethiopia:
Ethiopia does not accept the characterization that the negotiation on the Guidelines and Rules on the First Filling and Annual Operation of the GERD (Guidelines and Rules) is completed. The “text” reportedly initialed by the Arab Republic of Egypt in Washington D.C. is not the outcome of the negotiation or the technical and legal discussion of the three countries. Ethiopia made it clear that the Guidelines and Rules must be prepared by the three countries. The Countries are yet to address outstanding issues pertaining to the finalization of the Guidelines and Rules. (Boldface added.)
Trump, for all intents and purposes, egged the Egyptians to bomb the GERD if Ethiopia refuses to sign the “agreement” cooked up by Mnuchin, Malpass and Shoukry:
And they’ll end up blowing up the dam. And I said it — and I say it loud and clear, “They’ll blow up that dam.” And they have to do something. So whatever you can do to get them, Ethiopia, to do that, they’re going to have to. Okay? And we’ve cut off all payment and everything else to Ethiopia. (Boldface added.)
Secretary Antony Blinken appointed US Special Envoy Mike Hammer (after Jeffrey Feltman and David Satterfield crashed and burned) who has travelled to Egypt several times since his appointment on June 1, 2022.
Hammer is a poor and pathetic excuse for a diplomat.
Hammer, in his first mission, was sent to Ethiopia as a negotiator — truth be told as a hitman — for the terrorist TPLF.
Hammer’s first mission failed when the African Union took over mediation and negotiations between the Ethiopian Government and the TPLF and successfully arranged for a permanent ceasefire and transition to civilian rule.
Hammer’s second mission is to reprise his role as a TPLF hit man for Egypt.
Hammer’s mission as special envoy is to strategize with Egyptian officials on the best way to sell Ethiopia down the Nile River.
Mike Hammer taking selfies with top terrorist TPLF leaders
During his first visit to Egypt Hammer said:
I came to Cairo on my first official trip to the region to hear from our Egyptian partners on the critical issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and to better understand Egypt’s water needs. We are actively engaged in supporting a diplomatic way forward under the African Union’s auspices that arrives at an agreement that provides for the long-term needs of every citizen along the Nile. (Boldface added.)
Hammer gives only lip service to a GERD “agreement under African Union’s auspices.”
Behind the scenes, Hammer is working like the devil in hell to sabotage, thwart, undermine and sideline the African Union in the GERD dispute.
Hammer fancies he will snag the Nobel Peace Prize by mediating the GERD talks to a successful completion.
What a motley fool!
The fact of the matter is that Hammer could not punch his way out of a paper bag let alone resolve the complex issues involved in the GERD.
But Hammer loves to take selfies with terrorist leaders.
On July 16, 2022, in a “Joint Statement Following Meeting Between President Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Jeddah”, Biden said:
Regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), President Biden reiterated U.S. support for Egypt’s water security and to forging a diplomatic resolution that would achieve the interests of all parties and contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous region. The two leaders reiterated the imperative of concluding an agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD without further delay as stipulated in the Statement of the President of the United Nations Security Council dated September 15, 2021, and in accordance with international law. (Boldface added.)
So, there is no question the Biden administration will use everything in its tool box – sanctions, demonizing propaganda, blockage of loans, pressuring Middle Eastern governments to pressure Ethiopia, etc.— to sell Ethiopia down the Nile River.
It reminds me of the lyrics in “Ol’ Man River”, a song that contrasts the struggles and hardships of African Americans with the mundane and indifferent flow of the Mississippi River (paraphrased):
There’s an old man called Uncle Sam Biden / That’s the old man I don’t like to be!What does he care if Ethiopia got troubles? / What does he care if Ethiopia ain’t free to use its GERD?
But Ethiopia keeps laughin’ / Instead of cryin’Ethiopia must keep fightin’ / Until she’s winin’
Known unknowns about Biden policy on the GERD
It is known that there are objects in the Kuiper belt that exhibit strange orbital patterns but it is unknown if the objects are planets, asteroids, comets, dwarf planets or other non-planetary objects.
Based on and consistent with known knowns about the Biden and Trump administration’s unabashed partiality towards Egypt, there are still many unknowns.
Will the Biden administration
try to resuscitate the Trump administration’s “draft agreement” (cooked up by Mnuchin, Malpass and Shoukry) and shove it down Ethiopia’s throat?
seek to force Ethiopia to sign over its sovereign rights to use the Nile consistent with international law by coordinating global sanctions through the UN Security Council, the European Union, The World Bank, etc., in disregard of any possible African Union brokered GERD agreement?
support Egyptian military action (“do something” as Trump said) against Ethiopia in principle or in action, as Trump manifestly did with his encouragement of Egypt to bomb the GERD?
pressure Sudan to oppose the GERD more vocally and vehemently and even take provocative military action against the GERD directly or by supporting terrorism in the border area between the two countries?
coordinate pressure with the European Union against the African Union and cutoff final support since the European Union provides 80 percent of the African Union’s budget!
manipulate particular African leaders to apply pressure on PM Abiy Ahmed to sign over Ethiopia’s sovereign rights over the Nile?
Unknown knowns about Biden’s policy over the GERD
There are unknown extremely dense celestial objects with such strong gravitational attraction that not even light can escape their grasp. They are believed/known to be black holes.
On August 8, 2022, Blinken his “Vital Partners, Shared Priorities: The Biden Administration’s Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy” speech in South Africa declared:
The United States will not dictate Africa’s choices. Neither should anyone else. The right to make these choices belongs to Africans, and Africans alone.
That is diplomatic pabulum in my view intended to placate African countries that have broken rank with the US on the Ukraine conflict.
US-China competition in Africa is an unknown known that could have a significant impact on Biden’s policy on the GERD.
Will Biden use the GERD to strategically weaken China’s role in Ethiopia?
The African Union has just announced the recently appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will pay an official visit to the African Union Commission on January 11, 2023 and “hold bilateral talks on various issues” and review the “Implementation Agreement on the Africa CDC HQs building project.”
One report boldly asserts:
Qin’s trip particularly to Ethiopia, among other things, indicates the significance and importance of Ethiopia in Chinese engagement in Africa. Such a visit to remind us the traditional saying that “Ethiopia is the gateway of China into Africa” is real because of its geo-political significance as the country is the seat of the AU, and other diplomatic factors. (Boldface added.)
Qin’s visit to Ethiopia, his very first as foreign minister, will likely drive the Biden administration ape****!
How will the Biden administration react to the development that the first visit of China’s new foreign minister is Africa and the African Union in Ethiopia?
I can logically conclude the Biden administration will not be a happy camper with this development as it manifestly raises China’s profile in Africa on such a critical issue as disease control for the entire continent and publicly proclaims the quintessential importance of Ethiopia to China’s policy in Africa.
There will be hell to pay!
It is an unknown known that the Biden administration will severely punish Ethiopia in one way or another for its apparent closeness to China.
That should not be surprising as I had predicted with prophetic precision that the second pillar of Biden’s policy in Ethiopia is making Ethiopia China’s graveyard.
Unknown unknowns about Biden’s policy on the GERD
It is hypothesized that there are mysterious substances in the universe that can neither be detected nor measured but, out of perplexity, are described as “dark matter” and “dark energy.”
At the US-Africa Summit, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced:
The U.S. will commit $55 billion to Africa over the course of the next three years, across a wide range of sectors, to tackle the core challenges of our time. These commitments build on the United States’ long-standing leadership and partnership in development, economic growth, health and security in Africa. We will shower you with details about those deliverables. We’re not putting a gun to anyone’s head. We will make the case with passion and persistence to every country in the world that they should speak out against these flagrant violations of the U.N. Charter. We’re not imposing conditionality from the point of view of this summit on decisions.
Sullivan’s choice of metaphor about “not putting a gun to anyone’s head” raises a red flag in my mind.
Will Rogers, the beloved American humorist and social commentator once said, “Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”
Is Sullivan saying, “We’re not putting a gun to anyone’s head until we get a gun ($55 billion) to anyone’s head?”
It is an unknown unknown to me what the Biden administration will do with the $55 billion promised to Africa in the next 3 years. That is assuming there will be such largess available for Africa.
My motto is, “Put your money where your mouth is” and then I believe you.
Will the Biden administration use Ethiopia’s “portion” of the 55 billion largess to arm-twist — and indeed as a gun to Ethiopia’s head — Ethiopia into accepting an imposed GERD agreement?
Will the Biden administration pressure certain Middle Eastern countries to pressure Ethiopia into accepting a Biden brokered GERD deal?
The fact of the matter is that Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan already have agreed to a set of declarations to deal with any disputes over the GERD.
The 2015 Declaration of Principles sets and reaffirms riparian (water) rights in the parties’ rights to use Nile waters. Article 10 of the Declaration states:
If the parties involved do not succeed in solving the dispute through talks or negotiations, they can ask for mediation or refer the matter to their heads of states or prime ministers.
What if the heads of state or prime ministers do not succeed in solving the dispute through talks or negotiations, at that point there is ONE AND ONLY ONE ALTERNATIVE:
RESOLVE THE GERD DISPUTE THROUGH TALKS AND NEGOTIATIONS UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE AFRICAN UNION.
And no one else. PERIOD!
Indeed, as Hammer said, the Biden administration ration is “actively engaged in supporting a diplomatic way forward under the African Union’s auspices that arrives at an agreement that provides for the long-term needs of every citizen along the Nile.”
What exactly is Hammer saying though he knows not what he says?
“African solutions to African problems,” of course!
What is the meaning of “African solutions to African problems”
The Ghanaian economist George Ayittey is credited with coining the phrase/maxim, “African solutions to African problems.”
Though Ayittey believes Africa’s problems can be solved only by Africans, he has been hypercritical of African leaders for their inability and willful failure to deal with the rampant and never-ending problems of poverty, conflict, war, corruption, ethnic conflict, coups and so on.
Indeed, he holds them responsible for “Africa in Chaos,” unable to produce effective or lasting solutions.
Ayittey describes post-independence Africa as a collection centralized “vampire” or “mafia” states which enrich the elites while depriving the masses of basic necessities.
However, Ayittey’s maxim is an expression of his ultimate confidence in the inherent potential of Africans, African leaders and institutions to deal with Africa’s multidimensional problems. It is indeed his clarion call to action.
The essential message of Ayittey’s maxim is that Africans and their leaders must put their shoulders to the wheel and noses to the grindstone and take the bull by the horn.
The maxim implies Africa has a choice of sinking to the bottom or swimming out of its sea of troubles.
No one will come to rescue Africa or throw it a lifesaving rope.
Africans should not expect Europe or America to come over and save them or do the heavy lifting for them.
Those who may foolishly expect to be saved will find out their saviors will watch from the sidelines as they drown in the abyss of poverty, war and corruption.
My interpretation of “African solutions to African problems” is simply a declaration of “Pax Africana” (“African Peace”).
I have previously sketched out my ideas about a homegrown “Pax Ethiopiana” (“Ethiopian Peace”) in the context of the 2-year terrorist war and the need to devise “Ethiopian solutions for Ethiopian problems.”
“African solutions to African problems” to me means “Pax Africana” (African Peace).
Pax Africana should not be a surprising historical evolution in Africa’s global footprint.
Britain, 4.5 times smaller than Ethiopia in land mass, became a global hegemonic power and styled itself as the world’s policeman and imposed its Pax Britannica.
During Pax Hispanica, Spain managed to avoid the European wars of religion and preserved its peace.
There was Pax Romana which purportedly sought to spread peace throughout the Mediterranean world (Roman Empire) of antiquity by military conquest.
And of course, Pax Americana which I have previously discussed.
Suffice it to say, the essence of Pax Americana is simply this: If there is to be peace in the post-War world, it will be dictated and controlled by U.S. interests and demands.
The essence of Pax Africana is this: If there is to be peace in Africa, it is the task and responsibility of Africans to bring it about. No one else!
Regional peace in Africa is the business of Africans, and Africans alone, acting through their African Union.
It is not the business of the superpowers, the multilateral institutions or the former colonial masters masquerading as sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Pax Africana is based on a few simple principles.
First, peace and security issues must be committed first and foremost to the African Union and other African institutions.
Second, African diplomacy should be the principal and exclusive means of addressing African security issues and threats to peace.
Third, non-Africans who seek to promote and support peace and security should provide support to build African institutions at arm’s length and without strings attached.
Alternatively, they can keep their aid and help out their own populations suffering under economic privations.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said it best at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron:
I think there’s a fundamental misstatement of the issue and the question. We can no longer continue to make policy for ourselves and for our country and our region and our continent on the basis of whatever support the Western world or France or the European Union can give us. It will not work. It has not worked, and it will not work.
Fourth, African countries are free to choose their alliances without fear or threats of sanctions by other global powers or institutions.
Fifth, Africans will commit to resolving conflict over land, air and water through dialogue using African institutions exclusively.
Sixth, the best foundation for peace and security in Africa is a commitment to build inter-African relations based on strong commercial, business and trade ties.
The African Union has come of age
The man who argued African solutions for African problems, out of frustration, once dared to suggest “disbanding of the African Union.”
The African Union (AU) was established in 2002 after the disbanding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
There are those who claim the AU has little to show for its over much of its two-decades long history of operation. But that criticism must be seen in perspective.
The AU Commission budget for 2022 is reported at
just over US$650 million. This comprises US$176 million for operations, US$195 million for programmes, and US$279 million for peace support. International partners were expected to fund 66% of the budget and member states 31%. The remaining 3% was to come from the administrative and maintenance reserve funds. This is, however, far from the AU’s goal of self-financing its total regular budget and at least 75% of its programme budget, which is still fully funded by partners.
Lo and behold, the African Union is at the mercy of the
European Union and its Member States are the biggest contributors to the African Union programme budget, supporting approximately 80% of it, in particular through the newly created Pan-African programme to support African continental cooperation and integration.
In contrast, by October 2022, “Harvard University brought in $5.8 billion in revenue over the last fiscal year — up 11 percent from fiscal year 2021.”
AU’s 2022 budget to deal with the problems of 1.2 billion people is only 9 percent of Harvard’s haul for just one year.
Whoever said, “Life is not fair?”
The fact of the matter is that the AU, despite its miniscule budget, has demonstrated capacity to address the continent’s problems. No doubt, there is a long way to go.
Since 2007, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has done a pretty good job in providing peace support and stabilization operations in Somalia and in facilitating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The AU is shaping an African agenda on the global stage by “integrating global and African priorities into a single agenda that will help the continent to navigate challenges such as food security and resource mobilization.”
The AU has launched Agenda 2063 which is “Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development.”
The AU has created the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to “ensure widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines across Africa and secure vaccine doses to attain a target immunization of 60 per cent of Africa’s population.”
The AU has established the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063, with the aim of creating a single continental market for 1.3 billion Africans by promoting intra-African and digital trade and investment protection across all sectors of Africa’s economy.
The AU has established an African Standby Force (ASF) for peacekeeping combining military, police, and civilian elements for deployment in crisis and emergency situations.
There has been no dearth of criticism of the African Union for its acts of commissions and omission.
The AU has been accused of negligence and timidity in reacting to coups and unconstitutional changes of governments in Africa.
The AU has been criticized for failing to effectively promote democratic institutions, strengthening civil society institutions and for failing to act aggressively in asserting Africa’s interests on the global stage.
Prometheus Ethiopia: Trials and tribulations over the GERD
In ancient mythology (Percy Bysshe Shelley’s play “Prometheus Unbound”, an adaptation of Aeschylus “Prometheus Bound”) , Prometheus, the Titan god, surreptitiously stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. In that singular act, Prometheus became a hero to humankind.
Angered by Prometheus’ defiant act, “Jupiter, the tyrant of the world, which nations, panic-stricken, served” imprisoned him for thousands of years condemning him to suffer eternal punishment, including the pecking out of his liver, which grows overnight, by an eagle.
In the preface, Shelley writes: “But Prometheus is, as it were, the type of the highest perfection of moral and intellectual nature, impelled by the purest and the truest motives to the best and nobles ends.”
The moral of the myth is that Prometheus by giving fire to mankind liberated humanity from the vagaries of the capricious gods and enabled them to acquire knowledge, enlightenment and knowhow.
In my literary imagination, Ethiopia is a modern-day Prometheus who stole fire from the Jupiter and the Titan gods of the West and gave it to Africans.
That fire is “African solutions to African problems.”
On November 2, 2022, the Ethiopian Government and an insurrectionist group known as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a permanent ceasefire agreement and made peace.
The agreement was concluded with the help and mediation of distinguished former African presidents.
That agreement proved to the world Africans can provide solutions to their own problems without the intervention or unsolicited aid of the West.
Ethiopians proved to the world, and especially to their African brothers and sisters, they can start a war, end it and make peace!
The greatest African “post-independence” tragedy has been the inability of African countries to end conflicts and wars on their own.
Western governments, their press-titute media and intelligence agents donning academic garb have fanned the flames of ethnic division and hate to keep Africans at each other’s throats.
Nary a single instance in Africa’s modern history when the West has not sought to create peace in Africa while fanning the flames of war.
During the Cold War, the West fought its proxy wars in Africa resulting in unspeakable death and destruction.
Since the “end” of colonialism, Western military installations and bases were planted all over Africa.
Western intelligence agents have instigated military coups and arranged for regime change by systematic interference in African domestic affairs and manipulation of its civil and military institutions and leaders.
Whenever there is conflict and war, Western countries have showed up uninvited (keep showing up like a bad penny even when openly rejected) dressed as peacemakers, mediators and negotiators.
The old mold that the West can only bring peace to Africa was shattered once and for all by Ethiopia on November 2, 2022.
It is a new day, a new dawn in Africa.
Across the African skies is written, “African solutions to African problems.”
Henceforth, there shall be no issue or problem that is of Africa, created by Africans that cannot be solved by Africans, and BY AFRICANS ALONE!
Only the African Union, and the African Union alone has the legitimacy to mediate the GERD dispute
Other than the parties to the GERD dispute, only the African Union has the legitimacy and authority to mediate and resolve issues raised by the parties.
The Biden administration’s gofer Mike Hammer wants to make a name for himself as a GERD peacemaker by yapping like chihuahua at the feet of Ethiopia.
Feltman, Hammer’s predecessor, similarly barked threats and hurled insults at the Ethiopian Government in an attempt to psychologically demoralize and demonize Ethiopian leaders into allowing a TPLF takeover and surrender to Egypt on the GERD.
In the end, I dubbed Feltman, “Scrooge/Grinch Jeffrey Feltman of Ethiopia.”
Like the “tyrant Jupiter which nations, panic-stricken, served” who tormented Prometheus for stealing fire from the gods, “the tyrant Biden” will torment Ethiopia for stealing the fire of “African solutions to African problems.”
Just like humans had no need for the Titan gods after Prometheus gave them fire to build, fabricate, frame and engineer their own civilization, so the fire of “African solutions to African problems” liberates Africans to take care of their own problems by themselves and for themselves and create a peaceful African civilization.
There is no doubt in my mind the Biden administration feels upstaged and defeated, and indeed made irrelevant, by Ethiopia insisting on an African Union mediation to the resolution of the terrorist TPLF war.
There is nothing the Biden administration did not do to effect regime change in Ethiopia and subordinate Ethiopia to a vassal state.
A year ago to the month, the Biden administration was orchestrating a disinformation campaign to drive out all Americans and expatriates out of Ethiopia to pave the way for a takeover of power by the terrorist TPLF.
Aah! How the plans of mice and men often go awry!
The Biden administration is biding its time to settle scores with Ethiopia, I believe.
GERD will be the battleground for Biden and Rice to show Ethiopia who the real BOSS is!
For sure, Susan Rice, the Princess of Darkness, who drives Biden’s policy in Ethiopia is waiting for the Ethiopians to let their guard down.
In my imagination, Susan Rice is plotting her next moves — spinning out “mortal thoughts” like the wicked witches in Shakespeare’s Hamlet — to get even for her failure to deliver the Ethiopian crown to the TPLF.
Rice, in my imagination, believes she can get even with the Ethiopian government by forcing Ethiopia to surrender its sovereign rights to use the Nile waters to Egypt.
I believe the Biden administration feels outplayed and outfoxed by the African Union on the TPLF mediation.
It wants to claim center stage on the GERD.
There is much distrust of the Biden administration by Ethiopians.
In the May 10, 2022 “Country Security Report,” the US State Department noted the severity of the problem:
Historically there has not been strong anti-U.S. or anti-Western sentiment in Ethiopia. However, increased focus on the Tigray crisis, rising inter-communal violence in the country, and Ethiopia’s stance vis-a-vis its neighbors regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project has been met with a corresponding increase in anti-U.S. sentiment. (Boldface added.)
There is the old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
I don’t believe the Biden administration heeds the wisdom of that old adage.
Like the tyrant Jupiter who chained Prometheus to a cliffside and tortured him, the Biden administration will demand a pound of flesh (Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare) from Ethiopia for stealing the fire of “African solutions to African problems.”
That is why I shall sing along with the great Bob Dylan:
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
on Ethiopia-Biden administration relations over the GERD!
On the other hand, could it be that I am overly cynical and pessimistic curmudgeon?
Have I become the Seer of Doom and Gloom?
Could it be that I have lent my ears to the seductive whispers of the Olympian goddess Oizys?