News: Egypt, Sudan conduct combined military training in light of growing tension over GERD

Ethiopia’s mega dam GERD (Photo; Seleshi Bekele (PhD)

Addis Abeba – Naval forces from Egypt and Sudan have completed joint military training at the naval base of Port Sudan on the Red Sea, in light of growing fears of military escalation due to the impasse in negotiations over the controversial dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, main tributary of the Nile River, Al-Monitor reported.

Besides conducting military exercises, the multi-day drills included lectures and workshops on maritime security, illegal immigration, counter-terrorism, and atypical threats, the report quoted Egyptian army’s statement published on Facebook on Monday.

“The training falls in the framework of the joint training plan of the armed forces with friendly countries to boost partnerships and military cooperation in various fields,” the Al-Monitor further quoted the statement.

The Joint military drills came in the backdrop of renewed tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt. On 16 March Ethiopia through it’s Foreign Affairs Ministry rejects what the ministry called “irresponsible statement attributed to the Foreign Minister of Egypt threatening Ethiopia with yet another ‘all options are open’ declaration”.

“Such a threat constitutes a flagrant breach of the United Nations Charter and Constitutive Act of the African Union” the statement said, further warning that “no interest can be advanced through threats and intimidation”.

Early last month, Ethiopia said it is dismayed by the resolution issued by the Arab League on 09 March, which called on Ethiopia to show flexibility on filling and operation of the dam, as a sequel of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s plea to Arab nations to pressure Ethiopia to halt its “unilateral and uncooperative practices”.

On 01 April, the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of GERD, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, the construction of the dam has reached the final stage as the council prepares to celebrate 12th year anniversary of the launch of the construction of the dam, according to a statement by ENA.

Demeke indicated that Ethiopia is interested in continuing the tripartite talks, while underlining that a backward approach that benefits only one party is not acceptable.

In August last year, Ethiopia announced the successful completion of the third-round water filling of the dam and started power generation by a second turbine with the capacity to generate 270 MW electricity. AS

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