There are three sensitive files that contribute to straining Sudanese-Ethiopian relations, the first of which is the disputes that have existed for years regarding the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which threatens to destroy Egypt’s and Sudan’s shares of the Nile waters. There are also border disputes between the two countries over the Sudanese “Al-Fashaqa” region that was occupied by Ethiopia, and finally Military tensions between the two neighbors, which result in limited clashes from time to time.
During this week there was a dangerous escalation; An Addis Ababa warplane penetrated the Sudanese airspace, which caused Khartoum to become confused and angry. According to the Turkish Anadolu Agency, the Sudanese-Ethiopian borders are witnessing unprecedented military tensions, foreshadowing the occurrence of imminent military confrontations, according to what a Sudanese military source said, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, while the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Dina Mufti, said during a press conference that they had observed Movements of the Sudanese army in Ethiopian territory.
The Sudanese source indicated that the Ethiopian army recently carried out sorties in the border areas, considering that an attempt to drag Sudan into the war, adding that “the Ethiopian army is carrying out provocative operations that have resulted in the killing of civilians inside the Sudanese borders,” stressing that “the Sudanese army is fully prepared.” And the readiness to protect its lands, and the Ethiopian army and militias will not be allowed to return to the Sudanese lands that it controlled. ” The source also indicated that the Sudanese leadership saw the necessity of restraint and resort to dialogue, leading to the start of demarcating borders on the ground.
These military tensions between the two sides prompted Khartoum to escalate the issue of the Renaissance Dam, as Khartoum took a stronger position than the regime of the tyrant Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, which is a new and remarkable development. As Yasser Abbas, the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, recently considered that what he described as a “vicious circle” of circular discussions could not continue indefinitely, given the threat posed by the Renaissance Dam. He added that the current situation poses a serious threat to the Sudanese water installations and half of the Sudanese population.
The Sudanese government had taken advantage of the Ethiopian government’s preoccupation with the civil war in the Tigray region, and had taken back most of the “Fashaqa” area, which was occupied by Ethiopian “Amharic” militias, which Addis Ababa had repeatedly claimed that it did not control these militias.
Observers view the recent Ethiopian moves as a response to Khartoum’s control of the “Fashaqa” region, after it managed to resolve the “Tigray” war faster than observers expected. If the judgment on this is considered very early, because such wars usually fade and linger, and may take the form of guerrilla wars to drain the Ethiopian army.
Does a water war break out?
The British “BBC” network had warned of the outbreak of the first water war in the world, under the title “Ethiopian Renaissance Dam” may spark the first war “on water in the world”, in February 2018 AD, it said that the Renaissance Dam, which is currently being built in Ethiopia on the Blue Nile River may lead to the outbreak of a war over water, unless Ethiopia reaches an agreement on it with Egypt and Sudan. According to Alastair Leatherhead, BBC Africa correspondent, it is often said that the next world war will be over water, and there are few regions in the world experiencing tension, to the same degree as the Nile Basin region.
With the escalation of Sudan in the file of the Renaissance Dam in an unprecedented way and the border tension that Addis Ababa escalated despite its admission that Al-Fashaqah is Sudanese land, the question arises: Will a war break out between Sudan and Ethiopia, and what is Egypt’s position on it, and which country is stronger.
According to military estimates, the military differences between the armies of the two countries are not large, but there are several things in favor of Ethiopia, the first of which is population and geography, as the mountainous and hilly nature of Ethiopia made it one of the most difficult countries in the world in terms of the possibility of fighting it, and the Ethiopians had previously defeated the Egyptian army. During the reign of Khedive Ismail in the second half of the nineteenth century, they also defeated the Italians in the famous Battle of Adwah in 1896 AD, when Rome tried to invade Ethiopia, and the country was the last African country subject to Western occupation, when the Italians hardly defeated it in the 1930s.
Abiy Ahmed leads Ethiopia, an experienced intelligence officer, and the country is witnessing a national outburst, where he formed an army that combines militias and military professionalism, and emerged victorious from the “Tigray” war recently, and Ethiopia has a long history of successful intervention and wars with neighboring countries, as happened with Eritrea and Somalia. While Sudan is currently witnessing a state of political, economic and social fragility, and although the Sudanese army includes more than 100,000 fighters, the tribal “Janjaweed” forces are the ones that have great experience in the wars in Darfur and Yemen, but they are closer to the style of the militias and are dominated by the character of mercenaries who aim to obtain Money and winnings.
The ambiguity of the Sisi regime’s position
Although Ethiopia and Sudan have close relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Ethiopia has strong relations with Tel Aviv, and Sudan has entered the fold of normalization recently, and has the support of the Israeli-Arab alliance as well, but the position of the Sisi regime on border tensions between Khartoum and Addis Ababa remains ambiguous.
It is estimated that the Sisi regime may employ these tensions in order to put pressure on Addis Ababa in the file of the Renaissance Dam, and thus supporting Sudan politically and militarily could represent a means of pressure on Ethiopia without Cairo being involved in a war with a country hundreds of kilometers away. But it is noteworthy that the Sisi government has not approached Sudan’s latest escalating tone, especially in the issue of the Renaissance Dam, although it is more likely to do so, and it is not known whether it is secretly supporting Sudan or not at the present time.
The coup regime had participated in military maneuvers with Khartoum during the height of the “Tigray” crisis in November 2020, which is the joint combat training between the two countries since the overthrow of Bashir’s rule in a military coup in April 2019. But Sisi still insists on sleeping in the square of ambiguity, which can be interpreted as a form of helplessness, frustration and possibly collusion and betrayal.
*The article has been translated based on the content of بوابة الحرية والعدالة by fj-p.com. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!