November 20, 2019 (GSN) - Two months before being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia split a letter to "His Excellency" President Emmanuel Macron.
On July 22, 2019, Abiy Ahmed asked France to help "strengthen the Ethiopian Air Force" by providing, on credit, a sophisticated arsenal detailed on three pages. This list includes 12 fighter jets (including Rafale and Mirage 2000), 18 helicopters and 2 military transport aircraft manufactured by Airbus, 10 Dassault drones, electronic jamming systems and, even more surprisingly, thirty M51 missiles with a range of more than 6,000 kilometers ... and nuclear warheads! A request for the least extravagant (and illegal) knowing that France like Ethiopia has signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
For the rest, France has certainly endorsed a new defense partnership in March 2019, but no one expected such a military appetite and formalized so quickly. If we refer to the sales prices of previous similar contracts, the bill could exceed 4 billion euros.
Officially, France refuses to get involved in this “thorny” issue of M51 missiles as it has forged a strategic partnership with Egypt Al-Sissi, a major buyer of French arms since 2014.
French Journalist Arianne Lavrilleux said in the program Tout un monde, Ethiopia's problem is that it does not have the means to afford these weapons. "The prime minister recognized it himself and wrote that he would need a loan for all this equipment."
She added, “Ethiopia hopes to strengthen its credibility in the Horn of Africa and establish its image of local guardian of peace with international institutions. The country is already present in several UN peacekeeping missions in East Africa. It is also a way to win against its neighbors, major powers like Kenya and Egypt, who do not necessarily see a good eye to the rise of Ethiopia.”
Lavrilleux said, “Addis Ababa would, therefore, buy French arms on credit and it is the French State that would guarantee this loan. "So, if Ethiopia could not repay, the French taxpayer would pay." Source: (Le Point)