Water Wars

Ethiopia has built a huge dam with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters. This dam lies at the source of the Blue Nile river and is aimed primarily at generating power. For Ethiopia this dam will be a life saver for it will supply electricity to over 86 million Ethiopians who currently live without it.

But there is much controversy over this dam and its effect on riparian counties. The last round of negotiations failed and Egypt’s worries have increased over their water rights, as much of the water that has historically flowed into the Nile Delta will be diverted.

Egyptian journalist and political analyst Mohamad Fawzy says ”Egypt is a country that suffers from scarcity of water and building this dam, the GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) according to the Ethiopian vision will pose a direct threat to Egypt’s water as allocated in previous agreements and treaties, which gave Egypt 55 billion cubic meters. The crux of the Egyptian stance is that Ethiopian right in development should not happen on behalf of Egypt’s water and national security–human security in general in the Nile Valley".

Mr. Fawzy goes on to say that the “latest round of negotiations failed when Sudan (a riparian country) offered a suggestion of how negotiations about the dam should be followed. Sudan suggested that a greater role be given to experts in the African Union in an attempt to reach a satisfactory solution to all parties involved. This suggestion was not met with consensus by Egypt or Ethiopia as they saw this issue as matter between the three countries only. Mr. Fawzy goes on and says “In general the last round of negotiations failed as other previous rounds had failed due to the obstinate and uncooperative Ethiopian outlook in regards to the water issue.

Ethiopia tries to pass the matter of the dam strictly as one to do with sustainable development while in reality through the GERD it is engineering for itself a new balance in the area even if this comes at the cost of creating many problems in that region.

Previously when President Nasser was alive relations between Egypt and Ethiopia were much better as Nasser was aware of the vital importance of the Nile Basin and that is why he strengthened ties with the riparian countries. He also greatly supported African independence movements, which further consolidated Egypt’s position in the continent. After the death of Nasser there was negligence of ties with Africa as Egypt sought other ties with the West and America-so previously friendly African countries were left in limbo and that presented Israel with a golden opportunity to step in where Egypt had vacated.

Athanasios Konstantinou to ST: The EU's Sanctions against Syria's Foreign Minister will only make positive communication more difficult

The decision that was adopted yesterday by the European Union (EU) on adding Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Faisal Al-Miqdad to its sanction list  will only make positive communication and dialogue more difficult, especially when it targets an established diplomat like Mr. Al-Miqdad, according to Member of European Parliament Athanasios Konstantinou.

Wind turbines in the occupied Syrian Golan

Wind turbines in the Golan wreaking havoc on nature destroying the picaresque beauty of the villages and most importantly seizing farmlands and so depriving the farmers of the Golan from cultivating their land.

The company that will set up the wind turbines is called Energix Renewable Energies which of course is an Israeli company. No amount of protesting or demonstrating that the people of the Golan did had any effect on the Israeli decision

Lawyers, activists and human rights organizations all signed a petition of over 5000 names in protest against the implementation of the project.

 Up to 25 huge wind turbines will be erected in the occupied Syrian Golan on an area of approximately 3674 Dunums.

Each turbine is about 200 meters in height with a base that covers 600 M2.

Israeli defiance of the UN ruling on Golan Heights is reinforced by America

The Syrian Golan, a hilly area covering 1860 square KM with fertile soil and plenty of water.

The modern history of the Golan witnessed poverty (during the time of the Ottoman Empire) and then occupation and annexation by Israel. 

The Arab inhabitants of the Golan unequivocally and continuously demand the return of the Golan to the motherland Syria, but Israel’s   illegal annexation of part of the Golan in 1981 (which was not acknowledged by any country-UN Security Council Resolution 497 declared “null and void and without international legal effect”) showed that Israel harbored no desire for peace.

Rest In Peace Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk is a British journalist who visited Syria many times before and after 2011. He was one of the rare western journalists who attempted to judge the situation as it was truly on the ground without having a pre written scenario in his mind.

He is known to have tracked down documents that prove the Saudi connection to extremist Islamic fighters in Syria. How Saudi funded them, yet denied it all along.

He was the first western journalist to document the massacre of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila by Israel in 1982.

When travelling in Syria he interviewed generals and ministers and gave an interview to Syrian state television.

He wrote many books about the region of the Middle East in general.