Ethiopia: Renaissance Dam Not Secure or Safe

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Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam is Not Secure or Safe

MARCH 13, 2017 Why is the Ethiopian regime making the Renaissance Dam the issue and arouse suspicion that it is under threat and possibly not safe?

How can the regime promote the sale of electric power from the dam while announcing to the world that it is a controversial project vulnerable to attacks and sabotages?

BY AMANUEL BIEDEMARIAM

The government of Ethiopia is openly admitting that it is no longer able to secure the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and, as such, the country. It is also inadvertently revealing that the EPRDF/Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF) is at war against the people of Benishangul Gumuz as it is with other regional states all over the country.

On March 2, Ethiopian Information Ministry website WaltaInfo reported,

“Ethiopians thwarted the attack attempts of armed groups against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project located on the Blue Nile River in the Benishangul Regional State. Twenty of the members of the groups were “completely annihilated.”

According to the State Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO), Zadig Abrha said,

‘Ethiopian security forces have destroyed and arrested members of the “Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement while they were attempting to attack the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).”

According to the Human Rights Congress of Ethiopia (HRC) and various sources,

“The indigenous people of Benishangul Gumuz, who lived off fishing, have been forcefully moved to locations several tens of kilometers away. Around 10,000 citizens residing in the region have been told that they were not “natives of the region” and were forcefully evicted from the region as of April 23, 2013.”

As a result, the people of the Benishangul and Amhara regions are waging an armed struggle to regain their land rights from the EPRDF/TPLF regime.

The minority regime of Ethiopia has politicized the construction of the dam from the beginning drawing attention from the Nile Basin countries, particularly Egypt, a country that depends on Nile waters for its very existence. The late Meles Zenawi used the dam’s construction to blackmail the former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak into consenting to the regime’s Eritrea agenda.

The minority Tigrayan led TPLF/EPRDF regime also used the dam to raise funds from its Tigrayan diaspora constituency. The TPLF regime also attempted to control the political narrative by turning GERD into a patriotic endeavor and a source of national pride. Those who opposed the project were cast as unpatriotic. It was an attempt to quiet the opposition

In 2014, the then the deputy-head of GERD coordination which is now serving as State Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO), Mr. Zadig Abraha, told the Guardian,

“Ethiopia will become an African Lion. We have finished with the syndrome of dependence; we want to recover our past glory.”

The minority apartheid regime tried to sell the idea of GERD to the international community and the region claiming Ethiopia would become a significant supplier of electricity in the region while pushing the false narrative Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing economies of the world.

The question in everyone’s mind is if the Renaissance Dam is a source of pride, a symbol of economic progress and expression of Ethiopian stability; why announce to the world that Benishangul Amhara’s tried to sabotage the dam? Furthermore, why paint the entire ethnic group with one brush and accuse them of sabotaging a national treasure and resource?

The regime stated that the group had relations to Eritrea and tried to assign blame to Eritrea. It is, however, not the first time that the TPLF regime fabricated outlandish lies. 

In 2006, Wikileaks exposed how Ethiopian security forces planted three bombs in Addis Ababa and blamed Eritrea. The report from 2006 marked “Secret; Subject: Ethiopia: Recent Bombings Blamed on Oromos Possibly the Work of GOE [Government of Ethiopia]” “Classified By: Charge [d’Affairs] Vicki Huddleston,” “An embassy source, as well as clandestine reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been the work of the GoE security forces.” (Cable reference id: #06ADDISABABA2708.)

The TPLF minority regime ignited the bombs on September 16, 2006, ahead of the African Union Summit. It tried to make it appear as if Eritrea planted the bombs targeting the African Union. It was an effort designed to link Eritrea with terrorism. It was a devious ploy to pin Eritrea against the AU. With hopes that African nations would then complain to the UN and list Eritrea as a State the sponsors’ terrorism. 

The international community did not accept these outlandish claims. For example, The Indian Ocean Newsletter N°1446 – 10/03/2017 called to question the TPLF’s claim of  attacks on the dam as, “A fake attack on GERD?”

‘While Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn claims to have foiled an attack fomented by Eritrea against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Eritrean president Isaias Afworki’s government says it knows absolutely nothing about the matter. The information minister and government spokesman Yemane Gebremeskel swears to have never heard of the Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM) suspected of being behind the attack on the dam. According to our sources, the inauguration of the dam has been put back once again. Workers haven’t been paid for several months.”

It is a familiar pattern. The regime has been fabricating lies for decades. But why is the minority regime making the Renaissance Dam the issue and arouse suspicion that the dam is under threat and possibly unsafe? Why announce to the world that the dam is a target? How can the regime promote electric power sales while reporting the vulnerabilities?

It makes absolutely no sense to fabricate fake news such as this. The minority apartheid Tigrayan regime can claim that Eritrea has a hand on this. The reality, however, the Benishangul Amhara people are Ethiopians. Suppose the Benishangul people are in-deed guilty of the alleged attempted attack. By announcing it to the world, the TPLF regime is inadvertently advertising the civil unrest and instability inside Ethiopia. However, regardless of its motives, the regime is in terrible shape. As Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) reported,

“The inauguration of the dam has been put back once again. Workers haven’t been paid for several months.”

One thing that this report makes clear is that the workers have not been paid for several months. Hence, if the dam is being constructed by employees who are unhappy because they are not paid on time, how safe is the dam?

Ethiopia is in serious trouble, and this development demonstrates that the TPLF/EPRDF minority apartheid regime is losing grip everywhere. It has been six months since the regime declared a state of emergency. The reality is it is impossible to govern a nation under a permanent state of emergency. That only means that the regime has lost control and cannot govern by peaceful means. It could only rule by brute force, giving the people no option but to pick up arms and struggle, which could only mean civil war.


Problems beset the regime. Shortage of hard currency, over five million people are suffering from hunger and starvation—insurgency in every corner of the country with every region fighting for its cause. Ethiopia is a landlocked nation. Rebel groups have targeted the economy are destroying denying imported goods access to the mainland and blocking convoys carrying goods and gas from Sudan, exacerbating shortages. Ethiopia is under constant internal pressures economically, politically, socially, and militarily.

The regime has lost credibility, and its favored status is getting stripped daily. US congressional representatives are working to influence the Trump administration to review its Ethiopia policy. During a congressional hearing on March 9, 2017, Representative Chris Smith said,

“Ethiopia has long been an important ally, providing effective peacekeepers and collaborating in the War on Terror. However, increasingly repressive policies have diminished political space and threaten to radicalize not only the political opposition but also civil society by frustrating their ability to exercise their rights under law. This hearing will examine the current situation in Ethiopia with an eye toward developing policies to help this nation to reverse an increasingly tense situation in the troubled Horn of Africa.”

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher takes it a step further and said,

“The Ethiopian regime represent a small minority in Ethiopia. We are helping that small clique which is corrupt and brutal. It’s time for the US to say we made a mistake by going down that road with a small group of people. We should be friends with the overall people of Ethiopia, not just with a clique. That will serve the interest of the US and the interest of the people of Ethiopia.”

For the first time, the minority regime in Ethiopia is naked and finds itself without the blanket cover that it once enjoyed in the State Department and the White House. Things have drastically changed, and if there is a political will, the republican house and senate can quickly move to reverse a flowed policy that hurt the Ethiopian people and the people of the region.

Concluding Remarks

It is only a matter of time before Ethiopia explodes out of control. The Tigrayan lead minority apartheid regime is incapable of formulating a solution to take Ethiopia to a better place. As a result, the regime will continue the path it has been taking for over 25 years. The Renaissance Dam false flag is a continuation of the pattern.

Unfortunately, there appears no viable solution for Ethiopia’s woes. It may be too late for any US policy maneuvers to make a difference. Ethiopia’s only solution; establish a united government in exile. If Ethiopians managed to create a unity government sponsored by the Trump administration, Ethiopia might have a chance to survive as a nation. Otherwise, the slow death will help disintegrate Ethiopia for good.

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