Ethiopia jails 10 ‘rebels’ who planned attack on flagship dam project

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Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban with FBC

An Ethiopia Federal High Court has sentenced members of a rebel group, the Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM), for their role in a hand grenade attack that killed nine people in an attempt to disrupt work on the Grand Ethiopian Rennaissance Dam (GERD).

The 10 members of the group – which Ethiopia insists are backed by the Eritrean government – received jail terms ranging from nine years to life imprisonment, Ethiopia’s state-affiliated FANA Broadcasting corporate (FBC) reported on Thursday.

The court found them guilty of throwing a hand grenade at a public transport resulting in the death of nine people and injuries to four others. They were also found guilty of killing three people engaged in incense extraction and setting fire to an ambulance.

‘‘According to the charge sheets, the defendants crossed into Benishangul Gumuz regional state via Sudan three years ago after receiving military training in Eritrea and planning to carry out attacks on any vehicle headed to GERD,’‘ the FBC story added.

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The Grand Ethiopian Rennaissance Dam project which is still under construction will be the biggest hydroelectric dam on the continent after its completion.

Ethiopian authorities in March this year reported that security forces fought off a 20-man contingent of BPLM rebels who were attempting to disrupt work on the GERD project.

A government official at the time disclosed that 13 of the attackers were killed while 7 others who escaped to neighbouring Sudan were arrested and handed over to authorities in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s accusation that Eritrea was behind the attacks attracted a strong response from Asmara.

1 Comment

  1. I wonder why anybody in his right mind would try to attack the dam.

    Somewhere else someone called the generation that is building the dam the “dumbest generation”. In reply to that, I admitted that Ethiopia had several dumb generations but this is not one of them. Why?

    The generation is building a large dam. Emperor David I of Ethiopia (1382 – 6 October 1413) had built a dam on the Nile to protect Christians in Egypt that were persecuted by Muslims.

    One Shegitu Dadi had copied and pasted the story narrating the Emperor’s dam and how it saved Egyptian Christians. If you’re interested, click https://zehabesha.com/egypt-church-bombings-at-least-37-killed-in-two-explosions-targeting-christians-on-palm-sunday/ and go to the comments section to read the story. It is fascinating.

    Check out the capacity of the reservoir of the new dam being built on the Nile from a reliable source. Google the following that lead you to the truth. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Ethiopian_Renaissance_Dam).

    Once it is filled with water which takes a couple of years, it will be the mother of all dams (MOAD). That positions Ethiopia at the valves to open and close the flood gates to Egypt. That means it dictates terms to Egypt, Sudan and many others. No matter what weapon Egypt has, it cannot match MOAD. More importantly, it cannot attack MOAD because of the danger of flood it might cause without the capacity to handle it. Likewise, Egypt will not attempt attacks elsewhere in Ethiopia. Its hands will be tied in a kind of catch 22 situation. Damn if it attacks, damn if it does not.

    I say the generation that decided to take King David’s initiative to a higher level is by no means a “dumb” one. At one level, the dam is a response to a higher calling from the Almighty Himself. At another level, speaking in human terms, it is a very, very smart thing to do.

    I feel that, knowingly or unknowingly, the generation has anchored the future of Ethiopia in security and stability for centuries to come.

    At a time like the present when Ethiopia has internal strife, it snaps out of it if foreign forces leave her to herself and her people.

    Tell Egyptian Christians to ask for help in five years from now.
    Also tell the “dumb generation” that vows in useless armed struggle .to stay away from the dam.

    God bless Ethiopia.

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