Home / Awate Team / Cry Me A River (Nile): Egyptians Embrace Their Inner-African

Cry Me A River (Nile): Egyptians Embrace Their Inner-African

On June 3, Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi convened Egyptian dignitaries—opposition party leaders, clerics, civil society—to evaluate his report and to discuss Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam and what Egypt’s response should be. The meeting was televised (live, according to a recording by Egypt Radar); apparently, some of those attending the meeting did not appear to be aware that it was being broadcast live.  This resulted in a candid discussion and the video went viral and some of the more sensational aspects of it were excerpted (without context, of course) by the media—including those who have a vested interested in showing all Arabs and Muslims as raging fanatics (we are talking to you memriTV.com)  The following is a translation (excerpts, of course) of the meeting.  Since the video is 2 ½ hours long, we cannot provide a verbatim translation of the entire meeting.  We hope our readers will find it informative.  In some instances, we have not been able to identify the speakers, their titles, or organizational affiliations: we welcome your input/correction.  If you want to see the entire video, you can refer to the following line (YouTube clip (2 ½ hours, in Arabic).

President Mohammed Mursi (opening statement): We stand together facing the challenge…In the past weeks, we have seen the challenge in Sinai…and how we stood together, faced the challenge and came out victorious…and that was a good example of how Egyptians and Egyptian institutions, standing together, can overcome challenges…These days, the River Nile, its water…we have to be working with one hand to deter any threat of any kind which faces Egypt…As is well known, if Egypt is the gift of the Nile, then the Nile is a gift to Egypt from God, may He be glorified and exalted…and we must do everything we can to safeguard this bounty from God…And when it comes to even a drop of this water, we should not defer or postpone decisions. And that’s the purpose of this meeting.

It is the responsibility of all the institutions of the state—the president, the government, and all present who have responsibility for the security of the nation– to safeguard its security. Water security is part of overall security.  All political forces and people must have a political opinion and a role in this… why aren’t we meeting on a Thursday or a Saturday [but meeting now] is because this is a national call, our first opportunity to meet and form your opinion and express yourself so we can search for a political decision… [he goes on describes his previous itinerary of meetings he has had with various committees and ministers, and the meeting of Egypt’s Prime Minister with Ethiopia’s Minister, his own meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister at the AU…].. You all know the relationship of Egypt with African nations in years past.. Our isolation from the rest of Africa, and specifically Ethiopia, is really worrisome.  The Africans have [crafted] solutions among one another; they have an understanding among one another…And we are stepping into this with all our capacity…and it is highly competitive between South Africa and Egypt with respect to the Horn of Africa, and I want to change this [threat] into an opportunity, and not idle waste of time   We co-operate with the President of South Africa, our relationship is satisfactory…we are part of Africa… Egypt, as you know, is the entry point for all companies who want to do business in Africa…[here he gives his itinerary to emphasize his seriousness about Africa].. in the spirit of co-existence…the Nile travels a distance of 2,000 kilos [kilometers], and within Egypt 1,000 kilos and from the Blue Nile we get about 86% [presumably of the total water Egypt gets]… the other 14% comes from Uganda and others..[this is followed by the different sources of electricity for Egypt, and how Ethiopia’s dam will impact it to the tune of 28%…. somebody jumps in and corrects the president’s calculations, the president insists his calculations are right… (@ the 12:50 mark)]… I thank you, I salute you, thank you so much.

Dr. Saad Katatni, (Freedom and Justice Party): … for us in Egypt the issues of life and death… we don’t feel the blessing of water like other countries that do not have water and don’t have resources.  Water, for us, in a country whose resources are limited, it is really an issue of life or death. ..considering the increase in population, and under the shadow of our hopes to expand the agricultural land, our current needs of water, we also want to increase it.  When there is a project like this one, and it has an effect particularly on water, the issue needs a position from all–political leadership, from all concerned in this country. This use doesn’t allow for political overbidding… Mr. President, we need totake all actions expected, that might happen. I heard from Dr. Essam Al-Hadad, Vice President, he said, we have a way to solve this issue through diplomacy. It is good to use soft diplomacy, and using international law, our right to water, is not for someone to abuse it. …this affects human beings, plants and animals…. I say all options, I say all options with no exception, and what I am saying is clear…all options are available, and we will support all the options, but in gradual necessary steps. If diplomacy doesn’t work, we will go for international law and ruling, if that doesn’t work, we will resort to all options that anyone can imagine, to protect out water security, because to us this is an issue of life and death.

Younes Makhioun, (Al Nur Party): …[the dam project] hurts Egypt’s interest before considering other developmental issue for Ethiopia. Basically, it is a strategic conflict. We at Al Nur party think.. consider Egypt’s agreement to building the dam a risky strategic mistake. Because it will offer Ethiopia and those who are behind it, Israel and America, a deadly leverage on Egypt… I believe Ethiopia chose this timing because it felt there is confusion in the Egyptian scene, a political friction. We have to unite the people to rally behind the national [cause]…. [we have to] reach to an agreement with Sudan, on presidential level, to realize a common vision for the two countries. It is clear Sudan has some benefits and interests from this dam. Therefore, its vision is not clear and its position is weak. Negotiations… Egypt and Sudan with Ethiopia, to immediately stop the construction of the dam and wait for the completion of the studies…and presenting to Ethiopia, in case… to find an alternative…they have eleven alternative rivers, not only the Blue Nile…

Also, moves by Egypt and Sudan on the regional and international levels, to stop any plans to fund this dam… a move to present complaints against Ethiopia at the Arab League , UN organizations and the African Union and international tribunal. The Gulf states have huge investments, Al Amoudi [Saudi-Ethiopian national] company and others, billions of dollars [worth] which will strengthen Ethiopia’s economic and financial standing… Enhancing the relations [Egypt’s] with African countries, particularly Eritrea, Somalis and Djibouti, and showing them the plans of the Ethiopian dams, and its aims…using pressure cards…for example, there are the Oromo people, 35% of the Ethiopian population, and they have a front called Oromo Liberation Front…the Ethiopian internal front is very weak, wobbly. Also the Ogaden Liberation Front, it is possible to support them. This is considered a pressure card on the Ethiopian government. If all these fail, there is no choice; we can use the last of cards, by using the intelligence, to destroy any dam that is erected if there is this certain risk to Egypt… Experts said this dam is considered a declaration of war on Egypt. The [Egyptian] minister of [water resources and] irrigation, his performance, I believe is very weak, and his statements serve the benefit of Ethiopians, specially his statements that came before the [issuing of the report] of the tripartite committee. He said that this dam doesn’t represent any risk to Egypt…

Unknown: We have to use the strategy that Meles [previous Ethiopian Prime Minister] had used to rally the nation…if there is a national rally.. This issue deserves [attention] to protect our interest even with the armed forces…there would be a national unity and a support for the presidency and all,.. and using force… there are issues that experts know about…frigates would go and visit Bab El Mendeb, Aden… The minister of defense would go and inspect the borders in Sudan near Ethiopia… there are message of this sort.. a preparation follows and here the hint of pressure, military pressure… there is public pressure that contributes to…. the consolations, [a colleague here] says the only strategy accepted in this situation is to prepare for all eventualities starting with the worst eventuality. The worst possibility is that the statements of the Ethiopian leaders would be  strategic deceit and behind it there are hidden [intents] that would end up with the dams… being used, not declared,  the dam would eventually be used to decrease Egypt’s share.. this cannot be ruled out… I also suggest that we form a public committee, of the people present [at the meeting] and those who are not present…to make public pressure, go and visit and report to the president…directly … we hint at military movement that would [make them feel] that the issue is serious not just wielding that would not be used, it might be used, I wish we don’t get there…but this would result in hastening negotiations, intervention by international entities to calm [the situation] and pressure for, and solution to accept what is possible to accept through negotiations…

Dr. Hassen: …allow me to regress back to history… Ethiopians are our brethren; they are African people, and we have a strong cultural and religious relations. But Ethiopia of late is under the illusion of [being] the regional police. I am not saying this in vacuum, but Ethiopia allowed itself to enter Somalia, which is a member of the Arab League, and to occupy it, or occupy part of it. Particularly, the disputed area in South Somalia for a long time. We also know that it is in a conflict over influence with Eritrea and Djibouti and what is called Somaliland is under the influence of Ethiopia… if the Nile is the stream of life for Egypt, …Djibouti is the stream of life for Ethiopia, logistically, as they say nowadays.

This position [Ethiopia’s] didn’t consider that its neighbors are eternal than external [entities], this time, it is testing itself with Egypt. I don’t say this to raise conflicts: May God curse those who stir it; I don’t even blame the Ethiopians for their economical position against their neighbors with whom they will live forever. We blame ourselves, that Egypt, once upon a time, during the Nasserite era, had a clear vision to strengthen relations with Africa, and it involved Egyptian blood: Kemaleddin Salah, Fethi Redwan were martyred in Somalia. Getting [Egypt] out of  the region or closing to the region started from Anwar Sadat [era] but it festered during the demised era [of Mubarek]. People gave their backs to Africa. I remember the foreign minister of Ethiopia came to Egypt and mocked the Egyptian people. He said, the Nile doesn’t have wings to fly to Israel. But Egyptians and everyone else knows that the Nile could have wings [that run] under the ground–pipes could pass through the Red sea… and there are countries that import water through pipes. Unfortunately, Ethiopia under Haile Sellassie had a reasonable relation with Egypt and he opened with Abdel Nasser…Egypt should use in this matter all its soft power….Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Arab League and Muslim League, we have to embarrass those people because they have strong relations with Addis Ababa… Al Azhar, and I am confident the Egyptian national church would not hesitate and strive, with all its efforts, in this direction. And the UN, this is a work outside the parameters of law, it is a crime in assaulting the Nile, against the laws. We have to expose this… and the mutual interests etc….. Whoever violates international laws, his promises should not be trusted, at all. There should be clear agreements… and any nation should protect its interest… we were 15 million during the 1920, now we are close to 90 million and on the steps of 100 million…I hear the Ethiopians have plans for three other dams…we should not accept promises.

Abba Daniel [Coptic Church]: … I start with a small question …based on my little knowledge, the Aswan Dam is [a structure built of] dirt covered with rocks, while, as your Excellency said, the Ethiopian dam is made of concrete [the president explains the difference]. There is an effect that no one talked about: the psychological effect on Egyptians. Historically, it is known that the River Nile gives stability, and security, and the people enjoy peace because the water is guaranteed. I think the water problem is the fundamental problem and this will cause psychological instability to the people, because if the water [flow] is affected, the people will be agitated: would the water come? Would we drink, would we [be able to irrigate] our farms? This is a psychological point. I think one of the important solutions is dialogue with international guarantees– containing the crisis through international organizations that [should] participate with us in the dialogue to convince all parties. It is important for the common interest of all the states…

Dr. Amr khalid: … Truly I want to say that we need a comprehensive strategy, and what I mean by a comprehensive strategy is that we will not be able to deal with this issue but in five or six directions that work in tandem. First, I add my voice to that of Abba Daniel, it is the direction of dialogue and diplomacy; it is essential and it should be pursued forcefully; we [should] work in it through combined committees. The second point is, we need a lobby, an international lobby: an international Egyptian lobby. This lobby, our children abroad… I think Dr. Ayman Ali is present, our children aboard are able to participate in this lobby. Without this lobby… and we bring an international PR company and it would basically be Egyptian; and there are Egyptian companies with international dimensions. We have a historic opportunity, in the middle of what [is] happening in Egypt, and we unite the Egyptian people. This case is fit to make the Egyptian people rally behind [it], and we make it a case that is felt by all citizens… and, it is easy to sell it, and market it to the simple Egyptian: the Nile water. I suggest the second direction, pressure group, with strong powers, we bring …Egyptian personalities, who have international influence, who live abroad, there comes Dr. Majdi Yaqoub, Zweli, Amr Khalid, Dr. so and so Dr. so and so, we work internationally in a way, Dr. Amr Hazawi, comes and works–in unity, as a bee colony.

The third point that I want to mention, among the comprehensive strategy, Mr. President, [is against] limiting the relations, with Ethiopia and Africa, only on the Nile water. [That] hurts Egypt. We, in the last thirty years, we limited the relations [only to] give us our water and we do not want to see you because we see ourselves superior to you. Lets’ be frank and talk transparently. Yes, the Egyptians were looking [at them] like that; at Ethiopia and Africa….limiting the issue [to Nile water] would hurt [us]. The issue will not be solved in isolation of developmental aspects. The civil societies, the [ministry of] foreign affairs truly deserves an appreciation, it took the civil society and we went to Ethiopia and Uganda– I was part of that team, you wouldn’t believe their friendliness. When the civil society comes and tells them, I am not here to talk about water, how can we help you? Mr. President, we went and talked with Africans, in several countries, and when we returned, and we agreed, on agreements [with the African countries], but nothing happened…and the government is responsible. We agreed to have youth exchange [programs], and we invited five countries to bring 100 youth each for a camp in Egypt. We said we will [cover the cost and] be responsible for that matter, [but] nothing happened to this date. We said we will build schools and Egyptian investors were ready, and nothing happened. Therefore, the third point: developmental companies.

The fourth solution that I want to say [is] the role of business people and investors in Ethiopia. The hindrances are still great, Mr. President, on the exchange of trade. The UAE, Egyptian ceramics is exported to Africa through the UAE, who would like that? That is because the process is complicated in Egypt. So, for me [as an Egyptian] to export [something] I have to go to the UAE so that it can export [my products] on my behalf and I am an Egyptian investor? We need to expand in Africa. This is the fourth line.

The fifth direction is the role of the church. I visited the church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian church loves Egyptians. Very much. It feels great respect and peace; they received us with a very superb reception. The Egyptian and Ethiopian churches, between them, is love and respect and admiration… The role of the Egyptian church.

The fifth [sic] and last direction [is] the Egyptian media which deals with the issue in a shallow manner, [with] racism and superiority. [The Ethiopians] read newspapers and they see what we say about them, and how we talk about them. Why can’t there be a media front–all the media that agrees with the presidency or has a difference with the presidency? This is a case of Egypt’s national security. Why can’t the media personalities meet? Imagine, Your Excellency, if we make these six lines work, how many Egyptians would work with the institution of the presidency so that we can save Egypt? How many Egyptians inside and outside [Egypt]? This is a case we can change to a national project… but it requires a specialized committee, Your Excellency, the president, a committee that works 365 days, 24 hours, always thinking on how to gather national forces and the Egyptians abroad and international powers: its preoccupation, this issue, PR. I think, we will all be soldiers for this matter and I think this comprehensive strategy would be a solution. Thank you.

Dr. Amr Hamzawi (Freedom Egypt Party): I think what was presented to us here should be presented to the Egyptian public, it is their right to know the truth of what is happening..the report doesn’t include information that would compromise Egypt’s national security [if released]….two, the people should know how the Egyptian government dealt with the issue during the last ten-months with the Ethiopian dam case. Third, the flow of statements from different places, different establishments of the government of the Egyptian state…my conviction is these statements don’t serve — we don’t need to rush [and state] that this dam hurts or this dam doesn’t hurt. The case should be considered a sovereign case, a presidential case… we also need to form a committee to manage the crisis, a group of experts, diplomats…..politicians and technical experts… Your Excellency, we have interests with states that are funding [the dam] through their companies and other means. We have interests with Italy, we have interests with China, we have Arab countries that are investing there…the worst thing is we might not know what the Ethiopian side is planning… Worst, there might be plans in [their] drawers that we have not seen yet. Worst is: while we negotiate and the report of the tripartite group is being prepared construction starts…. since the last part of the presentation says the study is not complete,… therefore the  construction should stop…I request that we do not see this in a context of rivalry, or a zero sum game… [we should] take it away from the zero sum game into a situation where we can benefit from it in Egypt, economically, socially, and water security and we benefit the African side represented by Ethiopia… the Egyptian arrogance during the last three-decades…damaged the relations.. dealing [with Africans] with racism, we [should] transform it to [a situation] of benefit to all parties.

Abba Daniel (Egypt’s Coptic Church): … His holiness the patriarch of Ethiopia will come to Egypt within ten-days, and I think among the important issues that his holiness the pope is going to talk about with him. But I want to put two warnings: the state in Ethiopia is civil [secular] and it doesn’t have relations with the church [affairs], weak influence. The second thing, the Ethiopian society as we know, is agitated and has so many problems. Therefore, reaching an understanding is not easy in such matters…

Dr. Ayman Nur (Ghad Al-Thewra Party): …dealing with Eritrea, dealing with Djibouti, and dealing with Somalia is a card of great importance to pressure Ethiopia. Truly, we haven’t benefited from the change that happened after the passing away of this man [Meles Zenawi] who was very bad towards Egypt. He was inimical and agitated his people with grudge and hate towards Egypt. We haven’t invested on this change in a proper way, but I think the political changes inside Ethiopia makes me say that pressure from the neighboring countries is an important issue with another team that works with countries that have relations with the issue…Israel, America, China and Italy…  the Ethiopian community… to delay funding, to delay execution to reach an alternative solution… There are many conflicts, there are many political forces, there are expected changes…and it is possible to deal with it.. we do not want an embassy in Ethiopia, we need a task force in Ethiopia…political, intelligence, to deal in all aspects with the Ethiopian reality, we have to have a role in it. I think this….to interfere in internal issues (I say this, contrary to what people say) there must be an interference in national affairs, and there must be an influence on decisions. And the choices in Ethiopia. The society there is worn to the extreme, we have seen this in our visit, it was a sorry situation. We can achieve a result, a very quick one. If we don’t achieve a result with change, we can with pressure….the third team is military…though a military solution is avoided, I beg you to read translations of Egyptian newspapers which focus on two things… the newspapers are saying there is not military solution and Egypt doesn’t have a military capacity, neither airplanes, nor rockets and the Sudan will not allow.. the Sudanese position truly…stinks.. it is very much less than what is was supposed to be… we are able to leak information, in the nature of intelligence information that Egypt is striving to purchase a certain kind of planes, to fuel airplanes in air and Egypt is striving to [this and that]. This is pressure even if it is not realistic, but it will lead to a result in the diplomatic channel. The direct diplomatic channel with the Ethiopians, I don’t think will bear results…

Dr. Mohammed: …I see that we have nothing in the flanks… Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti, these are the ones who will finish [the job], inside. I mean all of them among themselves. This happens. It is our right. We don’t have to go directly, there are a hundred indirect ways… This is when we lose hope. When there is no hope.. and from inside Ethiopia… Ethiopia is a multitude of tribes, and everything, as Your Excellency knows, this is Africa and in Africa everything can be fixed, all works… and maybe do something on the way. This is a problem that requires us to see it seriously, because the issue is not easy, the issue is not a joking matter…
Dr. Sefwet:  … We have neglected Africa…Ethiopia doesn’t have the money and they say that the financier is Israel. They also say: just like the Arab countries sell petrol we [the Ethiopians] will sell water to Egypt and others by the liter. Our economy doesn’t allow us to buy water for drinking in the house and for use in agricultural lands. …we have to work on awareness, people do not feel [our problems] they do not know that Egypt needs [every] drop of water, a cup of water….Our [Egyptian] children in Abyssinia, they have important position, as successful business people… as you know in Abyssinia, they are indispensable.. We have a number of Egyptians leading the Abyssinian economy…

Dr. Mejdi Ahmed Hussein:  … I love battles, and I love battles very much. With enemies, of course. America and Israel.  But it must be done wisely and patiently… prudence, secrecy, without much announcement. [Somebody interjects something…and he says, “ok, you said it.” ] What I will talk about is not a secret: our battle with America and Israel.  [Somebody interrupts him and he says, “this is my opinion. What I am saying is done by every country.  And said.”…]

This has been an issue since 1964…there is not going to be a day when a newspaper headline will say “today war was declared”… refusing to talk [candidly] about this is evading responsibility. We have ignored Africa for long…we focused too much on the west…thank God there is now some focus on Asia…but we forget: Africa is the solution.  This is not just about water: obviously, we die without water.  And why I say America and Israel: we are 80 million.  What will happen to us if water is cut? This is a grave threat, and we must deal with it with exemplary patience…I have to emphasize what Amr Khaled said: we must return to Africa.

Sustained people to people campaigns… Official and unofficial… not the tours we do: go and return, which create more damage than benefit…We go to Ethiopia, make one trip and [imagine the Ethiopian reaction]: “you are here because you heard we are hungry… we haven’t seen an Egyptian plane in 30 years and you show up now? You are here to save us?”…This is the reaction. Psychologically. Your Excellency, ask yourself: how many [Egyptian] reporters have been to Ethiopia? Seven or Eight? But every single [Egyptian] reporter has been to America, of course, at America’s expense! And to Europe…Does a single [Egyptian media outlet] have a station in Ethiopia, I am sorry, I mean the entire Africa?… I was deep in Sudan and a kid asked me, “do you know Adel Imam?[Egyptian actor]” And I said, “no, but I know Nur Sherif” [Egyptian actor] and he said, “please say hi to him for me.” So, have we done any movie expos in Arab-speaking.. African countries? Do we have any research and translation services anywhere in Ethiopia, just like there are American research institutions talking to us day and night?  Do we have a common market with the Nile countries?  What is the role of Al-Azhar…we send teachers to Sierra Leone.  Sierra Leone, Your Excellency! And this is a non-Arab country.  I want to know how many Al Azhar teachers are there in the Nile Countries common market?  Have we worked on a common electric grid?  Airlines? Tourism? [Mocking status quo, he says “European tourists are fine, but the blacks, they are of no use!”]

Why don’t we have a citizenship naturalization process for the Sudanese?  Don’t insult the Sudanese [directing his comments to the speaker who was offended by Sudan’s position regarding the Ethiopian dam]: the Sudanese is a serious man.  The Oromo, the Ogaden…that’s not something that requires loud voice.  I do not want open warfare declared against Ethiopia.  The Ethiopian people are our friends.  The African people love us.  60% of Ethiopians are Muslims.   50-60% are Christians… the church relations may have ended [the relationship between the Egyptian Coptic Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox churches that were altered by Haile Selasse I] but the spiritual connection remains.   Before and after Islam and Christianity, they [Ethiopians] are the closest to our hearts.  This talk [of war with Ethiopia] is dangerous…ok, if one or two of you say it…but please be cautious.  It is wrong and it will not help us meet our goals.  These are people who love us very much and love Egypt very much.. Finally, last point, in the past we used to say if you want to kill an issue, create a committee…but we are not in the government now, we have relationship with the government.  I plead to you to create a bond with the African people… not just Ethiopia.  I have confidence in your excellency that you will do that… I mean the whole of Africa.

Al Ab Refiq Rish (Catholic church):  …We need a campaign in Africa.. and internationalizing the case…finally, no to military work… first we don’t know if we know the military capacity of the Ethiopians. Specially [since] they are specialized in guerrilla warfare…but it will certainly result in us to losing good will in [the eyes] of many Africans.

Muhandes Ehab:  The report made me anxious… it deals with the case as a done deal that we have to accommodate with it as if it [the dam] is a reality…the study also mentions that the reports are incomplete, but it doesn’t prove they [Ethiopians] do not have studies, but they hid many studies from us and this causes us many problems…we should not be unaware of the main player in this case as also in the Sinai case, because [we know] the player, which is the Zionist entity, in the case of Ethiopia and in the case of Sinai, [its] main goal is to put the security and stability of Egypt in danger…Al Azhar and the church have a role, with consideration that [Ethiopia] is secular…

Rami: I tell you, Your Excellency, Ethiopia will not get any funding to build this dam… Ethiopia getting funds for this dam is impossible. Their priorities in Ethiopia are more important than building this dam…they need hospitals, schools, constructing residential building.. I think this dam is political, its use is political for internal reasons… we should send from this place a message of love and peace to the Ethiopian people and we tell them the Ethiopian and Egyptian people, even if it came after thirty years of injustice, we are with you to build a better future.

Mahmoud (representing youth group):  I add my voice to Dr. Amr Khaled, Amr Hamzawi, Dr Aymen Nur for what they said and there is no pint to add to that, but all options are open meaning they are open. … we need to change the value with which we deal with the consumption and wasting  of Nile…The Sudanese and Egyptian position should be one and we work [together].. the dam cannot be separated from the Sinai case and its intent is to occupy Egypt with continuous crisis..

President Mursi (concluding remarks):  I thank all of you… the meeting has confirmed to me of the necessity of having meetings.  When we work as a team, the results will be better than when we work individually.  I hope those who were not able to attend will attend future meetings.  I have three points, which I will cover quickly.  First, we may have differences of opinions, and it is a right, but we are all protective of the sovereignty of Egypt, and the security of Sudan and the people of Sudan, respect for the wishes of Sudan, north and south, and also the people of Ethiopia.  We have no enmity to anyone. Or ill wishes to anyone.  Categorically.   But none of that precludes our desire to protect [our interest in] the Nile.  Next, when we move, we should move with the spirit of the Egyptian people who have never been an aggressor against anyone in its history, but now is protecting its water security.  Water and Nile are [the definition of] life.   Not just irrigation and electricity but life…. the last point: energy sources.. we have three factors…and wide open opportunities for energy: one is material, which I am pursuing forcefully and with a sense of urgency,  the second is solar energy.. we have a big project which we will present to you in the near future…a project no smaller than the Suez Canal project…in the western Sahara we have more opportunities for solar energies than anywhere else in the world…it should be no less than 10,000 megawatts…the third is wind energy..We have many locations for that..like by the Red Sea… diversification will prevent us from over-relying on one source…this is not to minimize the significance of hydro-electric power: that is fundamental… one more time I thank you; this is one in a series of meetings we will have on this issue…an hour from now we will have a meeting with a Cabinet of Ministers…

// END

inform. inspire. embolden. reconcile.

About Awate Team

The Awate Team is a group of individuals who collaborate in preparing editorial contents that mainly appear under the PENCIL signature and other columns that carry the Awate Team signature. It represents the collective team's view.

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  • Sahaa saad


  • Sahaa

    Where is my comment?

  • Sahaa

    I think this boil-down that Masr, Uma Dunya eventually will pay Ethiopia Dollars for the use of Nile River. At the same time Ethiopia cannot stop the water by law but they have to be paid by oil or cash. Egyptian Economy cannot support that. We should help Ethiopia

    1. Get seaport we sabotage them to lose
    2. Get Economic integration and cultural exchange
    3. Send teachers to Ethiopia for develop
    4. Masr should help Ethiopian to never going hungry anymore.

  • Mohammed Ahmed

    Boy, does it get worse…

    How can somebody who claims to be an environmentalist (as we are told now) even remotely insinuate, let alone entertain the idea that poisoning the longest and second largest river on this planet could be a legitimate act of warfare?

    C’mon, think of it – I mean of all the craziest fanatics on this planet who would stop at nothing to inflict maximum pain on innocent civilians – an environmentalist for crying out loud making such insinuations.

    And it even gets uglier…

    Instead of clarifying his position so as not to be misconstrued – he goes on the usual hashewiye, like some HGDEF parasites who lurk around here.

    When the Canadians and Americans talk about water resources, they are talking about strategic procurement for the future. They are talking about an issue of supply & demand and it has nothing to do with somebody suggesting poisoning the St. Lawrence or the Mississippi. Nice try though for the attempted diversion.

    Again, when the Canadians and Americans try to tackle issues of pollution, contamination, acid rain and the like, they are talking about the short and long-term effects on their water supplies as opposed to using them as acts of warfare against each other. A far cry from what our environmentalist insinuated about what the Ethiopians could presumably do to the Nile with immediate nihilistic effects.

    “If you are in a hole and you want to get out of it” a Canadian politician once suggested, “the first thing you do is you stop digging”.

    It is amazing how some prefer to go deeper and deeper when they goof up – instead of redressing their folly and moving on.

    • Kim Hanna

      Dear Mohammed Ahmed,

      Is it not interesting that you are dwelling on this foolish, idiotic comments from readers. You and others are now fanning and highlighting this nonsense at the expense of the real topic of the gross injustice in display by political leaders of a nation. They were urging and planning chaos and disaster if they can on Ethiopia. You are only commenting on some idiot who wanted to pee in and poison the river. A little balance please.

      I would like to know what your reaction was when you saw what is being planned against a poor nation trying to feed itself without hurting anyone.


      • F.M.

        Kim: that’s a little to much to call me idiot for suggesting an idiotic but non harmful fun idea :). Anyhow I would have preferred to focus on the fact the Egyptians think Eritreans can be bought and used against Ethiopia.

        • Kim Hanna

          Sorry F.M. I understand it was being said in fun ideas and some mischief with the likes of Haile.
          When Saleh G. responds to it in a serious way and others chirp in, who knows, next you will hear Radio Cairo mentioning it as widely discussed idea by Ethiopians. Life is never fair you know.


          • F.M.

            I can only say your fear won’t be so bad if it triggers a conversation in Cairo. It’s only fair that they know in Cairo what Ethiopians and Eritreans think, and how they discuss the issue because we abviously follow the Egyptian media, the world is as well. May be then they don’t think we are some naive baboons, We know what’s best for us. Maybe then hopefully they will more shift their focus to Africa away from the Middle East.

  • Wankobo

    The awate kids are showing their true color. We knew it all along. SEMU YE-AWATE LEJOCH this time it is a different story. It is the 21st Century, the time of global Enlightenment. No time for old fashion dark alley SHATTIR. The time of MUHABERAT has come and gone. GERD will be done mark our words. There are many millions decent people in Muslim countries one good example is the Sudan. Mursi is behaving like YENEGABET JIB and you are behaving like his ACHEBCHABIWOCH.

  • Commenters are talking about an eye for a tooth, and a tooth for an eye. They are not talking about an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth which potentially makes everyone blind, and toothless respectively.

    If Egypt is considering of destroying the dam, what alternatives does Ethiopia have to respond?

    1. Bomb Aswan Dam? (Well, both countries could lose their hydroelectric power. In addition, it is difficult undertaking if one considers the distance between the two countries)
    2. Poison the river (Very unlikely and inhumane…the world has learned from the Nazis.)

    what’s Egypt’s choice?

    1. Use proxy war, and infiltrate the Ethiopian government in order to influence government level decision making (Possible, but difficult. Both Ethiopians and Egyptians are culturally, as well as historically two diametrically different people).
    2. Win over the 40% Ethiopian Sunni Muslims and use them to influence public opinion (Possible but only if the whole issue takes a religious dimension).

    what if Egypt does nothing?

    If nothing is done to stop the building of the Dam, other riparian states will follow suit and build dams and redirect tributaries to irrigate their farm lands thereby decreasing the volume of water running to Sudan and Egypt.

    Judgment: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Damned if Egypt does anything to avoid the building of the dam, and damned if it does not do anything about it. Both the choices are not appealing.

    The Solution :

    Egypt’s total monopoly of the Nile River has come to an end. Egypt needs to sign the new treaty. Egypt and Sudan have not signed the new so called cooperative framework agreement. Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania are not going to sit back and wait for Egypt’s decision as to whether they have to use the Nile water for development.

    • Aron

      but how ever dawit,while you are saying that piosoning the river is inhuman, yes we new that it is. and for us, ethiopians poverty is also the worst inhuman. we have lost millions of our nation becouse of this. and then i never seen you to saiod “destroying the dam which is constructing to to pull out once nation from the harsh poverty isalso inhuman…. the good thing is now he ball is in egyptians field but on ethiopians feet.
      the solution is negotiation. while we ethiopians are by chois choos to be a land locked country, we never forget how much we are going to pay for even for a life line. but peace is better than all. and egyptian shoud make a win win negotation. if not now ethiopia doesnt need to end a fighter jet to demolish aswan. it is not ethiopianic version, while you are bombing ider the school of our children, we never sent fighter to the keyhbahrie or barka or bet timhirty godayf. we ethiopians are the people while we now the might is on our hand but the upper is the mightest than all and only GOD and GOD is who always desided our fate and we now he always is true and to to our side. he will do what ever the just is.

  • Nothing is New

    What we witnessed in the meeting was nothing new. they just openly told the world what the Egyptian government have been doing against the African countries south to it borders. It was for the same reasons Egypt sent its troops to Eritrea in 19th century; support to our liberation fronts (ELF and EPLF); support to our dictator; turn blind eyes to what is happening in Senai; deporting our brothers/sisters back to Eritrea. So, I don’t understand why we focus on this meeting as a new phenomenon. Equally, I don’t understand, given my respect to it, the Awate Team try to associate to Arab or Muslim issue. However, I respect the Teams opinion if it believes that the attitude of the meeting participants was appropriate. The Team’s introductory remark reminds of when the PFDJ stooges attempt to justify the dictator’s wild statements.

    • zhaile

      Nothing is new

      “It was for the same reasons Egypt sent its troops to Eritrea in 19th century; support to our liberation fronts (ELF and EPLF);”

      I have never seen or heard of an Egyptian troops (even one person, Egyptian) in Eritrea to help ELF or EPLF.

      One of the reasons I hate Egyptians is because they are liers and charlatans. It is part of their cukture. I see “Nothing is new” you are learning from them.

      • Zehaile, of course you wouldn’t have seen an egyptian person fighting Ethiopia from eritrea, why would they? when they could simply use you as cannon fodders by supplying you with arms and logistic support through their Sudanese puppets…I guise that is what “nothing is new” commenter meant..

        • Zhaile

          This is the statment

          “It was for the same reasons Egypt sent its troops to Eritrea in 19th century; support to our liberation fronts (ELF and EPLF);”

          If you have any proof let us see.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Yet, it is not New!! What the new islamic government uses the old tricks and keep Eritrea, Somalia and ethiopia as they are like centuries ago and develop Egypt. And they teach us how ‘God’ choses Egypt and forgets us. We cant blame ‘God’! Can we? If they are kind enough they might build us as many mosques as possible for Our soul.

  • F.M.

    “including those who have a vested interested in showing all Arabs and Muslims as raging fanatics (we are talking to you memriTV.com) ”

    Except MERITV does not show ALL Arabs as raging fanatics. Whether its the journalist questioning a religious leader or an activist seeking reform, as the following link will demonstrate…. You are wrong to think the way you do. The evidence does not support your view. As for the meeting, they highlighted the part relevant to Ethiopians and Eritreans . A lot of us are aware of the context of the region not to be surprised to hear demeaning and insulting remarks from Egyptians.




  • Tsegaye Mebrahtu

    I think Djibouti is not alien to Egypt. If Somalia supports Egypt, the demolition will continue. The question is what’s the stance of Eritrea? What if that mad guy wakes up tomorrow from his sleep and decide to be an Egyptian variable in this game? What will be the consequence for Eritrea? Will it continue as a country? Or be erased from world map? Just for a thought

    • hizbawi

      I do support Ethiopia on this issue but who eliminating who? Take it easy, you cannot even defeat Al-Shebab let alone you can erase Eritrea. If I was Ethiopia, get the hell out of badime and make a peace with Eritrea and face Egypt with undivided attention. Let’s not get there. get what is yours and fight for it, don’t worry about Eritrea.

      • girma

        Zenawi is the one who gave you your independence, Zenawi was the one who stopped the troops after operation ‘SUN SET’ there was no force to stop them from getting to Asmara. Zenawi is not there anymore you better behavior.

  • sol

    the “leaked” video shows how self-certered the egyptian poleticians are. it seems to me their threat is not for this dam in particular but to limit our ethiopian brothers from building more dams. Making noise now is to deter ethiopians from building more dams and from diverting the flow.
    My feeling is that most eritreans are on the side of their cousins ,ethiopians, to use their waters as they see it fit for their development and let the Egyptians have some.

  • As though being a small impoverished country is not enough for Eritrea, It is even worse when it is incapable of coexisting with it’s big neighbors. As much as the Nile conflict seems Ethio-Egyptian issue, it has a more dire consequence on the proxies that are around these two large populous and more resourceful countries(Egypt and Ethiopia). Eritrea’s position on the issue of the Nile might seem obvious for obvious reasons but it might not be an easy choice as any wrong decision might risk it’s existence as a country…The question is, when was the last time Eritreans made a reasoned decision that has brought any tangible change to their life?.

    last but not least, why is the awate team often quicker to defend Arab and Muslim cause than collective Eritrean cause such as refugee crises?..just curious…

    finally, is it just me or it is just a coincidence that some of the “Oromo” demonstrators who denounced Ethiopian dam in Cairo look more like Saleh Gadhi of Eritrea?

  • Sase Naim, Sweden

    Ethiopia has the capacity to divert the Nile. No need to poison the river, just simply divert it (at least 50 % of it, that will be win-win situation) towards the Ogaden and let the desert become green. I know it is a very huge task but it is not impossible to tame and contain the flow of the Nile, if not to Ogaden but to other parts of the country and use it for irrigation. It is only then the Egyptian politicians understand what Ethiopia can do if Ethiopia wants to harm Egypt. The Egyptians should stop their day dreaming, stop living in the Colonial Era (which was a disgrace by itself even though the Egyptian politicians may refer to this period as a blessing, what a shame) and wake up and live in today’s world. It seems the Egyptian politicians don’t understand today’s reality and if they don ’it will be “the harder they come the harder the fall” as Gimmy Cliff said it in one of his songs.

  • zhaile

    The Egptian mentality as it expressed by their highest reasoning minds is what is put bare in this televised meeting.

    No wonder they are watching without doing anything while the eritrean refugees organs being harvested.Yet at the sametime they are entertainig to use of eritreans to counter ethiopia development plans.

    As much as I like to sound a person with higher humane ideals I can’t help it. I wish their death.
    weather by poison or by thirst. Any other means will do.

  • Hayat Adem

    SG and the rest here: What is wrong with you, people?
    How would you even entertain such an idea of poisoning the Nile, regardless of the capabilities? Where is the in-built humanity of “purity of good purpose”? The fact that this crazy idea is attracting all kinds of comments back and forth shows how devilish the average mind-set is in our region. No developmental project is worth poisoning the river. Even adventurist feudal rulers of the previous centuries never considered such highest form of killing innocent people. The Nile issue is not a problem without a solution. And a solution is on the way. Ethiopian rulers should never exclude the needs of the Egyptian people let alone poison them. No one should fool herself to expect the rulers of Egypt to willingly yield for fresh realities and new regional order.

  • jack

    Thank you very much for your hard work. Have you noticed they way they talk about us “Africans” as if they are from another continent.They think that they are at the center of the world and all countries that are neighbors of Ethiopia has to do their biding only their biding and stop anything else. I wonder they just missed it or the arrogance and grandiosity has gone to far to see Ethiopia´s development or crises will be felt all across the region.

  • Horizon

    Poisoning the waters of the Nile will never cross the mind of Ethiopia – Period. In this Nile conflict, Ethiopia has the legal and moral high grounds, and she does not want to squander it. She will lose everything by carrying out this foolish and unfeasible action. War or no war, there is no justification whatsoever for such a scenario. It is equivalent to genocide.
    Just imagine what the impact could be, and the world opinion and support Ethiopia would lose, which she enjoys today as much as her rights over the Nile are concerned.
    Poisoning the waters of the Nile is a sinister advice to hurt not Egypt, but much more Ethiopia.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Horizon,
      Ethiopia just ask it’s right in right way. watching at the reason of constricting this dam , no one can imagine the negative thoughts like poising will match. what is done is only for good of humanity. those who think negative are the once lost in unnecessary revenge world.
      but as you can see the negative people are everywhere. let the words balance to each other. one says war from Egypt as sure Egypt will win and the others side poison as if Ethiopia can be successful poisoning the river. let the then cancel each other.

      All the talks going on will disappear and the job will be completed. Egyptians will just accept the reality and live with what had nature provided them like the others. they may even use it for their advantage more than before, by taking care of the excess that was flowing useless. this will give more chance for peace than war.

      The late PM (Meles) said “Nile is not national issue but regional…” I love it. no nation should be superior to the other.

      • Horizon

        Dear Kokhob Selam,

        As you rightfully pointed out, when the dust settles and the smoke dissipates, Egyptians will finally see the logic of cooperation and sharing. In addition, as the late PMMZ had said, Egypt can control the waters of the Nile only if she occupies Ethiopia, a thing that would never happen. She could not succeed in the nineteenth century; and in this 21st century, simply it is out of the question.
        Egypt knows very well that at the end of the day, she would be forced to negotiate, and there is no other way. In addition, she knows that her so-called legal and historic rights are no more worth the paper on which they are written. Therefore, she is using all means available to her before the final negotiations, such as intimidation, blackmailing, and even has the audacity of saying that she would mobilize Ethiopian neighbors for her proxy war. She is putting the bar high to gain the maximum amount of water. Remember, 85% of the water comes from the Blue Nile.
        Rational and scientific water usage by Egyptians and reforestation of Ethiopian highlands would bring more water that would be available for the three countries. Water experts are aware of this and even Egypt is aware of this.
        Finally, beyond water and all that, Egypt cannot swallow the bitter pill of a strong Ethiopia, which in the long run could push Egypt out of the picture as the mover and shaker of events in the region.

  • belay

    Talking about poisoning the river Nile is Diverting the issue at hand to make Egypt a victim aready by this impractical and evil idea.
    The point here is should we use the Nile in a win win solution?
    Egypt is saying no,who is evil now?i personaly i don’t want Egyptian children to die with hunger and thirst.but the Egyptian leaders does not want to care about our children.They don’t want to give a drop of water to African children.What is the mentality behind it? It says it all when they said we will use Somalis,Eritreans etc not to give water To Ethiopians.and these people ie Somalis Eritreans etc ,are the benefeciers of the Dam in the future.
    Once win win formula is accepted and used there will peace in East Africa.And one day Egyptians will apoplogise for the past Evil leaders of theirs.
    The Devil is on its way out brothers and sisters.the time is approaching for every body from North,south,east and west to hug each other and cry of happyness.

  • Haben

    Well, Nile is the gift of God too all the tributary counties and others on the basin, not just Egypt. By far more gift to Ethiopia than any other, as majority of the volume emanates from Ethiopia. Hence, Ethiopia ought to have more power on the issue. May even have the power to switch on and off the water flow at will, just llexactly is glhaEgyp should consider this power and make its peace with Ethiopia. It is to the best interest of Egypt, the alternative might be interesting to Egypt.

  • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

    the river is Ethiopian and the tributaries that feed the river are Ethiopian why Egyptian are angry. they are thousands of miles away. If the dam done scientifically with well designed engineering I do not see there will be ecological disruption. Because
    1. the nile basin deep crust has more water accumulated since the Big Bang Era.
    2. Who should suffer hunger Egypt or Ethiopian.
    3. While Ethiopian own the ShiShay why they kept poor and hungry.
    4. Some portion of the water merge to meditranean ocean.

  • F.M.

    Just have an Annual Piss Off festival … Piss on the Nile as it leaves Ethiopia. It’s symbolic enough.

    • Zaul

      Egypt was asked to negotiate for a win-win solution with the upper riparian countries, istead they responded by threatening to involve Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti and Muslims in Ethiopia to destroy Ethiopia’s development endeavors, as if we were waste they can dispose on Ethiopia.
      If the Egyptians want war, no need for cyanide to defend yourself (Terrorism? I think not!) , just build a massive sewage non-treatment plant at the border with Sudan and let Egypt and Sudan get a Nitrogen-and Phosphorus-rich Nile. Enjoy the gift of God and Ethiopians.

      These Doctors from Al-Azhar are trained to serve and defend Egypt at any time. Memri-tv.com is run by Israel, but it seems like the translation you provided and the short clip they translated match quite well.

  • tyuro

    If there is going to be a conflict, the conflict will destroy Somalia first, which doesn’t have a strong back bone to stand a regional conflict involving two regional military power houses; Therefore Somalia is not going to be a platform for Egypt’s war plan. If Somalia is used as a platform the stability achieved in Somalia with the help of international community is going to be reversed. In order to keep Al-Qaida and affiliates at the bay any kind of interference in Somalia’s affair will be check by the international community. The Eritrean position is clear in terms of their relation ship with Ethiopia. Most likely they allow Egypt to use their air, water and land. If that happens there will be a war in Eretria territory which is going to last for a while because the northern part of Ethiopia is more intact than other regions to stand a regional conflict. After a while all command posts will be taken over by Egyptian in Eretria reducing the Eretria involvement to minimal militarily and politically. This is the only way the Egyptian can last longer far away from their border engaging with Ethiopia and the longer the war drags the more Eretria is destroyed. At the end, After all this Egypt is not gong to achieve stooping the dam from built. The best alternative for Egypt to solve this problem is dialogue. This must start soon because if they pursue other avenue Egyptians are going to create more enemies due to arrogance and racist remarks

  • T..T.


    For Middle-Eastern governments, declaring a war is an art of politics. They do it to trick their people. So, don’t get fooled into believing their Shetara (deceit). Always their leaders are two tongued using revolving door with a two-way traffic. But for those non-Arab countries that are tricked into their games, the revolving door is a one-way traffic. As a result, the tricked one gets nothing more than political suicide of hate or be hated because as a principled leader, the only way is a clear one-way traffic. Thus, we can say unless slips off hand, declaration of wars are for political consumption meant to deceive and mislead their Arab people. On the other hand, the declaration will get counter declaration. In the case of Ethiopians, if they take it seriously they will start and keep beating drums of war until they make sure that all are dancers to the drums. But for the Egyptians, it can be explained in Asmarinos’ expression of “Mesik-Nimo Ai-Tahzeni.”

  • Saleh Gadi

    This time you really disappointed me 🙂

    Most of the examples you cited has to do with a small body of water, mostly still bodies of water. You shouldn’t have gone that far, I have seen wells poisoned by Ethiopian spies in Southern Sahel, in Senhit and in Hamassen (I think the one I saw was in Adi Bidel if I am not mistaken) where several fighters died. But then we are talking about limited, contained, still water sources like wells–and ponds–running water is a different game.

    The marshland of Southern Iraq was dried up, its supply from the Tigris and Euphrates were diverted through a huge engineering project, irrigation canals made of cement. That forced the population of the marshland to leave their land… because Saddam destroyed the environment they lived in for ages, including the era of Hammurabi. The ecological damage was far reaching.

    But when you are talking about the Aswan dam with a capacity of 132 cubic square KILOMETRES, or the Ethiopian dam with a capacity of about 60 billion cubic meters, you can guess the total amount of water that flows every year from the Blue Nile alone, without adding the volume of the White Nile. The Average daily discharge of the Nile is 300 million cubic meters, again, PER DAY.

    Now, my math is challenged, please do the calculation and see if poisoning it is possible (forget about the other ramification and scenarios simply because this is a wild imagination, it can’t happen.) If you think I am wrong, tell me how much poison (take cyanide as MA suggested) and tell us how much cyanide is enough to poison the Nile! Even if I agree for argument’s sake that the Ethiopians can do that, remember they need to fill the renaissance dam with, say, 5% cyanide (just a wild percentage) which translates to 3 billion cubic meters of it, to make a dent. If you base your poisoning on the daily discharge/flow (as opposed to flooding them once and for all) then 15 million cubic meters of cyanide are needed– don’t forget they have to secure a poisoning stations at each of the tributaries for the job to be effective. Then the mentality will be exposed, when it comes to politicians, there is no difference between that of Egypt, Ethiopia and any other place. The racist attitude, especially among the warmongers of any people, is identical.

    Now you made me spell a few ideas that I was keeping for my upcoming article on the subject..consider this a preview 🙂

    C’mon, you can do better.

    • Haile,

      Throw in the towel. Admit it. Like they said, it is impractical to poison a river like the Nile. But, the comment the dude made about poisoning the Nile is kind of unusual and creative. That’s the part that attracted attention. As to your small ponds here and there, like Salih GAdi said, they are not good enough upon which to establish evidence. Give it up don’t be a stubborn 😉

    • haile


      “don’t be stubborn?”… what? I haven’t even replied yet! 🙂


      You are right that most of the examples are in a limited scale. Mind you, this isn’t my best though, just a side kick while I am in a middle of thwarting a multi-pronged offensive from Serray and Hayat in the other post 🙂

      But my main point is that water poisoning has been part of conflicts from time immemorial. If we take into the technicality of it, I can only imagine that experts in the field would be able to narrate all sorts of possibilities and scenarios. Physics, Biology and Chemistry may coalesce to bring a frightening scenario of contamination agency that is time-delayed releases and slow/non degradable substances that can spur a major concern. It all depends on what time frame and what end product is one looking at. There are highly advanced delivery and dispersion capabilities for those wretched enough to consider such an undertaking.

      I would assume that you don’t necessarily need to fill up the agent at the sourcing point, but then again I would be stepping outside my field but can only imagine anything is possible 🙂

      • Saleh Gadi

        Spell it Haile, why are you shy? If the aim is to kill people, then you don’t have to bother yourself with sophisticated biology and physics excercises. The world know how the dummies kill people indiscriminately. Those who are suggesting mass killing through poisoning do not have an idea what they are contemplating. Isn’t this enough to make us scream “Terrorism!” Only the like of AlQaida can think in these terms. 🙂

        • haile

          SG – right on…I am out of this madness of ‘poisoning’ now. It was just the ‘dimwits’ thing didn’t sit well with me:) all safe, you can drink it now:-)

        • Mohammed Ahmed


          Wala t’nfer tiel’ya. It is amazing how some keep going in circles like a dog chasing its tail. Even Dobio used to make more sense.

          • haile


            ‘wala t’nfer…?” wedaje mn’far beyen abilu, eza tielka gana chihma’ya t’hakikh zela:-)

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Two best international political experts of Eritrea analyzing hwo Ethiopia can retaliate to the declaration of war on Ethiopia by Egypt. Their politcal analysis and breaking to the lavel of layman is superb but Mathematical explanation is too difficult to follow for a layman like me. For example measuring water volume in cubic meter square must be a high Level of mathmatics.

    • Danny


      Have you ever heard of a unit called ppb (parts per billion)? It only takes 5 ppb of benzene in drinking water to classify the water as carcenogenic ( cancer causing). There are way more potent chemicals out there than benzene that would kill in such minute amount. Now go back and do your meter cube and liter calculations and tell me how much benzene it would take to make the Nile unusable for domestic water.

      The good thing about Ethiopia is that it is not like some of the Arab country’s which do use poisonous materials so liberally. My argument is that Egypt, being an Arab country should understand better than anyone else about the effects of poisonous materials before it threatens to use force.

      Don’t get

      • Saleh Gadi

        Hi Danny,
        You are right, I have not heard about ppb units… But I bet you if you bring water from most African countries and give it, say, to FDA, it will be considered sewer water. It could be the standards and our immunity are different, I am not sure. Why I am saying is, 1) the idea of poisoning the Nile is no different than contemplating mass murder, just having the idea, even if it is undoable. 2) I still bet you, you cannot possibly poison the Nile, ppb or no ppb, it is impossible… 3) Bilharzia was widespread after the Egyptians built the Aswan dam, Ethiopia needs to take note of that— and some are contemplating poisoning the Nile! Dear, I am just asking to consider being genuine world citizens and not think about killing people.

        But here is a simple calculation: cyanide is fatal at “1.5 mg/kg body weight.” To kill 90 million Egyptians, you need (average weight per person 65 kilos, just a guess number) that would be 1.5 milligrams X 90 million people X 60 kilograms. I think it comes to around 8000 kilos of cyanide, I am not sure of that, poor math. That I would think is pretty easy to load on a few Zetaw trucks. But since we are not going to inoculate the Egyptians with cyanide, or deliver it in syringes at the clinics, we have to find a way of dissolving it in the entire Nile water—that is when my math betrays me. Help! 🙂

        • zemd

          Saleh Gedi
          I do not think there is an idea of killing 90 million people. If i get it correct the comment that initiated the hot exchange b/n Haile and yourself was if the Egyptian prefer war to loosing a drop of water or minimal effect due to the construction of the dam, spoiling the their dam could incur ’em more harm. So, war does not guarantee them to keep the status quo so called their share of water. According to the following Ethiopian scholar, all Nile riparian countries including Egypt and Sudan agreed on most of the terms of the N-CFA(Nile- cooperative Frame Work)except on one point. That is, the current unfair share of Egypt and Sudan shall not be diminished when upper riparian countries build any project on the Nile river.

          • Saleh Gadi

            Indeed there is, and that is why we are having this silly discussion. I am saying : If you accuse others of racism, don’t be one. If you accuse others of being unreasonable, don’t make unreasonable comments. Most of those who are mad at the foolish remarks of some Egyptians have shown they are equally foolish. At the end, both Ethiopia and Egypt have their fair share of unreasonable, racist bigots. That is all.

            By the way, to avoid misunderstanding, so far, I have not said anything about the rights of Ethiopia or Egypt to the Nile. I will, very soon.

    • Fasil

      I think the issue of the Nile is not going to lead to war between Ethiopia and Egypt for many reasons: above all, the water is enough for both of us. Even we Ethiopians wish to divert the water only 20% anualy for 7 years, then, it will flood us and become beyond our capacity to utilize. It would be no use by any calculation, even we wish to harm Egypt we cannot divert such huge amount of water in a continuing bases. Now, the only minor hick-up for Egyptian brothers is: the first 2-3 years till we filled-up the dam that need about 20% of the rivers water. Even that may not affect the amount of the water if the rainy season is good as used to be and can compensate the loss of water. The good thing for Egypt and Sudan is that after 5 years or after the dam become filled-up in full capacity, then Egypt and Sudan can get uninterrupted water supply throughout the season. The Sad thing is that, however, while Sudan build huge additional dam in the north at Merawi, Egypt opted to take silent and make a noise on Ethiopia. On the other hand the problem appears to me that it is not related to water instead the usual Arab and Islamic hostility to Ethiopia that last for centuries is the center of the problem. I may offend many of you Eritrean niegbours, but the fact that even your war for the separation from Ethiopia was mainly supported materially and politically by Arab entities. Isayas and Meles at one point conspired with Egypt and destroyed Tana -Beles promising Italian project that can feed up to 5 million people. As to the claim of Saleh Gadi in regard to poisoning of wells against the shifta, however, appears to me part of the usual unfounded claim of Saleh Gadi’s accusation aganist Ethiopia.

      • Saleh Gadi

        You are lazy my friend. Check your facts. I was replying to someone who proposed poisoning the Nile. I din’t raise that, I replied to it. Next time when you accuse someone, you better leave your bigotry in the closet.

  • Kim Hanna

    Awate Team,

    There was one telling statement from one of the participants that I read somewhere. Maybe it was translated or delivered wrong. Please correct me if that is the case.

    The statement was words to the effect…… You know Mr. President better than I do that all Africans can be bought and/or fixed….

    The statement conveys two ingrained belief from this participant. A) He is a racist to the core and chauvinist. B)He believes that he and his comrades are not Africans. An attitude freely delivered when not in a polite company.


    • haile

      Kim –

      As regards your assertion in (A) I agree. A non-racist and non-chauvinist way of stating the fact should have been “Most African states, just like many other poor states in the world, can be bought and/or fixed…” which would have been true and polite 🙂

  • tazabi

    Egypt is a bully. Egyptians have no respect for Africans. They think we should place Egyptian interest above ours like slaves. They think because they have more tanks and planes they can impose their will on us. They also think we are stupid. They tell us we are building the dam to side with Israel and hurt Egypt. We spend 5 billion of our own money to protect Israeli interest.
    We are spending all this money and attract the wrath of Egypt just to help Israel. The truth is Egypt have better relationship with Israel than Egypt has with most African countries. They also believe we are building the dam to protect American interest again Egypt gets more money from America than any African country. They also tell us that they are afraid the dam we built may collapse or somebody will destroy it. They have built a big dam in Egypt and several in the Sudan with no concern that these dams will collapse or even somebody will destroy it. Even Israel did not think of destroying Egyptian dams during 1966 and 1973 wars. Yet Ethiopia that is not at war with anyone is in danger of having the dam being destroyed by someone. The only country which is threatening to bomb the dam is Egypt. They talk of friendship and talk of destabilizing our country.
    They also tell us that they have two treaties that are binding but no African country has signed these treaties specially Ethiopia. 1929 treaty was signed by Britain and Egypt, if we stretch this and say Britain which is in Europe was representing its colonies, it leaves Ethiopia which was not a colony of Britain. By what logic should Ethiopia be expected to abide by this treaty is beyond me.
    According to Egypt Ethiopia should abide by this treaty which it was never part of. It gets even better in 1959 Sudan and Egypt signed another treaty dividing the Nile water between them. Yet they expect Africans who were never represented in this treaty are expected to go with it.
    It is like saying Egypt is bound by the CFA which the other Nile basin African countries signed even though Egypt has not.
    Their sense of entitlement is such that the role of the giver and receiver is reversed. That is Egypt who contribute nothing to the Nile act as if it contributes the entire water of the Nile and want to boss us around as if they own the water. They keep saying they own the Nile.
    Finally Morsi after threatening Ethiopia with war is telling us Egypt is friendly with Ethiopia. They must think we are stupid and do not know what friendship is. Friends do not threaten friends with war.

    We Ethiopians are not afraid of Egypt. As they say Egypt is a small man trying to fill a big shoe and act like a super power. The fact is it is not a super power. It can not win the war it is threatening Africans with. It has to come to the negotiating table. These stupid politicians of Egypt should learn the ABC of diplomacy and start respecting other nations as equals and start listening to them. Otherwise Egypt is going to go thirsty. We Africans do not want to hurt Egypt even one iota. Egypt is going to hurt itself because it is arrogant, selfish and does not want to engage Africans in a fair transaction and discourse.
    We Ethiopians will never succumb to threats. Better to die as a free man than live as slave that is what we did since our nation came into existence 3000 years ago. For sure Egypt does not have the power to impose its will on us. The sooner they understand that the better it is for them

    • kebad sew, yarada lij, yegebash nesh gin min meselesh we cannot afford to be constrained by the views of the ignorant. Whatever negative or positive effects of the dam are only secondary to the massive destructive effects of global warming. This “problem”, was indeed an opportunity for all basin countries to secure the nile for the next two or three centuries, instead of looking like squabbling children. By this I mean we need a regional plan that protects such natural resources for the next two or three centuries and affirms that we are all in this together as human beings and not as christians, muslims, jews, ethiopians, egyptians, eritreans(wink), sudanese, or whatever. For the neutral observer, essentially the egyptians are in a futile exercise to protect a monopoly over the nile when infact they should be thinking about how all countries can equitably use it and sustain it. Egypt can save a lot of water just by modifying some of their farming practices but we never hear anything about that, instead we are subjected to hearing the “negarit”(pun intended lol). I’m sure everyone knows that this does not have to be a zero sum game but obviously, the egyptians are in no position to lead on this issue because of their internals situation which brings me to the point. WTF!!! is our government doing, I have higher leadership expectations of our government than I do of any african country as we are the seat of the AU. IMHO, we should have went way past the rhetoric of “win win” and presented concrete plans of regional utilization of such resources way beyond what is on the entebbe treaty but alas we are only blessed with so much educated(and politically viable lol) manpower. For example, the egyptians are talking about they are going to face dire power cuts on top of their current assasabi power situation, if we are going to export a certain amount anyways, why don’t we put aside a guaranteed amount just for egypt as long as they pay competitive prices, after all, as resource providers we should not care who the buyer is and in addition that becomes a talking point for the egyptian media just as it has to the sudanese media. Bicha min meselesh yalgebash neger, gidibu meseratu aykerim gin we have to lead on this issue so we can be a model to the global situation and uplift ourselves as africans gebash.

      PS Zemed ketach yetenagershew arif aydelem, im sure there are more ethiopian readers of awate than eritreans selezeh aregagew kebad sew. Beterefe this issue has a been a maverick streak on the part of awate and ketelubet belenal. abshir.

    • amara.hadgi

      You claim you would rather die a free man that live as a slave. I do not get it. To my understanding most ethiopians are not free. Or if an Ethiopian enslaves you it is okay but if some other foriegner does the same deeds that infringe on your right it is not okay. I think unless you are from the ruling clique Ethiopians are more focused on deposing TPLF than getting worked up about Egypt about a war that will never happen.

      • why blow your cover by using ethnic name? No Amhara compromises on the issue of the Nile, but those who pretend to be amhara do!..poorly trained Higdef internet tiger-let..

  • Ethiopia should build a technology that enables it to turn on and off the Nile river ( just like one can turns on and off a tap water) in order to teach the racist and arrogant Egyptians, to teach them that the Nile belongs to Ethiopia as well.

    This racist Egyptians have always thought of themselves as middle eastern people. In their racist thinking, Africans are abids/slaves and as such they don’t want to be associated with Africans.

    The Egyptians empty threat will only embolden Ethiopians to even develop the Nile river further. Ethiopia for example can build a facility that purifies and bottles water. It can also redirect the nile to irrigate its farmlands.

    Today , Ethiopia is building a dam, tomorrow it will build irrigation system to help feed its 80+ million Ethiopians. Egyptians will not only buy bottled water but also food from Ethiopia.

  • Abe

    Thanks Awate. I knew Egyptian politicians were dumb, but this ridiculous. I admire the sober and dignified response Ethiopia gave.

  • Mohammed Ahmed


    On “poisoning the Nile ….”

    I hate to spoil your attributed “Eureka” moment, but to say that the Ethiopians could poison the Nile is the dumbest thing ever. Worse yet, those who hailed your assertion as keen are the real dim-wits – don’t be fooled by them.

    To embark on such an impossible endeavour, you have to auction off half of Ethiopia to secure enough cyanide (or any other poison of your choice) to poison one of the largest rivers on earth. This is not like poisoning somebody’s backyard well, you are talking about the longest river on the planet, and the second largest with billions of litres of free-running (non-contained) water.

    Besides, at the risk of sounding silly, even if one were to assume that such a stupid attempt was doable, then the ensuing damage would not be limited to Egypt and the Sudan, but will also affect parts of Ethiopia (back-flow effect at dumping sites) and the entire Mediterranean basin along the shores of North Africa, Southern Europe and parts of Asia.

    Do you see the international dimension and/or implications for such a stupid attempt? I don’t think the Ethiopians are that stupid, only their juvenile cheerleaders are.

    The Egyptians do not have the firepower to destroy the Ethiopians militarily. All their war-talk is nothing but bluff of the worst kind. Likewise, the Ethiopians do not have any power to block the flow of the Nile for a prolonged period of time even at the risk of flooding their entire landscape to the brim.

    If push comes to shove, all the two could afford to do to each other is just to make every other’s life more miserable – no more no less. Conversely, they also have the option of working together – which as poverty-stricken under-developed countries, they have no choice but to accept.

    Does this Nile-politics thing affect Eritrea? Yes it does – big time.

    It creates more fertile pimping ground for HGDEF pimps – thus, much needed avails for them and prolonged misery for the rest of the Eritrean people.

    • Saleh Gadi

      Mohammed Ahmed,
      You are cruel, you spoiled it….
      But think about it, he can buy two dozens of rodent poison in Raid cans and pour it at the river. Boom! Ninety million Egyptians die. C’mon, it is not as difficult as you make it sound:-)

      • Danny

        I wish people stuck to their profession. SG, you are a journalist and good at it. Please stick to what you know how to do. I am an environmental scientist and I deal with contaminated air, soil and water on a daily basis. Don’t fool yourself about the volume of the Nile river and assure yourself that it will stay fresh forever. It does not take much to contaminate fresh water. You can ask your host state California about their struggle with securing fresh water for its population for the forseeable future. It even considers to force Canada into some kind of a free trade agreement on fresh water so that it can tap into Canada’s fresh water. The future very valuable resource is fresh water.

        Egypt can bluff whatever it wants but I am certain it will not be dumb enough to resort to force Ethiopia to change its course on its abay project. One thing I don’t doubt though is they will pimp Isaias to try to do something stupid as always.

        I am sorry for spoiling your party on celebrating the existence of dimwitted people like us.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Hi, Danny!
          They used up isayas for 53 years. He is now toothless old dog. They even had a chance to shoot dead ethiopians in opposing Egypt plan in 1991-1998 With the help of shabia. The ethiopian understanding of Egypt wont surprise what the Egypt politicains discussing live or not. It only makes those who doubt Ethiopian conclusion of Egyptians politicians ill deed to all africans in generall and ethiopia in particular. Those who engaged in civil war of Ethiopians and eritreans will regreat now. Can any one justify for the lose of lives of eritreans and ethiopians? Who is a colonizer Egypt or Ethiopia?

          Anyways, my Message for all Ethiopians, no eritreans shall be called or treated as refugees in Ethiopia. It is their home the way they define it. Our enemies are starting from 1960 upto now are egyptian politicians and their messagengers. Not Our Brothers and sisters of eritreans. Specially those who choose us and run toward us.

    • tazabi

      But Ethiopian never threatened to stop the flow of the Nile. On the contrary the Ethiopian position was the Nile flow will not be affected by the dam. The threat is always one sided that is Egypt threatening to attack Ethiopia

    • haile

      Mohamed and SG

      After calling us ‘dimwits’ on account of your ignorance as regards water source poisoning, you then go on to threaten what would be the consequence of doing so. Which one is it? Is there such a capacity or there is no such capacity? Just to help you to answer it, I would re-cap some historical facts in the subject of water poisoning in conflict situations. However, my understanding of the comment’s rhetorical assertion was to highlight the fact that Ethiopia has been a trusted guardian of this sacred resource to Egyptians that it wouldn’t hurt for the latter to have a little humility. I don’t think that they were suggesting for such action to be taken.

      History of water source poisoning in conflict situations:

      6th Century BC – Assyrians poison the wells of their enemies with rye ergot.

      430 BC – During the second year of the Peloponnesian War, a plague breaks out in Athens. The Spartans are accused of poisoning the cisterns of the Piraeus, the source of most of Athens’ water.

      1860 – 1865 – General William T. Sherman’s memoirs contain an account of Confederate soldiers poisoning ponds by dumping the carcasses of dead animals into them. Other accounts suggest this tactic was used by both sides.

      1915 – Union of South African troops capture Windhoek, capital of German Southwest Africa in May 1915. Retreating German troops poison wells – “a violation of the Hague convention.”

      1972 – Two members of the right-wing “Order of the Rising Sun” are arrested in Chicago with 30–40 kg of typhoid cultures with which they allegedly planned to poison the water supply in Chicago, St. Louis, and other cities. Experts say the plan is unlikely to cause health problems due to water chlorination.

      1977 – Contamination of a North Carolina reservoir with unknown materials. According to Clark: “Safety caps and valves were removed, and poison chemicals were sent into the reservoir….Water had to be brought in.”

      1982 – Los Angeles police and the FBI arrest a man who was preparing to poison the city’s water supply with a biological agent.

      1983 – The Israeli government reports that it had uncovered a plot by Israeli Arabs to poison the water in Galilee with “an unidentified powder.”

      1985 – Law enforcement authorities discover that a small survivalist group in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas known as The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA) has acquired a drum containing 30 gallons of potassium cyanide, with the apparent intent to poison water supplies in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. CSA members believed that such attacks would make the Messiah return more quickly by punishing unrepentant sinners. The objective appeared to be mass murder in the name of a divine mission rather than to change government policy. The amount of poison possessed by the group is believed to have been insufficient to contaminate the water supply of even one city.

      1993 – 2003 – To quell opposition to his government, Saddam Hussein reportedly poisons and drains the water supplies of southern Shiite Muslims, the Ma’dan. The marshes of southern Iraq are intentionally targeted. The European Parliament and UN Human Rights Commission deplore use of water as weapon in region.

      1993 – A report suggests that proposals were made at a meeting of fundamentalist groups in Tehran, under the auspices of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, to poison water supplies of major cities in the West “as a possible response to Western offensives against Islamic organizations and states.”

      1998 – 1999 – Contamination of water supplies/wells by Serbs disposing of bodies of Kosovar Albanians in local wells. Other reports of Yugoslav federal forces poisoning wells with carcasses and hazardous materials.

      2001 – The militant Islamist separatist group Abu Sayyaf threatens to poison the water supply in Isablela, a mainly Christian town on Basilan island in the country’s south. In October, residents in six nearby villages suspected contamination due to water that smelled like gasoline. Local officials responded by closing pipelines and bringing in drinking water by truck. In the months following the 9/11 attacks on New York, numerous false alarms of terrorist activity are reported around the world.

      2002 – Papers seized during the arrest of a Lebanese Imam at a mosque in Seattle include “instructions on poisoning water sources” from a London-based al Qaeda recruiter. The FBI issued a bulletin to computer security experts around the country indicating that al-Qaeda terrorists may have been studying American dams and water-supply systems in preparation for new attacks. “U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have received indications that al-Qaeda members have sought information on Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems available on multiple SCADA-related Web sites,” reads the bulletin, according to SecurityFocus. “They specifically sought information on water supply and wastewater management practices in the U.S. and abroad.”

      2003 – Al-Qaida threatens US water systems via call to Saudi Arabian magazine. Al-Qaida does not “rule out…the poisoning of drinking water in American and Western cities.”

      2003 – Jordanian authorities arrested Iraqi agents in connection with a botched plot to poison the water supply that serves American troops in the eastern Jordanian desert near the border with Iraq. The scheme involved poisoning a water tank that supplies American soldiers at a military base in Khao, which lies in an arid region of the eastern frontier near the industrial town of Zarqa.

      2003 – 2007 – The ongoing civil war in the Sudan has included violence against water resources. In 2003, villagers from around Tina said that bombings had destroyed water wells. In Khasan Basao they alleged that water wells were poisoned. In 2004, wells in Darfur were intentionally contaminated as part of a strategy of harassment against displaced populations.

      2012 – Up to 150 schoolgirls are reported sickened by poison in a school water supply in an intentional attack thought to be carried out by religious conservatives opposed to the education of women.

      2012 – Brazil’s federal police respond to reports that water used by the indigenous Guarani-Kaiowa tribe was poisoned by nearby landowners attempting to gain control over disputed land. Since 2009, the dispute has led to the deaths of three tribesmen, who say the water runs through sacred land.

      2012 – Somali Al Shabaab insurgents poison a well and damage water infrastructure near the port city of Kismayo, Somalia. Insurgents are fighting against Kenyan peacekeeping troops participating in the African Union mission in Somalia.


      Please don’t call us dimwits, simply because you know how to type 🙂

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Haile, you can type and Google. that doesnt make you dimits, you think.

        • haile

          wake up TT, the 60’s are long gone…this is the information age. Google, unlike Nile, can’t be dammed. Our lives depend on it:)

  • Serray

    Awate Team,

    Something must be lost in translation; it is hard to believe these politicians are that dumb and that ignorant! How can you live of a river that comes from african soil and not see yourself as an african. That explains why a israel, a tiny country, managed to play them like a whining bunch. What arrogance, isn’t egypy the highest aid recipient in Africa? Ethiopians not only should built the dam, and many more, they should charge this ungrateful country for ever drop of water. Gift from God, my foot!

    And the unprincipled whore of a president sides with them.

    • hizbawi

      ‘” a tiny country”
      ?hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm like a tiny country Eritrea?

      i can tell 120 % that you are Muslim. nothing wrong with that but you motives are.

      • Serray

        Yes, a tiny country but not like eritrea, who is led by a bunch greedy and corrupt psychopaths. Israel is led by leaders who have their people’s interest at heart; people who go to war to save a couple of their soldiers. Not like our rulers, who traffic on our young and sell them to desert tribes, but never forget to remind us that they brought us independence.

  • Seku Eritrawi

    I wonder why Eritrea (actually Pres. Issayas) acknowledged and supports Egypt’s point of view when it comes to Nile. Why don’t you check your own diplomatic issues you have with the world. I know how much Issayas enjoys when ever crises happen in Africa? He is the first to take a side and end up becoming a foe and release press info. If he does what Egyptians expected of him to harm Ethiopia, that will be the end of his (sorry our) country.
    We need a wise leadership regardless who is in power….mind your business….take no side….

  • T..T.

    Abdul Nasser and Haile Selassie were best friends. Although, like they say, friendship is like the sea, you can see the beginning but you can’t see the end – for the two leaders, however, one could see the beginning of the Nile while the other could see the end of the Nile. So, to make their friendship forever lasting, they both agreed that Haile Selassie to play the role of a judge and Abdul Nasser to take the role of a barber. For Haile Selassie, as a judge, Abdul Nasser agreed to stand up in respect. And, for Abdul Nasser, as a baber, Haile Selassie agreed to bow enough to have his haircut. Thus, they had mutual agreement to use the Nile. They felt both were contributing, one as a giver and the other as a receiver with the latter saving the first from getting flooded.

    What about now. It looks like each wants a pass of the ball to rally the people behind their governments to weaken their internal oppositions.

    • Zaul

      Actually Haile Selassie didn’t have to bow down; he could get his hair cut standing up. Lighten up I’m just playing :-).
      One should not underestimate to what length the Egyptians will go to secure maximum use of the nile water.

      They brought the Nubians to an existential threat; to build the Aswan high dam and Lake Nasser (should’ve been named Lake Nubia). Buried their history, and with it the contribution and black and white identity of ancient Egypt. The Nubians are both Egyptian and Muslim.

  • belay

    Allah said share and care.Egypt is a gift of the Nile,i agree but it does not mean The Nile should not be shared.The sudan is sharing it for a start.I think Mr Morsi confused Allah With the Britsh.It was the Britsh who gave the Nile to The Sudan And Egypt.Now it time to share and care as Allah said.
    35% of the people of Ethiopia are muslims Mr Morsi wants them to secure his interest in their blood but he does not care if they die with hunger or thirst.
    But i as an Ethiopian care to the Egyptians as well.we Ethiopians should at least use the sheer for of the river to push turbines for energy .That will not hurt Egypt in any way.


    egyptians are not any more ethiopian Brothers, they want to destroy us through eritreans , somalians , dejiubuti etc. but they have to rembere we shall do or all effort to step them and will never have the water. if they are doing a war for water then they will never have it for ever. all the arab world and moslomes including ethiopian mosloms are harnming us. ok we shall dai togther and no one will have any thing.


  • aba_chegora

    Nile is ethiopian and egyptions need to understand that Ethiopia has the rights to that nile is a gift of Ethiopia to egypt. Nothing more nor less. I was amazed and amused hearing the by the threat of egyptian politicians. It demonstrate their ill thinking that arabs are superior to black africans in general and ethiopians in particulat. I think they need to understand that Ethiopia has the right and the might to sell the nile water like the arabs do with their oil. When it comes to war I think we eritreans will stand behind our ethiopian brothers. There is no doubt about that.

  • Yohanes Mussie

    If you are bent on presenting yourselves as cat’s paws for Egyptians (or any other third side), don’t try to use the Eritrean brand!
    Defining ones identity is an individual choice. But, claiming to represent a collective identity for a miskewed diabolical agenda is more than a colosal crime whose profit is harvesting misery that only an abyss could accomodate.
    Finally, I thank you for showing me your true colors. So much for the veiled intellectual discussion which you used to present when you were in your snake’s egg phase!

    • Zaul


      Judging from the reply you got from سيد/ኣቶ ሳልሕ القاضي, It seems like Aba_Chegora may have a point.

  • Yohanes Mussie

    “Readers will find it INFORMATIVE”, you said? The hell we do! What could be more informative about your introductory statement, which contains “vested interest in describing Arabs and Muslims as raging fanatics”. What better evidence could ask one more than this pseudo-article?
    Who do you represent? An Eritrea opposition or some global franchise of confused, self-styled, opportunistic muslim ideology?
    Why on earth would one care about Ethio-Egyptian relation? As if we have solved All of Eritrea’s/Eritean’s problems, you unashamedly are trying to blend-in others’ problems into our equation. Ahhhhaaah! We are alert! This is not our AGENDA!!!
    We are very sure of issues that don’t factor-in as our agenda

    • Saleh Gadi

      And who are you when you say “WE”?

    • Obang

      Awate Team (Salih Gedi) sounds to blame others for distorting the content of the meeting by media outlets such as MEMRI.TV. It is not true. Yes there were some kind words by very few participants. But the discussion exposed the most racist, arrogant and chauvinist mentality of the Egyptian society. You cannot help them in covering up these facts by simply transcribing the discussion. If you have any connection with the Egyptians, please tell them not to send their foreign minister to Addis Abab with set of preconditions to Ethiopia. You better advise them to send him to Asmara.

  • Bahram

    Excerpt from President Mursi concluding remarks:
    ‘… the Egyptian people who have never been an aggressor against anyone in its history…’

    I recommend him to read Egypts past history speaking of aggression.

    War with Ethiopia
    Ismail dreamt of expanding his realm over the whole Nile including its diverse sources and over the whole African coast of the Red Sea.[6] This, together with rumours about rich raw material and fertile soil, led Ismail to expansive policies directed against Ethiopia under the Emperor Yohannes IV. In 1865 the Ottoman Sublime Porte ceded the Ottoman Province of Habesh (with Massawa and Suakin at the Red Sea as the main cities of that province) to Ismail. This province, neighbor of Ethiopia, first consisted of a coastal strip only, but expanded subsequently inland into territory controlled by the Ethiopian ruler. Here Ismail occupied regions originally claimed by the Ottomans when they had established the province (eyaleti) of Habesh in the 16th century. New economically promising projects, like huge cotton plantations in the Barka delta, were started. In 1872 Bogos (with the city of Keren) was annexed by the governor of the new “Province of Eastern Sudan and the Red Sea Coast”, Werner Munzinger Pasha. In October 1875 Ismail’s army occupied the adjacent highlands of Hamasien, which were then tributary to the Ethiopian Emperor. In March 1876 Ismail’s army suffered a dramatic defeat after an attack by Yohannes’s army at Gura’. Ismail’s son Hassan was captured by the Ethiopians and only released after a large ransom. This was followed by a long cold war, only finishing in 1884 with the Anglo-Egyptian-Ethiopian Hewett Treaty, when Bogos was given back to Ethiopia. The Red Sea Province created by Ismail and his governor Munzinger Pasha was taken over by the Italians shortly thereafter and became the territorial basis for the Colonia Eritrea (proclaimed in 1890).

  • hizbawi

    It is very funny indeed. The TPLF got the idea of the dam when they tried to divert the Arab spring uprising from happening in Ethiopia. it worked and they collected large amount of cash. If the Arab spring never occurred, TPLF never would have the idea of dam. Being Eritrean and fought with Ethiopians, this time around I support the Ethiopians. If Egypt wants the water, then, compensate with some kind of thing that will help the Ethiopians. It is comical to hear the Egyptians saying “we will never give our drop of water”
    Ethiopians; get your lazy bum and stand what is yours.

  • Horizon

    Awate.com should be commended for bringing the GERD for discussion by our Eritrean brothers and sisters.

    A thousand thanks!

  • daniel

    Come down nothing is gonna happen!

  • Elsa

    I am an Eritrean and stand behind Ethiopia’s plan to build dam. Since when are Egyptians Africans. Viva Ethiopia!

  • Much

    Going through a 2.5 hours video clip and translating transcripts must have taken a lot of hours. I am sure awate.com has limited resources while there are abundant Eritrea related documents to translate. I can’t understand how high this meeting has become in the pecking order your to do list that you decided to allocate a great deal of your meagre resources on ethio-egypy issue when the Ethiopians and Egyptians did not bother to spend time and effort in translating this meeting.

    Also, I didn’t know you are in the business of proving that all Arabs are not raging fanatics although it is a worthy issue for Arabs who have abundant resources in their disposal if they think it is worth fighting. Or this issue is also on the top of your agenda?

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Think this way. Assume that Isayas and Bashir of Sudan were summoned some weeks before this dramtic tv live broadcasting. Assume Eritrea is mentioned as a target country to distabilize on the tv debate by top politicians. And again assume Egypt has done this for decades. Opps! all of the above were not assumptions. They have been realy happning. It involeves Eritrea too. The worry here is not Eritrea is directly involved but what is the stand of awate towards Egypt policy.

  • zemed

    Damn! There is no “like” button for awate articles and comments. For those of us on Read_only mode that is way to express our take on a point.

  • The GERD has no irrigable land( not even 200 HA) . What is this talk about? Shame on you Egypt!

  • President Morsi , in his opening statement , has this to say “…if Egypt is the gift of the Nile, then the Nile is a gift to Egypt from God [Alah], may [Alah] be glorified and exalted…and we must do everything we can to safeguard this bounty from [Alah]God…”

    Let me break it down for ME (not for you smart readers 🙂 ) to understand what he really means

    If Egypt is the gift of the Nile,
    and If the Nile is the gift of Allah,
    then Egypt is the gift of Allah.
    Therefore, protecting Egypt is tantamount to protecting Allah.

    Well, Ethiopians can say the same thing. The Nile is also , for them, a gift from God.

    So, this whole issue may boil down to wars of two religions and/or religious tensions.

    Mr. Morsi should not have put his “Alah” in to the picture in matters of national concern. To make decision based on religion is a wrong way to go. I am sure many readers wouldn’t accept a policy drawn based upon religion.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Imagine the catastrophe if there is no god at all. In my opinion if a politicain like Morsi says there is God, i doubt the existence of God.

      • Saleh Gadi

        Wow TT, you just need Morsi to say that! How about your own thinking faculty? Can’t you reach a conclusion on something except as a reaction?

        • wolde ab

          TT has no empirical evidence to support that there is a god, neither do you nor I for that matter. Therefore, TT rejects the notion in its totality. Right TT?

          • Saleh Gadi

            His empirical evidence is based on a contrary view with Mursi. He wrote, because Morsi has a view, I have a contrary view. I never said anything about evidence, I just questioned how one can have such a view based on a contrarian approach? If Mursi says the world is round, would he say it is flat, just to have an opposite view to that of Mursi?

          • Saleh Gadi,

            That’s not how I understand TT’s comment. He is , i think, essentially saying that he does not trust people like Morsi. He is talking about credibility.

  • abel

    “Dr. Mohammed: …I see that we have nothing in the flanks… Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti, these are the ones who will finish [the job], inside.”
    “Dr. Ayman Nur (Ghad Al-Thewra Party): …dealing with Eritrea, dealing with Djibouti, and dealing with Somalia is a card of great importance to pressure Ethiopia. ”

    As an eritrean such undermining and insulting comment should be the one i would be angry at.A responsible Eritrean Gov. parties intellectual or any citizen for that matter should have asked Egypt for apology and strong condemnation and taken further action.Sudan dib much better.The Rest of u took it with honor and duty,Wake up you Obedient slave?.They are counting on u to do the dirty job,they say everyone corrupt, we pay them and they will do it for a penny.what is this prostitution?
    Shame shame shame….

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) was formed by a group of Eritrean students and intellectuals in Cairo, Egypt in July 1960.

    Eritrea is on the verge of being a member of arab lands. Now it has an observer status in the arab League.

    When egyptian leaders suggesting how to use (misuse) other african countries for securing Nile and red see under the controll of Arabs, they have no illusion what ever hell the others experiencing. After they described africans like dirt they expect the same african countries sacrifice for the betterment of Egypt.

    What have we ethiopian said in the arebization fo Eritrea for the sake of Egypt or elf! Even mengistu knew it as to what Egypt was trying to Eritrea and eritreans.

    Egypt must stop using countres like chess pises for securing Nile. Those countries have also a dignified as egyptians or more because we dont have not done this kind of inhuman activities against egyptians.

  • Tazabi

    Thank you for translating the transcript of the meeting. It gives a better context than the 10 minute video that went viral.
    This shows their contempt towards Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular. All they want is our resource they do not care about us. It also shows how ignorant they are. For people who claim that the Nile is important, they sure do not know much about the people who inhabit the source of the Nile. They are told a thousand times the dam does not affect water flow to Egypt. Yet they insist it is a matter of life and death. The country that does not contribute a drop of water is claiming every drop of water from the Nile. They act as if they give the water and we are the receivers.

  • Godefay

    The video clip reaffirms my conviction that, for egypt, the only thing that matters is a moslem. Nothing matters; no one counts. That is why why they are involved in body parts harvesting, raping, and killing of african immigrants–they’re not moslems, huh? Thank you awate team for translating the video.

  • Danny

    Egypt is thinking about using force to destroy the Hidase dam of Ethiopia? I say that would be a foolish thing to do. What would prevent Ethiopia to poison the Nile river and inflict more damage than the dam would. Does that ever occur to the foolish politicians if Egypt? Before they talk about “all means necessary” they ought to think what Ethiopia has at its disposal to retaliate with “all means necessary”?

    • haile


      A very clever observation!

      • Kokhob Selam

        yes, the only way out is peace and they should agree for win-win.

    • Good point. If the Egyptians (the Arabs) are thinking that the Ethiopians are sitting ducks, they have to think again.