Speaking to Russia Today (RT) Arabic service journalist, Ethiopia’s top military official said his country’s army is “ready for a military solution” coming from Egypt in relation to the under-construction Ethiopian Great Renaissance Dam (GERD).
General Bacha Debele who was in Russia with the Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Affairs Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen made the comment this week in Moscow responding a question from RT Arabic service journalist. “We are ready for a military solution to the issue of the Renaissance Dam, and Egypt will not be able to destroy it,” General Bacha told RT Arabic.
He noted that that his country does not seek to resolve the issue of the Renaissance Dam with Egypt and Sudan militarily, but is ready for this scenario. General Bacha said, in an interview with RT after participating in the Ninth Moscow Conference on International Security, in response to a question about the possibility of solving the Renaissance Dam crisis militarily: “For my country, the water issue should not be a cause for war, so the solution cannot be military, the best solution. It is the discussion through the African Union.”
He added, “But the Egyptian side does not want to solve the problem through negotiations. They come for discussion and reject all proposals. So from my point of view the best solution is negotiations, and they will not be able to solve the problem militarily. They will not try to attack the dam, but even if they attack it, they will not be able to solve the problem or destroy it.” The dam, because it cannot be destroyed by the bombs of the fighter planes, and they know that the dam is solid.”
And he added: “So I hope to solve the problem through discussion, and our government has started the second stage of filling the dam, and when this stage ends, everything will be safe and everyone will come to discuss proposals for sharing water, not building the dam, but how to divide the water. Because 90% of the water goes to Egypt alone, and 10% for the Sudanese, while we have nothing left.”
In response to a question about whether his country is ready for a military solution, the Ethiopian general said: “Yes, every country is ready to defend the homeland, and we are ready to repel any enemy that tries to undermine our sovereignty. We are ready to defend.”
He pointed out that the Ethiopian side did not raise the issue of the Renaissance Dam during the Moscow International Security Conference, but he clarified: “We know Russia’s opinion, and it is pushing the two parties to solve the problem through dialogue and not through military action. We highly appreciate Russia’s position. We do not buy weapons or receive weapons.” Training from our Russian brothers because of Egypt, but to protect our country from any enemy.”
General Bacha confirmed that his country’s delegation did not hold any meetings in Moscow with the Egyptian side, but indicated that it was ready for dialogue, according to RT Arabic report.