Egyptian military experts described the successive statements of Ethiopian officials regarding the establishment of military bases in the Red Sea and the strengthening of combat units around the Renaissance Dam, as coming “for local consumption only”, amid the waves of crises in Addis Ababa.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Ethiopian Air Force, General Yelma Merdasa, had said on Sunday that the Ethiopian forces are “reinforcing their units more than ever,” stressing that they are “carefully guarding” the Renaissance Dam.
This statement comes days after the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Dina Al-Mufti, announced his country’s intention to establish military bases in the Red Sea.
And the former head of the reconnaissance apparatus and advisor at the Nasser Military Academy, Major General Nasr Salem, considered in an interview with “Sky News Arabia” that these statements are “a hollow drum, and in no way affect the way Cairo is going to reach a fair agreement on filling and operating a dam.” Renaissance”.
Salem criticized the Ethiopian announcement of its intention to establish military bases in the Red Sea, saying: “How do you place bases on the Red Sea when it is a landlocked country that does not have beaches or coasts?”
He also considered that the statements about strengthening the guarding of the Renaissance Dam raise many question marks, continuing: “Who protects it from? These statements for us are local consumption, they do not occupy us with anything and will not prevent us from protecting our vital interests at all costs, and there is nothing to frighten Egypt.” .
The Egyptian military expert stressed that “the only solution to get out of this crisis comes through negotiations between the three countries, leading to an agreement between them, because Egypt will not give up a single drop of water from its historical rights.”
In this context, Salem stressed the need to reach this agreement before the second filling of the Renaissance Dam, which is scheduled for next July.
The water resources expert and professor of geology at Cairo University, Abbas Sharaki, had announced recent photos circulating from the construction site of the Renaissance Dam reveal new details, that the Ethiopian side succeeded in completing the ramping of the middle corridor of the dam with an additional 4 meters height, which reflects the seriousness of completing the process. The second filling.
Ethiopia has repeatedly confirmed that it intends to conduct the second filling of the Renaissance Dam, which is estimated at 13.5 billion cubic meters, on its scheduled date in July, which raised fears in Egypt and Sudan that their share of water would decline.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had stressed that Egypt “will not accept compromising its water security, and therefore the need to reach the desired binding legal agreement, which preserves Egypt’s water rights and achieves the interests of all parties, and avoids the region further tension and instability.”
‘Words, not actions’
For his part, the advisor of the College of Commanders and Staff, a military expert, Major General Mohamed El-Shahawi, considered what the Commander-in-Chief of the Ethiopian Air Force said were “words, not actions.”
He continued, “This step is part of the policy of fleeing forward, to cover up the economic crises in Ethiopia and the battles in the Tigray region.”
He also reiterated that such statements are “for internal domestic consumption only,” noting that “there is no room for comparison between the Egyptian and Ethiopian military capabilities.”
The Egyptian military expert added, “For Egypt, water is a matter of life or death, and therefore all scenarios are open, the best of which is the negotiation scenario… Egypt will not hesitate to take any firm stance in the event of Ethiopian intransigence.”
El-Shahawi called on the international community to “play its role in resolving this crisis between the three countries, because Ethiopia is procrastinating and provoking, and evidence of this is such statements that will not help anything.”