Is Egypt in a last minute futile military alliance with South Sudan?
Tigrai Online, January. 10, 2016
Egypt is running out of options to stop the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam also known as the GERD. For the past six years Egypt has tried all the tricks on its tool box to stop the giant Ethiopian mega project.
The Egyptians begged and threatened the international financial institutes not to offer any loans for any construction in Ethiopia without their exclusive approval. They wanted grantees to make sure any loan should not be given to Ethiopia without putting safeguards the project will not harm Egypt in any shape or form. If they find out Ethiopia was getting money from any institution, they will interfere with the operations of the Swiss Canal and they will withdraw their support to the Western countries in their Middle East.
Ethiopia countered by announcing it will finance the GERD by itself with the help of the Chinese government. As far as Egypt is concerned this was a joke and they thought it would not materialize, but when the Nile River was diverted from its natural course for the first time in history, the Egyptians panicked. They aired direct threat to Ethiopia on a live TV and threaten they will stop the GERED using a number of ways. The live TV threat said they will use Eritrea, Ethiopian rebel groups or creating unrest in the country by directly interfering in Ethiopia’s internal politics. Shortly after the live TV program was aired, all they wished on Ethiopia happened to them. Egypt was rocked by massive and violent demonstrations leading to the overthrowing of the government. The military took over and the president was arrested and he is still in person. Call it the miracle of the Arc of the covenant or whatever you will, but the construction of the GERD never stopped for one minute.
After El-Sisi, the military general came to power it seemed they were willing to work with Ethiopia as long as Ethiopia is willing to work with them, but that didn’t last long. In 2016 when Egypt found out nothing will stop Ethiopia from completing the GERED, the Egyptians went back to their old game. Egypt and Eritrea organized what they thought the biggest public unrest to topple the Ethiopian government. Their puppets managed to do some damage, but their goal of stopping the mega project evaporated into the thin air. Ironically their last attempt to overthrow the Ethiopian government and disintegrate Ethiopia had unintended consequences. One of them was it enabled the Ethiopian government to weed out Egyptian and Eritrean agents. It also helped the EPRDF government to reexamine its internal policies in relation to its people.
Now they are trying to overthrow the north Sudanese government because the unwavering support of the Sudanese government and people to the GERED. The Egyptians are planning to achieve this by collaborating with S. Sudan and Uganda. According to Sudan Tribune report, Egypt is working to open a military training base for anti Sudan and anti Ethiopia rebel groups in South Sudan bordering Uganda. The Egyptian president has visited both Uganda and South Sudan not long ago. Two days ago Egypt invited the South Sudanese president to Cairo allegedly to discuss the details of how to overthrow the Sudanese government. If they can they might try to oust the Ethiopian government also from the same bases in South Sudan. The news report from Sudan Tribune indicated Egypt has sent some military personnel to South Sudan, the Egyptian government had sent 58 senior military commanders to South Sudan through Uganda to access the ground for training for SPLA, Sudanese and Ethiopian rebels. The commanders, he added, are from different military units, armor, artillery, air-defense and central military intelligence.
Sudan Tribune cited a source as saying “Government of Egypt has a plan to topple both the government of Sudan and Ethiopia because of the Dam that Egyptians have contested before and rejected it not to be built, but Sudan and Ethiopia decided to go ahead and they have built the Dam which affect Egypt. The second issue is the contested Area in the eastern part of Sudan bordering Egypt (Halayib). Egypt is claiming that area and Sudan continues to claim the area also. This is what is happening in the region”.
We think this is another futile and shameful attempt by Egypt, but the GERED is done it is a reality on the ground. South Sudan is a war torn country which is in a bloody civil war as we speak. Over 1.2 million South Sudanese has fled the country so far. There are over 280 thousand South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia. Even if for some foolish reason the S. Sudanese government agreed to allow Egypt to establish a military base in its soil, it will be meaningless because Ethiopia and North Sudan can dismantle the government without that much difficulty. The second big reason this will fail is the Chinese have huge investment in the oil fields of South Sudan and they will not sit ideally while one of their source of cheap oil is disrupted. China will work with Ethiopia and North Sudan to overthrow the Kirr government in South Sudan and replace it with a friendly one. Egypt is betting on a lost cause. It would have been better for Egypt to work with Ethiopia or they might lose more than the imaginary share of the Nile waters. And President Salva Kirr could lose his presidency or his neck if he goes against Ethiopia, North Sudan and China.