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On Signing Treaties, Contracts on the Use of Nile Waters and the Leasing of Farm Lands in Ethiopia. PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 December 2010 07:11

(By: Gmichael ) - Dear Ethiopian readers,

I’m not going to rehash, for you, all the defunct and bogus treaties on the use of the Nile waters that were written and signed by our neighbor countries and their colonial masters, to be imposed on us and our future generations for eternity. I leave that to the historians and politicians who could better present it to the reader in different twisted language and logic to best serve their ulterior motives depending where they come from. 

In this short message, I want to make it very clear to all Africans along the Nile River, and particularly to my Ethiopian brothers and sisters: it is HIGH TIME for us, Africans, to take the very responsibility for the very existence and wellbeing of our future children. It is long overdue to throw those lopsided treaties to the dustbin and never ever to recycle them!

Those unjust and illegal treaties have been the principal support for Egypt to steal water from Africans in order to develop and sustain agriculture in the Sahara desert. And even worst, Egyptians would not hesitate to export the ‘sweet’ Nile waters to Israel through, still another desert, the Sinai. This behavior shows not only the meanness and arrogance of Egyptians but also the feeling of contempt they have for us Africans in general and Ethiopians in particular.

Here is how, Burhan Ali ( ), the gentleman who has perfectly studied their behavior and their ‘negative perception’ for black Africa, puts it: ‘Embedded here is the natural Egyptian contempt and insolence harbored for all black Africans including their own Kushites (Nubians). Their unabated, Racist attitude towards Eritreans is securing--------‘’.

What is absolutely mind-boggling is the stance they have developed in themselves that they have absolute right to give or deny permission to the upstream nations to harness their resources in their own backyards. This is but utterly an ugly insult to our intelligence. It is insulting and demeaning for us Ethiopians to tolerate Egypt exploiting the lion’s share of the water, 85% of which comes from the nation of the lion. Egyptians must be told in unequivocal terms that they don’t even deserve a win-win share of the Nile waters. No more free lunch. Enough is enough! If Egyptians do not under this plain message, then we have to close our diplomatic borders with Egypt and do business within our own beloved country. Thanks God we don’t have any physical borders with them!

Regarding putting any signature on any document, the message here is even shorter but unwavering and absolute. Never sign any treaty or agreement on the use of the Nile River from now on. No government or single party or single person, today or tomorrow or any other future time, has the right to sign any document that may negatively affect and prevent future generations from using their own resources for development in a way they consider it appropriate for them under new future circumstances that surely will crop up. This proscription to sign any treaty that has long term economic, national security or national sovereignty implications should be enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution.

Ethiopia should only abide by the international laws and rules that govern all the international rivers around the world. No more. Period.

If it is found absolutely necessary, for some reason, by an overwhelming majority of a highly accepted democratic Ethiopian parliament to sign a treaty regarding the Nile, it should be done on short term basis if binding. Such treaty should be signed for a short period of time (20 to 30 years). If the signatories are all satisfied after 20 – 30 years, they can renew the agreement for another term. By doing so, we would not be a real long term menace to our future generations. In relation to this, I want to ask the reader: How long is the 1929 Nile Treaty signed by our neighbors and their colonial master valid? It is insanity!

Incidentally, there is also another hot issue in our country today – the leasing of farm lands by foreign companies (countries). My message is still shorter and much clearer. Please Do Not lease land for more than 30 years. All decisions to lease farm land should be through the participations of all the political parties under a good, fair and constructive guidance of the incumbent government; and the same with other governments that will follow in the future; all in the interest of our future Ethiopian children. The present owners and communities of the land to be leased should have a role in the dealings. Here again, if the stake holders are all satisfied after 30 years of business, the communities are getting benefit from development, etc., then the agreement (contract) can be renewed for another new term of 30 years; And so on, even crossing the 99 years magic number.

This suggestion is an honest and harmless solution, which I hope could been seen acceptable by both the opponents and proponents of leasing farm lands by foreigners in our country today.

Harmony and progress to the people of Ethiopia.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 December 2010 07:39

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