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Trump’s War mongering rhetoric won’t intimidate Ethiopia

In his telephone conversation last Friday with the Prime Minister Abdella Hamdock of the Republic of Sudan, Donald Trump, the President of the USA made a statement that could seriously jeopardize the partnership between Ethiopia and the USA that have flourished for over 117 years. The statement in which the President talked about the possibility for Egypt to blow up GERD could have far reaching consequences that the President has failed to consider.
The timing of the comment coincided with the election campaign that was conducted between the current President and the former vice president Joe Biden for the national election to be conducted on November 3rd, 2020. The statement uttered by the President could have negative repercussion at the polling stations prompting Afro Americans and citizens of Ethiopian origin to decide not to elect President Trump who seeks a second term.

President Trump’s statement was not a slip of a tongue but a war cry that could possibly ignite a major instability on the Horn of Africa leading to a total regional crisis. On the other hand the statement vividly depicts that the US had no or limited knowledge both about Ethiopia and Africa at large. Any person with sober mind would conclude that the President was tampering with the sovereignty of this country which was kept alive by the flesh and blood of martyrs who fought not only for Ethiopia but also for Africa and in keeping peace under the auspices of the UN during the Korean War, in Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Abiyei and Darfur.
Ethiopia cooperated with the US in their joint efforts to wipe out terrorists from the Horn of Africa and this cooperation is still going on but Donald Trump’s statement is geared towards terrorizing the country without calculating the consequences it will have on the long standing US national interest on the Horn of Africa. It appears that the President is not well versed on the realties in Africa and Ethiopia.
The US has every right to maintain close relations with Egypt but certainly not by presenting Ethiopia as a lamb for sacrifice on the Egyptian altar. The President boldly claimed that his administration prepared a document that Ethiopia is expected to sign on terms irrationally favorable to Egypt while defying international law which does not compel Ethiopia to sign any document with no sign of equity and with no respect for Ethiopia.
Ethiopia firmly believes that the President’s abrupt comment does represent the official position of the peoples of the USA who will continue to enjoy amicable and friendly relations with Ethiopia, however.
As Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed has noted, Ethiopia is used to effectively repealing all kinds of wars and treacherous conspiracies that were always part of the history of this country. The US with its long years of experience in diplomacy should have known that AU has all the necessary legal instruments to effectively mediate between the three countries as it is also mandated to do so. Belittling the capacity of the AU is another tactic that both the US administration and Egypt have used contrary to the response given by the UNSC on the appeal made by Egypt regarding GERD. In as much as the US has built Hoover Dam on a river in its own territory, Ethiopia has the right to build, finish and use the hydropower from the dam to fulfill the needs of more than 60 percent of the Ethiopian population who have no access to electricity.
Ethiopia did not ask for any financial assistance from the US and the leadership of the country has no moral or legal ground to take sides on the issue of the dam for which it had not contributed a penny.
Earlier in 1977 when the Somali irredentist forces invaded Ethiopia from two directions, the Carter Administration withheld armaments for which Ethiopia has paid, the administration encouraged NATO, Egyptian and countries of the Arab League to supply huge amount of military hardware for Somalia who was the invader and denied Ethiopia the necessary armaments it badly needed to defend and protect its territorial boundaries. President Trump repeats this denial in a new sugar coated diplomatic treachery.
Despite all the above mentioned patterns of intimidations, Ethiopia will continue to maintain continuous diplomatic relations with the US even if President Donald Trump continues to trumpet and thump on Ethiopia’s natural and legal right to use the waters of Abay to provide electricity to her citizens.
It is to be noted that despite change of presidencies in the US and in spite of the fact that Ethiopia has come through the leadership of four regimes since 1953 when Ethiopia established formal diplomatic relations with Ethiopia, this country will not simply throw away the good old days in which both countries enjoyed credible diplomatic relations that exceeded 100 years.

The Ethiopian Herald