The Ethiopian government and the government of South Sudan arrested three Egyptian spies on Monday, according to Sudanese media Upper Nile Times.
The Egyptians were reportedly sent by Cairo government to spy on hydro dam projects in South Sudan and western Ethiopia. The three men named Yusuf Haj, Ismail Azizi and Hassan Garai were caught in separate locations of the region.
Yusuf Haj was arrested at the Sudanese border while the other two were arrested using fake tourist visas in Gambella region of Ethiopia. The two were about to board on a bus going to Benshangul – Gumuz state, which is the area where Ethiopia is building a 4 billion dollar hydro dam.
Since 2006, Egypt has also been accused by the UN arms monitoring group of sending weapons and military advisors to help Somali militants allied with al Qaeda. In April, the Ethiopian opposition MP Girma Seifu asked the United States to stop military aid to Cairo pending investigation on Egypt’s support for terrorists in the horn of Africa.
Egypt opposes the construction of dams in upstream African countries and have threatened to strike Ethiopia in the past. The Europe based water institute SIWI recently accused Egypt of blocking a favorable report by an international panel of experts studying the Ethiopian dam. The independent report concluded that the Ethiopian dam will not hurt Egypt but Cairo disagrees.