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Diaspora Experts Intensify Efforts to Clarify Ethiopia’s Right to Use Nile River

(ENA) Ethiopian Diaspora experts are actively working to create awareness among the international community about the “legitimate rights of Ethiopia to use the Nile River.”

Independent Consultant Researcher, Peace and Security Expert, Lulseged Abebe who resides in the United Kingdom told ENA that Egypt has always been misleading its own people and the international community on the issues of Nile water.

Ethiopian Diaspora and experts have therefore been intensifying their efforts to change this erroneous narrative at the international arena as the Nile water belongs to 11 basin countries, not to only few nations.

“We have been running the campaign under the theme ‘I am for the Nile too.’ We are mobilizing the diaspora community at different parts the globe. To realize this, we have been very actively using social media platforms to inform the international community about the legitimate right of Ethiopia to use the Nile water,” the expert said.

He stated that the campaign will continue until Egypt and Sudan sign a Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA).

Lulseged stressed the Government of Ethiopia has always been clear during negotiations that Ethiopia has no intention to harm the downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.

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“The GERD is an icon as well as a symbol of Ethiopians wherever we are. It is our monument everywhere. We have to really work very hard to show that the message coming from Egypt is not based on facts. We have provided facts and that is what we have been doing so far. And we will continue to do that,” he said.

According him, the Ethiopian Diaspora are actively engaged in promoting the importance and relevance of the dam for the people of Ethiopia and the region at large.

“It is a game changer for us,” he said, adding that the diaspora is “contributing in their capacity to inform governments in the countries where they live about what is going on and that it is the legitimate right of Ethiopia build a dam generating electricity.”

The expert noted that Egypt is sticking to the colonial agreements that say they are the only way to use the Nile water. However, “we are in 21st century and things have changed. Every country has needs to fulfill the demands of its citizens.”

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Egypt has to accept to utilize the Nile water equitably and reasonably. The Nile “is African water. Any dispute related to that should thus be solved by people and countries that are using the river. It doesn’t make sense taking the case to the UN Security Council where some members might not even know where Nile River,” he argued.

Planning and System Decision Support for Tampa Bay Water Manager and Co-Chair of Florida Water and Climate Alliance, Tirusew Assefa from USA said on his part the Ethiopian Diaspora and scholars need to work a lot to make to members of the international community what is the real issue fact behind the Nile water and GERD.

He pointed out that Egypt is a step ahead of us in this sense as it spreads a lot of misinformation and teaching students and the public false narrative about Nile Water resources.

“ As diaspora experts we need to clarify things and create understanding. I have fortunately seen lots of activities recently not only in the US but also in Europe, Canada in Africa in this respect,” Tirusew stated.

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When people most of the time talk about the supply side for Egypt, they think that drought will follow if any water use is made by the upper riparian  countries.This is not true, the expert pointed out.

He said diaspora experts are undertaking concerted efforts to get out and put the facts out on GERD to expose the false narrative about the dam.

“Some of us are also working with elected officials. Recently, we met the senator and congress people to basically voice our concern about what is going on between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. So, all of these help us to teach. We need a lot to inform the elected officials and others. This is the responsibility of the Ethiopian Diaspora. Basically our work needs to show this through fact supported way,” Tirusew elaborated.

He further noted that Ethiopia hopes to retain 4.9 billion cubic meters of water during this rainy season and this does not significantly harm the downstream countries, particularly Sudan and Egypt.

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