Top Ethiopian engineer Simegnew Bekele, whose death from a bullet wound in July sparked a huge outcry, took his own life, police say.
In a statement jointly given by Federal Police Commissioner Zeinu Jemal and representatives from the Federal Attorney General and the Addis Ababa Police Commission today, it was announced that forensic and other evidences indicate that the Manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Simegnew Bekele (Eng.), committed suicide.
Simegnew was the public face of the Grand Renaissance Dam project on the River Nile – the centerpiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter.
Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Africa correspondent for the Wall Street Journal who knew Mr Simegnew, said he had come to represent Ethiopia’s patriotic ambitions.
“He was someone who was extremely patriotic and had devoted his life to the betterment of his country,” she told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.
The Grand Renaissance Dam will be Africa’s largest once it is fully completed and it will produce some 6,000 megawatts, roughly equivalent to the energy generated by six large nuclear reactors.