Egypt announced the signing of an agreement for “defense cooperation” with Kenya, a neighbor of Ethiopia, which is the fourth of its kind that Cairo has signed with countries in the Nile Basin within 3 months.
Today, Monday, the Egyptian and Sudanese forces concluded their military maneuvers, which were described as the largest and most comprehensive between the two countries, on the impact of the dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam, which the latter is building on the Blue Nile, the main tributary of the Nile, and a border dispute between Addis Ababa and Khartoum over the lands of the Fashaqa area. Read also“Guardians
The Egyptian army spokesman, Colonel Tamer Al-Rifai, said in a statement yesterday, Sunday, that the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Army, Mohamed Farid, returned to the homeland after the end of his official visit to Kenya and Rwanda (the two countries in the Nile Basin), in the first Egyptian announcement of the visit, which had not previously been announced. Its details.
And recently, cooperation has grown between Cairo and the countries of the Nile Basin in light of the faltering negotiations between Egypt and Sudan with Ethiopia regarding the filling and operation of the Renaissance
Al-Rifai explained that Farid attended the third meeting of the Egyptian-Kenyan Military Committee, and “a technical agreement for cooperation in the defense field was signed between the two ministries of defense,” without details.
Farid stressed, according to what the same statement quoted, his country’s readiness to “meet the demands of developing cooperation in the fields of training, qualification and exchange of experiences.”
fourth of its kind
The statement pointed out that Farid’s visit to Kenya and Rwanda witnessed an agreement to develop and strengthen military cooperation with Egypt to meet the national security challenges of the three countries.
This is the fourth military cooperation agreement between Egypt and countries in the Nile Basin within 3 months, after Burundi and Uganda last April, and Sudan last March.
On November 30, 2020, the Egyptian Army Operations Authority prepared a paper that touched on “the proposed strategy to activate the Egyptian role with the Nile Basin countries in light of regional and international changes and Egyptian water needs,” according to a statement by the army at the time.
The Nile Basin includes 11 countries: Eritrea, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and Egypt.
And last week, Sudan announced that Ethiopia had already begun the second filling of the Renaissance Dam with water, despite opposition from Cairo and Khartoum.
Ethiopia insists on a second filling of the dam on the date it had set in July and August, about a year after the first filling, even if no agreement was reached. Meanwhile, Egypt and Sudan insist on first reaching an agreement on filling and managing the dam to maintain their water facilities and ensure the continuation of their annual share of the Nile water.
“Guardians of the Nile” maneuvers
Cairo’s signing of the agreement with Kenya comes at a time when the “Protectors of the Nile 1” maneuvers between the Sudanese and Egyptian armies in Umm Siala in North Kordofan State and the Meroe military base in northern Sudan are concluding today, Monday, in which members of all land and air forces formations of the
These maneuvers are an extension of the joint training cooperation between the two countries with the aim of exchanging military expertise, enhancing cooperation, and unifying methods of work to address the expected threats to the two countries, according to a statement by the Sudanese military media.
The maneuvers coincide with the continuous stumbling of the Renaissance Dam negotiations, under the auspices of the African Union, for months and the continuing disagreement between the three countries, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, as well as an ongoing border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan regarding the lands of the Fashaqa area.
In the strongest threat since the outbreak of the crisis 10 years ago, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said on March 30 that “the waters of the Nile are a red line, and any prejudice to Egypt’s waters will have a reaction threatening the stability of the entire region.”
In conjunction with Egyptian military and diplomatic moves with the neighboring countries of Ethiopia, simultaneous Western warnings came out of any military action that might target the Renaissance Dam.