By Esleman Abay
Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel was in Khartoum on last Tuesday. Three months ago, he arrived in Juba. Over the Last week, the Egyptian delegates were in Somaliland. Cairo’s secession of the East African region has reportedly been discussed in connection with the Renaissance Dam. Note! They are doing this during a week when President al-Sisi said, “We will solve the Renaissance Dam issue through cooperation, not by force.”
Many agree that the Cairo Intelligence Agency’s agenda in the dam negotiations is malicious. If we talk about Cairo spying, let’s remember the Egyptian lizards that were captured in Ethiopia five years ago.
On May 5, 2014, three Egyptian spies were arrested by Ethiopian security forces. The three Egyptians were trying to gather security information on the Ethiopian dam system, one was captured near the Abobo Dam and the other was trying to head to the Renaissance Dam.
In related news, Britain began training Egyptian spies months ago. Britain has trained spies from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which has a long history of plotting to link the Nile to Egypt. The training, conducted by MI6, took place at a military base in Brightford. The training, which was attended by highly selected intelligence experts, covered a wide range of issues, including the role of the media, security policy and intelligence exchange, and so on. Most recently, in June, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, announced his position in Parliament in 2002. “The problems in Africa are not Britain’s fault. The problem is not that we are colonialists, it is that we are left our colonialist role in Africa,” he wrote. The fact that he is a leader today shows that he is determined to revive the conspiracy of the existing nightmares.
Another is the visit of the Somaliland Foreign Minister to Turkey. The Minister will discuss with his Turkish counterpart the recent reconciliation process between Djibouti and Somaliland. According to the Somaliland Standard. “the Somaliland delegates visit to Turkey came took place soon after the news reports about the Egyptian delegates request to launch its military base in waters of Hargeisa.”
Worth to recall, in 2019, Egypt was plotting to bring Uganda closer to South Sudan over the Renaissance Dam. Even though the nations deny it. In fact, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has openly supported the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. He has even criticized Egypt’s propaganda as if there are possibility of using force against Ethiopia. Museveni also said “No African country wants to harm Egypt, but there should be no way Egypt can harm black African countries,”.
The bottom line
Al-Sisi’s recent speech which seems cooperative should not ignore Ethiopia’s curiosity in the Horn. In fact, it must raise the “Why?” And “How!” questions more than ever. In Relation to this, Dr. Badr Hassan Shafei, an Egyptian political scientist and African studies specialist, made it clear in his article a year ago titled “Egypt in between the Horn of Africa” that Egypt’s strategic alliance with the Horn of Africa is a key strategy to pressure the Renaissance Dam negotiations. “Egypt’s role in the Horn of Africa,” he said, referring to Egypt’s loss of its former ally, Eritrea, by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and that the only option left was to intervene in Ethiopia’s ethnic conflict.
…. “Egypt’s loss of one of the most important pressure cards on Ethiopia, i.e Eritrea. (According to the Ethiopian narrative, Egypt used to provide support to the Oromo Front. ….. Cairo practiced pressures on Addis Ababa in pressuring it to accept its demands regarding the GERD … ” The doctor also said that the region will be used as a tool.
“Within the countries of the Horn of Africa” or even the inter-developments, where Egypt has taken certain positions with respect to these developments in the light of its various strategic interests …..
The essays I reviewed to explore the recommendations made by scholars suggest that Ethiopia should partner with other countries in the Horn of Africa. The most courageous scholar of Ethiopia known to stand by his beloved Ethiopia to confront the previous three regimes, Professor Mesfin Woldemariam, has also important recommendations 9 years before. In his book produced in Amharic titled “The Danger Circled Horn of Africa”, advises Ethiopia to stop the negative interference against its neighbours, instead to only focus the already started developmental corporations so as to partner them.
I also have seen several studies on geostrategic issues, in this regard, As recommended by Richard Downie, a geostrategic scientist in Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
“Over the last 2 years Abiy’s political skill and bravery has created an opportunity to set a new course for his country and the wider region. As a trusted ally of Ethiopia, the United States should use his efforts to support peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa. Strengthen its relationship with Addis Ababa, and reset relations with Eritrea.”
The results show that Somaliland and Somalia could become closer together than the previous two and three decades.In light of recent alarming connections between Egypt and South Sudan, Juba tell Ethiopia that it has been favored by Ethiopia since the the conception of its struggle for independence. whether ‘from the heart or from the tongue’.
And a few days ago, while Somaliland who argue over the reports about military base deal with the Egyptian delegation, headed to Turkey, and I guess that its to deal with Ankara on how to handle Egypt’s request so as to keep fulfilling the interests of its provider of hundreds of millions of dollar since recent years. Of course, I do not think Erdogan will allow Somaliland to accept the proposal of Turkeys battling opponent in the Mediterranean to further expand its influence in the Bab-El-Mandeb.
The Horn of Africa’s geopolitical crisis does not end with such brief overview. However, it is important to emphasise on the strategic advantage of the hopeful efforts of Abiy Ahmed to cooperate for mutual peace and development with the neighbouring Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, South-Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya etc.
The initiatives with IGAD and other regional member states have also attracted other partner states like the Saudi Arabia. In particular, PM Abiy’s articles on “wide-ranging transformative economic and political reform in Ethiopia” and “regional integration initiative in the Horn of Africa region” were presented during a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. According to several analysts “this initiatives will create more opportunities not only for Ethiopia, but also for all nations in the horn, for the US and the middle east.
By Esleman Abay is Ethiopian journalist working in Ethiopian State TV, ETV
Among the References: