Ethiopia's ambitions reach the "sea"!

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Monday, 27 November 2023

Ethiopia's ambitions reach the "sea"!

 November 27, 2023 Year    148 Issue 50029

Last week, Ethiopia and Djibouti signed a memorandum of understanding for military coordination and joint defense in cases of exposure to any danger. This agreement is an advanced Ethiopian step in the framework of its frantic effort to seize a seaport and a military base at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, which casts a dark shadow over the Horn of Africa, violating the sovereignty of its countries. It threatens to ignite new conflicts, with the support of other parties.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paved the way for the matter with escalatory statements on various occasions, recently, in which he said before Parliament that Ethiopia’s population would reach 150 million people in 2030, requiring his government to obtain a sovereign port in the Red Sea. As an existential necessity, a matter of life and death, he pointed out that the Red Sea and the Nile River are two pairs that determine the fate of his country, and the basis for its development or destruction, as drivers of development and leadership or as sources of danger. He added: It is unreasonable not to discuss the issue of access to ports, while Sudan and Egypt do not stop. About discussing Nile water issues. While Berhanu Nega, Minister of Education, confirmed that Addis Ababa is studying all options to obtain a sea port.

The Ethiopian statements rang alarm bells in neighboring Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya. These are the countries that were mentioned in the statements as potential destinations for the seaport or military base. Indeed, relations between Addis Ababa and Asmara are moving into a field of thorns. The Eritrean Ministry of Information condemned Abiy Ahmed’s statements, considering them “not worthy of attention,” and that they are “gossip” and clarified. Eritrea does not give these calls any importance. While Abdul Rahman Abdul Shakur, advisor to the Somali president, warned of Ethiopia’s ambitions in his country and its efforts to obtain a port by force or trickery, pointing to Abiy Ahmed’s messages regarding access to the Red Sea. Also before signing the agreement with Ethiopia, Alexis Mohammed, advisor to the president of Djibouti, referred to the friendly relations between the two countries, He called on the Ethiopians to respect his country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, without discussion. As for Sudan, it is doubly concerned. Due to his preoccupation with the war between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Militia, he is aware of the blatant Ethiopian ambitions for Sudan’s lands and wealth, in addition to the Renaissance Dam disputes.

Abiy Ahmed tried to allay fears, promising not to invade any neighboring country, but he stressed that his government would not give up its demand to obtain a sea port, indicating that peace in the region depends on mutual sharing between Ethiopia, which is isolated from the sea and its neighbors, and offered to provide a 30% annual share of... The Renaissance Dam, or a similar stake in Ethiopian Airlines or the Ethiopian Telecommunications Company, in exchange for obtaining the sea port. The question here: Since when has Ethiopia fulfilled its pledges?! Why do its policies threaten the interests of its immediate and distant neighbors?!

Addis Ababa has already launched a new branch of its army, the Navy. Although it does not overlook any seas, it is now training individuals and equipping equipment and weapons, with support from France, Italy and Russia, as well as Israel, which has close military cooperation with Addis Ababa. Considering that they are surrounded by a sea of ​​Arab enemies, if they defeat one of them, the second will become their next target, and therefore “Arab countries” must be preoccupied with the tensions in their surroundings. Some experts believe that Ethiopia, the most populous country in the Horn of Africa, appears clearly on the screen of accounts. The United States and Israel: Washington turns a blind eye to Ethiopian ambitions in neighboring countries, which have turned some of them into weak entities, such as Eritrea, or torn them apart, such as Somalia and Sudan.

Addis Ababa, with the help of others, is working to redraw the map of the region; In order to be able to assume a regional role, the countries of the Seas Complex - supervising Bab al-Mandeb - and the Rivers Complex countries - supervising the rivers flowing from it - revolve within the framework of geopolitical arrangements, with regional and global powers that divide the Arab region, ensure their dominance over the regional matrix, and hold a card in their hand. In the faltering Renaissance Dam negotiations with the two downstream countries overlooking the Red Sea, which makes the Horn of Africa and the Nile Basin an arena for geopolitical conspiracy and ignites tensions regionally and internationally.

Ethiopia's motives for establishing a navy and seeking a foothold in the Red Sea, the most important strategic artery for international navigation, are under the pretext of enhancing its foreign trade. It raises extremely sensitive problems. These ambitions are not supported by any historical or legal justifications. International conventions do not allow any country to occupy parts or ports of another country. Just because they are larger in area or number, even landlocked countries - such as Ethiopia - may not use their neighbors' ports except by agreement with them.

The amazing irony is that Ethiopia always chooses “the more difficult path,” even though the easier path is open to it, as it can achieve its goals with sincere cooperation that achieves everyone’s interests with balance and justice, without conflicts in the Horn of Africa and the Nile Basin. But the “water complex” controls its leaders. Abiy Ahmed said: “Ethiopia is surrounded by water, but it is a thirsty country. Why? Heavy rain, groundwater... the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea there; So why is water our problem when we are surrounded by it?!”

It is Ethiopia's bad intentions and desires for hegemony that make it a functional state driven by others in a region full of crises, and resort to a common defense. What defense/aggression is this and against whom?!
For more articles by Dr. Muhammad Hussein Abu Al-Hassan

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion at the XXIX International Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin on January

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