Plans to attack the 6000MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have been thwarted, Ethiopia has claimed, with Tsadeq Hagos, the Ethiopian State Minister for communication, stating that security forces clashed with a Benshangul rebel organization near Assosa in the Benshangul region, near the dam site.
Reports from a number of news agencies have suggested that 13 rebels have been killed. The rebels were reportedly carrying explosives and were armed with Rocket Propelled Grenades, and light arms. The dam project was the group’s suspected target.
The multi-billion-dollar dam is being constructed on the River Abbay (the Blue Nile), about 20km from the Sudanese border, with a capacity of 74 billion cubic metres. Previously named the Millenium scheme, the project will feature one of Africa's largest dams, a 1.8km long, 170m high RCC structure. The project will feature 16 x 375MW turbines.