“No force can stop Ethiopia from building a dam. If there is need to go to war, we could get millions readied.” Thus spoke Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, in October, a few days after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. 

To be fair, Abiy has made clear that hostilities between Ethiopia and Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the biggest in Africa and the seventh-largest in the world, can only be resolved diplomatically. The prime minister was seeking to rebut Egyptian rhetoric, thankfully receding, that if necessary Cairo could halt construction of Ethiopia’s mega-dam through military action. ..

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