The failure and collapse that Ethiopia is experiencing at all levels is the most prominent issue today. Certainly, it will also be the most important topic of the next phase, which coincides with the inauguration of Abi Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, for a fifth term.
The repercussions of the failure were manifested in Ahmed’s overthrow of a number of ministers in the new government, which won the approval of the Ethiopian Parliament. The most prominent ministers who were ousted, Minister of Irrigation and Water Selshi Bekele, as well as the Minister of Defense Qana Yadda. Without a doubt, the failure in the file of the Renaissance Dam, whether from a technical or negotiating point of view and the defeat of the Ethiopian army in the Tigray Party, were both the direct reasons for the overthrow of the Ministers of Defense and Irrigation.
According to published reports, Ethiopia failed to complete the second filling of the Renaissance Dam, as the dam was to be filled with an average of 13 billion cubic meters of water, but the technical defects in the Renaissance Dam forced Ethiopian officials to stop filling only 3 billion cubic meters. Thus, the total water stored in the Renaissance Dam does not exceed 8 billion cubic meters.
Regarding the internal situation, the failure in the Tigray war, which began 11 months ago, caused the overthrow of “Yada”. This is because the latter caused the collapse of the Ethiopian army, which led to his escape in late June from the city of Meklei, the capital of the Tigray region, after the capture of 8,000 Ethiopian soldiers, and the spread of video clips of Ethiopian soldiers captured by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
This coincided with warnings issued by a new scientific study of the dangers of the collapse of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, on the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan. This is after subsidence was detected at the project site, amid doubts regarding the safety of the dam.
This study was prepared by a research team that includes the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, Professor of Remote Sensing and Earth Systems Sciences at Champagne University in the United States of America, and Dr. Amr Fawzy in the Nile Protection Sector of the Ministry of Irrigation, along with 4 researchers at universities and international bodies. The study included about 109 vertical sights from December 2016 to July 2021, using radar ray technology. The time series resulting from the analysis clearly indicates “different-directional displacements in different sections of the concrete (main) dam as well as the earth dam (saddle or auxiliary dam). The analysis of the data at the site of the construction of the Renaissance Dam shows “an inconsistent drop in the outskirts of the main dam, especially the western side of the dam, where different displacements ranging from 10 mm to 90 mm were recorded at the top of the dam.”
The study also confirmed that the filling of the Renaissance Dam is taking place at a rapid rate, without sufficient known analysis on the potential effects on the body of the structure. The study added that filling not only affects the hydrology of the Blue Nile Basin, water storage, and flow but also poses major risks in the event of a collapse.
This failure is largely expected from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was taught how to escape from his crises. That president who, since assuming power nearly 5 years ago, has not achieved any achievement for the people, as he had previously promised the Ethiopians to revive peace, democracy, and prosperity, but now he is facing the problem of losing confidence in him by a large part of the population of his country and by the main Western allies as well.
The scene in the country of the Renaissance Dam has become more complex than it appears on the surface. Several months ago, the United States, which was a staunch ally of Addis Baba, imposed visa restrictions on some Ethiopian personalities over what it described as their opposition to “a solution to the crisis in the Tigray region”, and imposed restrictions on economic and security assistance.
Between internal and external quarrels, fabricated and real crises, Ethiopia practices a policy characterized by confusion and duplicity. We may not go beyond the truth if we say that this government has actually begun to sink into a swamp of quicksand that it may not escape from like its predecessors.
So far, Ethiopia is still indifferent to the international difficulties it may face at the present time. Indeed, Ethiopia has severe crises and internal and border problems that no national or non-national government can overcome, whether by finding solutions or by jumping on them.