The Project Manager of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Simegnew Bekele, who was shot in July, found committed suicide, according to Ethiopian Federal Police Commission.
The head of Ethiopia’s Federal Police Commission, Zeinu Jemal, said to reporters, that the initial investigation confirmed that death of the engineer was not result of murder, but due to committing suicide.
Jemal also said that investigations suggested that the engineer was under intense pressure due to delay of completion of the GERD construction and the high cost of the delay.
Ethiopian media outlets quoted Jemal saying that the engineer committed suicide with his gun inside his cars and all the doors were closed.
Jemal statements also included that Bekele has sent messages to his family telling them that he needs to be away for a while, and that he had sent “over seven envelopes to individuals in various offices before his death, which their content included “unclear information about his frustration of work related issue.”
He concluded that the investigations still need more work to come up with the final result.
In mid-August, the Ethiopian Electric Power appointed Ephrem Woldekidan as acting project manager of the GERD, succeeding the former manager Bekele who was found dead in his car at Mesqel Square in Addis Ababa in July.
The Ethiopian government began construction of the dam project in April 2011 on the Blue Nile, in the city of Guba on the Ethiopian-Sudanese border, which is far 980 km from Addis Ababa. According to previous media statements, Bekele said that about 10,000 people are working in the dam ranging from technicians to workers, including 400 foreign engineers.
Egypt has expressed concerns that the construction of the dam could negatively affect its historic Nile River water share of 55bn sqm, which it has had access to since a 1959 agreement with Sudan.