Ethiopia deserves its fair share of the Nile water to lift its people out of poverty!

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Ethiopia deserves its fair share of the Nile river to lift its people out of poverty. Only a win-win negotiation will enable all parties achieve satisfactory results and a lasting agreement of a fair and equitable use of the common resource.

Citizens of Ethiopia, the global Ethiopian Diaspora community and friends of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian-American community would like to shine a light on the current impasse that resulted from the last round of negotiations with Sudan and Egypt on the fair use of the Nile river that is shared by the three nations, pertaining to the GERD dam, where the dam is expected to go in to production in the next few months.

As Ethiopian Americans who have a great interest in the US-Ethiopian relations, we welcomed the involvement of the United States to resolve this impasse in the Nile negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.  However, we are gravely concerned by recently circulated media reports that this process has effectively ended and the consensus-building efforts of the previous rounds of negotiations have been tabled due to unfair and rushed decisions made by the United State that could adversely affect Ethiopia.

Here are the facts:

- Ethiopia contributes 80% of the total water flow of the Nile

- With population of over 110 million, Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest nation.

- 60% of the Ethiopian Population does not have access to electricity

- The GERD will help in poverty reduction in Ethiopia

-  As a hydro-electric generation dam, the dam does not cause permanent reduction in the water that flows downstream

- Studies confirm that the dam will benefit downstream countries by regulating the water flow thereby avoiding flooding and seasonal fluctuations

- GERD is fully financed by the People of Ethiopia with no donor or outside financing

With a deep sense of understanding over the concerns of the downstream nations of Sudan and Egypt, Ethiopia took a commendable initiative to successfully harness confidence by signing the Declaration of Principles (DoP) in March 2015. The cornerstones of the DoP were to foster cooperation based on understanding, common interest, good intention and the principle of international law.

We believe that the United States Administration and the World Bank have become parties to a neo-colonial treaty that subjects Ethiopia to undue external interference and control in its internal affairs. These entities should also take full responsibility for any future crisis that will be engendered by this rushed and ineffective approach. Their entrance into the mediation process has already undercut decades of efforts to develop multilateral, cooperative approaches for developing the Nile through the Nile Basin Initiative. We also question the motives and independence of the US administration, especially considering its evident desire to solicit Egyptian endorsement for the "deal of the century peace plan".

We find historic parallel between this biased position taken by the US administration and the Treaty of Wuchale of May 2, 1889 surrounding sovereignty issue that lead to the battle of Adwa and, fortify years later on the onset of the World War II, on the decision of European powers at the League of nations sacrificing Ethiopia to appease Mussolini’s Fascist Italy.

Ethiopians collectively object the United States and World Bank's role of such unfair and unjust pressure on Ethiopia. The framework established in the Declaration of Principles must resume without the coercion and interference of the US and the World Bank. Therefore, we commend and support Ethiopia's refusal to sign the proposed agreement and demand the US and World Bank to cease their undue pressure on Ethiopia to relinquish its national sovereignty.

In order to protect Ethiopia’s rights, we ask you to lend your voice and join our effort in defense of Ethiopia by signing this petition and encourage others to do the same.

Long Live Ethiopia in Freedom and Honor