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Sudan, Egypt air forces hold new combat drills

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March 31, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese and Egyptian armies are conducting new joint air exercises with the participation of special operations units, four months after similar drills.

On 15 November 2020, the two armies launched joint air exercises, dubbed The Nile Eagles1, in Sudan’s Marawi military airbase, north of Khartoum.

The Nile Eagles 2, which aim to build up capabilities and to carry out joint operations involving special forces, come amid the growing tensions in the region over the filling of the Ethiopian dam and border dispute with Sudan.

In a press statement on Wednesday, the Egyptian Army Spokesman Brig-Gen Tamer al-Ruffai said that the two armies were conducting the second joint air exercise at Meroe airbase in northern Sudan.

According to the al-Ruffai, the participating forces carried out several joint sorties to attack enemy targets and protect vital sites, with the participation of a group of multi-task fighters.

He added that the special forces carried out exercises on storming, concealment and camouflage operations, and to carry out attacks from different positions.

In a press statement on Wednesday, the Egyptian Army Spokesman Brig-Gen Tamer al-Ruffai said that the two armies were conducting the second joint air exercise at Meroe airbase in northern Sudan.

The Military Media of the Sudanese army issued a statement saying that the chief of staff Lt Gen Mohamed Osman al-Hussein paid a visit to the airbase and met with the forces participating in the joint drills.

Preparations for war

Maj-Gen Amin Ismail, a military expert and lecturer at the Sudanese Higher Security Academy said that the ongoing drills should be considered as a part of the expected scenarios due to the stalemated negotiations on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam.

"There is an option to negotiate and reach an agreement, and there is the option of military action against the dam. So, this (second) option requires to be prepared and the exercises are one of these preparations," he told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

Ismail pointed out that the manoeuvres are also a message to Ethiopia that Sudan and Egypt are ready for military action. Also, it is also a message to the international community that "if it does not intervene effectively, the two countries will turn to the option of war," he stressed.

Sudanese foreign minister told the U.S. Envoy Donald Booth that they stopped the nine-year direct talks because they are no longer trust Ethiopia which Khartoum backed in the past hoping they can broker an acceptable compromise for the three parties.

The unilateral first filing was the turning point between the two countries as Khartoum did not expect that Addis Ababa will deprive them of water for three days and not alert them to protect the two downstream dams.

(ST)

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