Ethiopian PM met commanders of Ethiopian Defense Force in the wake of dispute with Egypt

Abiy Ahmed discussed “various current issues” with commanders within the Ethiopian Defense Force. The meeting came in the wake of disagreement with Egypt

Ethiopian Defense Force
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed having a meeting with commanders within the Ethiopian Defense force in the morning of March 9, 2020, Addis Ababa. Photo credit : Office of the Prime Minister

March 9, 2020

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Amed met with top commandeers within the Ethiopian Defense Force on Monday morning in the wake of the dispute with Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and ahead of the upcoming general election in the country.

The Office of the Prime Minister announced the meeting, it happened in the office of the prime minister, discussed “structural and institutional reforms,” that is underway within the Ethiopian National Defense Forces.  

However, it is unclear if the disagreement with Egypt was an agenda item during the meeting. What is clear is that based on the information from the prime minister, the military leaders and the prime minister discussed “various current issues.”

Ethiopian government deployed defense forces to combat armed ethnic nationalists operating in the western part of the country following numerous assassinations of government officials and abduction of at least 17 girls, whose whereabouts are unknown yet,  who were students of Dembi Dollo University. Deputy Chief of Staff, Berhanu Jula, recently remarked that the operation in the Wollega region of Ethiopia against the Oromo Liberation Front -Shane (OLF-Shane) group was successful.

“The Ethiopian Defense Leaders’ love for their country is impressive,” Fana Broadcast Corporation cited Prime Minister Abiy as saying.

He tweeted: “I salute the leadership and members of our National Defense  Forces for their love and commitment to country. My meeting this morning with the leadership affirms my confidence in our forces.”

His meeting with leaders in the Ethiopian Defense Force came a week barely after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had a meeting with commanders of Egyptian armed forces.

According to  Ahram online report on March 3, 2020, Sisi was briefed about the security situation in the country and about the plans to “track down and arrest the terrorist elements in the country, especially in North Sinai,” as reported by Walta.

Ahram Online reported that Abdul Fetah al-Sisi said “Egyptian armed forces should continue to show the highest levels of caution and combat readiness, to execute any tasks entrusted to them to protect Egypt’s national security, in light of the current challenges in the region”

Ethiopia and Egypt are in a collision course over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Egypt and Ethiopia accuse each other of intending to control the Nile water.

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