Egyptian companies working in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region are suing the federal government in Addis Ababa over disrupting production and costing them around $40 million in losses, according to the head of the Egyptian industrial zone in Tigray and deputy head of the Federation of Egyptian Investors Alaa el-Saqti.
Addis Ababa has tried to contain a crisis that affected dozens of Egyptian businessmen because of the war waged by the Ethiopian army on the rebellious northern region of Tigray but to no avail.
Saqti said that Egyptian factories investing in Ethiopia incurred losses amounting to about US$ 40 million, forcing them to resort to international arbitration to claim their rights.
“Egyptian companies affected by the conflicts and civil war in Ethiopia have resorted to international arbitration to compensate them for the losses,” he added, pointing out that the process is expected to conclude with a verdict within six months.
Egyptian companies were forced to resort to this step following the failure of negotiations with the Ethiopian government and the Addis Ababa embassy in Egypt for the first six months of the year and failure to reach an agreement that protects and compensates the investments of factories operating there.
Saqti pointed out that “the dispute between companies and the Ethiopian government downgrades the country’s credit rating.”
Fighting broke out between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in early November, which led to a major displacement crisis.
In previous statements, Saqti had confirmed that he presented the crisis file of Egyptian factories in the Tigray region to the Ethiopian ambassador in Cairo. He urged the ambassador that Addis Ababa ensure the factories’ safety.
Saqti’s request was only met with promises that the ambassador would bring the factories’ demands to the competent authorities in Ethiopia.
According to Saqti, Egyptian investments in Ethiopia exceeded $750 million between 2010 and 2018.