Ethiopian officers caught an Egyptian citizen engaged in suspicious activity.
Tensions are high between the two countries since last January, after Egypt stalled the trilateral ministerial talks regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam on Nile, by making demands deemed unnecessary by Ethiopia and Sudan.
The latest Egyptian to be blacklisted by Ethiopian intelligence officers is Hamdy Al-Anany – country director of Middle East News Agency (MENA) in Addis Ababa.
Hamdy Al-Anany was deported last week, after a brief detention pending the next available flight, to Cairo.
Egyptian media reported that Cairo sent an official memo demanding that Ethiopia for an “explanations and clarifications” on the reasons behind Al-Anany’s deportation.
Spokesperson of the Ethiopian government, State Minister Shemelis Kemal, told Horn Affairs that:
Mr. Hamdy Al-Anany, an accredited journalist working for MENA was expelled from Ethiopia because of his involvement in activities that are contrary to the objectives of the profession that he was accredited for.”
Minister Shemelis did not provide further details.
However, sources close to the security apparatus indicated that Hamdy Al-Anany was expelled due to “acts of espionage”, adding that the government will provide additional information through “proper channels” if and when deemed necessary.
MENA, which is owned by the Egyptian government, issued s statement urging journalist organizations to condemn the deportation.
Hamdy Al-Anany is the fourth Egyptian to be caught by Ethiopian security officers this month.
According to Anadolu News Agency, three Egyptians were apprehended after illegally crossing Ethiopian border from South Sudan earlier this month. The three Egyptians – possessing multiple bogus identification cards with multiple names – were captured in separate locations in the western region Gambella – adjacent to Benishangul/Gumuz region – where the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam project is located.
It is to be recalled that Egyptian officials have been courting the South Sudanese government and making pledges of military co-operation and proposals to send peace-keeping troops in the past months.
Sources affiliated to the South Sudanese rebels claimed this month that 12 Egyptians were caught fighting alongside government troops.
However, some analysts dismissed the matter as a likely psychological warfare of Cairo, insisting that no South Sudanese force would invite Egyptians for fear of the wrath of Addis Ababa and Kampala.
Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini, a key player in the South Sudan politics made his position – in the strongest possible form – last year in a budgetary speech to the parliament last June, saying that:
“…the new Government of Egypt and some chauvinistic groups inside Egypt should not repeat the mistakes of the past Egyptian Governments.
Therefore, it is advisable that those chauvinistic statements coming out of Egypt are restrained….
No African wants to hurt Egypt; however, Egypt cannot continue to hurt black Africa and the countries of the tropics of Africa. Africa will not allow Egypt to continue hurting Black Africans.”
Egypt stalled the trilateral ministerial talks last January, by making demands deemed unnecessary by Ethiopia and Sudan.
Since then, Cairo officially launched an overt diplomatic offensive against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam, which is now 33% complete.
The Anglo-American and Middle-eastern media outlets, however, chose to mislead the international community by portraying Egypt as a victim and disguising her hydro-hegemonic demands – for historic and geo-political reasons.
Addis Ababa insists the grand dam project – which is being built around the clock – will continue as planned to generate 700 MW hydro-power next year and 6,000 MW by 2017.
The entire Horn of Africa, as well as the Arabian state Yemen, is expected to benefit from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam hydro-power plant.
Editing: The news regarding the first three Egyptians were came from Anadolu News Agency. Therefore, the 11th paragraph was editing to craify that.