A day after rumors of assassinations, which we published on borkena, the office of the prime minister officially confirmed that Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force, Seare Mekonnen, and Ambachew Mekoennen. Amhara region president are killed. Two more officials are also killed, one in Bahir Dar and one in Addis Ababa.
June 24, 2019
Ambachew Mekonnen, president of Amhara regional state, and his advisor, Ezez Wasse, were assassinated while having a meeting on Saturday in the evening near the office of the president in Bahir Dar, northwestern Ethiopia. The region’s attorney general, Migbaru Kebede, is wounded and sources from Ethiopia describe his condition as life-threatening. Reports that emerged on Sunday say Migbaru is transferred from Felege Hiwot Hospital in Bahir Dar to Tikur Anbessa Hospital for intensive care.
Federal Defense Force is deployed to Bahir Dar and its environs following the assassination of Ambachew Mekonnen; Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the deployment of the force “following an invitation from Amhara regional authorities”
The office of Prime Minister has confirmed on Sunday, January 23rd, that Chief of Staff of the Defense Force, General Seare Mekonnen, was assassinated while he was coordinating a military response to what the office of the prime minister called ” coup d’etat” attempt in Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara regional state. He was assassinated in his residence in the capital Addis Ababa around 9 p.m. in the evening.
The chief of staff was assassinated in his residence around 9:00 P.M. by his own bodyguard. Brigadier General Gezai Abera, who is described as a close friend of the Chief of Staff was also killed but much is not known about the circumstances under which he was killed.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, his press secretary Nigussue Tilahun, Amhara Democratic Party leaders and some officials at Amhara regional state claim that the “coup d’etat” was organized by Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige who was recently appointed as Peace and Security Head of Amhara Regional State. He was released from Prison in 2018 after 9 years in prison in connection with an alleged coup attempt on the government the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Chairman of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and acting president of Tigray regional state, Debretsion Gebremichael, had a press conference in Mekele on Sunday regarding the incident. He said, just like Federal authorities including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the assassination is not an isolated incident; it is linked to the incident in Bahir Dar. He also said that the assassination on Seare is a planed one and linked to his responsibility as Chief of the Defense Force. Debretsion warns that there could be other assassinations. In terms of the goal of the alleged coup d’etat, Debretsion’s theory is a bit different. He says that the attack was not just targetting Bahir Dar but also targetting to topple the government; implied in it was the Federal government.
Defense Force Information Division Head, General Hassan Ibrahim, says the intention of the coup attempt and the attack in Addis Ababa was “to weaken the government,” as reported by DW Amharic service. On Saturday, social media source reported that he was himself under house arrest as Federal government forces were undertaking a preliminary investigation into the assassination of Seare Mekonnen.
Defense Minister, Lemma Megersa, described the killing as “saddening drifted from Ethiopian values.” Acting president of Oromo regional state of Ethiopia has also condemned the assassination.
Nigussu Tilahun told international mainstream media outlets; like VOA, that many of the suspects involved in the alleged coup d’etat are arrested while some in a hideout and security forces are hunting them. It is, however, unclear if the alleged organizer of the “coup d’etat,” Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, is arrested or not.
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena