©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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50 charged over Ethiopia’s GERD dam on Nile

3 January 2020 | By GCR Staff | 1 Comment

Ethiopia’s federal attorney general has filed charges against 50 people in connection with the country’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which it is building on the Blue Nile.

Among those charged are former Ethiopian Electric Power chief executive, Azeb Asnake, and the deputy director general of the military industrial conglomerate Metec, Colonel Mulu Woldegebriel, reports government news agency ENA.

ENA said they were charged in relation to a $159m (5.1 billion birr) contract awarded to Metec to clear a forested area that would be flooded by the dam.

Other former Metec officials, and employees of private companies involved in the contract, are also among the accused.

The two officials are accused of abusing power to “gain personal benefit in a corrupt way”, ENA said.

Azeb Asnake was fired from his post in August 2018.

Also that month, the government, headed by new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, fired Metec from the GERD project, where it had been contracted to carry out mechanical and electrical work, citing delays. 

Then in November 2018 the government arrested the former director general of Metec as part of a crackdown on corruption as he tried to flee to neighbouring Sudan. 

Image: ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier