Egypt Main Source of External Pressure on Ethiopia: Policy Research Institute Director-General


Addis Ababa,July 3/2021(ENA) The main actor behind the undue pressures exerted on Ethiopia from different quarters is Egypt which attempts to maintain its hegemony over Blue Nile, East African Policy Research Institute (EAPRI) Deputy Director-General Birhanu Lenjiso revealed.

The deputy director-general told ENA that the external pressures exerted on Ethiopia by the international community mainly emanates from Egypt.

“In fact, international pressure has many sources. But the main pressure springs from Egypt’s durable diplomacy compared to Ethiopia. So, using its robust diplomacy, Egypt has convinced powerful countries, including the US, UK and others, to buy its agenda, exert pressure on Ethiopia, and this is the result of Egypt’s century-old diplomatic efforts,” Birhanu elaborated.

Egypt has at least three identities to cave in, he observed, adding that it wears the Arab League, African Union and Mediterranean-Europe caps to sell its distorted agenda regarding the Blue Nile River and to indirectly exert undue pressure on Ethiopia.

“Due to its different identities, it plays great role in keeping the interests of western countries and it secures substantial support for that. Egypt’s relation with Arab League, its wealth compared with Ethiopia, and having academia in international institutions and countries made the country strong diplomatically, but Ethiopia can sell the truth through strong diplomacy to twist the undue pressures,” he explained.

According to him, Egypt’s influence on Ethiopia has existed for a long period of time, but surfaced after the development of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The deputy director-general associates the current unusual expulsion of Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia as part of Egypt’s faithful relationship ploy with Saudi Arabia to engulf Ethiopia with additional assignments amid GERD tension.

The government is working to repatriate 40,000 Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia within two weeks following the Saudi government order to expel Ethiopian citizens.  

“The extraordinary expulsion of Ethiopians, including documented citizens, from Saudi Arabia could relate to Saudi’s relationship with Egypt to perhaps exert pressure on Ethiopia,” Birhanu asserted, noting that the Arab League has also been trying to exert pressure on Ethiopia in connection with the GERD.

Even though Saudi Arabia has the right to deport undocumented Ethiopians, the country is even pushing for the expulsion of documented Ethiopians in unusual way to exert pressure on Ethiopia by aligning with Egypt, he pointed out.

The deputy director-general further stated that Egypt has been working tirelessly to convince the Arab League and other countries to put pressure on Ethiopia in connection with the dam, noting that Ethiopia has done little to strengthen its relations with various countries and to face the pressure.

Birhanu underscored that Ethiopia releases 86 percent of the Nile water, but 60 percent of its population is not getting electricity. Therefore strong endeavor is needed from Ethiopia to sell the truth and undertake career diplomacy.