Egyptian leaders wrong thinking and attitude will severely hurt Egypt, says General Birhanu Jula, Ethiopian Army Chief of Staff and military operations division head.
Speaking to the state daily Amharic newspaper on Friday, General Birhanu indicated that when it comes to its sovereignty and dignity the people of Ethiopia do not fear death. This is known by the whole world let alone Egypt. He stated that when it comes to war, Egyptians know how Ethiopians battle. General Berhanu stated that collecting weapons in bulk will not guarantee victory during war. he indicated that there are scientific and basic principles of war, which can make one victorious. “Ethiopians have all these key basic keys,” he said.
“Egyptians have huge weapons, which they collected for the past 30 and 40 years. Using this military weapons, they are trying to threaten us from using out common water. They shouldn’t have thought like this,” said. Egyptians shouldn’t have to think of fighting with Ethiopia. They should be very friendly to Ethiopia and think how they mutually use the Nile River, according to General Birhanu.
Indicating that the Creator has created the water (Nile Water) within Ethiopia and allowed it to flow to Sudan and Egypt. “So the water of the Nile River will be utilized by Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt,” he said.
“Other than this, the thinking / attitude that the Nile water should not be utilized by the upper stream countries but only be used by down stream countries is not realistic and against international laws. This wrong thinking of the leaders of Egypt will severely hurt Egypt,” he said.
Egyptian army will never enter Ethiopian territory and watch the river streams that flow into the Nile River, according to General Birhanu, who stated that the current attitude of Egyptian leaders will create more enemies to Egypt.
“The army cannot step into the territory of Ethiopia. These river streams by themselves have mighty power than war,” he said, indicating that for a long time Egyptian leaders, politicians, media and elites have been misleading the people of Egypt and put them in fear by telling the people of Egypt that they are going to be in trouble (starve) if Ethiopia uses the Nile water.
“This (lie / propaganda) has put them in trouble today,” he said, advising Egyptian leaders and politicians to think of sustainable benefits of the people of Egypt. “They should have thought how Egyptians people and other people (in the Nile Basin) can utilize the water with brotherhood, respect and love to each other,” he said.
“This is what was expected from a wise and visionary political leaders who cares about its people,” he said. But other than this, the current dissemination of false reports across the world labeling Ethiopia as enemy of the people of Egypt, is meaningless, according to General Birhanu.
His statement came when the water ministers of the three major Nile riparian countries, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt began negations this week online about Ethiopia’s plan to start filling water its mega dam on the Nile – Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
After Ethiopia begins the construction of GERD nine years ago, Egypt has been expressing its concern that its “historical right” to use the Nile water will decline if Ethiopia uses the water.
Some of the politicians of Egypt, which is know as “the gift of the Nile”, have been claiming that they will go to war if Ethiopia uses a drop of the Nile water. To justify its monopoly of using the water, Egypt mentions the 1929 and 1958 agreements, which is made between Egypt and Sudan with facilitation of the British to split the Nile water between the two, ignoring the major source of the water – Ethiopia.
On the contrary, Ethiopia claims that it is not part of the colonial era agreement. Ethiopia, which generates 86 percent of the water to the Nile River, has been arguing that it has “natural right” to use the water to its development without causing severe hard to the downstream countries – Sudan and Egypt.
For centuries, Egypt and Sudan have been using the Nile River for irrigation, hydro power and tourism, among others. Currently over 98 percent of Egyptians have access to energy, while in Ethiopia close to half of the population are in darkness.
50 million Ethiopians are using fossil fuel cutting trees to meet their energy needs, which ultimately reduces the water flowing into the Nile River, according to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who commented to the Members of Parliament on Monday and urged Egyptians and Sudanese to join his 20 billion trees planting initiative in four years to sustain the flow of the water into the Nile River.