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Ethiopians in Egypt complain of Renaissance Dam backlash
Members of Ethiopia's persecuted Oromo tribe protest harassment in Egypt and criticise building of controversial Renaissance Dam
Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Jun 2013
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Ethiopians protest in front of United Nations Commissioner for Refugees
Tens of Ethiopians protest in front of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees on Sunday against Ethiopian government for building the Renaissance Dam (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic Language news website)

Tens of Ethiopian refugees protested on Sunday against harassment in Egypt outside the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 6th of October City.

The protesters, members of the Oromo tribe who fled Ethiopia due to political and ethnic persecution, also spoke out against Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam.

Abdel-Kader Goumy, one of the protesters, told Al-Ahram's Arabic language news website that the Renaissance Dam is intended to generate electricity, and, as such, there is no reason it should be built on the Nile, rather than on Ethiopia's other rivers.

"The tribe supports Egypt's right not to be adversely affected [by the dam]... Addis Ababa is not in need of water, rather it aims to build the dam for political purposes," he added.

Yehia Mohamed, another Ethiopian refugee belonging to the Oromo tribe, said, "Sunday's protest comes after we have suffered harassment by some Egyptians due to the Ethiopian government's decision to build the Renaissance Dam."

Mohamed explained that the Oromo have sought political asylum in countries such as Egypt, Kenya, and Somalia in order to flee sectarian persecution.

He also added that the Ethiopian government excludes the Oromo from all decision-making, including the decision to build the Renaissance Dam.

Protesters lifted Egyptian and Ethiopian flags, declaring their refusal to support a dam that will "damage Egypt and will not help Ethiopia."

On Wednesday, Egypt will demand that Ethiopia halts building on the dam, according to Reuters, citing a senior Egyptian government aide. If so, this will ramp up confrontation over a project that Egypt fears will affect its main source of water.

Ethiopia set off alarm bells in Cairo last week when it began diverting a stretch of the Blue Nile to make way for the $4.7 billion hydroelectric plant.

The Nile riparian countries have argued over the use of the Niles' waters for decades – and analysts have repeatedly warned that these disputes could boil over into war.

The high stakes around this issue were highlighted Monday when senior Egyptian politicians were caught on camera advising President Mohamed Morsi to take hostile action against the project. One advisor went on to suggest that Cairo destroy the dam.

Egypt, which has been involved in years of troubled diplomacy with Ethiopia and other upstream countries, said Ethiopia must halt work on the dam.

"Demanding that Ethiopia stop construction of the dam it plans to build on the Blue Nile will be our first step," said Pakinam El-Sharkawy, the presidential aide for political affairs, in comments carried by the state news agency MENA.

"The national committee that will be formed to deal with this issue will determine the steps that Egypt has to take," she explained. 

The Oromo make up 35 percent of the population in Ethiopia.

 

Correction: The percentage of Oromo in Ethiopia is 35 and not 45.





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34



Ljalem Mulusew
04-08-2013 05:03pm
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Nothing will let us stop...
We Ethiopians know what to do not in favor of the world. There were times that we were so important for the world more than any country. Now, we are working to restore our history and will go ahead. OMG!! You, who are speaking to be Ethiopians should think as Habesha. Habesha people are known by their critical thoughts, not by such shammy ideas.
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33



Dr.Samir Radwan
12-06-2013 10:22pm
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For our neighbourhood, long history , common and good relations please stop building the dam and work to-gether for the welfare of the two countries
As an Egyptian , and every Egyptian is African, I call the prime minister of Ethiopia to stop building the dam and to -coperate for doing something that benefit both of the two countries. Thanks in advance . Dr.Samir Abdul Hamid Radwan - Al-Azhar University.
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Ayewa Belay Mandefrot
15-06-2013 11:23am
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Dear Dr.
Where have you been when we starve and millions of people died as a result.What is that you are going to loose?Have ever asked our agreement when you build the Aswan or any other development on the Nile river?You know let me tell you a joke that has been passes to me by my ancesstors."A donkey was drinking water at the top of the mountain and the heyena at the bottom.The heyenea wanted to eat the donkey.Hence, it warns the donkey not to spoil the water flowing downwards."The same history you are telling us.You better think like a Doctor if you have got really the PHD not like a hyppotamus..
32



ezye
12-06-2013 10:53am
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ETHIOPIANS ARE NOT FULL
This is egyptptians game which is plan to divide Ethiopia i am oromo and i am ethiopian i have one nation ETHIOPIA SORRY EGYPT
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Dagimawi
24-06-2013 02:41pm
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special thank to Ezye
u r correct we r 1 ,no 1 gamling on us,we need 2 work hard on our unity.
31



Amen Gudissa
12-06-2013 10:43am
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Please don't speak for us.
these tens of Oromos in Egypt doesn't represent other Ethiopians or specifically Ethiopian Oromos. They are just cooking their Asylum.
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30



nini
10-06-2013 04:50pm
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Nile is from Ethiopia and for Ethiopians
Our Dam will be finished.and all Ethiopians will hv better life.Nile is Ethiopian own property.
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29



Berhanu S.
10-06-2013 10:51am
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Egypt is no adversely affected
First of all, these tens protesters are not good Ethiopian. They do not have eyes to see positive things rather than only dreaming the death of all Ethiopians. We have to think again and again as human being. How do you think we have to wander here and there to get necessities giving our resource to neighbors? But we are thinking not for ourselves, we think also for Sudanese and Egyptian. Please you some Egyptians, not all, think further. The Abay's water is more than enough for Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt if we use properly. So that, we don't have to think negatively or self centered. Berhanu S.
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28



samuel shifa
10-06-2013 10:30am
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We will build the dam!!
If you attack us, we will permanently divert our river to indian ocean through Oromia, and Somali regions.
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27



Gurbattii
10-06-2013 10:07am
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correction
Oromo's percentage in Ethiopia is not less than 40 at least. The other correction is that Oromo is not a "tribe" but a nation. Oromo itself has many tribes.
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26



Haile
10-06-2013 08:27am
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Copts and Eritreans are
Hey then Ethiopia will pull the Coptic card who are suffering from Egyptian Muslims. Hey Copts we Ethiopians are with you. Eritrean Copt's also are with Ethiopians.
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25



jamal
10-06-2013 03:25am
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correction on oromo stories
Oromos are not a tribe in Ethiopia, we are a nation like Palestine who are under Israelis who took their land. Our country is under occupation by Habashas. Second, the flage they're carrying is oromian not Ethiopians. 83% of Nile water comes out of oromia ( wwww.oromoliberationfront.org) for acurassy of your reports. Please lets us know how to make a regime change in Addis Ababa (Finfine) otherwise this is going to be the losess opportunity of a life time.
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nathi
06-04-2014 03:55pm
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advice
pls i bage u , do't die wz ur complex, lets try to use ur pumpken head .ethiopiaa is for all ethiopians . oromo, amahar, tigraye, somalia . south nation etc we ar ethiopians We togather buld dame as wel as hole countery no ethincety

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