Birhanu Julla, the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), made a televised statement on Monday July 19, 2021 addressing several issues, including the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) , the reasons for the withdrawal of defense troops from Tigray and ‘redlines’ that will force the military to return to Tigray, including the preconditions established for the acceptance of a ceasefire.
The general began his Remarks by congratulating the Ethiopian people on the successful second round of the GERD occupation. “Since its inception, the dam has only been used to generate hydropower, which Ethiopia urgently needed to build industries and alleviate poverty,” he said. He affirmed that the neighboring countries of Sudan and Egypt should understand that Ethiopia is building the dam to meet the electricity needs of its people without harming neighboring countries. ”
He spoke about the successful filling of the dam without affecting the natural flow of the river, which he thought was a great feat to let Sudan and Egypt know that GERD would not affect them.
He expressed his appreciation for the people of Ethiopia who helped them the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF). General Birhanu stressed that the year was marked by internal instabilities that resulted in displacement and the killing of many people. “The people of Ethiopia, the defense forces and the regional security forces have reached a turning point that will culminate the effort in future work and hopefully prove successful,” he said.
He went on to argue that the current one Challenges were mainly driven by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which he referred to as “ Junta” , a term used in government correspondence to refer to TPLF . He added, “TPLF is the mastermind behind chaos and instability in Ethiopia, it had planned in advance and worked immensely to use its internal mercenaries to disrupt the country by displacing and killing people. This group has since continued their evil deeds. ”
He argued that the government had shown patience in dealing with the situation, and further argued that the TPLF, which he now called” the militant group, ” Beat the drums of war and go against the Constitution, build military power, challenge the government and start the war when they launched an attack on Northern Command. He stated, “We entered this war because the defense forces that have protected the Tigray people for 22 years were attacked by the TPLF. We had no choice but to go to war to release the kidnapped personnel, return the looted ammunition and control a group of rogues. “
Gen. Birhanu stated that achieving the goals of her mission amounts to withdrawing from the region. He added, “The federal government’s decision has made us stay in the Tigray region to ensure the peace and security of our people in Tigray and to rebuild basic infrastructure that has been destroyed by TPLF hindered aid.” He squeezed his aid Outraged at the international community, which he accused of repeating the TPLF propaganda while disregarding the federal government’s efforts to help the people of the Tigray area.
He made public the decision of the federal government to give a unilateral ceasefire, in which it says: “Knowing about the fact that people in conflict areas cannot look after and shape their daily lives, we left Mekelle and Tigray. Because the government is more responsible than the terrorist group (a term given to TPLF by the HoPR and widely used in government communications). The unilateral ceasefire was decided and we accepted the order to withdraw from the region. ”
Gen. Birhanu also stressed that the withdrawal of the military was “a price to pay for peace,” while explaining that the military needed time to rehabilitate, retrain and reorganize. “We’ll strengthen ourselves until the government has given us.” he said
He stressed that the ENDF was ready to take orders from the federal government. He advised: “If the TPLF is concerned about the Tigray people, it must drop all conditions for a ceasefire and come to negotiations.” He stated that the ENDF was under the command of the federal government and was carrying out its orders, he also called on the people of Tigray to oppose the TPLF and argued that all atrocities were caused by it.
The Ethiopian government passed a unilateral ceasefire declaration on June 28, 2021 and withdrew its military from Tigray on the grounds that the region’s population would benefit from the growing season. The TPLF, which the House of Representatives of the Peoples (HoPR) called a “terrorist group”, proposed seven conditions for ceasefire negotiations, after which there were conflicts between the regional state of Amhara and the TPLF.
Gen. Birhanu concluded his remarks by warning the TPLF of grave consequences if they continued their attack and opted for the use of force, saying, “The ENDF is much better prepared, stronger, more experienced and well equipped. We are waiting for an order from the federal government that the Ethiopian people have recognized. ”