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Egyptian protesters carry an injured comrade from the site of clashes with security forces, unseen, near the U.S.
Since a 14-minute trailer for the movie, called The Innocence of Muslims, was posted on YouTube by its American producers, turmoil has spread across the Muslim world.Hillary Clinton today called the film ' an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with'. THE BLACK FLAG OF ISLAMA black flag is said to have been carried by the Prophet Mohammed and is frequently used as a symbol of the Islamic faith.Many extremist groups have adopted a black flag with white Arabic inscriptions as their symbol. The Egyptian authorities had erected large concrete blocks to block the route to the embassy and deployed hundreds of police.
Several demonstrators - some bearded Islamists wearing traditional gallabiya robes and others youths and young men in T-shirts and jeans - waved green and black flags with Koranic verses on them. Protesters run as police use water cannons to disperse them at a crossroad leading to the U.S. Watch new and more than 300 Ethiopian movies when you want, as much as you want on TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer. In the fall of 2012 newspapers around the world reported on a Wikileaks document, surreptitiously acquired from Stratfor, the Texas security company, revealing Egyptian and Sudanese plans to build an airstrip for bombing a dam in the Blue Nile River Gorge in Ethiopia.
Whether or not there were such plans in 2012, there is a long history of threats and conflicts in the Nile River Basin.
Today, however, Ethiopia is building the Grand Renaissance Dam and, with it, Ethiopia will physically control the Blue Nile Gorge—the primary source of most of the Nile waters.
The stakes could not be higher for the new leaders in Egypt and Ethiopia, President Mohamed Morsi and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as well as Sudan’s long-time President, Omar El Bashir. Despite the extraordinary importance of the Nile to people downstream, the origin of the great river was a mystery until the middle twentieth century. The 11th century Arab geographer al-Bakri postulated West African origins, confusing the Niger River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean, with the Nile River. Further south up the White Nile in the lakes and rivers of Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the Egyptian cultural influence is less pronounced, due to the Sudd, a gigantic and impassable swamp which absorbs waters from the equatorial lake tributaries. Not until the 20th century did it become clear that the Nile is part of a vast river system with dozens of tributaries, streams, and lakes, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the remote mountains of Burundi, in tropical central Africa, and to the highlands of Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia and Egypt have had a long relationship of both harmony and discord, the latter the result of religious issues and access to Nile water, among other factors. Ethiopia’s first well documented government was in Aksum, a city-state that controlled a large empire from the Ethiopian highlands across the Red Sea to Yemen. The cultural relationship between Egypt and Ethiopia was institutionalized when the Aksumite King Ezana converted to Christianity in 330 C.E.
Ethiopians were profoundly influenced by the Middle East, even writing their state and geography into Bible stories. When Menelik became an adult, despite his father’s wish that he become the next King of Israel, he escaped to Ethiopia with the Ark of the Covenant—the cabinet which contained the tablets of the ten commandments given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. The first Egyptian to write about the potential for an Ethiopian diversion of the Nile was the 13th century Coptic scholar Jurjis al-Makin (d. Stories about Ethiopia’s power over the Nile inspired the 14th century European legend of Prester John, a wealthy Christian Ethiopian priest king. But conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia continued, often as proxy wars between Christians and Muslims on Ethiopia’s northern or southeastern borderlands. In the nineteenth century Egypt and Ethiopia fought over control of the Red Sea and upper Nile Basin. In the late nineteenth century, since controlling Egypt was the key to Asian wealth, and since Egypt depended on the Nile, controlling the source of the Nile became a major colonial goal. The French conceived of the idea of building a dam on the White Nile, so as to undermine British influence further downriver and establish east-west control of the continent. The British heard of the French expedition, and, having just captured Khartoum ordered a fleet of gun boats and steamers with soldiers under the leadership of General Horatio Herbert Kitchener upriver to Fashoda, the site of the proposed dam. First called the Garstin Cut and later the Jonglei Canal, the British intended to create a channel that would maximize water transfer through the great swamp (where half of it evaporated). One of the most expensive engineering projects in Africa, it was terminated in 1984 by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, because of the severe disruption it brought to the lives of the indigenous upper Nile peoples. Treaty negotiations about Nile waters started during the colonial era as England tried to maximize agricultural productivity in the delta.
In 1902 the British secured from the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II an agreement to consult with them on any Blue Nile water projects, especially on Lake Tana. After achieving its independence in 1922, Egypt negotiated the Nile Waters Agreement of 1929 with the East African British colonies.
The 1959 Nile Waters Agreement between Egypt and Sudan was completed before all the upriver states achieved independence: Tanganika (1961), Uganda (1962), Rwanda (1962), Burundi (1962), and Kenya (1963). The treaty also allowed for the construction of the Aswan High Dam (completed in 1971), the Roseires Dam (completed 1966 on the Blue Nile in Sudan), and the Khashm al-Girba Dam (completed in 1964 on the Atbara River in Sudan). The treaty so negatively affected the upriver states that it provided the inspiration for the Nyerere Doctrine, named after independent Tanzania’s first president, which asserted that former colonies had no obligation to abide by treaties signed for them by Great Britain.
Emperor Haile Selassie was offended by President Nasser’s exclusion of Ethiopia in the Nile Waters Agreement and in planning for building the Aswan Dam. He also began planning for several dams on the Blue Nile and its tributaries, contributing $10 million dollars from the Ethiopian treasury towards a study by the U.S.
Nasser responded by encouraging Muslims in Eritrea (reunified with Ethiopia after World War II) to secede from Ethiopia. In the middle of the 1980s, rains failed in the Ethiopian highlands, causing a serious water crisis upriver and downriver.
As a result, Egyptians came to understand that their great Aswan Dam had not solved their historic dependency on upriver Nile water. Then in the 1990s the Ethiopian rains returned and, remarkably, Hosni Mubarak redoubled efforts begun during the Sadat administration to build the Toshka Canal, one of the world’s most expensive and ambitious irrigation projects. A proposal for “equitable shares” was again put forward in the 1999 Nile Basin Initiative, which included all the affected countries. In 2010, six upstream countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania) signed a Cooperative Framework Agreement seeking more water shares.
One lesson from the last century of mega-dam building is that upriver countries have the most power when negotiating water rights. The biggest of Ethiopia’s water projects, the Grand Renaissance Dam, will have a reservoir holding 67 billion cubic meters of water—twice the water held in Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake—and is expected to generate 6000 megawatts of electricity. Ethiopians hope these water projects—which extend to 2035 with other Nile tributaries and river systems—will lift their country out of poverty. Part of Ethiopia’s challenge is that 85 percent of the workforce is in agricultural commodities that bring low profits.
If Ethiopia cannot use its elevation and seasonal rains for hydro-electric power and irrigation, what is it to do?
The state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation optimistically reports that the Grand Renaissance Dam will be completed in 2015 at a cost of nearly 5 billion dollars. The World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Chinese Import-Export Bank, and the African Development Bank provided financing for some of the other dams; but concerns about the environmental and political impact of this latest dam have discouraged lenders.
The International Monetary Fund suggested that Ethiopia put the dam on a slow track, arguing that the project will absorb 10% of Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product, thus displacing other necessary infrastructure development. Nevertheless the Ethiopian government insists that it will stick with its schedule and finance the project domestically.

The Ethiopians also argue that the new dam will be a source of hydroelectric power for the entire region and will manage flood control at a critical juncture where the Nile Gorge descends from the Ethiopian highlands to the Sahel, thus reducing risk of flooding and siltation, extending the life of the dams below stream. If the question of Nile waters was sensitive in the centuries before 1900, when Ethiopia and Egypt each had populations of 10 million or less, what will happen over the next twenty years, as their populations each surpass 100 million and the collective population of the Nile River Basin countries reaches 600 million? Ethiopia will then have the power to claim its water shares, with the backing of all the upriver states. The minister made the appeal while briefing the press on NBI's 21st Nile Council Of Ministers meeting scheduled for 20 June 2013 at Juba Grand Hotel. NBI is a regional bloc within the River Nile basin comprising of Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda formed to develop, manage the waters of River Nile in an equitable and sustainable manner to ensure prosperity, security and peace for its entire people. The minister said Egypt and Sudan cannot settle their difference on the River Nile through isolation. The 1929 Nile Water agreement gives Sudan and Egypt 12 and 66 percent say over the general management and usage of the Nile waters. The South Sudanese Water Minister said construction of a dam by Ethiopia is its legitimate right but called for amicable solution between the two countries. On question of whether Egypt will not complain about South Sudan's plans of building a dam at Fulla Falls in Nimule, Eastern Equatoria State (EES), Mayom said Egypt does not have any grounds to reject the project.
He appealed to the members of NBI to give the regional bloc continuous support for the benefit of the people. This month, South Sudan's Minister of Water resources would take over the chair of the Nile Council of Ministers of NBI from his Rwandese counterpart Amb.
South Sudan is set to sign an agreement that would replace a colonial-era law that gave most of the River Nile's waters to Egypt and Sudan, local media have reported. The signing of the Cooperative Framework Agreement of the Nile Basin countries, sometimes known as the Entebbe agreement, is likely to be signed and ratified at the Nile Water Summit in Juba on Thursday. Paul Mayom Akec, South Sudan's Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, said earlier in the week that the signing of the agreement was "inevitable". If signed, South Sudan will be the seventh riparian country to sign the agreement on sharing the Nile waters.
Six other countries have already signed the agreement: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi. Akec said South Sudan would benefit from the agreement by using the Nile River water to construct projects that will bring "prosperity and welfare to its citizens". Akec's statement comes after Mohamed Bahaa al-Din, the Egyptian minister of water and irrigation, said that the agreement was not binding on Egypt, unless and until it became a signatory. Egypt will only sign the agreement once they were able to settle a few points of contention, al-Din said.
On Tuesday, the Egyptian and Ethiopian foreign ministers met in Addis Ababa to discuss their recent row over a hydroelectric dam being constructed by Ethiopia. The countries have been embroiled in a heated dispute after Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile River last month for the construction of the 6,000 megawatt Grand Renaissance Dam. In a joined statement, the Ethiopian and Egyptian foreign ministers decided on another round of talks between ministers and experts in a few weeks to further discuss the dam's effect, if any, on Egypt's Nile water sharing. The 1929 Nile Water agreement gave Egypt 66 percent control over the general management and usage of the Nile waters. Egypt's subsequent deal with Sudan in 1959 divided the Nile waters between the two countries with Egypt entitled to 55.5bn cubic metres of a total of 74bn after evaporation. This, however, is being opposed by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) member countries and, according to the controversial treaty, Ethiopia will be able to build developmental projects along the Nile without prior consent from Egypt.
Established in 1999, the NBI serves as a forum through which member state seeks to develop the River Nile in a cooperative manner, share substantial socio-economic benefits and promote regional peace and security. On Wednesday, Rania Badawy, a talk show host on the privately-owned Tahrir satellite channel, got into a heated argument with Ethiopian envoy Mahmoud Dardir over the Grand Renaissance Dam, a multi-billion hydroelectric dam that has been a source of contention between the two countries for over a year. Khedr said Sunday that the suspended anchorwoman, Maha Bahnasy, would return to the airwaves after Ramadan. Three people were killed on Friday - two in Tunisia and one in Egypt - as protesters battled with police armed with tear gas and rubber bullets and who sometimes fired into the air to try ward off the demonstrators from American embassies.
Over the past century both of these desert countries have built several dams and reservoirs, hoping to limit the ravages of droughts and floods which have so defined their histories. Downriver Egypt and Sudan argue that they have historic rights to the water upon which they absolutely depend—and in 1979 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat threatened war on violators of what he saw as his country’s rights to Nile waters. Christian Ethiopian kings have warned Muslim Egyptian sultans of their power to divert waters of the Nile, often in response to religious conflicts. The stakes are perhaps even higher for the millions of people who owe their livelihood and very existence to the Nile’s waters.
Scores of ethnic groups in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan share architecture and engineering, ideas and traditions of religion and political organization, languages and alphabets, food and agricultural practices. Floods between June and September, the months of peak flow, could wipe out entire villages, drowning thousands of people.
The river flow follows regular patterns, increasing between May 17 and July 6, peaking in September, and then receding until the next year. The irrigation projects of the 19th century Ottoman ruler Mohammad Ali allowed year-around cultivation, causing population growth from 4 to 10 million. Herodotus speculated that the Nile arose between the peaks of Crophi and Mophi, south of the first cataract. In 1770 the Scottish explorer James Bruce claimed his discovery of the source in Ethiopia, while in 1862 John Hanning Speke thought he found it in Lake Victoria and the equatorial lakes. The Blue Nile River descends 4501 feet in 560 miles from Lake Tana in the Ethiopian highlands through a deep gorge with crocodiles, hippopotamuses, and bandits to the Sudan border and the savannah. It has also become clear that the volume of water which flows through the Nile is relatively small—a mere two percent in volume of the Amazon’s and fifteen percent of the Mississippi—and mostly (86%) from Ethiopia.
For 16 centuries (until 1959) the Egyptian bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was appointed by the Egyptian patriarch in Alexandria, often under the influence of the Egyptian government. The source of the Blue Nile became the Gihon, one of the four rivers that flowed from the Garden of Eden.
Menelik stored the Ark on an island in Lake Tana—into which the Gihon flows—before it was moved to Aksum, where many Ethiopians believe the Ark remains to this day.
During the Crusades the Ethiopian emperor Lalibela (1190-1225)—who built a new Jerusalem in Ethiopia, safe from Muslim occupation in magnificent, underground rock-hewn churches—threatened retribution by diverting the Tekeze River from its pathway north into Sudan (where it becomes the Atbara and then joins the Nile). In 1510 the legend returned to Ethiopia with Portuguese explorer Alfonso d’ Albuquerque, who considered the possibility of destroying Egypt by diverting the Nile to the Red Sea. The sixteenth century invasion of Ethiopia by Ahmad Gragn, the Muslim imam from the Adal Sultante, was seen as an Egyptian conflict. The climax came in 1876 at the Battle of Gura in present day Eritrea where the Ethiopians delivered a humiliating defeat to the Egyptian army.
Ethiopia defeated the Italians at the Battle of Adwa in 1896 becoming the only African country to retain its independence during the “scramble for Africa.” But colonization created many new states in the Nile Basin (Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanganika) and set off new competition for resources and territory.
After the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt also offered access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
They organized a stupendous pincer movement with one group of soldiers traveling from East Africa across Ethiopia and the other from West Africa across the Congo. Thinking that most of the Nile waters came from the equatorial lakes (Victoria, Albert, Kyoga, and Edward), the English spent enormous energy on plans to increase White Nile water flows.

If the 300 mile-long Jonglei Canal had been completed, it would have increased water flows by nearly 4 billion cubic meters into the White Nile. As the controlling imperial power in East Africa, agreements with Kenya, Tanganika, Sudan, and Uganda were pro forma, internal colonial matters. This accord established Egypt’s right to 48 billion cubic meters of water flow, all dry season waters, and veto-power over any upriver water management projects; newly independent Sudan (1956) was accorded rights to 4 billion cubic meters of water.
He negotiated the 1959 divorce of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church from the Orthodox Church in Alexandria, ending 1600 years of institutional marriage. Department of Reclamation resulting in a seventeen volume report completed in 1964 and titled Land and Water Resources of the Blue Nile Basin: Ethiopia.
One million Ethiopians died as a result of drought and famine—made worse by Civil War with Eritrea. In 1987, after years of hostile rhetoric, the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Ethiopian President Haile Mariam Mengistu replaced the language of threat and confrontation with words of conciliation and cooperation. This plan would take 10% of waters in Lake Nasser to irrigate Egypt’s sandy Western Desert, increasing Egypt’s need for Nile water even if they maintained their 1959 treaty share of 55 billion cubic meters.
The Helsinki Agreement of 1966 proposed the idea of “equitable shares”—and the idea was taken up again in the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.
Unfortunately the initiative did not resolve the conflict between Egypt and Sudan’s claims of historic rights and the upper river states’ claims for equitable shares.
The first of the mega-dams, the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in the United States, cost Mexico water. The Aswan High Dam has disrupted the ecosystems of the river, the delta, and the Mediterranean with results of reduced agricultural productivity and fish stocks. One of the tallest dams in the world was completed in 2009 on the Tekeze River in northern Ethiopia. Similar large dams have produced economic miracles in the United States, Canada, China, Turkey, India, Brazil, and, of course, Egypt. Ethiopia is already leasing land in its southern regions to Saudi Arabia, India, and China for large irrigated water projects—despite severe land shortage in its northern regions—because it does not have the funds to develop this land on its own.
As of 2013, the project is 13% complete, suggesting that it may be many years and billions of dollars before the dam is finished.
It probably will secure more help from China, a loyal ally and the world’s major developer of hydroelectric power. They contend that storing water in the deep Blue Nile Gorge would reduce evaporation, increasing water flows downstream. What happens while the reservoir behind the Grand Renaissance Dam is filling up, when water flow may be reduced 25 % for three years or more?
When the Grand Renaissance Dam closes its gates on the Blue Nile River, whether it is in 2015 or 2025, the time for a final reckoning will have arrived. Paul Mayom Akec has urged Sudan and Egypt to reconsider their position in the affairs of the Nile Waters and membership to the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). The shift to hydro power serves our environment because instead of using trees for power, we use hydro power," he argued. She then thanked him and abruptly ended the call, as his voice trailed off in an attempt to reply. Now Ethiopia, one of eight upriver states and the source of most of the Nile waters, is building the largest dam in Africa. Upriver Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania argue that they too need the water that originates on their lands.
Floods also brought the brown silt that nourished the delta, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, feeding not only Egypt but many of its neighbors.
But the river volume is very unpredictable, as documented by nilometers (multi-storied structures built in the river to measure water heights). Since the opening of the Aswan High Dam in 1971, Egypt’s population has increased from about 30 to 83 million. Despite the efforts of scores of intrepid adventurers, the Blue Nile in Ethiopia was not successfully navigated until 1968 by a team of British and Ethiopian soldiers and civilians equipped by the Royal Military College of Science. Another Ethiopian legend is that Mary and Jesus stayed a night on that same island (Tana Cherquos) during their flight from the Holy Land to Egypt. Because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church remained subordinate to the Orthodox Church in Alexandria, and Egypt had become a Muslim country, Ethiopians became suspicious and resentful of the control Egypt had on the appointment of their Christian bishop (abun).
In 1513 d’Albuquerque even asked the Portuguese king for workers skilled in digging tunnels. For the British control of Egypt meant more profitable trade with India, its richest colony. In 1899 the two colonial powers reached an agreement which designated to France the frontiers of the Congo River and to England the frontiers of the White Nile. The Ethiopian monarch was not consulted—at least in part because no one understood how much Nile water actually came from Ethiopia. Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974, and after 1993 Eritrea won independence and Ethiopia became a landlocked country—although it still possessed the headwaters of the Blue Nile.
Egypt averted disaster but Aswan’s turbines were nearly shut down, creating an electric power nightmare; and crops failed in the delta, bringing the real prospect of famine.
It also caused a series of seismic events due to the extreme weight of the water in Lake Nasser, one of the world’s largest reservoirs. Three major dams on the Omo and Gibe Rivers in southern Ethiopia are either completed or nearly so.
It is also one of the world’s poorest countries—174 on the list of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index for 2012. In the context of a difficult history, violence is a possibility, but good solutions for all can be achieved through diplomacy and leadership. Located on the Blue Nile twenty five miles from the Ethiopian border with Sudan, the Grand Renaissance Dam begins a new chapter in the long, bellicose history of debate on the ownership of the Nile waters, and its effects for the entire region could be profound. Successive empires of Pharaohs, Greeks, Romans, Christian Copts, and Muslims celebrated the rising waters of the Nile and dreaded floods or droughts.
Ptolemy suggested the source was the Mountains of the Moon, in what are now called the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda.
Muslim Egyptians also controlled Jerusalem and had the power to expel Ethiopian pilgrims to their holiest of cities. China and Tibet control waters on multiple rivers flowing downstream to India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.
They tore down the Stars and Stripes and replaced it with the symbol of Islam; it remained there for hours before security forces pulled it down. The protesters chanted 'Obama, Obama, we are all Osamas'.One protester was seen throwing a computer out of a window, while others walked away with telephones and computers. A romantic relationship produced a child, Menelik I, the first in Ethiopia’s Solomonic Dynasty.

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