RE: A Call to Stop the Unfair Demand on Ethiopia to Relinquish Its National Sovereignty in
Utilizing Its Fair Share of the Nile
As Ethiopian Americans who reside in the state of Virginia, we have a great interest in US-Ethiopian relations. We had been following President Trump’s involvement regarding the Nile negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. We are now gravely concerned reports that this process has effectively ended the consensus-building efforts of the previous rounds of negotiations due to the US Treasury’s undue pressure on Ethiopia to sign a deal that is unfair and written outside of the original scope of the terms of negotiation.
Ethiopia is a country with 110 million people and one of the least developed nations,
with 60% of its population living without access to electricity. While the Blue Nile river and other
tributaries contribute to upwards 80% of the total water flow of the Nile, a system of geopolitical
injustice has barred our country from using its own water resources to generate electricity and
change the lives of its poor people. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the largest hydro-electric dam in Africa, is an effort to redress that centuries-old injustice. It has full national support in Ethiopia and is expected to double current electricity generation capacity and advance poverty reduction in the country. Notably, as a hydro-project, it does not cause a permanent reduction in the water that flows downstream and will in fact help to regulate the water flow thereby allowing consistent flow during dry season and avoid flooding during the rainy months.
With a deep sense of understanding over the concerns of the downstream nations of Sudan and Egypt, Ethiopia took a commendable initiative for three-way discussion on the filling and operation of the GERD the purpose of which is to minimize the impact on the downstream nations (Sudan and Egypt) during the filling and operation of the hydroelectric dam.
GERD is financed solely by the people of Ethiopia without any outside assistance. Besides the tremendous economic benefit, it is expected to generate for the poverty-stricken nation, yielding exceptional national pride above and beyond any national infrastructure endeavor. Today it is the symbol of Ethiopia’s determination to embark on a long-awaited renaissance to modernize the socio-economic foundation of the nation itself.
The sudden entrance of the United States and the World Bank in the negotiation among the three downstream nations were initially welcomed by Ethiopia in good faith. However, the US and the World Bank quickly transformed themselves from observers into chief negotiators by forcing out the mechanism established in the DoP agreement signed in March 2015. We also believe that the process has undercut Ethiopia’s sovereign rights to use its own natural resources under international law.
We believe that the US administration and the World Bank have become parties to a neo-colonial treaty that subjects Ethiopia to undue external interference and control in its internal affairs. Hence will be responsible for any crisis that will be engendered by this rushed and ineffective process. Their entrance into the mediation process has already undercut decades of efforts to develop multilateral, cooperative approaches for developing the Nile through the Nile Basin Initiative. We also question the motives and independence of the US administration,
especially considering its evident desire to solicit Egyptian endorsement for Trump Peace plan, authored by the president’s son-in-law Mr. Jared Kushner .
We, the diaspora Ethiopians, denounce the US and World Bank’s role of such unfair and
unjust pressure on Ethiopia. The framework established in the Declaration of Principles must resume without the coercion and interference of the US and the World Bank. We Ethiopian American residing in the great state of Virginia, therefore, seek your voice in support of a fair and equitable solution for the region without US and world bank interference.
We Ethiopian American residing in the great state of ____________________, therefore, seek your voice in support of a fair and equitable solution for the region without US and world bank interference.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this very urgent matter. We look forward to hearing
from you very soon.