Ethiopia’s army chief of staff and the regional president of the Northern state of Amhara lost their lives in two related attacks. It was when a general tries to seize control of Amhara in an attempted coup.
Amhara state president Ambachew Mekonnen and his advisor was dead. Further, can you imagine there was news that the State’s Attorney General acquires wounds? Where? In Amhara’s capital of Bahir Dar on Saturday evening.
In a separate but related attack, the same night, Ethiopia’s army Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen and another retired general had an encounter with death. Where? In Seare’s home. In Addis Ababa, by his own bodyguard.
Abiy’s officer named Amhara, State Security Head General Asamnew Tsige was responsible for the coup. He was not giving details of his whereabouts. Asamnew stepped out of prison, just last year. He did receive amnesty for a similar coup attempt. Local media reports showed the same.
Abiy took office just over a year ago and embarked on unprecedented reforms in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country. In addition, it is one of its fastest-growing economies.
But the premier’s shake-up of the military and intelligence services has earned him powerful enemies, while his government is struggling to contain growing ethnic violence, including in Amhara.
Ethiopia isn’t actually ‘Ethiopia’
Since coming to power, Abiy has released political prisoners. He removed bans on political parties and prosecute officials accused of gross human rights abuses. Furthermore, his government is battling ethnic bloodshed. Once held in check, by the state’s iron grip.
Now, some of Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups are disputing the boundaries of the country’s nine federal states. Or arguing that they too should have regional governments. Making claims that threaten the dominance of other groups.
Abiy, after coming to power, many senior security officials got thrown out. Creating more uncertainty that allowed armed groups, that would once have been quashed to flourish.
Abiy’s changes have not gone unchallenged. A year ago, he survived a grenade attack that killed two people at his rally.
The internet was down across Ethiopia on Sunday. Although, there was no government statement on the matter. Authorities have cut off the internet several times previously. Why? For security and other reasons.
Ethiopia is due to hold a national parliamentary election next year. Although, the electoral board got a warning earlier this month. That, if they were always behind schedule. Then, instability and displacement could cause a problem for polling. Several opposition groups are calling for the elections to hold on time anyway.
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