Nov 20, 2020
Egypt and Sudan are holding joint army workout routines that may run till Nov. 26, the newest indication of deepening army ties between the 2 neighbors sharing the Nile.
Units from Egypt’s air pressure and Saiqa (Thunderbolt) commando forces arrived at Sudan’s Lt. Gen. Awad Khalafallah Air Base in Merowe, northern Khartoum, to start out the joint army workout routines Nov. 14, the Egyptian military mentioned.
These first-time joint air maneuvers, dubbed Nile Eagles-1, have the intention of boosting joint army cooperation between the 2 nations, and improve the flexibility to conduct joint air operations utilizing numerous air weapons, in accordance with a press release by Egyptian military spokesman Brig. Gen. Tamer al-Rifai.
The workout routines come as tensions have risen with Ethiopia over its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam challenge.
The maneuvers embrace joint fight operations between the Egyptian and Sudanese air forces and multi-role fight plane workout routines from either side to hold out a lot of offensive and defensive sorties on targets, whereas the Saiqa Forces carried out drills on fight search and rescue work, Rifai’s assertion mentioned.
Hani Raslan, an knowledgeable in Sudanese affairs within the Nile River basin research unit on the government-affiliated Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, advised Al-Monitor over the telephone that this coaching is a qualitative bilateral improvement in Egyptian-Sudanese relations for the reason that ouster of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on April 11, 2019.
Raslan added, “The general nature of relations between the two countries was tinged with tension, especially under Bashir’s rule. Although the general tension in their relations was punctuated by truce and calm in some periods, the general policy was marred by a lack of harmony, which continued even after Bashir’s ouster, which is the result of the negative image his previous regime established toward Egypt. Today, the situation has changed completely.”
Relations between the 2 nations grew to become additional strained throughout Bashir’s three-decade rule, when Sudan hosted lots of of Muslim Brotherhood leaders who fled Egypt following the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.
What bothered Egypt probably the most was the truth that Bashir had granted Turkish President Recep Erdogan a foothold on the Red Sea coast when he signed an settlement on the finish of December 2017 granting Turkey — which is Egypt’s archrival in a wider regional battle over political Islam — the precise to construct a naval dock for the upkeep of civilian and army ships within the Sudanese island of Suakin overlooking the Red Sea, near the Egyptian border. Observers noticed the move again then as an try by Turkey to determine a army base, which represents a menace to Egyptian nationwide safety. Meanwhile, the way forward for this settlement is unknown, though there’s hypothesis it will likely be suspended since Bashir was ousted.
Raslan mentioned, “Today, post-Bashir Sudan stands at a crossroads. There are common challenges for both Egyptian and Sudanese national security. Egypt is the country most concerned with the stability and security of Sudan because it is an integral part of the Egyptian national security; instability in Sudan will represent a burden on Egyptian national security. This is why Cairo is keen to follow the political process in Sudan and support all opportunities for peace and stability, as well as increase cooperation at the military level between both countries.”
He added, “There are common issues between the two countries related to the waters of the Nile and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and others related to the security of the Red Sea, and the situation in Libya.”
The Egyptian military’s chief of employees, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Farid, and a high-ranking army delegation visited Sudan on Oct. 31 to debate methods to boost army and safety cooperation between the 2 nations.
During the go to, Farid met with the chief of employees of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Othman al-Hussein, and Sudanese Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Yassin Ibrahim. The two sides agreed to boost joint motion in coaching, border safety and combating terrorism, and for there to be better cooperation in different areas.
Osman Mirghani, a Sudanese analyst and editor-in-chief of the impartial day by day Al-Tayar, advised Al-Monitor that army cooperation between the 2 nations is a product of widespread pursuits and nationwide safety wants.
The Sudanese News Agency reported Nov. 16 that different army maneuvers are being organized between the 2 nations for later in 2020 in addition to 2021.
Raslan attributed the rise in safety coordination and army cooperation between the 2 nations to the go to of the pinnacle of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to Cairo on Oct. 27, the place he met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
After their assembly, Sisi and Burhan harassed the significance of nationwide safety points between the 2 nations, together with the water problem, as they famous that each nations are dedicated to reaching a binding authorized settlement that ensures clear rules for the method of filling and working the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in addition to reaching the widespread pursuits of all events, in accordance with a press release from the Egyptian Presidency on Oct. 27.
Egypt and Sudan have reservations concerning the big hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is constructing on the Blue Nile and its working schedule, as all negotiations between the three nations have failed for a full decade; the final talks have been on Nov. 4, when Egypt and Sudan introduced but yet one more failure to reach an settlement with Ethiopia on a strategy for finishing negotiations on filling and working the dam. The African Union-sponsored negotiations ended with out setting a date for an additional spherical.
Press reviews point out that the current change of visits between Egyptian and Sudanese army leaders, which culminated within the joint army coaching that’s at present being held, is a warning message to Ethiopia that if negotiations proceed to falter, a army answer could also be on the desk.
On Oct. 23, outgoing US President Donald Trump warned throughout a telephone name with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok in opposition to the potential of Egypt resorting to bombing the dam if no settlement is reached.
Mirghani refused to hyperlink army cooperation and joint coaching between Egypt and Sudan to the potential of resorting to a army answer on the dam. “The training has nothing to do with threatening the security of any other country; Sudan had previously conducted the same maneuvers in the same region three years ago with the Saudi air force. It is normal for military relations between Egypt and Sudan to grow not only in the interest of the two countries but even for the region because military cooperation contributes to strengthening stability in the region,” he mentioned.
Raslan mentioned, “There is no point in talking about scenarios for a military solution regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam because the Egyptian leadership, and as President Sisi himself said, has explicitly stressed that negotiations will not be resolved militarily, but through negotiation, even if this path is difficult and long.”
Raslan added, “Are there other scenarios in case of extreme tension? This is a matter that cannot be taken into account, as no information is available in this regard. Too much talk about the military solution is a matter of excessive discussion with no context.”