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O Ethiopia … water is soul

Ahmad-jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

ALMIGHTY Allah says, “Have the unbelievers not ever considered that the heavens and the earth were one piece and that We tore them apart from one another, and from water We have created all living things? Will they then have no faith?” (Quran 21:30).

The aforementioned verse must manifest itself in the minds of the Ethiopian leaders who are going against every international principle in relation to the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and their control over the waters of the Nile River.

Irrespective of Addis Ababa’s attempts to conceal the truth, it keeps exposing itself by not relying on the language of reasoning and rationale, let alone its attempt to give itself a role that is bigger than its size in Africa.

Over the past two decades, Ethiopia has refused to abide by international commitment to resolve its dispute with both Egypt and Sudan. It has arbitrarily taken its position, and has exercised pressure outside international law on the riparian states, as the most important articles of the treaty, which was sanctioned internationally in 1997, bars state governments from politicizing water bodies or rather using water as a political tool.

This situation takes us back to when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein withdrew from the Algiers Agreement signed in 1975 between Baghdad and Tehran for the sharing of the Shatt al-Arab.

Iran relied on its legitimate rights, as the Shah did not violate the agreement, whereas Iraq went on to withdraw from the agreement through the actions of Saddam Hussein who ripped the agreement in 1980 during a press conference and declared war on Iran.

However, after eight years of destruction, killing and displacement, he complied and accepted the agreement.

This fact must manifest itself in the minds of Ethiopian leaders, especially the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, who is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, with regard to yielding to the desires of popular enthusiasm, which ultimately leads to dire consequences.

In addition, the international community will not allow a major conflict to erupt in North Africa concerning a settled issue in accordance with international treaties and laws.

In this regard, US President Donald Trump’s words last Friday were clear – “It is a very dangerous situation, because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way. I said it before and I say it again loud and clear – They will blow up that dam, and they have to do something.”

This talk shows the reality that Egypt, which has been known from time immemorial as the gift of the Nile, cannot accept thirst and submit to Addis Ababa’s presumptuousness.

The growing international reaction to the obstinate Ethiopian position clearly indicates that Addis Ababa will face isolation along the lines of Tehran because both of them are pursuing the path of terrorism to implement their political agendas.

Therefore, the Arab and Islamic countries must clearly declare their position in support of Egypt and Sudan in their confrontation with the Ethiopian arrogance because “water is soul”, and no one would accept suicide, or give up this right at any cost.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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