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Ethiopia Marks its Territory over Controversial Dam

Ethiopia has banned all flights over its giant new hydropower dam on the Blue Nile for security reasons, the head of its civil aviation authority said on Monday, as the president pledged the dam would begin generating power in the next 12 months. The move could worsen Ethiopia’s dispute with Egypt and Sudan over its $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo has said could threaten its main supply of water. Last week, air force Chief Major General Yilma Merdasa told local media that Ethiopia was fully prepared to defend the dam from any attack. Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan failed to strike a deal on the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before Ethiopia began filling the reservoir behind the dam in July. The dam is at the centre of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter.