Widow of slain Chief of Staff of the Defense force says “Justice is delayed”

Widow of the General Seare Mekonen, killed while serving as Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense force, demands answer from government.

Chief of Staff Seare _ Statue _ Mekelle
Statue of the the late General Seare Mekonen. Photo credit : DW Amharic

September 24, 2019

The families of slain Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force, General Seare Mekonnen, say that justice is delayed.

“The government of Ethiopia needs to investigate the murder and make public the outcome of it,” said Colonel Tsige Alemayehu, wife, as quoted by DW Amharic service.

She spoke to DW during the inauguration of a statue on Sunday in Mekelle on the occasion of the 80th-day commemoration of the killing of the General Seare and his colleague Brigadier General Gezai Abera. The Ethiopian Defense Force paid for the construction of the statue for General Seare.

It was on June 22 that the general and his friend were killed in General Seare’s residences around 9 p.m. in the evening hours after three Amhara regional state leaders were brutally killed while they were having a meeting in the office of the president of the regional state.

Well over two months after the tragic incident it is still unclear as to who is behind the killings of General Seare. All that is disclosed to the public is that the General was assassinated by his own bodyguard.  With regards to the killing in the Amhara region, the administration claimed that it was an “attempted coup d’état” by Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige who was chief of security in the region. He was killed in the aftermath of the incident.

“It is the government that assigned Seare to the position he held and that he was killed while carrying out his duty. He sacrificed his life for the country,” said Colonel Tsige.

Widow of General Seare Mekonenen
Colonel Tsige Alemayehu. Photo credit : DW Amharic

She stressed that the government needs to address the question from the defense force, from the people, and from his family regarding the killing.

 “Seare is gone for good.  But if it is like this who is next,” Colonel Tsige questioned.

Getachew Reda is an executive committee member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which is part of the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).   He accused the government of “unwillingness” to disclose information about the investigation process. “Making public the result of the investigation might take time but the government has to disclose at least information about the investigation process,” said Getachew Reda.  He added that it is difficult to blame the tendency to be suspicious about the killing in such a situation.

Commissioner for the Federal police commission, Endashaw Tassew, told DW Amharic that the crimes committed are complex and the investigation is still underway. His view is that it is difficult to investigate a crime while disclosing information.

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