The South Sudan crisis is spilling over to the region involving everyone due to determination of the South Sudan regime to win their domestic war either conventionally or shamelessly. This was clear from the onset of the violence that what the South Sudan regime most concerns about is winning the war irrespective of whether neighbour countries or former allies get affected or not.
As such the South Sudan President and his cronies have been busy touring the world looking for new allies who could help them defeat the rebel group led by the former Vice President, Dr Riek Machar.
His then Minister for foreign Affair, Mr Marial Benjamin, travelled to Egypt in the first week of October in 2014. Then weeks later, also in 2014, the President travelled to Egypt and discussed with the Egyptian government his need for military hardware to fight his people (the rebels).
Egypt had already supplied the weaponry to honour the deal. All the armoured vehicles used by the South Sudan army to promote their violence toward the civilians were supplied by Egyptian government.
In Return the Egyptian government was promised to construct a dam in Jonglei (part of the former Greater Upper Nile State). The dam would divert water from Greater Upper Nile to Egypt despite the fact that the water is badly needed by farmers in the region.
The Egyptian government was also promised to establish a military base inside South Sudan. The base would be used Ostensively as a launching pad to fight Ethiopia in South Sudan over Renaissance Dam. Egypt indicated its clear intention about what they are going to do. The South Sudan government is aware about it part of the reason they agreed to the deal.
Looking at this from the Cuban missile perspective, Salva Kiir has become no difference with Fidel Castro who allowed Khrushchev to install nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba soil just to attack US. The deal of 1962 between Cuba and Russia was good for Russia, so as Kiir Deal is for Egypt, because at the time of cold war, the Russian technology was not capable to attack US from Moscow while the US was able to attack Moscow from US soil using nuclear guided missiles.
This is what Salva Kir is now doing. Should Egypt and Ethiopia go to war, the Egyptian military would find it difficult to engage Ethiopian military in Ethiopian soil due to the distance that Egypt had to cover and the logistic difficulties that would involve from the side of Egypt.
But Salva Kiir is trying to make things easy for Egypt by allowing them to have a base in South Sudan for Egypt to attack Ethiopia from South Sudan soil which is a matter of few miles from Gambella or Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples State Borders.
It is now time for Ethiopia to have a close look at its relation with South Sudan government. Ethiopia must watch the movement of Salva Kiir and be as decisive as possible even if that would mean pre-empting any situation. The lives of Ethiopians as well as our economical aspiration are our national priority. The security and our national security to protect all Ethiopians comes first.
South Sudan Regime is a regime that deserve change for other people in the region to live without fear.
Ethiopia must not allow what President Dwight D. Eisenhower Adminstration did in the early 1960s. He was well informed by the CIA about the movement of ships which they knew were Russian Ships carrying Nuclear missiles to Cuba but choses to ignore everything presented to him by CIA until the situation was too late when the missiles were all installed and ready for use by 1962.
Fidel did that with the aim to attack or deter the US administrations from attacking Cuba which he successfully achieved. After that negotiation, US signed a deal to leave Cuba alone which was the case. Fidel lived as a free man till his death last year.
In line with the current situation, it is fair to say that the recent visit by the President Kiir to Egypt was a reassurance of the deals they had already started. It may be a new thing to the Ethiopian government but for many people inside South Sudan and rebels group who track the movement of Kiir and his thugs, Egypt had already involved and mingled in South Sudan affair so much so as Uganda who stood shoulder to shoulder with Kiir.
Uganda’s involvement in South Sudan might purely be to control the South Sudan’s economical wealth. However, for Egypt, the onus is to attack Ethiopia and destroy our Renaissance Dam
The author of this article is an Ethiopian Residing in Australia. He Possess a Master Degree in the Centre for Policing Intelligence and Counter Terrorism obtained at Macquarie University
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org