Qatari-Ethiopian Relations: Prospects after the Emir's Visit - Al Jazeera Center for Studies
In March, Ethiopia took a stake in the port for an undisclosed sum. ties with Somalia for centuries, but those relationships are now up in the air. While Qatari citizens are among the wealthiest in the world, more than in Saudi -led military operations in Yemen and made efforts to repair relations with. Foreign Affairs Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu held discussion with Qatari Deputy Prime and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al.
Who is losing the Nile?
On thee they call! Before the end of the year, the construction on the Blue Nile of the huge Renaissance dam will be finished and Ethiopia will be in complete control of the flow of waters. And in Cairo, people still refer to the more or less legendary episode at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries when Ethiopian King Dawit the Second threatened the Mameluk sultans with cutting off the flow of the Nile 2. A Demographic Explosion Use of the waters of the Nile is a complex issue, involving international law how should the waters of a transnational river be allotted?
At the risk of simplification, let us try to outline the basic elements of this dispute. Though these basic factors have always appeared intangible, they have now been completely overturned.
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First of all, the region has experienced a population explosion: And the other riverside countries have grown abreast. And we must add the intensification of livestock breeding which accounts for half of both the Ethiopian and Sudanese agricultural GNP and absorbs steadily increasing amounts of water, while rainfall is declining as a result of global warming.
And finally the rapid growth of urbanization has also caused an increase in water consumption. It will be the biggest dam in Africa, more impressive even than the Aswan High Dam, built in the s by Egypt with Soviet aid as a showcase for the Nasser regime.
The result of a unilateral decision, its construction by an Italian firm began in and according to Addis-Abeba, it is two thirds finished. It is aimed at consolidating national unity in a country where power is monopolized by a tiny ethnic minority, the Tigrayans, who encounter much opposition, especially from the largest ethnicity, the Oromos.
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As this specialist reminds us: And nothing seems likely to stand in its way. Thus, on the occasion of the summit meeting of the African Union in JanuarySisi, flanked by the Ethiopian and Sudanese presidentsclaimed that all the problems would be solved within a month: We are speaking as one voice.
There is no crisis, there is no more crisis. Is Sisi about to lose control of the wealth and resources it brings? Renaissance DamEgyptEthiopiaSudanNileSisiwater wars Ethiopia's construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile has exacerbated tensions between the countries through which the river currently flows. Egypt fears its share of the river waters may be seriously diminished, but seems incapable of standing in the way of Addis Ababa's project - which has now gained the support of Sudan.
In the century before the birth of Christ, the Latin poet Albius Tibullus paid tribute to the river, for "along thy bank not any prayer is made to Jove for fruitful showers. On thee they call! Before the year is out, the construction on the Blue Nile of the huge Renaissance dam will be finished, and Ethiopia will be in complete control of the flow of its waters.
Our only hope, and it's a slim one, is that filling the reservoir will take longer than the three years planned by Addis Ababa. Use of the waters of the Nile is a complex issue, involving international law how should the waters of a transnational river be allotted?
The two join together at Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, with the former supplying 90 percent of the total volume of water.
This is all the more crucial, as 97 percent of Egypt's water needs depend on the Nile, unlike the other riverside countries such as Ethiopia where there is plenty of rain. Though these basic factors have always appeared immutable, they have now been overturned.
Firstly, the region has experienced a population explosion: Water is becoming a rare and increasingly expensive resource The other riverside countries saw a similar boom. Lastly, rapid urbanisation has also caused an increase in water consumption. Water, then, is becoming a rare and increasingly expensive resource while across the Horn of Africa, and the desert is gaining ground.
It will be the biggest dam in Africa, more impressive even than the Aswan High Dam, built in the s by Egypt with Soviet aid as a showcase for the Nasser regime. The result of a unilateral decision, its construction by an Italian firm began in and according to Addis Ababa, it is two thirds finished.
Hani Raslan, research fellow at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Stategic Studies and one of the most qualified Egyptian experts on these issues, believes that the Ethiopian project is "mainly political": Ethiopia has been diverting the Blue Nile as part of the Renaissance Dam project [AFP] The Oromo held street protests at the very end ofand early in when Addis Ababa accused Cairo of encouraging their rebellion.
As this specialist reminds us: And nothing seems likely to stand in its way. The Ethiopian government has invested all its prestige and authority in this dam "Ethiopia is behaving like Turkey," Raslan spits out, and coming from him this is no compliment: Raslan was referring to the South-Eastern Anatolia Project GAP involving the great Ataturk dam and some 20 smaller structures which have partly dried up the Euphrates and the Tigris, causing water shortages in Syria and Iraq.
Now it will be Egypt's turn to suffer a water shortage. Faced with Ethiopia's determination and Sudan's support for Addis Ababa's position, Egypt has proven incapable of mounting a coherent strategy, wavering between an ultra-nationalist rhetoric - especially in the media, always ready to flare up over the Nile issue - and a public stance of willingness to cooperate which often borders on delusion. We are speaking as one voice. There is no crisis, there is no more crisis.