In the Imperial Ethiopia war was declared from the king of king’s palace with a great drum known as Negariet. Ethiopia and Egypt had engaged in wars in their respective past and ancient past histories. According to the Antiquities writer Flavius Josephus (37 – c.100 AD/CE) that Egypt won once against Ethiopia with an army led by the Patriarch Moses around the Nile in the Lake Tana at the source of the Blue Nile. In the later days in the time of the 25th Dynasty the Ethiopian kings Shebitku (698-690BC) , Taharqa (690-664 -BC ) ruled over Egypt.
In the past Ethiopian Kings had declared war against Egypt to protect the Copts by using the Nile as deterrence. The Egyptians accepted the Ethiopian demand as the return of the cross of Queen Helen of Byzantines given to the Christian Churches of Jesus found today in St. Mary of Lalibela menaced by the Nile in the past. Ethiopian tradition is full of tells how the kings used to Nile as an arm against the Islamic invention in the past.
In recent times Egypt lost two principal wars against Ethiopia at Gundet 1875 & Gura in 1876 and on the Red Sea shores at the fall of the Ottoman Empire which saved Ethiopia and Sudan from being a part of Egypt once for all.
Today the Ethiopian Strong Man the dictator Melese Zenawie has started beating the drum of war against Egypt. He was born in the historical capital of Ethiopia Adwa, where to this day two of the captured Egyptian canon from the Battle of Gura still stands. The dictator grew playing with this 100 years canons dreaming with a legend of war with Egypt which was won by the King of kings and Ras Alula. The genocidal dictator wanted to win the heart and the minds of Ethiopians by menacing the 2nd strong Army of the Continent after South Africa the dream of his childhood. The Egyptians preferred to play low profile. The new king of the Nile the Axumite Melese Zenawie did bit his lips when he declared that he will bit Egypt in the coming water wars with his army of half million famine dry bones, who are surviving from the a meal from international donation. He has been preparing the African and Ethiopian minds for such eventual outcome.
Now the ball is in the hands of the Egyptian leaders if they are going to accept the Nile Waters to be deviated and used highly commercial farms owned by the international Grabbers. Egypt is caught with election dilemma right now. Melese rugged the May 2010 election won with a record never seen in any Dictator capitals by scoring 99.6% of the votes in his favor.
Horn of Africa’s self proclaimed King of the Waters declared out rightly without respecting the sensibility of the Egyptians and other Nile riparian states in the following terms :-
“Egypt could not win a war with Ethiopia over the River Nile and is also supporting rebel groups in an attempt to destabilize the Horn of Africa nation, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawie said in an interview.”
‘Such declaration would come out only from a mouth of war monger not from a responsible leader from the African Unity capital Addis Ababa against one of its member states.
Recent refusal of Melse Zenawie’s to compromise and understanding put the riparian countries in a dead lock for more than a decade of contentious talks by claiming reparation from colonial injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929 which put Egypt and Sudan in a dilemma and refused to sign. Colonial treaties are the basis for even the existence of Sudan and the rest of Africans as a country. If you touch one of the colonial treaties all will scramble. Melese Zenawie recently recognized and gave lands to Sudan based on his own treaty as a payment for Sudan in order not host his oppositions in its soil. The fall of the Nile Colonial treaty will start war even with Sudan and is the being of the end for the AU which is based on the 1964 Cairo agreement to respect the entire colonial heritage based on the sacro saint frontiers designed by the colonialists. This will be the brining of long post colonial African wars declared by the Water dictator Melese Zenawie.
Under the original colonial pact Egypt is entitled to 55.5 billion cubic meters a year, the lion’s share of the Nile’s total flow of around 84 billion cubic meters, despite the fact some 87 percent of the water originates in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a new deal to share the waters in May against the aforementioned colonial one. This was done, by the instigation of Melese Zenawie which will put an end the colonial treaties even to the Existent of Egypt and Sudan as a country. Thus provoking Egypt to call it a “national security” issue.
The Melese the self declared king of the waters words were not in vain. He has built five huge dams over the last decade and has begun construction on a new $1.4 billion hydropower facility — the biggest in Africa menacing even the survival of Egypt and Sudan. Egypt, almost totally dependent on the Nile and threatened by climate change, is closely watching hydroelectric dam construction in the upstream countries trying to work with the Dictator playing in his games by investing in Ethiopia.
Melese from childhood grew dreaming the 1870’s war with Egypt, and had prepared to punish them with waters in any case.
He said not to be happy with the rhetoric coming from the Egyptians but dismissed the claims of some analysts that war could eventually erupt.
“I am not worried that the Egyptians will suddenly invade Ethiopia,” Meles told Reuters in an interview. “Nobody who has tried that has lived to tell the story. I don’t think the Egyptians will be any different and I think they know that.”
The five signatories of the new deal have given the other Nile Basin countries one year to join the pact before putting it into action. Sudan has backed Egypt while Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi have so far refused to sign.
“The Egyptians have yet to make up their minds as to whether they want to live in the 21st or the 19th century,” Meles told Reuters in an interview, referring to the fact the original treaty was negotiated by colonial administrators. In reality it is Melese who lives back in 1870’s.
Meles accused Egypt of trying to destabilize his country by supporting several small rebel groups but said it was a tactic that would no longer work.
“If we address the issues around which the rebel groups are mobilized then we can neutralize them and therefore make it impossible for the Egyptians to fish in troubled waters because there won’t be any,” he said
The Egyptian President replied to the provocation of the Ethiopians strong man:
“Egypt’s ties with Ethiopia are friendly and dismissed an Ethiopian assertion that Cairo was backing rebel groups in the Horn of Africa nation. This is the first time we hear that we support any group in any country. This is not something we do with any nation and this is not our form of conduct,” Mubarak told the state-run al-Ahram newspaper, making his first remarks on the issue.” The Egyptian Ryes further added that “”We have very amicable relations with Ethiopia,” “I was surprised by these comments because this is something we cannot do with any Arab or African country.”
After Meles’ remarks, Egypt’s foreign ministry said it was “amazed” by Ethiopia’s suggestion that Cairo might turn to military action in a row over the Nile waters, saying it did not want confrontation.
The Nile is a vital water and energy source for the nine countries stretching more than 6,600 km (4,100 miles) from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean. Melese was not born in the Nile regions of Ethiopia and never knew the Nile as a child but Tekeze River one of the main tributary of the Nile, where he built on of the megalomaniac dam to this day.
Melese revived his long childhood fantasy by declaring war against Egypt:
“Hopefully that shoud convince the Egyptians that, as direct conflict will not work, and as the indirect approach is not as effective as it used to be, the only sane option will be civil dialogue.” What he meant by direct talk his to destroy the colonial treaties which will have a direct effect in all colonial legacies since one is connected with the other. He is ushering the end of the Horn of Africa as we know it in the post colonial period.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in July called for a scheduled November meeting of the nine countries to be attended by heads of state. Meles said that would not happen now rather he declared war and is taking every thing in his hands without consulting the other riparians .
The last meeting of all sides ended in stalemate and angry exchanges between water ministers at a news conference in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Egyptian Water Minister Mohamed Nasreddin Allam told Reuters at that meeting “Ask the Egyptians to leave their culture and go and live in the desert because you need to take this water and to add it to other countries? “.
The War of Words is declared now the true ball is in the hands of Egyptians when they see their beloved Nile water is shrinking down slowly from their face by the dams and irrigations canals of the Ethiopian Dictator in the fields of commercial grabbed farms. Traditional Ethiopian farmers do not use the Nile rather the rain, but the news commercial crops like rice needs huge quantities of water. The dilemma is some Egyptians companies are investing in the grabbed land of highland Abyssinia. It is hard whom to trust up riverine or down streamers for a peaceful out come ? UN must interveane before its is too late?
Prof. Muse Tegegne
© 2010, Prof. Muse Tegegne. All rights reserved.