Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric toward Ethiopia is Indicative of a Larger Problem

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Addis Ababa, October 29/2020(ENA) “President Donald Trump’s dangerous rhetoric toward Ethiopia is indicative of a larger problem,” a senior fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations Michelle Gavin said.

The president’s appallingly careless statement is only the most recent example of the Trump Administration’s unforced errors in Africa, she added.

Seemingly miffed by the failure of his administration’s clumsy effort to broker a deal on the use of Nile waters now that Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam has become a reality, Trump posited that Egypt “will end up blowing up the dam. . . . They’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something…They should have stopped it long before it was started.” 

He also reiterated that he is holding up U.S. assistance to Ethiopia to pressure its government to agree to his administration’s preferred deal.

“The notion of casually inciting war in the strategically important Horn of Africa is sickening,” she blamed the president.

Michelle Gavin said “the idea that the United States can successfully bully Ethiopia into a deal is a historical nonsense-a misreading of the stakes for Addis Ababa and an insult noted throughout the continent.”

But worse, “the president is apparently completely oblivious to the United States’ own interests,” she added.

She underlined that the United States doesn’t provide assistance to Ethiopia out of sheer altruism; rather, officials from both parties have long recognized that a stable and successful Ethiopia is critical to the security of the region and an important part of any vision for cooperative, mutually beneficial U.S.-African relations in the future.

The current administration gives the impression that it disregards African interests in the foreign policy issues that directly affect them and that it imagines Africans as supplicants desperate for external patrons.