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Egypt, Sudan to Hold Joint Drill amid Ethiopia's GERD Dispute

Egypt, Sudan to Hold Joint Drill amid Ethiopia's GERD Dispute

Monday, 24 May, 2021 - 10:45
Egyptian forces arrive in Khartoum to participate in the “Guardians of the Nile” joint drill. (Egyptian military spokesman)

Egyptian and Sudanese military forces will hold a joint military drill on Wednesday amid mounting tensions with Ethiopia over the massive dam it is building on the Nile River’s main tributary.

Land, sea, and air forces from both countries will hold the maneuvers, dubbed “Guardians of the Nile,” from May 26 until May 31.

Wednesday’s Egyptian-Sudanese joint military drill will be the third following the “Nile Eagles-1” held in November 2020 and the “Nile Eagles 2” held in April.

Egyptian military forces arrived in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Saturday and met with the Director of the Training Department at the Sudanese General Staff Malek al-Tayyeb.

Tayyeb hailed the efficiency, readiness, and distinguished experience of the Egyptian forces, noting that the exercise is aimed at “bolstering bilateral relations and unifying methods on addressing expected threats.”

Egypt’s Army Chief of Staff Lt. General Mohamed Farid Hegazy led in March a high-ranking military delegation to partake in the seventh meeting of the Egyptian-Sudanese Military Committee in Khartoum.

Both parties reached an agreement to bolster military and security cooperation, especially in the fields of joint training, rehabilitation, border security, and the transfer and exchange of military and security expertise.

Egypt and Sudan demand a legally binding agreement to govern how much water Ethiopia releases downstream, especially in a multi-year drought, fearing their critical water shares might be affected.

The last round of failed talks between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan was held in April in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In July 2020, Addis Ababa completed the first phase of filling the dam reservoir, in preparation for its operation, achieving its target of 4.9 billion cubic meters. This year, it targets filling an additional 13.5 billion cubic meters.

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