Ethiopians Will Die Defending GERD Project: Deputy Army Chief

By Staff Reporter

Berhanu-JulaJune 12, 2020 ( -- Ethiopian Deputy Army Chief Lieutenant General Berhanu Jula said the people Ethiopia will not fear to die and defend their sovereignty over the hydropower dam project.

In an interview with the state-run Addis Zemen newspaper the deputy chief of staff said “Egyptians and the rest of the world know very well how Ethiopians manage and win war whenever it happens,”

The army chief accused Egyptian authorities of holding distorted views and threatening Ethiopia and others who want to make fair use of the Nile water.

The general’s comments come after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told lawmakers earlier this week that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam  (GERD) project is a matter of life and death to the Ethiopian people and diplomacy should take center stage to resolve outstanding issues.

In the 21st century, 50 percent of Ethiopians do not have access to electricity while 98 percent of the Egyptian brothers do enjoy electric power, Abiy said

“We don’t want to hurt anyone else, and at the same time it will be difficult for us to accept the notion that we don’t deserve to have electricity,” the premier said. “We are tired of begging others while 70 percent of our population is young. This has to change.”

Berhanu said acquiring lots of weapons may not be enough to win a war, but there are basic fighting rules in which one can be successful.

“Ethiopia possesses all the basic keys with which it can take the upper hand over Egypt even though the North African nation collected various weapons since 30-40 years ago,” Berhanu said adding “there is no an Ethiopian who bargain over the benefits and sovereignty of his country”.

Egypt should in no way enter into conflict with Ethiopia but should think how the water can fairly be used among the Nile basin countries, he added.

If Egypt continues with its current stance, it will reproduce multiple enemies and go against international laws, or the situation will be worse and reach a point where one country denied ownership of others, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the resumed talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on the guidelines and rules for the first filling and annual operation for the GERD continued for the third day.

In the meeting held via a video-conference under the chairmanship of Ethiopia and in the presence of the observers, the three countries discussed issues of concern on the first filling and annual operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

They also exchanged views on the guidelines and rules Ethiopia shared with the two downstream countries and the proposal by Sudan.

Ethiopia reiterated the need for the three countries to focus on and approach the negotiation with good faith and commitment to achieve a win-win outcome.

Ethiopia also underlined the only avenue for a result that serves the mutual benefit of the peoples of the three countries lies in technical negotiation.

Yesterday’s meeting resulted to adoption of the terms of reference (TOR) for the observers that were discussed and agreed on the previous day.

It has also been agreed to compare the exchanged documents and focus on the upcoming negotiation on the outstanding differences.

The negotiation will reconvene on Saturday, 13 June 2020, with the chairmanship of Sudan.

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