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Hi all,

I am an Egyptian living in the west. I find this thread very interesting as it gives me some insight on how Ethiopians regard the whole nile water allocation process. I wanted to share with you my personal opinion on this topic as an Egyptian citizen.

I oppose many of the Egyptian government's internal and external policies. The current regime is probably the most authoritarian regime that Egypt has ever seen in the past century. On the other hand, I am genuinely proud that Ethiopia is on track to build a democracy and I certainly dream that this will spread to Egypt and other african countries. While political change can alter a state's agenda on a particular topic, what scares me the most about the nile river conflict is that it is not a conflict between government, it will be a conflict between two peoples.

Despite what politicians on both sides claim, pinning our two large nations against each other in an existential war is by far the worst outcome for either side. I hope any of you who preaches war realizes the destruction it will bring. Thousands of innocent lives will be lost and families will suffer. Not to mention that war will drain both economies and cripple any sort of development for decades. Each side will win some battles, and politicians on each side will use this for their personal glory. However, at the end, water is not a luxury commodity. It is essential for life. Therefore this war will outlive regimes, governments and generations for as long as it takes for both sides to realize that there is no way out of this except reaching a compromise. Politicians will not say that because the right wing, nationalistic tide is so high right now, and any back-tracking will only hurt their campaigns.

I do not know who to blame regarding the current sad state of affairs. I recognize that previous Egyptian governments have obstructed Ethiopian attempts to utilize the nile which created a lot of negative sentiment on the Ethiopian side. On the other hand, the Ethiopian government has slyly taken advantage of political turmoil and the unstable Egyptian scene for the past decade to build this massive dam. To make things worse, Ethiopia plans on operating it unilaterally in the next few months as the pandemic in Egypt spreads, with absolutely no regards to Egyptian livelihood. I do not claim to know what the ideal deal is, but I certainly don't think it's for Ethiopia to proceed without striking a deal.

Both nations should come to terms that the nile belongs to all the countries in the nile river basin. No single country should claim sovereignty over it and there has to be a mechanism to handle this critical resource. With good governance on both ends, I deeply believe us sharing the nile creates many opportunities for collaboration and co-development. I hope that at some point, this is the genuine prevalent position in both our nations, as it is the only way to move forward. Unfortunately, everybody seems to be excited to flash their weapons and rally behind their politicians.

I am terrified that for Ethiopia to proceed with blocking the flow of the nile to Egypt with no deal being struck, will essentially force ANY Egyptian government to see this as a direct act of aggression and a declaration of war. The nile is truly the only source of life in Egypt. I whole-heartedly pray that this does not happen.

Just my two cents. Hope this gave you guys some perspective.
 

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Welcome to this thread. I agree with you that war should be avoided and Egyptians should not be deprived of water. I disagree with you that Ethiopia used the Egyptian turmoil to start the Nile project. It takes more than a few months of planning to build a massive dam like GERD. The Egyptian authorities were well aware of the dam project before the turmoil and the timeline was just a mere coincidence.
In regards to Egypt relying exclusively on the Nile, whose fault is it? The billions of dollars spent on war toys could have been spent on alternative water source. Why is the government letting people dwell on the banks of the Nile like they have done for centuries?
My brother, don't be terrified by fear of Ethiopia blocking the Nile. It is nowhere in the blueprint of GERD to block or divert the flow of the Nile. It is a hydroelectric project. Water just flows through.
Before I conclude, may I ask one question? How is it that your government doesn't see anything wrong with allocating 100% of the Nile share to Egypt and Sudan. 65% of Ethiopia's fresh water source is the Nile. Yet , Ethiopia is not allowed to use even 1% of her natural water resource because of some colonial treaty the British drafted and ratified without consulting Ethiopia.
My Egyptian brother, this is a new era and a new treaty. Egyptians need to wake up to a new reality. Equitable share should be the new reality. Peace.
 

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Hi all,

I am an Egyptian living in the west. I find this thread very interesting as it gives me some insight on how Ethiopians regard the whole nile water allocation process. I wanted to share with you my personal opinion on this topic as an Egyptian citizen.

I oppose many of the Egyptian government's internal and external policies. The current regime is probably the most authoritarian regime that Egypt has ever seen in the past century. On the other hand, I am genuinely proud that Ethiopia is on track to build a democracy and I certainly dream that this will spread to Egypt and other african countries. While political change can alter a state's agenda on a particular topic, what scares me the most about the nile river conflict is that it is not a conflict between government, it will be a conflict between two peoples.

Despite what politicians on both sides claim, pinning our two large nations against each other in an existential war is by far the worst outcome for either side. I hope any of you who preaches war realizes the destruction it will bring. Thousands of innocent lives will be lost and families will suffer. Not to mention that war will drain both economies and cripple any sort of development for decades. Each side will win some battles, and politicians on each side will use this for their personal glory. However, at the end, water is not a luxury commodity. It is essential for life. Therefore this war will outlive regimes, governments and generations for as long as it takes for both sides to realize that there is no way out of this except reaching a compromise. Politicians will not say that because the right wing, nationalistic tide is so high right now, and any back-tracking will only hurt their campaigns.

I do not know who to blame regarding the current sad state of affairs. I recognize that previous Egyptian governments have obstructed Ethiopian attempts to utilize the nile which created a lot of negative sentiment on the Ethiopian side. On the other hand, the Ethiopian government has slyly taken advantage of political turmoil and the unstable Egyptian scene for the past decade to build this massive dam. To make things worse, Ethiopia plans on operating it unilaterally in the next few months as the pandemic in Egypt spreads, with absolutely no regards to Egyptian livelihood. I do not claim to know what the ideal deal is, but I certainly don't think it's for Ethiopia to proceed without striking a deal.

Both nations should come to terms that the nile belongs to all the countries in the nile river basin. No single country should claim sovereignty over it and there has to be a mechanism to handle this critical resource. With good governance on both ends, I deeply believe us sharing the nile creates many opportunities for collaboration and co-development. I hope that at some point, this is the genuine prevalent position in both our nations, as it is the only way to move forward. Unfortunately, everybody seems to be excited to flash their weapons and rally behind their politicians.

I am terrified that for Ethiopia to proceed with blocking the flow of the nile to Egypt with no deal being struck, will essentially force ANY Egyptian government to see this as a direct act of aggression and a declaration of war. The nile is truly the only source of life in Egypt. I whole-heartedly pray that this does not happen.

Just my two cents. Hope this gave you guys some perspective.
Thanks for stopping by, good to see a reasonable Egyptian perspective free of bravado.

Firstly, I have no issues with Egyptian people, this is Politics and I understand why the Egyptian people are concerned. Ethiopians understand what war would bring seeing as the nation faced 30 years of civil war. War is never nice and we'd prefer not to see it. We are a God fearing people and have no intention on making the Nile reduce to a point where all the fish die.

It's good you recognise that Cairo have "obstructed" our attempts to use the Nile. I think the word "obstructed" doesn't give enough context to what Cairo has done in the name of National security. Our Government's "sly" use of turmoil in Egypt, is nowhere near to what the regime in Cairo previously done. Cairo hasn't just simply "obstructed" our use of the Nile but have funded (along with their Arab League buddies) anti government separatist elements in Ethiopia, for the sake of weakening the central power of Ethiopia in order to delay/prevent our natural disagreement to the colonial status quo of the Nile. The majority of the Nile water comes from Ethiopia and we are not even asking for a Nile tax or use for irrigation but to generate electricity which obviously does not consume the water.

The world is changing, the regime in Cairo must change too. Growing water thirsty crops in a highly populated Desert climate is not efficient utilisation of water. Water evaporation at Aswan is not efficient use of water.

Increasing efficient use of water whilst investing in Desalination is the future. Egypt's population is estimated to be 166 million in 2050, I do hope by then diversification of water sources is in full effect.

As you have said everyone should come together and use the Nile and no country should claim full sovereignty of the Nile, which is true, I strongly agree with you here. The arrogance of previous regimes in Egypt have led to this point, they have done their people a great disservice by expecting Ethiopia to be too distracted, crippled and submissive to Nile dominance. The spiritual bondage Cairo has to the Nile must end, the arrogance of the regime in Cairo must end too. All the best for both peoples.

"Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth" - Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
 

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Hi all,

I am an Egyptian living in the west. I find this thread very interesting as it gives me some insight on how Ethiopians regard the whole nile water allocation process. I wanted to share with you my personal opinion on this topic as an Egyptian citizen.

I oppose many of the Egyptian government's internal and external policies. The current regime is probably the most authoritarian regime that Egypt has ever seen in the past century. On the other hand, I am genuinely proud that Ethiopia is on track to build a democracy and I certainly dream that this will spread to Egypt and other african countries. While political change can alter a state's agenda on a particular topic, what scares me the most about the nile river conflict is that it is not a conflict between government, it will be a conflict between two peoples.

Despite what politicians on both sides claim, pinning our two large nations against each other in an existential war is by far the worst outcome for either side. I hope any of you who preaches war realizes the destruction it will bring. Thousands of innocent lives will be lost and families will suffer. Not to mention that war will drain both economies and cripple any sort of development for decades. Each side will win some battles, and politicians on each side will use this for their personal glory. However, at the end, water is not a luxury commodity. It is essential for life. Therefore this war will outlive regimes, governments and generations for as long as it takes for both sides to realize that there is no way out of this except reaching a compromise. Politicians will not say that because the right wing, nationalistic tide is so high right now, and any back-tracking will only hurt their campaigns.

I do not know who to blame regarding the current sad state of affairs. I recognize that previous Egyptian governments have obstructed Ethiopian attempts to utilize the nile which created a lot of negative sentiment on the Ethiopian side. On the other hand, the Ethiopian government has slyly taken advantage of political turmoil and the unstable Egyptian scene for the past decade to build this massive dam. To make things worse, Ethiopia plans on operating it unilaterally in the next few months as the pandemic in Egypt spreads, with absolutely no regards to Egyptian livelihood. I do not claim to know what the ideal deal is, but I certainly don't think it's for Ethiopia to proceed without striking a deal.

Both nations should come to terms that the nile belongs to all the countries in the nile river basin. No single country should claim sovereignty over it and there has to be a mechanism to handle this critical resource. With good governance on both ends, I deeply believe us sharing the nile creates many opportunities for collaboration and co-development. I hope that at some point, this is the genuine prevalent position in both our nations, as it is the only way to move forward. Unfortunately, everybody seems to be excited to flash their weapons and rally behind their politicians.

I am terrified that for Ethiopia to proceed with blocking the flow of the nile to Egypt with no deal being struck, will essentially force ANY Egyptian government to see this as a direct act of aggression and a declaration of war. The nile is truly the only source of life in Egypt. I whole-heartedly pray that this does not happen.

Just my two cents. Hope this gave you guys some perspective.
It's good for everyone to get the Egyptian perspective from an ordinary citizen. Thanks for sharing your views.

I definitely understand the Egyptian side. The country totally depends on the Nile for its water needs, and these days the water is not enough. Realistically, it is very difficult for Egypt to allow its quota of the water to be reduced at this time. It needs to develop alternative solutions first.

However, the true reality is, this dam is used for hydroelectric generation. The reservoir created by the dam cannot be used for any irrigation project that can meaningfully reduce the water that reaches Egypt. Ethiopia can indeed hold back some water in the dam temporarily, but it is not in Ethiopia's interest to hold back water permanently, because it can't generate power. So in effect Ethiopia's and Egypt's interests are the same. They both want water to pass through the dam.

As a result, the Egyptian side should not fear anything, especially since the Aswan reservoir can mitigate the drop in water reaching Egypt as Ethiopia fills up the dam.

The gloomy day scenario Egypt brings up with regards to what Ethiopia should do in the case of a drought is not realistic. The fact is if there is any serious drought that lasts more than 3 years both Ethiopia and Egypt are screwed. The drought requirements Egypt is demanding only buys Egypt 6 months at the most.

On the flip side, the happy day scenario that no one brings up is that Egypt gets a tremendously enhanced water security when the rain is way above average. Both Aswan and the GERD reservoirs would be filled up completely, and if a terribly long drought lasting for more than 3 years follows, Egypt can survive for an additional 2 years.

As far as water sharing is concerned, which is not affected by this dam, it is high time that Egypt joins the Nile Basin Initiative to have an orderly sharing of the water. Egypt's stance of insisting no reduction in what it used to get historically will not work. Even though Egypt has a superior military, it is not feasible for it to destroy hundreds of irrigation projects that siphon water from the Nile. Egypt should accept the water needs to be shared with others, but what Egypt should ask is for time to develop alternative resources. For example, it can ask its current water share to be maintained for the next 5 years and then a 1% reduction every year for 20 or so years.
 

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Thank you for your replies.

I'd like to give some background on the current state of Egypt. Despite Egypt having a strong central military government, it is still by all means in political disarray. Tens of thousands of people are in jail without trial. Opposition is either in jail or in exile. Elections are rigged and the parliament is 100% complicit. The Egyptian people have no way at the moment to audit or check government or military spending. I can claim that the majority of educated Egyptians are outraged when they see the government showing off their new "expensive war toys" while under-funding healthcare and education. Again, these are just some of the reasons I strongly oppose many of the current regime's domestic and foreign policies. I agree that in general, with the growing population, the government should implement policies to better manage our resources. Unfortunately, there is no way to campaign for this inside Egypt at the moment. However, the Egyptian struggle for democracy and freedom is underway and at some point Egyptians will be successful in changing the regime to one that represents them - I hope.

That being said, even the most democratic government in the world would still not allow for a foreign nation to control its main source of water. I do not personally know a lot about the blueprint of GERD. I understand that the rate of it's filling will drastically affect the amount of water that reaches downstream countries, and this seems to be where the negotiations fell apart.

To answer Bekele100's point, I agree that the treaty needs to be revised because the two nations are very different than when the initial treaty was signed. Although I disagree with the current Egyptian's government's stance on many issues, I am happy that it has set a precedent and engaged in realistic negotiations regarding water allocation. To Geb98's point, the Egyptian government has indeed swallowed its pride in 2015 when they agreed to Ethiopia building the dam. They may have done that out of good will, lack of options or seeking to rejoin the African Union after the 2013 coup. At the end of the day, the reason Egypt's government did that is irrelevant and Ethiopia got what it wanted for decades.

I think from that point onwards, the dam became a matter of national pride in Ethiopia and a major political selling point. I recall Aby Ahmad's declaration that no force can prevent Ethiopia from building the dam, and his willingness to rally millions of people to die for it. More recently I have read that the Ethiopian government regards any multi-national body overseeing the operation of the dam as a violation of it's sovereignty, and plans to build more dams. This was followed by withdrawal from negotiations. I understand that this was welcomed by the Ethiopian parliament.

I believe curbing national enthusiasm in Ethiopia is going to be very hard, even when Egypt has already made clear concessions. It will take a very special leader in Ethiopia to recognize that this is a golden opportunity for the two nations to come to a compromise and settlement, even if it hurts his or her personal political career. In 1978, Israel and Egypt made peace only when two very special politicians, Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin sought the end of the conflict. They paid the price later on but peace has been maintained since then.

Truthfully, I think that the egocentric vision that this is an "Egyptian Nile" has changed in Egypt. People are genuinely accepting of Ethiopia utilizing it to generate electricity. However, there is a lot of skepticism amongst the average Egyptians when it comes to the true intentions of the Ethiopian government. This is primarily fueled by the lack of an agreement despite 10 years of negotiations, and Ethiopia pulling out of the last round that was arbitrated by the USA, followed by cries to fill the dam in July with no agreement. It seems to me that hardliners are leading the Ethiopian policy-making regarding this, and politicians with a more moderate position are losing popularity. This is certainly a slippery slope and will only instigate more hardliners to take the lead on the Egyptian side as well. These are the ones calling for a military intervention, which in turns excites more war-mongers in Ethiopia and so on.

A realistic stop to this madness would be the Ethiopian government halting its plans to start filling the dam until a deal is made. Egypt is not demanding the dismantlement of the dam, but just some changes to its structure and the filling schedule. In the grand scheme of things, filling the dam in a few extra years does not seem like a major set back for Ethiopia, but will largely reassure the Egyptians. Once a regulatory framework is in place, it could be only a beginning to more collaboration between the two countries on many fronts. Without it, we are both faced with a nidus of conflict for generations to come.
 

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@afattah87 Others here will be able to give a more insightful response to your post since I dont have the time right now. But I do have one question. Lets assume the worst case scenario is realized and Egypt decides to and becomes successful knocking down the GERD. Do you think the Ethiopian People and the Ethiopian government are going to say "oh well then, at least we tried" and continue to live their merry lives. The fact will still remain that the biggest contributor to the Nile river, Lake tana will still in Ethiopia. And I dont want to make conjectures but I think the Ethiopian people will be feeling much less sympathetic on life North of the river in the aftermath of such an event. To capitulate my point war is a zero sum game however you try to split it
 

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I don't think Ethiopia has the S300. Here's an informative article on our air defenses. Like I said before, the Ethiopian Airforce is not to be scoffed at ...



I am not sure how capable the Pantsir DS and the Ukrainian Kolchuga passive sensor are but old Soviet techs need to be defunct ASAP. They are inept in facing an opponent a little advanced than village rebels and alshabab terrorists. Saddams Iraq learnt that the hard way in 2 different wars. The EDF needs to invest in the latest russian anti missile defence system since I think they are more capable than he American
MIM-104 Patriot system.
 

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Well @afattah87 there are a lot of points eithe you are overlooking or skipping. Like the others said above theoretically, the Egyptian people should have no worries because the things Ethiopia want to do this Ethiopian winter already agreed up on by all the three countries. But alas, it is getting obvious rationality is not the strongest attribute of Egyptians when it come to their interest, I said Egyptians because despite your claim of disdain for the current arrangement in Egypt with the military and all, I strongly believe the system in Egypt is byproduct of the society. Ethiopian people won’t forget that meeting under Dr. Morsi (the first freely and democratically elected administration). Or one just need to go online and read what all these Egyptian elites - some with gov Affiliation some on their own - write and say about Ethiopians and Ethiopia. And I can also draw from my personal experience with the Egyptians I met. It is better to accept it and try to change it instead of pinning it on the military rule.



I believe President Sissi didn’t sign the 2015 agreement out of goodness in his heat. I believe he signed it despite opposition from his advisors because he believed and/or confident his intelligence apparatus will succeed in dismantling or destabilizing Ethiopia. And the agreement will be moot. When that didn’t happen, he used every technical meeting to sabotage the dam. The Egyptians bring new concepts or requirements at different levels in the course of the 10 years to influence the outcome in the way they wanted. And they wanted to sabotage the dam. When Ethiopia said no, they accuse Ethiopia of being intransigence. I will give an example, at some point they ask to include the effect of the dam in soil salinity in Nile delta due to Gerd. Ethiopia obviously said no. There are many dams between Nile delta and Gerd. The biggest one being Aswan which has 169 billion cubic meter. Then they ask the electric generation capacity of Aswan should not be affected. At the same time, they signed with Siemens and build these enormous thermal plants. And Aswan contribution to the total capacity in Egypt is less than 7%. So any reduction from Aswan can be taken as insignificant harm specially when the Siemens plants are sitting idle. There are many examples. The Egyptians where not helpful during the negotiations. The purpose was to either to sabotage Gerd or make it water basket for Egypt. Then this saber rattling and saying if Ethiopia don’t agree, East Africa will be destabilized. Why would Egypt be allowed to have such power so far away from her boarder? Who are these destabilizing actors? How long should Ethiopia live under this kind of influence?



Ethiopia has 0% share from the river. And the claim from the Egyptians is the mother of irrationality in my view. They said considering the rainfall in Ethiopia and specifically on Nile basin area, Egypt is taking very small amount. And on the same breath they said Ethiopia is acting against international law by asking for a share from the River. Which international law govern rainfall? What are they taking about? Under any international law, Ethiopia is allowed to use the river and Egypt has no right to talk about rainfall in Ethiopia. If allowed I believe they will ask to include our pee as well because there is water in it.



Now we are here, despite the road blocks from Egypt, we are were we are. Ethiopia on the verge of filling the dam. And the important point to emphasize is the amount of water that will be impounded this year with or without agreement is the same first, second considering there is 169billion cubic meters water in lake nasser, the doom and gloom being painted by Egypt that will fall up on the farmers in Egypt is simply false. The drought mitigation mechanism proposed by USA and Egypt is not fair for Ethiopia and it is clear for any objective observer why Ethiopia opposed it. Egypt disregarded the agreement when she called mediators without agreement with Ethiopia as clearly stipulated in the agreement and then goes to security council again against the agreement. And accuse Ethiopia of breaking International law.



Like you said war is not good and we all agree on that but what Egypt (and Arabs in general) did and are doing to Ethiopia is not simple obstruction. And every Ethiopian know that. And no Ethiopian dare to oppose the dam except some token professors or figures in the west with known ethnical and/or ethical problem with Ethiopia.
 

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That being said, even the most democratic government in the world would still not allow for a foreign nation to control its main source of water. I do not personally know a lot about the blueprint of GERD. I understand that the rate of it's filling will drastically affect the amount of water that reaches downstream countries, and this seems to be where the negotiations fell apart.
I have been the lone Ethiopian in this forum who is willing to accept a rate of filling the dam that will make Egyptians comfortable. In exchange, I have advocated for Ethiopia to get external loans to build new power sources such as hydroelectric dams on other rivers and natural gas power stations in order to offset the delay in fully utilizing the GERD dam.

On the Ethiopian side, even though I feel the filling schedule proposed by the Ethiopians is not as lethal as the Egyptians fear it is, it eliminates the chance of conflict. If Egypt drops as little as one relatively harmless bomb on the dam or near the dam, Ethiopia would lose the foreign contractors it needs to complete the dam. In the future, foreign contractors would not engage in other dam building activities on the river. This would be a problem in the short-to-mid term as Ethiopia would eventually get the necessary skills to build dams by sending people abroad for training and getting remote help from foreign companies.

Furthermore, getting external loans for new power sources in exchange for delaying the filling of the dam allows Ethiopia to boost its power output and reduce its dependence on hydroelectric power. During drought years, Ethiopia would be able to rely more on natural gas to satisfy local power demand.

Note, however, at the end of the day, Egypt has no choice but to be less dependent on the Nile. There is no alternative to this. It has to utilize its abundant ground water resources, reduce water waste, and invest in desalination plants. The best Egypt can do is buy time to diversify its water sources.
 

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Thanks for stopping by, good to see a reasonable Egyptian perspective free of bravado.

Firstly, I have no issues with Egyptian people, this is Politics and I understand why the Egyptian people are concerned. Ethiopians understand what war would bring seeing as the nation faced 30 years of civil war. War is never nice and we'd prefer not to see it. We are a God fearing people and have no intention on making the Nile reduce to a point where all the fish die.

It's good you recognise that Cairo have "obstructed" our attempts to use the Nile. I think the word "obstructed" doesn't give enough context to what Cairo has done in the name of National security. Our Government's "sly" use of turmoil in Egypt, is nowhere near to what the regime in Cairo previously done. Cairo hasn't just simply "obstructed" our use of the Nile but have funded (along with their Arab League buddies) anti government separatist elements in Ethiopia, for the sake of weakening the central power of Ethiopia in order to delay/prevent our natural disagreement to the colonial status quo of the Nile. The majority of the Nile water comes from Ethiopia and we are not even asking for a Nile tax or use for irrigation but to generate electricity which obviously does not consume the water.

The world is changing, the regime in Cairo must change too. Growing water thirsty crops in a highly populated Desert climate is not efficient utilisation of water. Water evaporation at Aswan is not efficient use of water.

Increasing efficient use of water whilst investing in Desalination is the future. Egypt's population is estimated to be 166 million in 2050, I do hope by then diversification of water sources is in full effect.

As you have said everyone should come together and use the Nile and no country should claim full sovereignty of the Nile, which is true, I strongly agree with you here. The arrogance of previous regimes in Egypt have led to this point, they have done their people a great disservice by expecting Ethiopia to be too distracted, crippled and submissive to Nile dominance. The spiritual bondage Cairo has to the Nile must end, the arrogance of the regime in Cairo must end too. All the best for both peoples.

"Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth" - Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
Thank you for your replies.

I'd like to give some background on the current state of Egypt. Despite Egypt having a strong central military government, it is still by all means in political disarray. Tens of thousands of people are in jail without trial. Opposition is either in jail or in exile. Elections are rigged and the parliament is 100% complicit. The Egyptian people have no way at the moment to audit or check government or military spending. I can claim that the majority of educated Egyptians are outraged when they see the government showing off their new "expensive war toys" while under-funding healthcare and education. Again, these are just some of the reasons I strongly oppose many of the current regime's domestic and foreign policies. I agree that in general, with the growing population, the government should implement policies to better manage our resources. Unfortunately, there is no way to campaign for this inside Egypt at the moment. However, the Egyptian struggle for democracy and freedom is underway and at some point Egyptians will be successful in changing the regime to one that represents them - I hope.

That being said, even the most democratic government in the world would still not allow for a foreign nation to control its main source of water. I do not personally know a lot about the blueprint of GERD. I understand that the rate of it's filling will drastically affect the amount of water that reaches downstream countries, and this seems to be where the negotiations fell apart.

To answer Bekele100's point, I agree that the treaty needs to be revised because the two nations are very different than when the initial treaty was signed. Although I disagree with the current Egyptian's government's stance on many issues, I am happy that it has set a precedent and engaged in realistic negotiations regarding water allocation. To Geb98's point, the Egyptian government has indeed swallowed its pride in 2015 when they agreed to Ethiopia building the dam. They may have done that out of good will, lack of options or seeking to rejoin the African Union after the 2013 coup. At the end of the day, the reason Egypt's government did that is irrelevant and Ethiopia got what it wanted for decades.

I think from that point onwards, the dam became a matter of national pride in Ethiopia and a major political selling point. I recall Aby Ahmad's declaration that no force can prevent Ethiopia from building the dam, and his willingness to rally millions of people to die for it. More recently I have read that the Ethiopian government regards any multi-national body overseeing the operation of the dam as a violation of it's sovereignty, and plans to build more dams. This was followed by withdrawal from negotiations. I understand that this was welcomed by the Ethiopian parliament.

I believe curbing national enthusiasm in Ethiopia is going to be very hard, even when Egypt has already made clear concessions. It will take a very special leader in Ethiopia to recognize that this is a golden opportunity for the two nations to come to a compromise and settlement, even if it hurts his or her personal political career. In 1978, Israel and Egypt made peace only when two very special politicians, Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin sought the end of the conflict. They paid the price later on but peace has been maintained since then.

Truthfully, I think that the egocentric vision that this is an "Egyptian Nile" has changed in Egypt. People are genuinely accepting of Ethiopia utilizing it to generate electricity. However, there is a lot of skepticism amongst the average Egyptians when it comes to the true intentions of the Ethiopian government. This is primarily fueled by the lack of an agreement despite 10 years of negotiations, and Ethiopia pulling out of the last round that was arbitrated by the USA, followed by cries to fill the dam in July with no agreement. It seems to me that hardliners are leading the Ethiopian policy-making regarding this, and politicians with a more moderate position are losing popularity. This is certainly a slippery slope and will only instigate more hardliners to take the lead on the Egyptian side as well. These are the ones calling for a military intervention, which in turns excites more war-mongers in Ethiopia and so on.

A realistic stop to this madness would be the Ethiopian government halting its plans to start filling the dam until a deal is made. Egypt is not demanding the dismantlement of the dam, but just some changes to its structure and the filling schedule. In the grand scheme of things, filling the dam in a few extra years does not seem like a major set back for Ethiopia, but will largely reassure the Egyptians. Once a regulatory framework is in place, it could be only a beginning to more collaboration between the two countries on many fronts. Without it, we are both faced with a nidus of conflict for generations to come.
Thanks for the well articulated explanation of your stance on the Nile negotiations. One more point that could reflect the good faith of Egypt's negotiations is a public declaration that the 1929 and 1959 colonial treaty is null and void.
Once the GERD negotiations is completed and the water sharing negotiations start down the line, it will also be fair to demand that Sudan pay some sort of compensation for the water it gets from Ethiopia. Sudan and Egypt could also hold separate talks on the water that flows from Sudan to Egypt. I believe that the Nile should be used by all three nations but the fact remains that 85% of Nile originates in Ethiopia.
I don't mean to sound like a hardliner, but the policies of Egypt over the years towards Ethiopia has caused plenty of economic hardships and loss of lives.
Going forward, all negotiations are going to be on a fair and level ground unlike the other two colonial treaties.
 

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As I have always said - Ethiopia and Ethiopians have been very reasonable and this forum shows it. I would encourage other Egyptians to come here and dialogue. Egyptians have been spoon fed the same story throughout their life and they need to unberden themselves from it. A people to people dialogue will go a long way in that.
 

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Ethiopia never signed the treaties and is not bound to it. Acknowledging its existence is a big public relation coup for Egypt. There should be no discussion or mention of those treaties with Ethiopia.

Thanks for the well articulated explanation of your stance on the Nile negotiations. One more point that could reflect the good faith of Egypt's negotiations is a public declaration that the 1929 and 1959 colonial treaty is null and void.
Once the GERD negotiations is completed and the water sharing negotiations start down the line, it will also be fair to demand that Sudan pay some sort of compensation for the water it gets from Ethiopia. Sudan and Egypt could also hold separate talks on the water that flows from Sudan to Egypt. I believe that the Nile should be used by all three nations but the fact remains that 85% of Nile originates in Ethiopia.
I don't mean to sound like a hardliner, but the policies of Egypt over the years towards Ethiopia has caused plenty of economic hardships and loss of lives.
Going forward, all negotiations are going to be on a fair and level ground unlike the other two colonial treaties.
 

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I apologize for not being able to regularly check the updates on this forum. I respect all of your responses and will try respond to them and continue giving some Egyptian perspective.

@lalilbela, I am sure that an armed conflict between Ethiopia and Egypt will be very long and destructive to both sides. It will go on for a very long time and each side will win some battles and lose some. The only end to this conflict would be an agreement on how to operate this dam, whether this agreement is reached in one year, 10 years or more. This is why I personally believe that if both sides realize this, it may ultimately prevent the outbreak of this conflict. As of the past few months, Ethiopia was the side that withdrew from negotiations and the official Egyptian position was to escalate the issue to the UN security council to further pressure Ethiopia to re-engage in the negotiations.

@bire, I understand that you and most people on this forum do not see that the dam as a threat to the Egyptian people since it will not prevent the flow of water up north. Unfortunately, claiming this without participating in a binding treaty is certainly not enough. This applies to any international affair really. For instance, countries that have refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (like India, Pakistan, Israel etc,) are assumed to be pursuing the development of a nuclear weapon or already have it. Similarly, if Ethiopia does not sign a sign a treaty with Egypt that outlines how this dam would operate and protect certain Egyptian interests, Egypt would have to assume that there is a risk to its population. Even if the current administration in Ethiopia plans on assuring the flow of water up north, what happens if the next administration in Ethiopia decides the opposite? There has to be a treaty that regulates this, with clear consequences to each side if they are non-compliant.

I also would like to add that every nation on earth has good and bad people. I don't know what personal experiences you had with Egyptians, but at the end of the day, these are your own experiences. You can not demonize a nation of 100 million and draw conclusions based on that. I also mentioned earlier that I do not trust Sisi's intentions when he signed the 2015 treaty either. I personally think he was trying to win over some African legitimacy and connect with more governments worldwide to break the political isolation his regime was suffering from after the 2013 coup. He also went ahead and signed treaties to give land away to Saudi Arabia, signed massive contracts with Germany, France and other countries for weapons we don't need. I believe this was all to serve his political career. At the end, the reason why he signed the 2015 preliminary treaty with Ethiopia is irrelevant, and Ethiopia got what it wanted at the end. I think at this point that it is in the interest of both nations to proceed with a binding treaty on how to operate the dam. Egypt has a long history of abiding by it's international treaties and has upheld it's debated peace treaty with Israel for more than 40 years. It also holds treaties with other mediterranean countries and other super powers.

I also understand that Egypt and Ethiopia disagree on the terms of this treaty. That is actually why negotiators on both sides have to reach a compromise. Neither side ultimately gets 100% of what it initially demanded, but that is still much better than not signing a treaty and allowing the possibility of an armed conflict. If the Ethiopian side sees that Egyptians should rely factor in their ability to desalinize sea water, why can't the Egyptian side ask Ethiopia to factor in rainfall. I think this area can still be worked out in negotiations. Again, a failure to reach an agreement is a massive blow to both countries. I do not see it as a win to Egypt or to Ethiopia per say. Again, both countries will suffer tremendously from the consequences of this scenario.

You're last remark on how no one in Ethiopia dares to "oppose the dam" except for unethical people is exactly what I was talking about in my earlier posts. The dam is becoming a matter of national pride in Ethiopia with hardliners leading the negotiations. Moderate politicians are being sidelined and having their integrity questioned. This will lead us nowhere. Your last remark actually proves my point.

@Kibret, I agree with you that once there is an agreement that promotes overall growth in both economies, it will be easier to obtain funding for further projects. Egypt and Ethiopia each have more than 100 million citizens and suffer from a lack of infrastructure to various degrees. If we can use the nile to generate electricity, improve farming, collaborate in research, this will serve both countries. There has to be a treaty that governs this. Once military conflict starts, it will be impossible to achieve this.

@Bekele100, I agree that these treaties are clearly not working anymore and will need to be revised or nulled. However, I don't think that the fact that 85% of the nile originates in Ethiopia gives it any more sovereignty over it. This again brings us back to the fundamentals of the disagreement where each country claims the nile for itself. The Nile is an international resource that is crucial for all civilizations along its banks.

I also recognize that Ethiopia has suffered from famine, drought and other horrendous events in the past, in part because of the unfair treaties that were signed a long time ago with Egypt and other colonial powers. However, you can't claim that all of Ethiopia's problem are because of Egypt. Blaming us for everything that has happened to your country for the past many decades is a way to rationalize the failure of previous Ethiopian governments, and will only add to the cycle of demonizing one another. Did your previous governments have no corruption? Were they all competent at their jobs? Did your politicians always keep the interests of their people at the top of their agenda? Is Egypt the only reason why Ethiopia had sectarian violence? I think the suffering of Ethiopia was because of a number of factors, not just Egypt. Let us not forget that. This also applies to any third world country that blames it's failures on another country. It is our way of living with it. Egypt blames it's failures on the west. The balkans blame it on Turkey, South americans blame it on the US, the list goes on.

I think that the greatest renaissance in Ethiopia is not the building of the dam, but the building of democracy. If the Ethiopian nation continues to hold fair elections, audit government officials and politicians, uphold law, invest in healthcare and education, maintain a secular state, fight racism and ethnic/sectarian violence in addition to properly managing its resources, the renaissance of Ethiopia will go way further than the electricity generated from the dam. From the bottom of my heart, I truly wish this for all the countries in Africa, including Egypt and Ethiopia. This continent has suffered so much and the last thing we need is to have another major war in the region.

@GetLostInET, each side sees themselves as the reasonable side. Not just about the GERD, but in any argument in history :) I do think dialogue helps.
 

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@afattah I have to say I find you to be very reasonable and less emotional than other Egyptians even when u r talking about such sensitive issue to the Egyptians like the Nile. And further more, I live in the west just like you and I have no idea what the Ethio gov real intentions. I just see the significance of the dam for my country. And i do believe the dam is Not such a hydrological threat as the Egyptian gov. make it be. Emphasis On hydrological threat. That is is a fact irrespective of the kind of gov. In Ethiopia for two reasons: first is geography. Considering the altitude difference Nile has to traverse, it is impossible to stop the river. It is physically impossible. Any gov. in Ethiopia has no other option other than to use the water for hydro and release the water downstream. Second is Ethiopia does not simply have a vast irrigable Land like Sudan or Egypt. The land escape does not allow it. Here
I attach a video with the former Ethiopian pm Meles ( not relevant but I am biased to him ) explaining to one of your journalists about the points I mentioned






But having said that, I am not minimizing the importance of a binding treaty. And rainfall should be certainly be factored. Problem is what happen when there is no rainfall in Ethiopia. And that was the main sticking point in Washington. The drought mitigation mechanisms proposed by Egypt and USA is biased to Egypt. I mentioned the reasons in previous posts so no need to repeat it. But like PM Meles said, no matter how much power stations are build in Ethiopia,
It does not hurt egypt significantly. And Irrigation in Ethiopia need really not that much and can be optimized scientifically to have minimum effect.

I can say fill it now and abandon the treaty later because the water is filled and Egypt can not attack the dam like kibret said and I am sure the Ethio gov can also say that but that is dishonest and that is not Ethiopian at all. We fight for fair agreement on sticking points like drought mitigation and future use. And if Egypt and Sudan refuse to agree, go ahead and start the filling based on the already agree up on initial filling plan. Which does not harm Egypt 1. because there is 169billion m3 water at Lake nasser 2. even with 4.9 Billion deducted, there will be plenty of water left in Nile. If there is below average Water in Nile, Ethio gov. already promised not to go ahead with the filling. That is all without binding agreement. And with that show the Egyptian people, what they have been fed by their gov. is simply false and there is no significant or permanent harm coming to them because of the dam. And in the less likely scenario of Egyptian attack, be prepared for it. And i Hope and pray they are up to it because I see a lot of irrational people in Egypt now.
 

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@GetLostInET, each side sees themselves as the reasonable side. Not just about the GERD, but in any argument in history :) I do think dialogue helps.
On this Egypt is wildly unreasonable one especially considering what other upper riparian countries have done in other parts of the world and the free ride she has received for more than 100 years. Ethiopia never said she will hold the water and dry the Nile but your side always says that on the world stage. For the hundredth time Egypt has made sure Ethiopia will never get international loans to build dams and has funded and trained destabilizing groups. I wonder what you would say if Ethiopia returned that favor. How about we start the people to people conversation with a simple thank you and an apology or refraining to do that in the future then I promise you the brotherly conversation will happen.
 
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On another note Lake Nasser is currently at a 20 year high there have been estimations on how each filling scenario will affect Lake Nasser (and discharge from it)
nasser.png


The estimated water shortage for Egypt under even the most aggressive impounding scenario at this water level is a rounding error (1 BCM out of 80 BCM)



How storage in a low evaporation zone with regulated release benefits the reservoir in a high evaporation zone has been demonstrated with Gibe III and Lake Turkana
turkana.png
 
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