Egypt’s Nile strategy

Source: Middle East Institute

Author(s): Mohammed Soliman

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Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are caught in a dangerous deadlock over the Nile River and despite what the international community seems to think, the risk of military confrontation among the three nations is not at all far-fetched. Addis Ababa began the second phase of filling the reservoir behind its giant Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in early May without an agreement with the riparian nations — Egypt and Sudan. However, much has changed over the past year and the second filling has played out rather differently from the first last July. In the intervening months Egypt has ramped up its diplomatic outreach and emerged as an influential player in the Nile Basin, the Horn of Africa, and East and Central Africa. Cairo succeeded in forging strategic alignment with Khartoum to exert diplomatic pressure on Addis Ababa, forming webs of alliances with different regional powers across East and Central Africa and the Horn of Africa to project power and influence, and exerting geopolitical forward pressure on Ethiopia in parallel with the diplomatic track to solve the GERD dispute.

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