Ethiopian National Defense Force Chief of Staff, assassinated Amhara region leaders laid to rest

Assassination of Ethiopian National Defense Force Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen shocked many Ethiopians

Ethiopian National Defense Force Chief of Staff
Coffin of Ethiopian National Defense Force Chief of Staff, General Seare Mekonnen.

June 27, 2019

Ethiopian National Defense Force Chief of Staff, Seare Mekonnen, General Seare Mekonnen, and his longtime friend, Brigadier General Gezai Abera are laid to rest in Mekelle St. Gabriel Church on June 26, 2019.

Tigray region leader and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders attended the funeral ceremony.  In a blurry speech during the funeral ceremony, Debretison Gebremichal, TPLF chairman and acting president of Tigray region, said that “the patience is enough.”

The late General Seare became chief of staff about a year ago replacing Samora Younis as Abiy Ahmed’s reform measure deepens in Ethiopia.

He was shot dead on June 22, 2019, around 9: 00 P.M. local time, in his residence in the capital Addis Ababa. The government says that he was shot by his bodyguard who is now identified, according to reports by state media, as Private Mesafint Tigabu.

The government claims that the assassination is linked to what it called coup d’état in Bahir Dar, Amhara regional state which happened about three hours before the defense chief was killed.  The Bahir Dar incident left Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, who president of the region, his advisor, Ezez Wasse and the region’s Attorney General, Migbaru Kebede, dead. Migbaru died later in hospital.

Seare engineered a major reform in the defense force and has reputation for his unflinching principle in his approach of the reform measure : ” a soldier does not have ethnicity but a country and people to die for.”

He started his career at a very young age as a rebel fighter with TPLF in the 1970 and his TPLF colleagues say that he has distinguished himself as a best military leader and war engineer strategies. However, most of his TPLF leaders viewed him as a “traitor” after was appointed as Ethiopian National Defense Force Chief of Staff – “traitor to TPLF causes which many Ethiopians understood as domination over Ethiopian politics and plundering the resources of the country.

General Seare stance on the importance of the unity of Ethiopia and a strong belief in the Ethiopian identity earned him adoration and respect from Ethiopia. 

A farewell ceremony was organized at the Millennium Hall on June 25, 2019, which was attended by high ranking military officers and government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

In a related development, Ambachew Mekonnen, Amhara region president, Ezez Wasse, an adviser to the president, and Migbaru Kebede, are laid to rest in Bahir Dar st. Gabriel church.  Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, and other high ranking government officials and presidents of regional states attended the funeral.

In Lalibela,  General Asaminew Tsige, who is allegedly linked to the “coup d’etat”  as a ring leader, is laid to rest. He was given a hero’s funeral as in the cultural traditions of the region. Turnout was high and people chanted slogans that “Amhara people will not be divided.” 

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