George Galloway, British Member of Parliament, recently weighed in with his opinion on the Egypt and Ethiopia Nile issue. In response to a caller’s question on the Comment live, phone-in show, Galloway, the host, condemned both the current Ethiopian and Egyptian regimes, and stated he’d “be happy to see the back of both of them”.
Recall that Galloway was also a very critical opponent of Egypt’s longtime dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Likewise, Galloway has frequently spoken out against the regime in Ethiopia, denouncing its aggressive, destabilizing role in the Horn of Africa. Previously, speaking in the British Parliament, Galloway famously exposed the British government’s hypocrisy and complicity in grave human rights abuses occurring within Somalia, under the harsh, brutal occupation by Ethiopia (funded by the US and UK). Galloway is not new to the politics of the Horn. He visited the region during the conflict and humanitarian crisis in the 1980s, condemning the Ethiopian military dictatorship’s crimes and questioning how it was diverting hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid to combat Eritrea’s pursuit of independence.
Comment with George Galloway (January 29th 2015) is below.
Henn (caller from Ethiopia): Yes, hi George, how are you doing? Calling all the way from Ethiopia.
George Galloway: I’m doing well, and the better for talking to Ethiopia. A very long time since I’ve been there.
H: Oh you’ve been here before?
G: I have, in the 1980s, yes.
H: Oh, ok. That is great to hear. Well, we are talking about one country violating the territorial integrity of the other. And I just wanted to bring up Ethiopia into this discussion if you don’t mind, George, because your discussion forum is very open for a variety of opinions, I think.
G: I have no objections; as you’re on the line, say whatever you like.
H: Well, it’s just that I believe you’re aware of the current history between Ethiopia and Egypt concerning the Nile, and you’re one of the most critical “pro-poor” people, an advocate of the poor that I know of in this current day and age…and I just want to know your opinion about the current situation, and sort of a de-facto confrontation between Ethiopia and Egypt concerning the Nile. And also if your attitude about Ethiopia has changed over time? I used to hear you saying a number of, let’s say, politically incorrect statements about Ethiopia, that…
G: Oh, please. Enlighten me. Enlighten me, please. Enlighten me.
G: Enlighten me.
H: Like, like the country is an agent of the United States, you know…things like that. Which I don’t think are, you know, based on strong foundations (G: Really?).
H: So, we can set that aside, and I just want to hear your input on Ethiopia and Egypt, if you don’t mind.
G: Ok, ok. Well, I’m an opponent of both regimes involved in this argument. I’m an opponent of the Ethiopian regime, which I knew when they were pro-Albanian Maoists, and I’m certainly not any better inclined towards them now than I was then. There is absolutely no question at all that Ethiopia has regularly, in relation to its neighbors, played the role of United States agent. On the other hand, I am one of the leading opponents, I think, of the military junta, which has drowned democracy in a sea of blood in Cairo, in Alexandria, and indeed throughout Egypt. So when it comes to these two regimes, I have no dog in the fight. But I do care what happens to the poor masses in both Ethiopia and Egypt, and that’s why I say that this question of the course of the Nile and the share of the waters has to be negotiated. Has to be negotiated in the context of the OAU, of the African Union as it’s now known, the AU. And it has to be fair to the people of both countries. As for the regimes…I’m very happy to see the back of both of them. But thank you for remembering me.
George Galloway, MP, speaking in the British Parliament on Somalia, Ethiopia, and the UK.
Galloway reveals the British government’s complicity in grave human rights abuses in Somalia, under occupation by Ethiopia in the name on the “war on terror”.
George Galloway in the 1980s, visiting Eritrea/Ethiopia