Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of failed dam attack
Ethiopia has accused Eritrean rebels of staging an attack on the massive Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.
Ethiopia’s deputy government spokesman, Zadig Abrha, says security forces killed 13 members of the Eritrean rebel group, Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM), during the foiled attack. Seven more reportedly fled to Sudan but Abrha says they have been handed over by Sudanese officials and now remain in Ethiopian custody.
Eritrea accused of supporting group
Ethiopia claims the Eritrean government is backing the Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement, but Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel insists he’s never even heard of the group.
The BPLM is part of the Peoples’ Alliance of Freedom and Democracy, which is an anti-Ethiopian coalition. Ethiopia accuses Eritrea’s government of backing the group and also sponsoring anti-government protests, led by the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups in Ethiopia.
Eritrea denies the accusations but tensions remain high between the two countries, as they have done since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
Ethiopia’s controversial dam project
The GERD project is an ambitious venture, set to cost $6.4 billion if it’s completed on schedule in 2018. The project has been a constant source of tension for Ethiopia since construction began in 2011.Egypt is concerned the dam could reduce the amount of Nile water flowing into its stretch of the river. However, Ethiopia has the backing of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi
Egypt is concerned the dam could reduce the amount of Nile water flowing into its own stretch of the river. However, Ethiopia has the backing of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi over the 6,000 megawatt project, which will be Africa’s largest hydropower plant by the time it’s finished.
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