France, Ethiopia sign defence accords to create navy

13 March 2019

France and Ethiopia signed a number of agreements on 12 March, aimed at strengthening military and economic ties between the two countries during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Addis Abba.

Details of the accords were not disclosed, although Reuters reported that Macron said at a press conference, "This unprecedented defence co-operation agreement provides a framework ... and notably opens the way for France to assist in establishing an Ethiopian naval component."

Reuters further noted that the accords provide for co-operation on aerial operations, joint operations, and opportunities for training and equipment purchases.

Following the loss of Eritrea following the 1991-93 war, Ethiopia became a landlocked state and its navy effectively ceased to exist.

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