Dangote’s $500 million cement refinery in Ethiopia endangered as rebel forces close in

A cement refinery in Ethiopia belonging to Dangote Group risks being damaged in the ongoing conflict by Tigray rebels and its allies against the Ethiopian government and its allies.

The speculation is noted in a report by MoneyCentral, as the rebels have captured cities around Addis Ababa and continue to advance on the capital.

“The Dangote cement plant, the largest in Ethiopia, is located in the Oromia regional state, less than 90km from the capital, Addis Ababa,” the report stated.

The cement plant, worth about $500 million, was commissioned in May 2015. Dangote Cement boasts of being the largest cement plant in Ethiopia. With rich limestone reserves of about 223 million tons, the plant is able to produce quality grade cement. The refinery has a production capacity of 5,000 tons per day and 2.5million metric tons per annum.

This report comes as two different groups currently in conflict with Ethiopia’s central government captured control of towns around the capital in early November, amidst growing fears that it may destabilise Africa’s second-most-populous nation.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had called on his citizens, asking them to take up arms and fight against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and allies, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).

In August, both rebel parties announced a military alliance against Mr Ahmed’s government. In the past week, two cities about 400km from Addis Ababa have been captured by the rebel group and its allies. The group’s spokesperson took to Twitter affirming the capture and control of the taken cities.

The international community has observed the conflict which escalated in November 2020 when forces of the TPLF seized military bases in Tigray. The United Kingdom and the United States have sent out warnings, asking citizens resident in the country to evacuate.

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