Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of failed dam attack

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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.

 

Featured image: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31522078

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.