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Ethiopian defence minister says landlocked country now has navy

Ethiopian Defence Minister Lema Megersa has said his country has a navy for the first time since 1991, when Eritrea’s independence deprived it of its Red Sea coastline.

“We have established a navy,” he announced on television on 19 January. He did not say where the navy’s vessels would be based but noted the importance of Djibouti, which is his country’s main entrepôt due to the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict.

“The superpowers and powerful nations of our world are rushing to establish military bases in Djibouti. This has advantages and disadvantages. Our only import and export port is in the area. It is important for us to ensure our security and monitor what everyone is doing in the region,” he said.

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