Pro-OLF refugees in Cairo demonstrate against Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam
Awramba Times (Phoenix, Arizona) – Refugees from Ethiopia’s Oromo community protest outside the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cairo, Egypt against the construction of the Great Renaissance Dam.
Abdel-Kader Goumy, one of the protesters, told Al-Ahram’s Arabic language news website that the Renaissance Dam is intended to generate electricity, and, as such, there is no reason it should be built on the Nile, rather than on Ethiopia’s other rivers.
“The tribe supports Egypt’s right not to be adversely affected [by the dam]… Addis Ababa is not in need of water, rather it aims to build the dam for political purposes,” he added.
Yehia Mohamed, another Ethiopian refugee belonging to the Oromo tribe, said, “Sunday’s protest comes after we have suffered harassment by some Egyptians due to the Ethiopian government’s decision to build the Renaissance Dam.” Mohamed also added that the Ethiopian government excludes the Oromo from all decision-making, including the decision to build the Renaissance Dam. Protesters lifted Egyptian and Ethiopian flags, declaring their refusal to support a dam that will “damage Egypt and will not help Ethiopia.”
Meanwhile, Sudan is warning of a possible water war between the Nile Basin countries because of Egypt’s ‘provocative’ stance.
Sudanese government spokesman Ahmed Bilal has asked Egypt to stop what he called provocations after an Egyptian opposition leader, Ayman Nour, publicly described the Sudanese stand on the Nile as disgusting. The statement by Sudanese foreign ministry said Sudan would not be affected by the project, stressing that there were agreements and consultations between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. “Sudan respects the agreements to cooperate with those two countries (Egypt and Ethiopia) in matters that concern sharing the waters of the Nile and sharing mutual revenues,” the ministry said.
The United States government has asked the three countries to resolve the problem amicably through political dialogue.