Ethiopia Signed The Declaration of Principles Out of Fear of Egypt Support for Eritrea: Former TPLF Official
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi (L), Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn shake hands during a meeting in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on March 23. AFP
By Prof. Al Mariam
According to Ermias Legesse, a former deputy communications minister under the notorious Bereket Simon, currently in exile, the reasons for the T-TPLF to sign the “Declaration” have little to do with building trust, cooperation, etc., but quintessentially with regime survival. It has to do with keeping the T-TPLF in power for as long as possible. It has to do with enriching the T-TPLF’s business empire, the Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT).
Ermias argues the T-TPLF signed the “Declaration” to appease Egypt into not supporting armed regime opponents in Ethiopia and cutoff financial support to Eritrea, fend off pressure from the international donors and loaners, and ultimately to use the “Declaration” as a beggar’s bowl to snag more aid and loans. Ermias suggests the T-TPLF is so cash-strapped that the GERD is probably in the hole by over USD$3 billion. The T-TPLF has no money for the numerous projects it has mindlessly launched. Most importantly, the T-TPLF has very little foreign exchange reserves. (According to the IMF, the T-TPLF, as of June 2014, does not even “have foreign exchange reserves [equivalent] to 3 months of imports.”)
Ermias makes a compelling argument that the GERD is essentially a project launched to benefit the T-TPLF, EFFORT and their supporters. There is no question that the GERD boondoggle from the beginning has been a windfall, Manna-from-the sky for the T-TPLF and its business arm EFFORT. The suppliers of building materials – cement, steel, lumber – are directly or indirectly connected to EFFORT, as are transportation and logistical service providers. The GERD could be the biggest payday for EFFORT if it ever came online. But the GERD is in deep financial distress now. It’s best for EFFORT to take their money and run!
Ethiopia Signed The Declaration of Principles Out of Fear of Egypt Support for Eritrea: Former TPLF Official Reviewed by Admin on 10:57 AM Rating: