Trump and the Nile

By Christopher Harper

Against the backdrop of continuing tension in the Middle East, the United States is playing a peacekeeping role in a dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

You won’t read about the Trump administration’s mediation in the mainstream press because it doesn’t fit the meme of a war-mongering president.

So here goes. The three countries agreed to meet this week in Washington to tackle problems over a dam project on the Nile River that may greatly affect water resources in Egypt and Sudan.

The differences among the three countries date back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building a dam, which is known as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The $5 billion hydroelectric dam would exist on the Blue Nile near the Ethiopia-Sudan border. The reservoir would hold up to 67 billion cubic meters of water and take at least seven years to fill, which would decrease the river’s flow for at least that period by 25 percent. For Ethiopia, the dam would aid water needs and economic development, as it is set to supply the country with more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity. But it could be devastating for Egypt, which relies on the river for irrigation, fishing, and transport.

The river is so vital that Egyptian officials have made it clear that military action may occur if Ethiopia doesn’t come to an agreement.

In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, which agreed that the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, would not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. In October 2019, however, Egypt blamed Ethiopia for hindering a final agreement. Under the earlier declaration, the three countries would seek mediation if they could not reach an accord.

Enter the United States as the mediator. Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia agreed to a series of four meetings in Addis Ababa, Cairo, Khartoum. This week’s meeting in Washington is the fourth in this round of negotiations.

It’s unclear whether the United States will be able to help settle this longstanding dispute. But it’s readily apparent that Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia think the Trump administration may be able to help.

Unfortunately, the American media are unlikely to mention this peaceful role the U.S. is playing.

Update (DTG): Delayed Instalanche, thanks Glenn, welcome folks take a look around. If you liked this piece by Christopher Harper a former member of the MSM and current professor of journalism writes here every Tuesday and often covers things nobody else bothers to, particularly on his oversees trips. Check out his previous pieces like Egyptians for Trump a Greek Getaway and Trump, on his Majesty’s service, and Fake News and me. Oh just check out the lot, both here and on the old host.

And if you think he and the rest of my Magnificent Seven are worth your time considering kicking in to DaTipJar and help keep them paid.

Leave a Reply