FROM DR. BEKELE GESSESSE ([email protected])
In my open letter last year, addressed to the Sudanese and Egyptian Governments, I re-iterated Ethiopia’s repeated assurances that her building of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will not affect your interest. I begged you to come to your good senses and try to be fair. I reminded you that unnecessary conflicts would not be to any one’s interest and called for good friendship, peace and mutual cooperation.
I am absolutely devastated with the news that your forces have illegally crossed Ethiopian borders from 15 December 2020 and committed the following crimes, among others:
- Use of mechanised army and occupation of an area of up to 40 km fertile land, including Guangua Mlash, mainly between Humera and Metema
- Rampant killings
- Looting, burning and destruction of properties, including farm machinery, crops and livestock worth millions (roughly estimated at over £25 million)
- Displacement of thousands of innocent local farmers
Innocent Ethiopian farmers in those areas are sick and tired of the repeated attacks by your militias and Janjaweed mercenaries.
I am totally against what appears to be the following unwise scenarios:
- Trying to take advantages of internal conflicts
- Trying to depend on the impositions of colonial agents such as Major Charles Gwynn of 1902 to which none of the Ethiopian Governments have officially agreed, and
- Pressure from historical de-stabilizing external forces
Ethiopia’s historical friendship and contributions:
- Ethiopia is not your enemy. She has been reaching for you whenever you had internal troubles – from the Anyanya movement and SPLA and peace keeping force in Darfur to the recent establishment of a Provisional Government. You were expected to pay back in the same manner.
- Ethiopian waters through the Blue Nile (estimated to be over 85% of the Nile) are lifelines to both of you – Sudan and Egypt – for drinking, agriculture, hydropower generations, etc.
- Hundreds of millions of tons of fertile Ethiopian soils per year from the Blue Nile and its major tributaries from the different parts of the Country – Bashilo, Muger, Jamma, Didessa, Guder, Dabus, etc. it is unthinkable to have crop production without those Ethiopian soils. It is only natural and fair to be grateful.
I went to the Sudan as a young person to save my life. I am grateful to the support rendered to me. I went back and served as a Visiting Lecturer. I have hundreds of Sudanese good friends. Those good spirits need to be maintained.
You know very well that internal conflicts come and go. Being neighbors, we have permanent relations. We need to stand together during hard times. We shall maintain our good friendship. That is the only way out. Wars are destructive no one can benefit from in the long term – they have serious and unforgivable consequences.
I call upon your Authorities to come to your senses and fulfil the following responsibilities:
- Immediate withdrawal from occupied territories
- Pay due compensation to those affected
- Settle border issues in a civilized manner, through a Joint Boarder Commission and
- To be free from becoming tools of external aggressors