Category Archives: General

Egypt, Ethiopia Headed For War Over Water

In the coming years, Egypt and Ethiopia may be forced to fight a “water war” because Ethiopia’s ambitions contradict Egypt’s historical and legal rights in the Nile waters. Ethiopia can only be deterred by the regional and international balance of powers, which in recent years has favored Ethiopia.

For any Egyptian government, Egypt’s water share and securing the Nile’s headwaters are the top national security priorities, irrespective of the Egyptian government’s ideology or domestic policies. This fact is dictated by geography. For thousands of years, Egyptian rulers have been aware how important water is for Egypt. Water is the lifeline of Egypt (97.5% of Egypt is barren desert). Egyptian rulers have always used any means to defend their country’s historic rights to the Nile waters. As Greek historian Herodotus said, “Egypt is the gift of the Nile.” Egyptian civilization, which is one of history’s greatest civilizations, depends on the Nile. To illustrate the Nile’s importance, we should remember that Egypt is the largest desert oasis in the world. Life in Egypt is concentrated on the river banks where 90 million people live. In short, any Egyptian government should have one eye on the Horn of Africa — on Ethiopia, where the source of the Nile lies — and another eye on the Sinai Peninsula and the Levant, and the balance of power there. History has shown that most of Egypt’s invaders entered through that door.

The Pain of the Ogaden Somali People

by GRAHAM PEEBLES

“Every night, they took all of us girls to [interrogations]. They would separate us and beat us. The second time they took me, they raped me… All three of the men raped me, consecutively”.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) report in Collective Punishment, along with 15 other female students, this innocent 17 year-old Ogaden girl, was held captive for three months in a “dark hole in the ground” and raped 13 times. This is just one of countless accounts of abuse, from within the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, where it is widely reported criminal acts like these are perpetrated by the Ethiopian military and paramilitary forces on a daily basis. Untold atrocities like this; past and present are awaiting investigation, amid what is a much-ignored, little known conflict in the Horn of Africa.

Personal reflections on the traits of a new generation of Ethiopians

By Tesfa Mekuria

Alemu Tafesse recently published a highly profound article – The Ethiopian Muslim Civil Rights Movement: Implications for Democracy in Ethiopia. In it, he argued that the 14-month old Muslim civil rights movement has had remarkable implications for the democratic transformation of that country. He specifically argued that by forcing the government to completely throw away its democratic garb; by introducing into modern Ethiopia an alternative path to democracy, and by actually becoming an alternative location of democracy, the Muslims’ activism has so far left great impacts on the contours of the current and future democratic possibilities of Ethiopia. While I generally agree with the points he raised, I also believe that they need to be discussed and debated by all Ethiopians at large.