Ethiopia seeks to procure missile and fighter jets worth over 4 billion Euros from France

Ethiopia seeks to acquire 4 billion euro worth of fighter jets, a 6000 kilometers range missile and helicopters among other things

Missile _ fighter jets _ Ethiopia _ France
Abiy Ahmed meeting with Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Paris in October 2018. Photo file/ credit : French embassy in Addis Ababa

November 19, 2019

A report published this week by one of the top French news provider, La Point, says Ethiopia is seeking to purchase weapons worth more than 4 billion Eu from France on a long term credit basis.

The report makes a reference to a letter, which it published, that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wrote to the French President Emmanuel Macron requesting support “strengthen the Ethiopian Air Force.”

Apparently written in July of this year, according to a report by Le Point, the form of support Ethiopian Prime Minister was asking to be able to purchase fighter jets, military helicopters, military transport helicopters, long range missiles and nuclear warheads among other things.

The credit shopping list includes  12 combat aircraft, 18 helicopters, two Airbus manufactured military  transport aircraft, 10 unmanned combat drones, electronic jamming system and 30 M51 missiles capable of hitting a target at 6000 kilometers  distance, as revealed by La Point.

PM Abiy Ahmed’s letter is embedded below.

Ethiopia and France have singed a military cooperation agreement sometime in March 2019 as the former is planning to re-establish a naval force. 

Apparently, France declined to entertain Ethiopia request to reinforce its defense system. And France’s position seem to have something to do with its relationship with Egypt whom the La Point report described as “a major buyer of French arms since 2014”

Tewfik Aclimando a professor at Cairo University and connoisseur of the Egyptian staff is quoted as saying “The Egyptians would take it badly, because we are more than in competition with the Ethiopians, who did everything to lead to the blocking of the diplomatic way.” 

On the other hand, there are commentators who analyzed Ethiopia’s pursuit of modernizing its military within the context of Ethiopia’s role in the region.

The news source quoted, Sabine Planel, expert at Research Institute for Development (IRD) as saying “by equipping itself with a military arsenal, Ethiopia is strengthening its credibility in the region as a local guardian of peace. And stands as a bulwark against the jihadist movements present in the Horn of Africa”

France and Ethiopia have also cooperation agreements in other areas. For example, France embarked on a project of rescuing Ethiopia’s 13th century spiritual and cultural heritage, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibella,

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