Preliminary reports says Ethiopian dam engineer Simegnew Bekele 'killed himself'

A preliminary report has found that Ethiopian engineer Simegnew Bekele - who was in charge of the country's $4.7bn (3.1bn) hydroelectric dam project - took his own life, state linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate reports.

"His death was a suicide," police said in a press conference.

His body was found in a car parked at Meskel Square in the city centre
in the capital, Addis Ababa, on 26 July.

A hand gun was found in his car.

News of his death sparked a furore among the public amid fears that he had been assassinated.

Police said further investigation into the cause of his death will continue.

Engineer Simegnew had been manager of Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) since the launch of the project in 2011.

The dam, which is being built in the Benishangul-Gumuz region bordering Sudan, will eventually have a 6,000 megawatt capacity, according to the Ethiopian government. This is the equivalent of at least six nuclear power plants.

It is part of a $12bn investment project to boost power exports.

It will use water from the Blue Nile - one of two major tributaries of the Nile.

Egypt opposes the dam saying it violates a colonial-era agreement, which gives them rights to 90% of the Nile's water.


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