The UPDF Commander Land Forces Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba Friday held talks with Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Alemtsehay Meseret on bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

Ambassador Alemtsehay had paid a courtesy call to Gen Muhoozi, who also doubles as President Yoweri Museveni’s Senior Advisor in Charge of Special Operations.

During the meeting, the duo resolved to further strengthen the excellent cordial bilateral relations between the Republic of Uganda and Ethiopia.

They, according to Gen Muhoozi, “reaffirmed the solid and friendly relations between the two countries and also resolved to continue close cooperation in the pursuit of peace and security in our respective countries and in the region.”

The same was reiterated in a tweet by the Ethiopia Embassy in Uganda.

“Both agreed to further strengthen the friendly relation and work together for the peace and stability of the region,” reads the Embassy’s tweet in part.

Ethiopia and Uganda enjoy longstanding cordial bilateral relations and have indeed cooperated in various peace processes in the region including contributing troops to keep peace in Somalia.

In August last year, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed agreed with President Yoweri Museveni to ‘walk together’ on matters regarding strengthening cooperation in bilateral, regional, and international issues of common interest.

Dr Abiy was in Uganda for a one day working visit at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni.

Friday’s meeting between Gen Muhoozi and Ambassador Alemtsehay comes after Ethiopia’s repeated calls to the rest of Africa and the World to reject the coordinated disinformation campaign against it and its leadership by some Western elements on the Tigray conflict and, as well expose the lies traded in the last more than a year.

In their pursuit of illegally changing Ethiopia’s legitimate government, terrorist group Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its international sympathisers, have been flip-floping from one clandestine effort to another including war, misreporting facts about the conflict, playing victims to self-committed crimes.

While they killed civilians, raped women and girls, commandeered trucks delivering humanitarian supplies to the people in Tigray and neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, used children as soldiers etcetera, TPLF and its international sympathisers constantly falsely claimed that the federal government forces were committing genocide in Tigray, as well as hunting down ethnic Tigrayans, allegations that were in in August last year dispelled by, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in their joint investigation.

Indeed many countries, media and international organisations, leaders including the U.S which at some point threatened to impose sanctions on Ethiopia, fell victim to this false propaganda that international media itself propagated.

The meeting might have been used to understand the facts about the Tigray conflict.

The GERD Factor

Yesterday’s meeting also comes only a week after Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed, highlighted the benefits of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile to not only the people of Ethiopia but also the downstream countries Egypt and Sudan as well as the entire region.

The giant hydropower dam, which awaits its third refilling, when completed will become Africa’s largest hydroelectric power generator and the world’s seventh-largest dam.

However, the project has previously been the major cause of stand off between Ethiopia and the two downstream countries, with Egypt regarding it as an existential threat to its waters and Sudan concerned about the safety and effect of the dam on its dams and power stations.

But according to Dr Abiy, the dam should be seen as a centre of cooperation amongst the said countries since it brings enormous benefits to all, the region and the continent as well.

He says Ethiopia’s intention in constructing the GERD is to enable the regulation function so that electricity generation from the infrastructure is uniform throughout the year, implying that as a hydropower dam, the GERD does not consume water but rather the water continues to flow downstream uninterrupted.

“The benefits for downstream countries are often untold. In Sudan, for example, the GERD provides ample protection against devastating floods and the effects of water shortage during drought and dry periods. It will help Sudanese water infrastructure to be operated optimally as they receive regulated flow,” says Dr Abiy in a statement.

“This means that more electricity could be generated from existing infrastructure and adequate and regular water could flow in the river downstream throughout the year to enable reliable water supply for people, agriculture, and the ecology. The GERD also brings more energy to the already interconnected systems of Sudan and Ethiopia as well as to others,” he adds.

He says Egypt also benefits from water conservation at the GERD instead of wastage of billions of cubic meters of water to evaporation and in downstream flood plains. The GERD also helps to prevent future spillage that overtops the Aswan Dam, according to Abiy.

According to the Prime Minister, globally and in the Nile region, the GERD as a clean renewable energy source would help to reduce emission that could avoid up to 10.6 million tons of greenhouse gases if it were produced from fuel, coal or gas plants.

Gen Muhoozi is steadily positioning himself as an emerging icon of regional peace and stability. He last week brokered successful discussions with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame on the relationship of the two countries, leading to the opening of the Gatuna common border post that has been closed for nearly three years.

He can be a force to reckon with in bringing all the parties’ points of view closer on the GERD and stir productive negotiations.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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