Egypt outraged after Ethiopian newspaper depicts Sisi as an 'American dog'

Egypt outraged after Ethiopian newspaper depicts Sisi as an 'American dog'
A caricature of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has not gone down well with some social media users.
2 min read
07 April, 2020
The cartoon portrays Sisi as an 'American dog' [Twitter/Capital]

A cartoon published by a leading Ethiopian newspaper portaying Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as an "American dog" has sparked outrage in Egypt, after the image circulated on Twitter this week.

The cartoon, which depicts Sisi as a canine tied to a hand representing "the US", was published by weekly Ethiopian business paper Capital.

It comes amid sustained tensions between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the Renaissance Dam crisis.

In an article accompanying the caricature, a journalist writing under the pen name "Queen of Sheba", claims that Ethopia should take a more belligerent approach to Egypt.

"Ethiopia may find it appropriate to refuse to play by the uncharitable, if not uncivilized, warfare book which preaches an eye-for-an-eye should the war between two countries broke out," she wrote. 

"Ethiopia could initiate a sustained campaign to utilise all its waterbodies making up the 'Mighty Nile' in a determined, if not retaliatory, manner," she continues.

She added that Ethiopia should look into building a thousand smaller dams in addition to the Grand Renaissance project.

The article and caricature sparked a buzz of responses on social media.

"Ethiopia mocks Sisi and belittles him, and because he dares not respond, it shows that he is a dog to America," wrote one Twitter user, referring to Sisi's resorting to American mediation in the dam crisis after talks failed.

Others, meanwhile, saw the lighter side of the cartoon.

"What's new," wrote one Twitter user in response.

"Of course, and he (Sisi) is proud of this," wrote another, referring to the Egyptian leader's relationship with Washington.

Last month, Sisi said that his US counterpart Donald Trump had assured him Washington will carry on mediating deadlocked Nile dam talks through to the inking of a deal.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, set to become the largest hydropower plant in Africa, has been a source of tension with downstream Egypt since Ethiopia broke ground on the $4 billion project in 2011. 

The US Treasury Department stepped in last year to facilitate talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan - another downstream country - after Sisi reached out to US President Donald Trump, a close ally.

Egypt - which depends on the Nile for around 90 percent of its irrigation and drinking water - sees the dam as an existential threat.

It is worried that Addis Ababa will fill the dam's enormous reservoir, holding up to 74 billion cubic metres, too quickly and significantly to reduce waterflow downstream.

The White and Blue Niles converge in the Sudanese capital Khartoum before flowing north through Egypt to drain into the Mediterranean Sea.

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