From the book "Roots of Modern European Conflict: 1850-1950"
Freedman Publishers, Inc., © 1992

        ...France, seeing the transfer of many of the British African forces to Britain's new protectorates in the shattered Russia, started to press into the thinly garrisoned areas of the Egyptian Sudan from French Chad (now part of Sokoto). Britain, stretched though it was, countered by moving nearly 85% of their remaining troops from the Ethiopian border westward.

        By February 23rd, 1926, the two small armies (the French numbered only 7,500, the British less than 6,000) were facing each other along a line over one hundred and eighty kilometers long, roughly forty kilometers inside the "official" border of the British-Egyptian Empire. It was the start of a standoff that was to last three months...

        ...after the French instigated uprisings of several Sudanese tribes, British forces in Great Britain were put on full alert, and two naval airships - the HMS Sparrowhawk and the HMS Eagle - began a close patrol of the French coastline just outside her territorial limits. Tensions in both countries were extraordinarily high, and the incendiary speeches being made in the British Parliament and the French Congress were doing nothing to lower those tensions...

        ...Ethiopia sent feelers towards the French government, suggesting that with the right incentives, it would be willing to open a second front along he now almost non-existently defended eastern Egyptian border. It is generally agreed upon now that Ethiopia in fact had no such plans, and the proposal was merely a ploy to gain concessions from Britain - Ethiopia was, and is, a master at the game of playing off the two superpowers for its own gain.

        When Britain got wind of it at the time, however, they nearly panicked. By now massively overstretched on three continents, with threats of more uprisings behind their troops in both Egypt and Russia, their own delegation was quickly instructed to "buy off" the Ethiopians as quickly as possible.

        After only a week of negotiations, Ethiopia was ceded the Red Sea port city of Massawa, and territory from there northwards nearly to Port Sudan in return for...

        ...clashed near Tundubai. Casualties were light, and the battle ended inconclusively, but the French and British forces in Europe were put on high alert...

        ...on the twenty-second day of Pakenham's diplomatic mission to France, he and his French counterpart, Méniaud, hammered out the East African Accords, and France, for the first time, officially recognized Egypt's western borders. While both sides pulled troops back from the border in Africa, the French and British armies in Europe stood down and Europe, still not fully recovered from the Eurowar that ended only a decade previous, breathed a collective sigh of relief.

British Empire Ethiopia French Republic