Ethiopian Attorney General says Defense Chief of staff killing coordinated by Brig. Gen. Asamenew

Ethiopian Attorney General claims that it has established Defense Chief of Staff was killing was coordinated by Brigadier General Assaminew Tsige, and came as part of an attempted coup d’etat

Ethiopian Attorney General _ Defense Chief of staff
Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye. Photo credit : Attorney General Office

November 13, 2019

Ethiopian attorney General said that it has established that Defense Chief of staff, Seare Mekonnen, and three top Amhara regional state officials were killed as part of the attempted coup d’etat , government claims, organized by Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige.

Federal and regional government authorities have been claiming since the aftermath of the killing on June 22 that it was an attempted coup d’état coordinated and led by Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige who was killed the next day.

On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the Federal Attorney general, Berhanu Tsegaye, held a press conference and he said that the attack in Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa on June 22  was a coup d’état attempt led by Asaminew Tsige.

The killings were carried out by Asaminew Tsige’s colleagues who were given a mission, claimed the statement by the attorney general.

Government said 15 people were killed and 20 others were hurt as a result of the coup attempt.

The assassination of former Ethiopian Defense Force chief of staff, General Seare Mekonnen, as part of the coup attempt, said the attorney general. Seare was killed in his residence in the capital Addis Ababa on June 22, 2009 around 3 p.m. in the evening – hours after Ambachew Mekonen, former Amhara region president, and his advisor, Ezez Wasse, were killed.  Long time friend of the late Defense Chief of staff, Brigadier General Gezai Abera, was also killed. Government says private Mesafint, who was assigned as a guard for the Chief of Staff, fired the shots that claimed the lives of the Defense chief and his friend.

The statement by the attorney general also claimed that there was a plan to kill Deputy chief of staff of the defense force, General Berhanu Jula, who those who carried out the attack expected, according to the attorney general, to be in the scene shortly following the assassination.

There has been preparation to undertake the coup since April 2019, the statement said. 

How did the government established Brigadier General Asaminew coordinated the “coup”?

It is now established based on technical and documentary evidence that they have committed a crime against constitutional order and government,” the attorney general added.

Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye says his office is preparing to lay charges against 78 suspects.  55 of the suspects will be charged in Bahir Dar, the seat of Amhara regional state, and the remaining 23 will be charged in Addis Ababa.  And they will be charged as early as this week.

Asked if some of the arrests were politically motivated, Berhanu said “It is not a fiction that we have presented here…There is no one who is arrested because of political organization membership or any other view. The arrest is because of a crime that is committed. There could be a journalist involved in the crime.  A political leader, a civil servant, a soldier or police”  

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