By: Ahmad Tuhami Abd Al-Hay from Sudanese Media Centre 26 November 2006
Translated by: Adib S. Kawar, revised by Mary Rizzo
Some Egyptian parliamentarians and commentators have recently raised the issue of the crisis between Egypt and the Nile basin States, some of whom such as Kenya and Uganda, signatories of the Nile source agreement, expressed their intention to withdraw from it and use the Nile waters as they desire. This brought to attention the dangers of the “Israeli” infiltration in the Nile basin States, which does not cover only Ethiopia as some may believe. This infiltration was extended to cover the rest of the basin States, the relations of which grew to a considerable extent with the Zionist entity since the mid nineties. Researchers believe that these relations reached a stage equal to that between Ethiopia and the Zionist enemy.
The encirclement strategy:
The goals and benefits of the Zionist entity go beyond these relations. Its policy aims at encircling the Nile basin with extensive “Israeli” military and security activities, and establishing an “Israeli” long arm in the region to encircle Egypt and encompass the Nile Basin.
The “Israeli” policy aims at threatening Arab security including of course that of Egypt through increasing “Israel’s” influence in the States controlling the Nile waters at its sources, by concentrating on agricultural projects that rely on pumping its water requirements from Lake Victoria. To reach this goal “Israeli” policy aims at increasing tension between Arab and African States, which shall distract Egypt’s attention away from the Palestinian cause. “Israel” also aims at obtaining facilities for establishing military bases in the Nile basin States and the use of their air and maritime bases, as it got facilities in Ethiopia during its 1967 aggression, and the intend upon using these States as bases for espionage against Arab States and also as markets for its military industrial products, creating local military cadres loyal to it.
Besides these goals, “Israel” had always been interested in solving the problem of getting new water supplies, and diverting part of the Nile waters through the Sinai Peninsula to the Negev Desert. This is an old project, it was first presented by to the British government Herzl in 1903, and these “Israeli” intensive trials were repeated since the 1970s. In spite of the Egyptian governmental and popular rejection of the project, the Zionist State never gave up hope, it is a Zionist dream, awaiting the right occasion for it to come true, and to propose it anew and importune for its fulfillment when the political and economic occasion in the region permits.
This is why “Israeli” policy wants to concentrate its efforts towards the other Nile basin States, especially source States, to overcome the Egyptian rejection. Zionist efforts were intensified to achieve this goal after the failure of its old plans. Reports coming since the beginning of the nineties prove that “Israel” is helping the States that are Nile sources to build dams on the tributaries of the Nile in order to plan new agricultural systems, which will decrease the water supplies flowing towards Egypt. As the diplomatic crisis between “Israel” and Egypt intensified in the middle of the nineties, an “Israeli” Foreign Ministry Department of Planning report suggested punishing Egypt in various forms if it continues to adopt a negative stance towards “Israel”. Among this punishment would be putting the Nile waters on the multilateral discussion agenda; “Israel” had previously agreed on accepting Egypt’s demand not to consider the Nile waters as not being a part of the regional water resources, which are discussed in multilateral negotiations.
The nineties saw dangerous trials to change the international legal basis for the distribution of the river’s waters, completely new concepts were introduced, such as pricing of water and establishing a bank and stock market for water. The project was based on American ideas and those of the International Bank. The Egyptian political elite looks at the American ideas in relation to the Nile sources with extreme caution; because it is connected to supporting “Israeli” aims; the International Bank’s support of them does not make it an impartial party in relation to the water crisis; because it adopts the interests of certain parties such as “Israel”, Ethiopia and Turkey, and just ignores the interests of Arab parties.
This support fits the requirements of Turkey, Ethiopia and “Israel” against the historically obtained rights of Arab States in the Nile basins, as well as that of the Euphrates and the Tigris; thus the only solution for them – to avoid water wars – is to accept giving their water reserves to “Israel”, otherwise they will be denied their water rights; and on the basis of these bargains “Israel” becomes a principal and genuine partner in the development of water sources of the great rivers in the region, through water allying with the sources States, which shall require in this case linking between transporting the water to “Israel”, and cooperating with the river waterway and estuary States.
“The Lakes”… An “Israeli center of Barricading:
“Israel” moves around in the lakes plateau (which is the source of 15% of the Nile waters) through a compilation of integrated lines, and the “Israeli” policy relies on making use and employing an integrated system of mechanisms and ways for its political movement in the region, which encompass:
1- Relying on American help
The United States is working hard on establishing spheres of influence in the Nile sources States and central Africa to either control Central Africa, or to get hold of the major cards for the water problem issues that are expected to explode in the region. This is in addition to the new U.S. policy that broke out in the nineties to confront African Islamic movements, and to circumvent Sudan and Iranian influence.
It is noted that the American policy gives utmost priority to the Nile source States; the group of new leaders patronized by both the United States and “Israel” are the leaders of Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Democratic Congo, Kenya, Tanzania and the popular Army for the Liberation of Sudan.
The Zionist entity played a main role in the American/French competition in central Africa. And in spite of the cordial “Israeli”/French relations, Israel darted in secret maneuvers with Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda and the Tutsi, overcoming France in favor of Washington. Later years showed the extent of relations and strong influence of “Israeli” intelligence, the “Mossad” have in the region as a result of the arms transactions, and the evacuation of the Falasha, “Jewish” Ethiopians, to occupied Palestine. “Israeli” interference angered France; so the French intelligence organization published the details of the Zionist activities in the lakes region in the French press.
2 – “Israel” took advantage of the Arab-African conflicts
“Israel” took advantage of the Somali/Ethiopian, Sudanese/Ethiopian, Sudanese/Eritrean, and the Egyptian/Ethiopian conflicts to reach its goals; and it is continuously instigating African States against Arabs; to make the Nile basin States believe that they are victims of injustice as a result of Arab extravagance in their overuse of water sources; to be followed by “Israeli” economic and diplomatic support to these States.
“Israel” works on creating tension between Arab and African States through the ancient role of Arabs in slavery and exhausting water sources. For example, after the rise in the prices of oil, Joseph Nereri (the brother of the Tanzanian president) during a parliament meeting in June 1974 to complete an agreement with Arabs by the force of which a gallon of water will be sold at the price of a gallon of oil as long as the river sources are in East Africa. In 1996 Uganda criticized Egypt and Sudan for using more than their requirement of water, stressing on its right to use the water sources, it built dams in the basin of Lake Victoria to generate electricity. Also the Kenyan paper, “The East African Standard” warned against the disagreements between Kenya and Egypt due to problems of commerce, and the Nile basin agreement that Kenyans threatened to withdraw from.
3 – Water and agricultural cooperation
“Israel” succeeded with American help in insuring its control on some irrigation projects in the lakes region, were it supplies technical and technological assistance through “Israeli” companies in the field of building dams. It presented detailed studies to Zaire and Rwanda to build three dams, which is a part of a comprehensive program to fully control the waters of the great lakes. “Israeli” experts made soil tests in Rwanda, where “Israel’s” special interest was centered on “Kajera” river, which forms the borderline between Rwanda and Burundi to the northeast.
Uganda and “Israel” signed an agreement in March 2000 during the visit of the “Israeli” Ministry of Agriculture delegation led by the irrigation manager in the ministry, Moshe Don Gholin, working on building irrigation projects in areas affected by draught, and to send a Ugandan delegation to complete the studies of the projects most of which would fall in the North of Uganda near its borders with Sudan and Kenya. Waters flowing out of Lake Victoria will be used for these projects, which shall result in decreasing water flow into the White Nile.
The French language “Indian Ocean News Letter” wrote in February of the same year: “‘Israel’ is interested in building irrigation projects in the Ugandan district of Karamouja near its border with Sudan, where 247 thousand Ugandan hectares could be irrigated annually by the use of two and a half billion cubic meters, while it presently uses only 207 million cubic meters to irrigate 32 thousand hectares.
The danger of Israel’s presence in the upper Nile States is not limited to help extended by its experts and technical cooperation for projects as it is extended to economical and agricultural cooperation by Zionist capital, with the purpose of acquisition of land in the region it is pretending to be establishing projects on, developing and building dams.
A commercial relation is one of the most important signs of expansion of “Israeli” economical relations in Africa, where it shows a fast and continuous expansion. There is a most prominent group of African States that are the most prominent partners with “Israel”: South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya.
It is to be noted that the increase of the importance of some of the Nile basin States concerning “Israel’s” international commercial relations. As for Ethiopia, imports had increased more than 30 times during the nineties, from 0.4 to 13.9 million dollars per year, while its exports to Ethiopia had increased only three times from 1.9 to 5.8 million dollars per annum.
“Israeli” imports from Kenya doubled two and half times from 8.6 to 29.9 million dollars per annum, while “Israeli” exports to this country doubled about twice from 14 million dollars to 29.3 million dollars.
As for the Congo, “Israeli” imports from it amounted to one million dollars after it was almost zero while “Israeli” exports to it increased from 0.9 to 5.2 million dollars per annum.
The Center of International Cooperation in the “Israeli” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Moshav, headed by the deputy minister, is the body responsible for planning and executing means of communication with African States. The “Moshav” was the major means of communication with the prime officials in African States, in spite of severance of diplomatic relations, as was the case with Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia, as economical relations were stronger than political relations.
One of the most outstanding activities that the “Moshav” works on is establishing farms, African/”Israeli” chambers of commerce, and support in the fields of agriculture, health, education and economic development, through cooperation in regional, international organizations, foreign embassies and especially through American aid, USAID, that was activated in the light of the Clinton initiative for cooperation with Africa.
The “Moshav” activities are centered on certain groups such as leaders, women, experts and young people who shall be the future’s political leaders. “Moshav” directs its efforts on Islamic and Arab groups, which oppose normalization with “Israel; to gain their support in countries such as Kenya, through granting donations for training to Muslims, and open channels to get in contact with their leaders.
5 – Utilizing racial conflicts
Utilizing racial conflicts through establishing a strong network with certain groups on the account of others; among the most important of them are the ruling Tutsi tribes in Rwanda and the Ugandan regime. “Israeli” intelligence organizations enhance controversies between the Tutsi and Hutu, and supplies arms to both sides; it is well known that the Zionist entity is active in Kigali, and the Zairian armed forces.
“Israel’s” role in utilizing racial conflicts in this region is old; it supported the secessionist movement in southern Sudan since its beginning, later it trained the cadres of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Eritrea when signs of its victory became clear. It also supported ruling regimes such as those of Uganda, and the Amharina in Ethiopia, and worked on establishing new relations with “Camba” and the “Killowi” in the framework of its investment in Mombassa and Nairobi.
There are fears in central Africa of national propensity among the Tutsi tribes that spread in Burundi, southern Uganda (the President of Uganda, Mousiviny, who originally belongs to the Tutsi) East Zaire, Rwanda that is trying to fully control the region through American/”Israeli” support, meaning the establishment of the great Tutsi State, and the reshuffling of the regional and international status in central Africa.
Support to Kabilla’s forces – which forms the Tutsi backbone – to get hold of power in Zaire, from Eritrea and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa up to Uganda and Rwanda in central Africa; and while Uganda gave its military and political support, Rwanda gave its human and military support, which had the main effect on Kabilla’s victory, and Mobuto’s defeat.
6 – Interference through Human Relief
The Zionist entity took advantage of civil wars -especially in Somalia – and moved under a humanitarian cover, it established many centers in the capital, Mogadishu, and in other districts to extend help to the Somalis which is done by a fund supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Zionist International Organization, the Zionist “Bnei Brit” organization, “Junit” organization and other Zionist organizations in the United States. This center was rehabilitated by 250 “Israeli” experts who arrived in Somalia in 1992.
“Israel” tried to build relations with the leaders of the Somali factions by trying to appease them with direct military, economic and health aid that were made through its participation in the second conference for coordinating human assistance for Somalia held in Addis Ababa in December 1992. And it sent search and rescue units after the blowing up of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es-Salaam in August 1998, along with medical and human support to Kenya and Tanzania.
7 – Military Activity with the States of the Region
Military assistance opened the door wide in front of “Israel” in the Nile sources states, under the excuse of these states need for arms to ensure their security and protection against coup d’etats organized by internal and external enemies. “Israeli” intelligence organizations extended intelligence services from its own sources, or through Mossad sources in U.S. intelligence sources.
The military and security outlet played a vital role in promoting these relations; due to African leaders’ need for military aid, extremist Marxist militant leaders such as Mangesto allied with the Soviet Union, resorted to “Israel” for military aid.
“Israeli” military exports to the region play a vital role in executing its foreign relations; it is connected to an “Israeli” strategic and security vision, which aims at infiltrating in the Nile sources States; which, in addition to their economic importance, as military exports are considered as the main support for the “Israeli” economy. Shlomo Gazete, (former head of the military intelligence) confirmed that “Israel” cooperated with a great number of African States in the field of armament. Such States included Ethiopia, Zaire, Kenya, Liberia, South Africa and Cameroon.
“Israeli” activities in the region Nile basin States varied between exporting military equipment and arms, and obtaining military bases. Ethiopia received arms from “Israel” against dislodging Falasha Jews. The tribes of the great lakes area received various kinds of “Israeli” arms.
French intelligence reports said that “Israel” armed the armies of Rwanda and Burundi with old arms free of charge; to gain the friendship of the ruling regime and penetrate in the great lakes region.
This is what “Israel” did – and it is still doing so to curry the favor of the upper and sources of the Nile States rulers… But what did Arab States do to tickle their senses? And what did they do to put an end to Zionist interference in an area that is considered one of the most dangerous areas in relation to the water security of the Arab nation and the Islamic world in the Nile basin States?
Translated from Arabic by Adib S Kawar, revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala, network of translators for linguistic diversity.