[ADDIS ABABA] – Ethiopia insisted it has has “solid” evidence that proves Egyptian support to insurgents in Ethiopia.
In an interview with Reuters news agency this week, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, accused Egypt of aiding unspecified rebel movements for the purpose of destabilizing the horn of Africa nation.
The allegation was immediately dismissed by Cairo.
“This is the first time we hear that we support any group in any country. This is not something we do with any nation and this is not our style,” Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak told state-run Al-Ahram newspaper.
Mubarak said he was surprised by Ethiopia’s accusation, as the two countries had good ties.
The Ethiopian state Communications Minister, Bereket Simon, declined to give Sudan Tribune further details on the issue on Friday.
“I have no remarks to give you to quote me” Bereket said adding “we have already gave Reuters all the information we had at hand [for] you to look at.”
But his second-in-command, Shimeles Kemal, at the communication affairs office, told Bloomberg on Thursday, that there is evidence collected that shows recent support from Egypt to outlawed Ethiopian groups.
“We have solid evidence that Egypt is giving covert assistance to rebel groups,” said Shimeles Kemal.
However, the Ethiopian minister refused to name which rebel groups are actually receiving the support nor did he specify the types of support made by Egypt. The minister said country will reveal details sooner or later.
“We will disclose the timing and identify the groups at the right time,” Kemal said.
Nile water, seen as a matter of national security by Egypt, has increased tension between the two countries.
In May, Ethiopia, the source of the Blue Nile contributing over 80% of the river waters, along with Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a new pact seeking to redistribute the share of the Nile’s waters
Egypt has stated repeatedly that it won’t compromise on the sharing of Nile waters.
The five signatories have given the other Nile Basin countries one year to join the pact before putting it into action. Sudan and Egypt have dismissed the new deal while Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi have so far refused to sign.
A colonial-era treaty gave Egypt the right to use two-thirds of the water from the river.