Attempted Coup Leaves Ethiopia’s Army Chief and 3 Senior Officials Dead

By Reuters

ADDIS ABABA — The chief of staff of the Ethiopian Army and at least three other senior officials have been killed in different parts of the country when a general tried to seize control of the northern state of Amhara in an attempted coup, the prime minister’s office said on Sunday.

A spokesman for Ethiopia’s prime minister told The Associated Press that the army chief, Gen. Seare Mekonnen, had been shot dead at his residence in the capital, Addis Ababa, by his bodyguard. He said a retired army general visiting the army chief at the time had also been killed in the same attack late on Saturday.

Amhara’s state president, Ambachew Mekonnen — who is an ally of the prime minister — and Mr. Ambachew’s adviser, Gize Abera, were also killed in the region, according to state media.

“He was shot by people who are close to him,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said of Mr. Ambachew in a televised address on Saturday.

The president’s spokesman, Nigussu Tilahun, said the attacks in Addis Ababa and in Bahir Dar, the capital of Amhara, were linked.

Officials said the coup attempt had been orchestrated by the region’s head of security, Gen. Asamnew Tsige. General Asamnew was released from prison last year, having been granted amnesty for a similar coup attempt, according to media reports.

Regional government officials had been in a meeting to discuss how to rein in the open recruitment of ethnic militias by General Asamnew when the coup attempt began, officials said.

A week earlier, General Asamnew had openly advised the Amhara people, one of Ethiopia’s larger ethnic groups, to arm themselves, in a video spread on Facebook.

Residents in Amhara’s capital, Bahir Dar, said late Saturday that they could hear gunfire in some neighborhoods and that some roads had been closed off.

The United States Embassy said on Saturday that it was aware of reports of gunfire in Addis Ababa, and some residents said they had heard about six shots fired in a suburb near Bole International Airport around 9:30 p.m. local time on Saturday.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia gave a televised address on Sunday.CreditETV, via Associated Press
CreditETV, via Associated Press

“Chief of Mission personnel are advised to shelter in place,” the embassy said on its website.

On Sunday, Brig. Gen. Tefera Mamo, the head of special forces in Amhara, told state television that “most of the people who attempted the coup have been arrested, although there are a few still at large.”

Mr. Abiy said in the statement on Sunday, “The situation in the Amhara region is currently under full control by the Federal Government in collaboration with the regional government.”

Since coming to power in April last year, Mr. Abiy — a former soldier, minister of science and technology, and vice president of the Oromia region — has tried to spearhead sweeping political reforms in the nation of 100 million in the Horn of Africa, where years of political violence had led to the resignation of his predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn.

He has pulled Ethiopia back from the brink of a political implosion, since the country has been rocked in recent years by violent protests and had been in a state of emergency since the previous prime minister’s resignation in February.

Mr. Abiy has released political prisoners, removed bans on political parties, prosecuted officials accused of gross human rights abuses, and reestablished relations with neighboring Eritrea.

2 COMMENTS

  1. My family’s heart and prayers go out to the families of the victims. It looks that such savage act was taken by the desperate few who are driven by such mad hatred toward others. Their faith is in their self hyped up muscle. They think the solution lies in violence and there is no other way out. Such demons are pure haters and they carry out such vile act on others not because they love their country and people but just because they hate their intended targets so much. Just look at all those ‘soldiers’ of Africa who carried coup d’états since the 1960’s. Almost every one of them did that not because they loved their nation and its people but they had that deep seated hatred for those ruling the country. That is why all of them turned out to be even worse than their predecessors. These are no different. Now for the children of the victims, no dad is coming home tonight. For the loving spouse, there no loving husband coming home tonight!! There is not going to and should be any justification for this reckless and demonic act. Nothing justifies coup d’états!!! Nothing!!! It has always been the only method of thugs use to shortcut their way into power. Woe My Old Country! Woe, woe, woe!!!! What horrible news is next for you!!!! Woe! Woe! Woe!!!!

  2. Asaminew Tsgie is making the opdo hyenas sleepless. opdo and andm are the step children of meles zenawi , he fathered them, reared them and they are still doing his bidding- the homework meles zenawi has given them. to weaken, destroy and make the amhara a second class citizen. by creating chaos and division they want to create an excuse to murder amharas. this murder of andm leaders is aimed at achieving this objective.
    this is a wake up call for the amhara . it has been for a while. get organised. they fear a strong organised amhara. when they see every sign that the amhara is getting organised, they lose their sleep. amhara is a unifying force which is against their cessationst agenda. many people in the country want unity and peace. the amhara should make a rallying call to all such groups to save the country. Amhara unity is a basis for ethiopian unity

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