Secret documents: Ethiopia encouraged the continuation of the "occupation of Egypt" for fear of its control over Sudan
Documents have emerged revealing Addis Ababa’s encouragement to Britain’s continued occupation of the northern country, at a time when there is a debate between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Renaissance Dam project, which Cairo fears will affect its water supplies unless there are clear guarantees about its operation.
And the BBC reported today, Wednesday, that it had obtained old documents, which reveal the encouragement of the late Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie to prevent rapprochement between Egypt and Sudan, through the continued British occupation of the two countries.
Selassie advised the British to abandon the plan to evacuate Egypt in 1954, saying that this withdrawal "would leave a void with consequences."
At the time, Britain viewed the Ethiopian position as reflecting the difficulty of settling sharp differences between the three countries over the waters of the Nile.
This happened during the Emperor's visit to the United Kingdom in October 1954, days before the signing of the evacuation agreement between Cairo and London.
The relationship between Britain and Ethiopia was deep after helping the former expel the Italian occupation from the African country.
The Ethiopian leader justified his position by saying that the Egyptian government at that time was "unstable", and that the withdrawal would leave a "big vacuum", but the British side concluded that Selassie's real concerns were the possibility of "Egyptians taking control of Sudan", as he accused Cairo of trying to offer bribes to Sudanese politicians. .
The British side was not convinced by the Emperor's words and responded that "the alleged instability in Egypt is supposed to serve Ethiopia's interest."
After that, London expected great difficulty in reaching an agreement between Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa to resolve the intractable differences over the Nile waters.
Britain at that time was sponsoring informal talks between the three African countries in an attempt to reach a settlement satisfactory to all parties.
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