Ethiopia announced the imposition of a no-fly zone over the construction site of the Renaissance Dam in the Quba region of Benishangul, in the west of the country, and all airlines, including Ethiopian airlines, were prohibited from using the airspace in the region.
The Director General of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, Senile Hongyi, said that the ban was imposed to ensure the safety of the dam, indicating that it would not be allowed to fly over the restricted area, except for those with special permission from the air force and other relevant government bodies.
This decision comes days after the commander of the Ethiopian Air Force, Lieutenant General Yilma Mardasa, announced that his country is fully prepared to prevent any attack on the Renaissance Dam, and that the Air Force provides 24-hour special protection for the airspace of the Renaissance Dam.
He pointed out that the Air Force is equipped with aircraft that can stay in the air for more than 4 hours, and that it is equipped with radars to detect any air movement within 400 kilometers of the Ethiopian airspace, in addition to distinguishing it by its height and speed, whether it is a passenger plane or military activity.
Meanwhile, African diplomatic sources told Al-Jazeera that it is expected to resume the Renaissance Dam negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Tuesday, at the request of African mediation.
The sources also expected that the meeting of the Ministers of Irrigation would pave the way for a tripartite summit in the presence of the heads of the AU Assembly office, without giving further details.
Ethiopia had announced its desire to resume negotiations, as Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said that his country was keen on the successful conclusion of negotiations with Egypt and Sudan under the auspices of the African Union.
The last round of negotiations was held on the 29th of last August, which ended with the failure of the three countries to reach a draft agreement that combines their visions on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, in preparation for submission to the Presidency of the African Union.
On the 21st of last July, the African Union held a mini-summit with the participation of the three countries, about a week after the end of negotiations sponsored by the Union for about 10 days without an agreement, and the summit resulted in a renewed call for new tripartite negotiations.