The weekly French political and news magazine Le Point recently revealed a document containing a list of requests by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to the Elysee Palace, including Rafale fighter jets, helicopters, and nuclear missiles.
On 22 July 2019, Ahmed sent a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron asking France to help strengthen the Ethiopian air force by providing a sophisticated arsenal of weapons.
This list included 12 fighter jets (including Rafale and Mirage 2000), 18 helicopters, two military transport planes manufactured by Airbus, 10 Dassault Drones, electronic jamming systems, and about thirty M51 missiles with a range of more than 6,000 kilometres capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The newspaper pointed out that Ahmed’s request for nuclear warheads is illegal, especially since France and Ethiopia signed the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
Last October, the Ethiopian prime minister said, “If war is needed with Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), we are ready to mobilise millions of people, but it is negotiations that can resolve the current stalemate.”
Since 2012, Addis Ababa has been carrying out the GERD’s construction on the Blue Nile, which, according to experts, will lead to water shortages in Sudan and Egypt, which are crossed by the river.
The $5m dam, which is considered the largest in Africa, has completed 70% of its construction. The dam is expected to give Ethiopia much-needed electricity.
Egypt fears that the Ethiopian dam will damage its limited share of the Nile’s water, estimated at 55.5 billion cubic meters, which 90% of it is needed for drinking, agriculture, and industry.