Sudan and Egypt begin joint air exercises

The drill will involve planning and managing joint combat activities. (File/AFP)
The drill will involve planning and managing joint combat activities. (File/AFP)


Sudan and Egypt over the weekend started joint air exercises, dubbed The Nile Eagles 1, at the Merowe airbase in northern Sudan.

The joint drills will continue until 26 November.

It’s the first of its kind military exercise between the two North Africa neighbours since the era of former Sudanese President Jaafar al-Nimeri in the 1970s.

“The joint air drills will carry out many activities, including planning and managing joint air combats, air offensive and defensive operations by the multi-role combat aircraft from the two countries. Also, airborne forces will conduct combat search and rescue exercises,” a spokesman for the Egyptian army said in a statement.

The army chiefs of Sudan and Egypt met in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on 31 October and agreed to enhance joint military co-operation.

The training comes days after talks between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on the Grand Renaissance Dam failed.

It also comes at a time when Ethiopia is engaged in a military conflict with its opposition-led Tigray region.

Early in October, Ethiopia banned flights in its airspace over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) for security reasons.

The controversial dam, which is expected to be the largest in Africa, has strained Ethiopia’s relations with Egypt and, to some extent, also with Sudan.

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