Breaking News – ፕሬዝዳንት ትራምፕ ዛሬ ስለህዳሴው ግድብ በተናገሩት አስደንጋጭ ንግግር “ግብፆች የህዳሴውን ግድብ ያፈነዱታል” ብለዋል።
President Trump made the correct decision to remove the “state sponsor of terrorism” designation from Sudan. To support democracy, the US should now help #Sudan access debt relief and new financing for development projects among the international financial institutions.
— Herman J. Cohen (@CohenOnAfrica) October 20, 2020
There is no force on earth that can stop us from realizing the successful completion of #GERD!
We must stand united as Ethiopians and challenge any unreasonable pressure. If we stand united, history testifies that there is no earthly force that can defeat us! #ItsMyDam #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/JnoKzmcSKd
— Adanech Abiebie (@AdanechAbiebie) October 24, 2020
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia on Saturday denounced “belligerent threats” over the huge dam it has nearly completed on the Blue Nile River, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said downstream Egypt will “blow up” the project it has called an existential threat.
Without naming Trump or the U.S., the statement by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office came amid an outcry in Ethiopia over Trump’s latest threat over the dam. The $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a source of national pride, aimed at pulling millions of people from poverty.
“The man doesn’t have a clue on what he is talking about,” Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn tweeted, calling Trump’s remark reckless and irresponsible.
Trump made the comment while announcing that Sudan would start to normalize ties with Israel. Downstream Sudan is a party to the talks with Ethiopia and Egypt over the disputed dam. “They (Egypt) will end up blowing up the dam,” Trump said. “And I said it and I say it loud and clear … they’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something.”
The U.S. president earlier this year told the State Department to suspend millions of dollars in aid to Ethiopia because of the dam dispute, angering Ethiopians who had accused the U.S. of being biased during its earlier efforts to broker a deal on the project among Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia walked away from those talks.
“They will never see that money unless they adhere to that agreement,” Trump said Friday.
“Occasional statements of belligerent threats to have Ethiopia succumb to unfair terms still abound,” Ethiopia’s statement said Saturday. “These threats and affronts to Ethiopian sovereignty are misguided, unproductive, and clear violations of international law.”
It added: “Ethiopia will not cave in to aggressions of any kind.”
There was no comment from the Egyptian government on Trump’s remarks, but pro-government media covered them extensively.
Egypt has repeatedly said it wants to settle the dispute through diplomatic means, but it has said it would use “all available means” to defend the interests of its people.
Ethiopia celebrated the first filling of the dam in August, citing heavy rains, to the dismay of Egypt. Ethiopia later banned flights over the dam amid concerns over possible military action by Egypt.
Now, with Trump’s new remarks, some Ethiopians are urging Ethiopian Americans to help vote him out of office in next month’s election.
The statement by Abiy’s office said the talks with Egypt and Sudan have shown significant progress since the African Union has stepped in to oversee them. Trump’s statement could undermine that process, said Abel Abate Demissie, an associate fellow at Chatham House, adding that it proves the U.S. wasn’t an honest broker from the start.