Why is the Ethiopian regime making the Renaissance Dam the issue and arouse suspicion that it is under threat and possibly not safe?
BY AMANUEL BIEDEMARIAM
The government of Ethiopia is openly admitting that it is no longer able to secure the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and as such the country. It is also inadvertently admitting that the EPRDF/Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) is at war against the people of Benishangul Gumuz as it is with other regional states all over the country.
On March 2, Ethiopian Information Ministry website WaltaInfo reported,
“Ethiopians thwarted the attack attempts of armed groups against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project located on the Blue Nile River in the Benishangul Regional State. Twenty of the members of the groups were “completely annihilated.”
According to Zadig Abrha, State Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO), ‘Ethiopian security forces have destroyed and arrested members of the, “Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement while they were attempting to attack the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).”
According to Human Rights Congress of Ethiopia (HRC) and various sources, “the indigenous people of Benishangul Gumuz, who lived off fishing, have been forcefully moved to locations several tens of kilometers away. HRC stated that around 10, 000 citizens residing in the region have been told that they were not “natives of the region” and were forcefully evicted from the region as of April 23, 2013.” As a result, Benishangul Amhara are waging armed struggle to regain their land rights from the EPRDF/TPLF regime.
The minority regime of Ethiopia has politicized the construction of the dam from the beginning drawing attention from the Nile Basin countries particularly Egypt, a country that depends on Nile waters for its very existence. The late Meles Zenawi was using the construction of the dam to blackmail the former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak into acquiescing to the regime’s Eritrea agenda.
The minority Tigrayan led TPLF/EPRDF regime used the dam to raise funds from its Tigrayan diaspora constituency and as a political tool to quite the opposition. The regime also attempted to control the political narrative by turning GERD as a patriotic endeavor and a source of national pride and those that opposed the project were cast as unpatriotic.
In 2014, the then the deputy-head of GERD coordination who is now serving as State Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO), Mr. Zadig Abraha told the Guardian,
“Ethiopia will become an African Lion. We have finished with the syndrome of dependence; we want to recover our past glory.”
The minority apartheid regime tried to sell the idea of GERD to the international community and the region claiming Ethiopia will become major supplier of electricity in the region while pushing the notion of Ethiopia that is one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
The question in everyone’s mind is if the Renaissance Dam is a source of pride, a symbol of economic progress and expression of Ethiopian stability; why announce to the world that Benishangul Amhara’s tried to sabotage the dam? Furthermore, why paint the entire ethnic group with one brush and accuse them of sabotage?
The regime stated that the group has relations to Eritrea and tried to assign blame to Eritrea. This however, is not the first time the regime has fabricated news.
In 2006, Wikileaks exposed how Ethiopian security forces planted 3 bombs in Addis Ababa and blamed Eritrea. The report from 2006 marked “Secret ; Subject: Ethiopia: Recent Bombings Blamed on Oromos Possibly the Work of GOE [Government of Ethiopia]” “Classified By: Charge [d’Affairs] Vicki Huddleston”, “An embassy source, as well as clandestine reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been the work of the GoE security forces.” (Cable reference id: #06ADDISABABA2708.)
The minority regime ignited the bombs on September 16, 2006 ahead of the African Union Summit and tried to make it appear as if Eritrea was behind the bombing targeting the AU, an-effort designed to label Eritrea a nation linked to terrorism.
The Indian Ocean Newsletter N°1446 – 10/03/2017, called to question the regime’s attempted attack claim as,
“A fake attack on GERD?” and elucidated,
‘While Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn claims to have foiled an attack fomented by Eritrea against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Eritrean president Isaias Afworki’s government says it knows absolutely nothing about the matter.
The information minister and government spokesman Yemane Gebremeskel swears to have never heard of the Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM) suspected of being behind the attack on the dam. According to our sources, the inauguration of the dam has been put back once again. Workers haven’t been paid for several months.”
This is a familiar pattern. The regime has been fabricating lies for decades. But why is the minority regime making the Renaissance Dam the issue and arouse suspicion that the dam is under threat and possibly not safe? Why announce to the world that the dam is a target? How can the regime promote the sales of electric power while announcing to the world the vulnerabilities that naturally exist?
It makes absolutely no sense to fabricate fake news such as this. The minority apartheid Tigrayan regime can claim that Eritrea has a hand on this. The reality, however, the Benishangul Amhara people are Ethiopians. If Benishangul people are in-deed guilty of the alleged attempted attack, by announcing it to the world, the regime is inadvertently advertising the civil unrest and instability that exist inside Ethiopia.
Regardless of its motives, the regime is on terrible shape. As Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) reported,
“The inauguration of the dam has been put back once again. Workers haven’t been paid for several months.”
One thing that this report makes clear is that the workers have not been paid for several months. Hence, if the dam is being constructed by employees that are unhappy due to the fact that they are not paid on time; how safe is the dam?
Ethiopia is in serious trouble and this development demonstrates that the TPLF/EPRDF minority apartheid regime is losing grip everywhere. It has been six months since the regime declared state of emergency. The realty is it is impossible to govern a nation under a permanent state of emergency. That only means that the regime has lost control and cannot govern by peaceful means and can only govern by the use of brute force.
This gives the people no option but to pick up arms and struggle and that could only mean civil war.
The regime is beset by problems. Shortage of hard currency, over five million people suffering from hunger and starvation. Insurgency in every corner of the country with every region fighting for its own cause. A landlocked country that is increasingly being challenged by rebel groups from importing goods. Rebels are destroying convoys carrying goods and gas from Sudan exacerbating shortages. Ethiopia is under constant internal pressures economically, politically, socially and militarily.
The regime has lost credibility and its favored status is getting stripped daily. US congressional representatives are working to influence the Trump administration to review its Ethiopia policy. During a congressional hearing on March 9, 2017 Representative Chris Smith said,
“Ethiopia has long been an important ally, providing effective peacekeepers and collaborating in the War on Terror. However, increasingly repressive policies have diminished political space and threaten to radicalize not only the political opposition but also civil society by frustrating their ability to exercise their rights under law. This hearing will examine the current situation in Ethiopia with an eye toward developing policies to help this nation to reverse an increasingly tense situation in the troubled Horn of Africa.”
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher takes it a step further and said,
“The Ethiopian regime represent a small minority in Ethiopia. We are helping that small clique which is corrupt and brutal. It’s time for the U.S. to say we made a mistake by going down that road with a small group of people. We should be friends with the overall people of Ethiopia, not just with a clique. That will serve the interest of the U.S. and the interest of the people of Ethiopia.”
For the first time, the minority regime in Ethiopia is naked and finds itself without the blanket cover that it once enjoyed in the State Department and the White House. Things have drastically changed and if there is a political will the republican house and senate can quickly move to reverse a flowed policy that hurt the Ethiopian people and the people of the region.
It is only a matter of time before Ethiopia explodes out of control. The Tigrayan lead minority apartheid regime is incapable to come up with real solution that could take Ethiopia to a better place. As a result, the regime will continue the path it has been taking for over 25 years. The Renaissance Dam false-flag is a continuation of the pattern.
Unfortunately, there appears no viable solution for Ethiopia’s woes. It may be too late for any US policy maneuvers to make a difference. Ethiopia’s only solution; establish a united government in exile. If Ethiopians managed to create a unity government sponsored by the Trump administration, Ethiopia may have a chance to survive as a nation. Otherwise, the slow death will help disintegrate Ethiopia for good.