April 16/2021(ENA) Egypt’s Prejudice on GERD is a Quest for Political Hegemony
On it issue of Sunday April 11, 2021, the Egyptian daily, Egypt Today quoted the Egyptian Water Minister Abdel-Ati saying “I strongly feel that Egypt will never get into any conflict with Ethiopia for it’s well aware of the fact that the DAM doesn’t cause significant harm to any of the downstream nations. Egypt is rather preparing itself to alleviate the water scarcity problem in years to come.
Extensively quoting the Minister, Egypt Today noted that the ministry had been working for 5 years to prepare the country to deal with the water shortage crisis that Egypt will witness in the event of the second filling of the dam, referring to the establishment of water harvesting dams; and is working to protect these dams, ration crops and rationalize water consumption.
He continued, “We are trying to absorb the shock as much as possible, so its impact would not be terrible on the Egyptians.” He further stressed the state’s steadfastness in withstanding shocks, just like what happened in the first filling of the dam.
This clearly shows that Egypt has always politicized on the issue of GERD despite the fact that technical findings at all levels have indicated that filling GERD including the second filling of the dam will not affect Egypt and Sudan. Besides, Egypt has been wasting billions of cubic meters of water from the Nile leaving it to huge level of evaporation.
Egypt and Sudan insist that a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam should be reached before the second filling of GERD. The Egyptian double-talk on the issue, combining political and military threats to frustrate Ethiopia’s effort to complete the GERD is an old tactic that was implemented by their former colonizers to expand into the Horn of Africa.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, reiterated that it would complete filling the dam in July whether an agreement is concluded or not. Ethiopia had consistently reiterated its stand based on the practical reality on the ground but Egypt and Sudan are busy replacing constructive dialogue and cooperation with conflict ridden diplomacy to regionalize and internationalize the issue for media consumption and public relations.
Egypt and Sudan are well aware of the fact that their dual hegemony on the waters of the Nile is not only contrary to equity on the use of the Tran boundary Rivers but is totally illegal on the grounds of international law.
Both countries are using GERD as a public relation tool to quell possible crisis and unrest in their respective countries brought about by hyper-inflation, economic downturn and lack of democratic values to respond to the needs of their own citizens.
By attempting to belittle the legitimate role of the African Union (AU) in coordinating the negotiations on GERD, both countries have stood in opposition to the credo of solving African problems in African way.
Whatever the case is, Ethiopia will continue to uphold the cardinal values of Pan-Africanism while maintaining good relations with its traditional partners of the Arab countries. Manipulative diplomacy will never benefit any of the negotiating countries but cooperation and mutual understanding will pay off.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency