Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced on Wednesday the displacement of approximately 200,000 Sudanese nationals to Egypt, amidst escalating tensions. This was made during a press conference with his Angolan counterpart, João Lourenço, in the capital Luanda, as reported by Egyptian media outlets.
El-Sisi, who’s visiting Angola as the first Egyptian president, discussed several areas of mutual interest with Lourenço, including the critical situation in Sudan, Egypt’s southern neighbor. “Since the conflict (in Sudan) approximately 200,000 Sudanese have moved to the Egyptian border, greatly affecting Egypt, as well as the ongoing conflict in Libya”, he stated.
He also issued a joint call with the Angolan President, urging the brethren in Sudan to recognize the importance of a ceasefire to prevent bloodshed and initiate dialogue.
El-Sisi touched upon the contentious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue, that has been a point of disagreement with Ethiopia for over a decade, stating: “We are committed to negotiations and have discussed the necessity of establishing a legally binding agreement for all parties (concerning filling and operating)”.
Reiterating the vital role of the Nile for Egypt, he pointed out that the river is an “important resource for Ethiopia, but in Egypt, it is our only resource,” with 90 percent of Egypt being desert, and the populated part surrounding the Nile.
Ethiopia usually maintains its stance of not desiring an agreement concerning filling and operating, insisting that its dam “does not cause harm to anyone.”
In his remarks during the press conference, Lourenço stated, “some areas of cooperation in agriculture, pharmaceutical industry, information security, defense, drinking water, public utilities, and infrastructure have been identified,” as reported by the Egyptian agency.
Regarding the GERD crisis with Egypt, Lourenço believes that “everyone should sit at the dialogue table to find the common interest for everyone’s benefit (..) The Nile River is not exclusive to any country but is owned by all,” according to the Egyptian source.
Before the press conference, the presidents held bilateral discussions, followed by the exchange between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Angolan counterpart, Téte António, signing memorandums of understanding between Egypt and Angola concerning information exchange and security cooperation.
They also signed agreements to enhance cooperation in water resources, clean energy, and electricity between the two countries, as per the Egyptian agency.
This visit marks the first for an Egyptian president to Angola and is part of an African tour initiated on Tuesday, set to include Mozambique and Zambia.