A Week in the Horn 14.08.2020

News in Brief

Press Release on the Tripartite Negotiation on the GERD

“We do not have a problem for Egypt is utilizing it. The problem arises when it tries to claim a monopoly on the Nile River,”- Ambassador Dina Mufti

 

Africa and the African Union

Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, has called on China to honour the pledge made by President Xi Jinping on his country’s participation in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which she said, “would go a long way towards supporting Africa’s liquidity needs during this difficult time.” Songwe said: “Time is of the essence. Countries need resources now.” Speaking at a webinar co-organized by the Chinese Mission to the African Union and the ECA on Tuesday, Ms.Songwe emphasized the need for fiscal space for governments, which she noted is critical for an effective COVID-19 response, as well as job creation through the use of ICT and trade.

Ethiopia

The completion of the first filling of the GERD has inspired Ethiopians to boost their financial and political support for the dam, said the office of the dam on Thursday (August 13). The Ethiopia government announced the completion of the first-year filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) last month. According to the Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction GERD, contribution to the dam has increased following the achievement of the first-year filling.

Mulatu Lemma, Ph.D., a mathematics professor at Savannah State University (SSU), is among 12 recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). The PAESMEM recognizes those who have made significant contributions to mentoring and thereby support the future productivity of the U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. The program was created to identify and recognize individuals and organizations that have contributed outstanding efforts in mentoring and have enhanced the participation of individuals (including persons with disabilities) who might not otherwise have considered or had access to opportunities in STEM disciplines and professions.

The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Thursday (August 13) launched a joint project to support Ethiopia’s Green Legacy program. Dr Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy and Dr. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of ECA, attended the launching event of the $3.6 million projects that will be implemented at Guder, Muger and Jema areas.

Berhanu Tsegaye, the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia to Djibouti and IGAD on Thursday (August 13) presented his letter of credence to President Ismail Omar Guelleh. Ambassador Berhanu expressed his readiness to work closely with the Djiboutian side to further deepen the longstanding relations and strengthen the existing strategic partnership between the two countries. President Guelleh expressed his belief that the Ethiopian envoy would take the existing all rounded relationship of the two countries to a higher level.

Gedu Andargachew, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, on Thursday (August 13) received a copy of the credentials of the newly appointed ambassador of the Sudan to Ethiopia, Jamal El Sheikh. Following a welcoming speech by Gedu, the two have made discussions on issues of common interest. Gedu expressed his wish that the ambassador would spend a successful tenure in Ethiopia. Ambassador Jamal El Sheikh said he is delighted to come to Ethiopia as an ambassador for a second time and affirmed that he would do his level best to further strengthen the longstanding relationship between the two countries.

The new Ethiopian Ambassador to Belgium, Hirut Zemene has presented a copy of her Credentials to Chief of Protocol of the Kingdom of Belgium, France Chainaye on Wednesday (August 12). Ambassador Hirut expressed her readiness to work closely with the Belgian side to deepen the longstanding relations and strengthen the existing cooperation between Ethiopia and Belgium for the benefits of the two peoples. France Chainaye, to her part, pledged that the Belgium government would fully support Ambassador Hirut to further promote the friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between Ethiopia and Belgium.

The reform in the sugar sector is helping to increase the annual production capacity of sugar factories, Ethiopian Sugar Corporation said on Thursday (August 13). Gashaw Ayichluhim, Corporate Communication Executive Officer told The Ethiopian Herald that sector reform has enabled sugar factories to witness an increase in production during the just-ended fiscal year. Up until the end of June, seven sugar factories have produced about 3.1 million quintals of sugar. In addition, Fincha and Metehara Sugar factories alone have produced 14.2 million liters of ethanol. Last year’s sugar and ethanol production performance exceeded that of the previous two years.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Wednesday (August 12) successful finalization of the planting of 5 Billion trees this rainy season as per the Green Legacy Initiative. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has taken part in the closing session of the planting campaign held at Mount Bezawit, Bahir Dar City this morning. On the occasion, the premier said the country has achieved its plan set to plant 5 Billion trees ahead of the remaining one month rainy season time.

The tripartite negotiation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan planned for Monday (10 August 2020) is adjourned to a week upon the request of Sudan, a statement issued on Monday (August 10 ) by the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy indicated. (See article)

A Chinese Company ByteDance has donated 100,000 COVID 19 testing kits worth 1.3 Million US Dollars to Ethiopia on Monday (August 10). Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tan Jian has handed over the testing kits to the Health Minister, Dr. Lia Tadesse. The minister said the donation extended by the Chinese Company is vital to enhance Ethiopia’s response to the pandemic and combat the campaign successfully. She extended gratitude to the Chinese government for its unreserved support to Ethiopia in the fight against coronavirus. Ambassador Tan Jian, to his part, reaffirmed the commitment of his country to continue support to Ethiopia’s effort to mitigate the impact of the virus in the nation.

The Amhara regional state on Monday (August 10) inaugurated bags and carpet factory built with 100 million birr. The factory was built by Admas Farmers’ Cooperatives Union in Injibara town, Awi nationality administrative zone. The factory has now created jobs for more than 200 people with the possibility to employ over 700 compatriots when it goes fully operational.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry on Monday (August 10) said the retail prices of fuel will remain unchanged for August. However, the price of jet fuel for this month is 26.50 birr per litre. According to a statement issued by the ministry, price adjustment could be made based on the global market.

Ten countries account for 80% of the new coronavirus testing taking place across Africa, a regional body said last week on Thursday (August 06), indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries around the vast continent. COVID-19 confirmed cases across Africa have accelerated and are close to hitting a million this week, and experts say low levels of testing in many countries mean infection rates are likely to be higher than reported. South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius have each conducted more than 200 000 tests, said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Eritrea

Ministry of Information on Thursday (August 13) announced that the residents of Arbaete Asmara, Central region, have conducted community-based popular campaign to redress the environment. At the popular campaign in which over one thousand people took part, five thousand tree seedlings were planted and six thousand hectares of terraces was constructed.

Three COVID-19 patients who had been receiving necessary medical treatment in hospitals in the Southern Region have recovered fully and were released from these facilities on Monday (August 10). This brings the number of recovered patients to-date to 248. The total number of confirmed cases in the country to-date is 285.

“Citing “secret German Foreign Ministry report”, the German daily paper, Bild, alleges that Russia was “contractually assured” of military bases in six African countries, including Eritrea,” said Minister of Information, Yemane G. Meskel on his Twitter page on Monday (August 10) adding, “The speculative report is utterly false and mere extension of covert & pathetic smear campaign.”

Djibouti

Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tsion Teklu on Saturday (August 14) met Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti. During the meeting held in Djibouti, the two officials seized the opportunity to talk about the excellent relationships that existed between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The two sides also exchanged views on how to lift the ties between the two nations to new heights, according to a tweet by Mahmoud Ali Youssouf.

Kenya

Kenya has rejected Ethiopian Airlines (ET) application to fly cargo in and outside of Kenya using a Boeing 737 aircraft, easing competitive pressure on its top rival, Kenya Airways (KQ). The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe told the Business Daily on Monday (August 10) that Kenya denied ET a licence to ferry cargo using Boeing 737 aircraft on the Addis Ababa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa route but allowed the carrier to continue using the Boeing 777 aircraft for cargo operations on the route. Boeing 737 is a short to medium range twin-jet narrow body plane that carries between 15-20 tonnes of cargo, while the Boeing 777 is a wide-body airline that carriers around 80 tonnes of cargo. “What KCAA has denied ET is a licence to include the use of Boeing 737 type of aircraft on its cargo business. The reason why that decision was reached is a confidential matter. It is not for members of the public to know,” said Mr Kibe. Ethiopian Airlines had planned to use the Boeing 737 plane to connect Kenya to its hub in Addis Ababa and fly between Nairobi and Liege, a freight hub in Belgium.

The Daily Nation on Monday (August 10) reported that Miraa farmers and sellers are staring at a bleak future in the key Somalia market if the Kenyan government does not move with speed to resolve a trade impasse with its neighbour. The hope of resumption of the trade in the biggest market crashed after Somalia exempted miraa/khat from cargo allowed into the country after international flights resumed on August 3. Their hope was further dimmed after a delegation of traders and transporters dispatched to engage the Somali government last failed to unlock the impasse after officials demanded government-to-government talks. Traders who spoke to the Nation said their delegation was informed that the continued suspension of miraa was due to Kenya’s stance on goods from Somalia, coupled by Kenya Airways’ failure to resume flights to Mogadishu.

Somalia

Severe flooding continues to displace thousands of people in Somalia. The government in recent days issued new warnings to communities living along the Jubba and Shabelle rivers. It says rains in the highlands of neighboring Ethiopia could lead to flash floods in towns such as Jowhar and Beledweyne. Residents have said several people have been swept away. The United Nations says at least four displaced people have died. More than 100,000 people have had to flee their homes since late June. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has appealed for emergency relief for one hard-hit town outside the capital.

In related news, the UN refugee agency said last week on Friday (August 7) that more than 150,000 people have fled their homes since late June — including 230,000 in the last week alone — due to flooding in the southern parts of the country. Somalia has experienced extreme flooding this year, with more than 650,000 people across the country having been displaced by heavy rains since the start of the year.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday (August 08) condemned a recent terror attack carried out in Mogadishu. “We received the news with deep sorrow that eight people have lost their lives and many were injured as a result of a suicide attack with a bomb-laden vehicle following a mortar fire to the base of ‪12 April Brigade in Mogadishu, Somalia,” the ministry said. At least eight people were killed on Friday after bomber struck the 12th April Army Brigade base near the newly reopened sports stadium in Warta-Nabadda district.

The Government of Somalia has approved the board members of the Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA) and appointed Ibrahim Ali Hussein its first Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Federal Republic of Somalia said.

South Sudan

Over 70 people were killed as a result of clashes in Tonj East County of Warrap State between the South Sudanese army and armed civilians during the weekend, UN spokesman reported on Tuesday (August 11). “The violence was sparked by a disagreement over a disarmament exercise being conducted in the area. During the fighting, the local market in Romich was reportedly looted and some shops were burnt to the ground,” said UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Tuesday.

In related news, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has established a temporary base in Tonj to deter further violence in the area after recent clashes between government forces and local youth. On Tuesday (August 11), UNMISS dispatched a patrol to Tonj following the killing of dozens of people in bloody clashes between South Sudan’s People’s Defence Forces and local youth who refused to render their arms during a disarmament campaign.

South Sudan peace partners on Monday (August 10) signed an agreement on the power-sharing at the regional level for the 10 states. The agreement was inked by Paul Mayom Akec, on behalf of the SPLM-IG, Henry Dihah Odwar for the SPLM-IO, Gabriel Changson Chan on behalf of SSOA and Peter Mayen Majongdit for the OPP. According to the deal, the SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO will appoint each three deputy governors, one deputy governor for SSOA while the OPP will get three deputy governors.

Sudan

Prime Minister Dr. Abdulla Hamdouk chaired on Wednesday (August 12), the joint meeting of the Higher Committee for Negotiations on Renaissance Dam and the Sudanese Negotiation Team. The meeting deliberated thoroughly, on the progress of the negotiation process and the developments it witnessed during the recent weeks. The meeting expressed full support to the negotiation team and approved a number of political and diplomatic measures to strengthen the negotiators to maintain the national interests.

Prime Minister, Dr. Abdulla Hamdouk expressed gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King, Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, his Council of Ministers and H.H the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal Bin Farhan for hosting the 9th Sudan Friends Conference. This came when Dr. Hamdouk addressed on Wednesday (August 12), the inaugural session of the video conference- Sudan Friends Conference which hosted by the capital Saudi of Riyadh.

In related news, the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Heba Mohammed Ali has commended the Saudi Kingdom for its continuous support to the Government of the glorious December Revolution. The minister addressing the video conference-Sudan’s Friends Conference, currently on session in Riyadh, said the Kingdom has been one of the major supporters of Sudan, lauding all the partners and friends for their effective and positive roles supporting the realization of peace and the success of the transitional period.

The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) leadership on Thursday (August 12) discussed the progress achieved in the Juba mediated peace process with Egyptian and Emirati delegations, the alliance spokesman said. Talks are underway in Juba between the Sudanese government, SRF and SLM-Minni Minnawi as the parties say they approaching the conclusion of the talks. On Thursday, the Sudanese Defence Minister Yassen Ibrahim arrived as he leads the government delegation for talks with the armed groups on security arrangement which is the last agenda in the negotiating table.

The negotiation on the filing and operation of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which was scheduled to take place on Monday (August 10) has been postponed for a week upon Sudanese request.Sudan’s request to postpone negotiations for a week is due to the exchange of letters between the parties on changing the negotiation agenda from filling and operating the Renaissance Dam and future projects on the Blue Nile to “a new agenda related to water sharing among the Nile Basin countries,” said the Sudanese irrigation ministry on Monday. “To meet these developments, there is a need to expand internal consultations before resuming negotiations,” further stressed the Sudanese side.

Four people were killed and 35 others injured in Port Sudan on Sunday (August 09) in the latest tribal clashes between the Nuba and Beni Amer groups. Tribal violence flared in Sudan across the country after the collapse of the former regime for different reasons. In eastern Sudan, the Beni Amer and Nuba have clashed several times since August 2019 despite government efforts to reconcile the two groups.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Saturday (August 09) said he resumed his efforts to convince a holdout rebel leader in Darfur to join the peace process. The head of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Nur, who has refused to take part in any negotiations after Abuja process for peace in Darfur (2004-2006), recently said he would return to Sudan and hold a comprehensive conference for peace but he neither elaborate on its agenda nor when he would launch it.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday (August 8) has appointed a Sudanese national Hannan Sulieman as Assistant Secretary-General to serve as the Deputy Executive Director, Management for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “Her expertise in management, operations, and policy have ensured optimal performance of several UNICEF divisions,” said the UN in a statement announcing her appointment.

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Press Release on the Tripartite Negotiation on the GERD

The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy

10 August 2020

Addis Ababa (10 August 2020): The tripartite negotiation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan planned for 10 August 2020 is adjourned to a week upon the request of Sudan.

The three countries were expected to continue the negotiation and submit interim and final report to the Chairperson of the AU in two weeks’ time since the AU Bureau meeting held on 24 July 2020. Two weeks have lapsed without an actual negotiation due to Egypt and Sudan’s request to adjourn the meetings.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopia had sent its version of the Guidelines and Rules on the filling of the GERD, in line with the Communique of the African Union Assembly Bureau dated 24 July 2020 and the understanding reached by the Ministers of Water Affairs during their meeting on 03 August 2020 to work on a common document.

The meeting is expected to reconvene next Monday on 17 August 2020 as proposed by Sudan. Ethiopia remains committed to the tripartite negotiation as a negotiated agreement is the only option.

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“We do not have a problem for Egypt is utilizing it. The problem arises when it tries to claim a monopoly on the Nile River,”- Ambassador Dina Mufti

Note: This article was originally published on The Ethiopian Herald on August 11, 2020

BY WAKUMA KUDAMA

The Ethiopian Herald invited Ambassador Dina Mufti, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia so that he would share about the current negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) among the riparian countries for its readers.

The multibillion-dollar GERD has been a source of dispute on the use of water in the Nile River since Ethiopia began its construction in 2011. Ethiopia has been constructing the largest dam in Africa to use the Nile water believing that it will have great significance in fostering its national development. It also believes that all the riparian countries will benefit from the dam and the construction does not cause any significant harm. Nevertheless, Egypt and Sudan consider the dam as a threat to their water security. As a result, a series of negotiations have been going on to solve the recurrent dispute. Ambassador Dina discusses the negotiation. Excerpts:

Herald: Ethiopia and the two downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, have been negotiating on the utilization of the Nile River since the inception of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Would you tell us the current status of the ongoing negotiation?

Ambassador Dina: Before answering your question, I would like to highlight Ethiopia’s commitment to addressing the concerns of the downstream countries. That commitment served as the background to the current negotiations. From day one, Ethiopia had been out to tell the riparian countries and the rest of the world that its aim is to pursue a win-win approach. It wanted to cooperate with them and make the river the source of cooperation instead of conflict.

Thus, Ethiopia, just at the beginning, initiated and proposed the formation of the International Panel of Experts to study the possible economic and social impacts of the GERD.

The purpose of the panel of experts is to address some of the concerns of the two downstream countries. It was an extraordinary initiative by Ethiopia aimed at encouraging cooperation and building confidence among the Nile Basin Countries. Since then Ethiopia has been encouraging peaceful diplomatic negotiation.

Currently, peaceful negotiation is still going on. Lately, the heads of states of the riparian countries met with the African Union Chairman. It was a platform on which the three countries made major progress to reduce the dispute in talks mediated by the African Union; and they agreed to pursue the negotiation to arrive at a comprehensive solution.

Last June, the technical and the legal experts met and discussed the procedure of the meeting and agenda. And Ethiopia presented the proposal of the filling of the Dam. After this proposal, both Egypt and Sudan asked for extended time to review the proposal.

Herald: You have said that Ethiopia took an extraordinary step just from the outset to address the concerns of the riparian countries. How about its approach since then? Has it been consistent to the concern of these countries?

Ambassador Dina: Ethiopia has been consistent in its approach since the beginning of the negotiation. Ethiopia is committed to a situation in which everyone comes out to be happy as it does not have any intention to hurt the downstream countries. That is why it has been determined to propose negotiations that would create confidence in the downstream countries. And even now Ethiopia is still consistent with the situation in which everybody would benefit.

Herald: How do you see the on-ongoing negotiation? Has it been fruitful and been fostering cooperation among the parties?

Ambassador Dina: We believe there have been promising signs of progress. I think sustainable solutions could be obtained when all parties are committed to working together.

Herald: Some months ago, the parties invited the United States to mediate the negotiation. This decision was criticized by some people as they said that it was unsuccessful. What is your view here? Was taking the negotiation to the United States appropriate?

Ambassador Dina: We basically appreciate our colleagues and friends including the United States for they are trying to bring us together to overcome our problems. And we appreciate these good offices. We do not have any problem with these friends of ours because they are our colleagues with whom we have longstanding relations. Hence, there is no problem with inviting the United States to lead the negotiation even though we could not succeed in that track.

Then we came back to the African track, the new track. This is the nature of a negotiation. If you do not succeed in one avenue, you go to another avenue. That why we’ve come back to Africa and doing it here.

Herald: Lately, there have been some rumors stating that America is acting in favor of Egypt in the course of the negotiation. Is that true? What would be Ethiopia’s response here?

Ambassador Dina: You know that there is some confusion as some media outlets are reporting about the partisan of the United States to either side. We cannot confirm this. This is what we know: Ethiopia has a long-standing historic relationship with the United States. We are friendly nations. The United States is the strategic partner of Ethiopia. We have been doing a lot of constructive things across the Horn. For instance, we created an alliance in fighting terrorism in the region and beyond. And we scored significant achievements in this regard. Thus, the United States has been our partner; we respect and value the strategic partnership we have been cultivating and enjoying with the United States. We want to nurture and upgrade it for the benefits of the people of both nations and beyond.

Since we will have growing strategic relations, we do not allow the tendency of these rumors to impede the relations. I do not subscribe to any of these rumors about the United States putting pressure on Ethiopia or Egypt or favoring this side or the other. We believe the United States would remain to be a friendly nation to us.

Herald: The phrase “African solutions to African problems” that was embedded in African policy circles has been common in the recent GERD negotiation led by the African Union. What does it mean? How does it specifically address the situation of this negotiation?

Ambassador Dina: This is actually the signal of confidence for strengthening African leadership. Africa has its own wisdom, culture and knowledge that can help to exploit African solutions for African problems. The continent has its own inherited African wisdom and heritage. That is to overcome our problems with our wisdom.

These three countries are African countries and the Nile River is also an African river. Hence, the dispute among these nations on the river ought to be treated and solved by Africans. We are very happy that we are handling it. This is an African framework and needs an African process. Hopefully, this approach will help us to overcome any problem.

Herald: As you have just said Ethiopia showed commitment to addressing the concerns of Sudan and Egypt; nevertheless, Egypt has not been grateful to this commitment. Rather it has a stance to stand against Ethiopia’s right to use the water of the Nile. How do you view Ethiopia’s right to use and Egypt’s controversial claim on this water resource?

Ambassador Dina: Well. Ethiopia is the source of the Nile River. More than 86 percent of the water of the Nile River emanates from Ethiopia. This is Ethiopia’s natural endowment. This logically approves Ethiopia’s full right to use its water resources. And this river is the transboundary river; it flows to Sudan as well as Egypt. We respect the rules and laws that govern transboundary water resources. And these rules and principles are consistent in the sense that they advocate the fair utilization of the resources. And in this case, we believe as much as Egypt is entitled to use the Nile River, Ethiopia is also entitled. As you know, Ethiopia has not used the river while Egypt has effectively been using the water for several years.

We do not have a problem for Egypt is utilizing it. The problem arises when Egypt tries to claim a monopoly on the Nile River which is impossible. All riparian countries are entitled to use this God-given nature. Hence, a claim of monopoly is not right. What the other is claiming historic right which was allotted it by the colonial agreement is also does not work because that is not ibid with the sense of equity and rationality. Thus, we never entertain the idea of a monopoly. We rather advocate the rationality and equity when it comes to using the Nile River.

The river flows from Ethiopia to Egypt as well as Sudan. As long as it is a transboundary resource, others have the right to use it. We are not against Egyptian or Suddenness’s rights to utilizing the river. We are out for using the resource fairly. We are bitter when Egypt comes out and claim its monopoly.

Herald: There are recent rumors stating that Egypt is currently initiating new projects that enable it to extend its inappropriate claim on the utilization of the Nile River. What would be your view here?

Ambassador Dina: Well. Basically, what we are saying is this: Egypt can use the river for any purpose or project as long as it does not come against the interests/rights of others. We always advocate the win-win approach when it does not reject the legitimate right of the other side. It doesn’t matter Egypt can develop any project on the Nile river for any purpose. But the problem may arise when it comes to Ethiopia’s utility. Otherwise, we do not have any problem with Egypt as long it respects the rights of others.

Herald: In their works published in some international journals, some Egyptian scholars seem to deny the legitimate and historic right of Ethiopia on the river. What would your opinion here?

Ambassador Dina: That is wrong. That is what we fight bitterly. What we are against. As long as from Ethiopia, it is silly for one to state Ethiopia does not have the full right to use the river. More than 86 percent of the river flows out of the Ethiopian territory. So, Ethiopia has the right to use its natural resources. This is a natural endowment. You cannot prevent Ethiopia from using it. What is politically gone wrong does not mean naturally wrong.

Herald: Some months ago, Egypt was seen to prefer military approach over the diplomatic negotiation to ensure its claim on the Nile River. However, Ethiopia seems to be consistent to pursue peaceful diplomatic approach. Which way (approach) would be helpful? How do you see your nation’s stance here?

Ambassador Dina: Always, the diplomatic approach is a constructive approach. This is the approach that prevails. It is the approach in the interest of humanity in all countries. War is a counterproductive way. It’s rather destructive; it destroys human and material resources. We have witnessed so many wars in world history. Nobody benefited from wars. They destroyed properties and humanity. They left hurting scars that pass from generation to generation. A conscious mind cannot subscribe to wars. That is why Ethiopia is always advocating peace, pursuing a constructive and diplomatic approach.

Herald: Would you believe that Egypt would remain consistent with peaceful negotiations and appreciate Ethiopia’s win-win approach?

Ambassador Dina: I hope it will soon realize the importance of pursuing peaceful diplomatic negotiations. I believe Egyptians will appreciate Ethiopia’s stand that makes all parties beneficiaries.

Brief Information on Ambassador Dina Mufti

Ambassador Dina Mufti is currently serving as the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

Ambassador Dina has ample experience as a seasoned diplomat in different countries. He served as the third Secretary and Council of Ethiopia Embassies in Canada and Washington. He also served as Ambassador to Zimbabwe with accreditations to Angola, Mozambique, Mauritius and Zambia. He was an Ambassador to Sweden with accreditation to Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. He also served as Ambassador to Kenya with accreditations to Mauritius, Malawi and Tanzania. And prior to his current position, he served as an Ambassador to Egypt.

Ambassador Dina received a Master’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and international relations from Carleton University, Canada and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia respectively.

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