Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy talked about ‘coup’ in his parliamentary speech

_ Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed described the recent crisis in the country as “attempt to wrest power by force”
_”Election only to come to power”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed _ parliament . Photo : ENA
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Photo : ENA

July 1, 2019

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared in the Ethiopian parliament on Monday in the morning to present his performance report on the closing Ethiopian fiscal year.

His appearance came in the wake of a tragic incident in Bahir Dar which left three top leaders of the party governing the region, Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), died on June 22, 2019. Three hours later, Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force, General Seare Mekonnen was killed in his residence in the capital Addis Ababa, along with his close friend retired General Gezai Abera. 

As reported since the incident, the Ethiopian government called the Bahir Dar attack “cop d’état” and the death of the Chief of Staff was also linked to the alleged coup d’état.

As anticipated, PM Abiy talked about the incident in his parliamentary appearance. On the one hand, the prime minister described it as “attempt to wrest power” through the use of delegated government authority. On the other hand, he said that a body is formed to investigate the matter while work is underway to hold those responsible accountable. 

“It is important to note that the only way to come to power in Ethiopia hereafter is through an election,” the prime minister added in a way emphasizing his point that the incident in Bahir Dar was an attempt to take power by force. The problem was created by those who “benefited from the reform measure,” and it is sad that it took away the lives of those who struggled for the reform, he added. 

There were attempts directed at other Federal institution but he declined to give details except saying they will be public in the future .

As much as there are groups and individuals who subscribe to the government narrative surrounding the Bahir Dar incident there are also those groups who are skeptical about government on the issue of the alleged coup d’état, among other things.  For the skeptics, the killings of senior government officials in Bahir Dar and the Chief of Staff on the same day is a plot by PM Abiy Ahmed’s ethnic Oromo party (Oromo Democratic Party).

Apart from the incident, PM Abiy also talked about a range of reform measures taken in the ending fiscal year in the institutions of security and intelligence, courts, elections board, federal police, and prison administration, among others. 

He also talked about the situation of displaced people. According to his presentation, 94 percent of internally displaced people returned to their homes. Government has been working to hold those who are responsible for displacing people accountable and that it will continue to do so. Over three million people were internally displaced due to ethnic-based violence in different parts of the country.

Along the line of enforcing the rule of law in the country, he provided statistics on the number of arrested people; 48 arrested members of “terror group”, 799 leaders and law enforcement bodies and 34 Bank and EthioTelecom employees are held accountable – according to PM Abiy Ahmed.  Detail of what “terror group” he was referring to is rather left unspecified.

In terms of foreign relations, he said that Ethiopia has developed a good relationship with its neighbors. “Ethiopia believes that the peace of its neighbors amounts to her own peace. Accordingly, Ethiopia will continue to work on strengthening relations with all its neighbors,” he added. 

In the realm of the economy, the government sees a nine percent growth in the fiscal year to come.

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