February 24, 2024
Minister Seleshi Bekele

 

 

If he could only see all the blood behind his “development” talk!!

 

By: Sara Kira

Founder and Director of EUNACR

PHD Candidate at CEU San Pablo University – Faculty of Law and Economy

Madrid- Spain

 

Seleshi Bekele has entered history with one of the worst speeches at a UN security council’s meeting!

Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy of Ethiopia thought he is giving the most dazzling speech of his life, at 8816th UN Security Council meeting on Peace and security in Africa.

 

Minister Bekele thought that coaxing the “West” with words like (development, prosperity, displacement, heritage of colonization) would help him win the case over at the meeting.

However, his plans went all in vain right when he started.

 

Far from UN standard speech:

Bekele’s speech has basically started with an insult to the UN Security Council claiming that this meeting is “unfitting to the time and resources of the UN Security Council to discuss the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam”! Isn’t that for the UN Security Council to decide?!

Minister Bekele maybe thought of this statement as a smart move towards diminishing the importance of taking this crisis to UN Security Council, since Ethiopia does not intend any harm to Egypt and Sudan, yet it showed how much little respect the Ethiopian authorities have towards the international bodies, regional neighbors, the threats this dam represents to Egypt and Sudan, and even to security in the region.

To all appearances, Mr Bekele the Minister was trying to underestimate the decade-long failed negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Mr Bekele does not think it is time already to engage the international community in the dispute.

 

 

Yet, it is not very strange for the Ethiopian authorities to not respect International procedures of conflict resolution, because it has already taken that path of breaking agreements, as it did with the “Declaration of Principles” signed in 2015.

 

 

Starting off badly:

The minister’s speech started off with claims and lies. First lie was that Mr Bekele claimed his state’s commitment and good faith about the negotiations between the three counterparts. That is no more than a lie; Ethiopia has repeatedly withdrawn from important mediation meeting with the US and stalled thorough the years for a decade long.

Unless a binding agreement is reached, no claims of commitment or good faith is to be believed from Ethiopia.

The Minister has referred to the AU led peace negotiations, and that this dispute should go back to a regional organization, the AU in this case, to be resolved.

Despite the AU’s silence on the dispute since the escalation, it has exerted some efforts in attempts to resolve the issue through negotiations. Yet, the AU’s efforts seemed to come to an end, or otherwise Egypt and Sudan wouldn’t have asked for the mediation of the US.

“The AU has the primary responsibility to promote peace, security and stability in Africa – anchored in the principle of ‘African solutions to Africa’s problems’. However it hasn’t featured highly in the dam negotiations, with non-African actors instead becoming part of the solution. This is a missed opportunity considering that the AU’s multilateral nature and aspirations to lead on regional stability make it a more neutral arbiter.

The AU’s silence on the issue, at least in public, was especially evident when tensions escalated between Egypt and Ethiopia. The two countries exchanged provocative statements including threats to use military measures to resolve the dispute. In response, the Arab Parliament expressed its concern and offered support to Egypt and Sudan.”[1]

 

If only he could see all the blood behind the “Development” talk:

 

With all what’s happening in Tigray, “Fighting has been going on since November 2020, destabilizing the populous country in the Horn of Africa, leaving thousands of people dead with 350,000 others living in famine conditions.”[2]

Minister Bekele represents a government that justifies killing its own people in horrifying numbers, and calls it “domestic challenges”, how is it for Sudan and Egypt to trust its words?!

 

Answering the Minister’s Question:

 

The Minister has ended his speech with a blinkard question, “Do Ethiopians have the right to drink from the Nile?”.

First, The Minister compared the High Dam of Egypt, the last downstream country on the Nile River, with the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam, upstream country. The Minister ignored the fact that his country is an upstream country and building Dams on the Banks of the Nile would deprive millions of people of drinking water too.

Definitely Egypt and Sudan do not want the people of Ethiopia to suffer or be deprived. Yet, Egypt’s as well as Sudan’s water rights are not to be jeopardized for Ethiopia’s political games!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://issafrica.org/iss-today/why-has-the-au-been-silent-on-the-ethiopian-dam-dispute

[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54964378