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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Ethiopian Chief Of Army Staff Assassinated In Addis - Ababa

General Seare Mekonnen 
and Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen: assassinated.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has confirmed the assassination of General Seare Mekonnen, chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, along with retired Major General Gezal Abera. Prime Minister Abiy also confirmed the killing of Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, president of Amhara Regional Government and his advisor Ezez Wassie. “The regional attorney general Migbaru Kebede also sustined heavy injuries and is currently undergoing medical treatment”
With this, it is now confirmed that Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen,
president of the Amhara regional state, and General Seare Mekonnen, army chief of staff, were shot and killed as part of a coordinated coup attempt that commenced in the regional capital, Bahar Dar. According to credible sources, Seare was shot in his house along with another retired general by his bodyguard. Dr. Ambachew and his aide were killed in Bahar Dar while in a meeting.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in military camouflage
addressing the nation after the foiled coup
Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen was installed as President of Amhara region in March 2019, replacing Gedu Andargachew, who is now Ethiopia's Foreign Minister whereas Gen. Seare was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Ethiopian National Defence Force in June 2018, replacing long-serving General Samura Yunis. My deepest condolences to the families of those who died in this tragic violence.
Government sources say that the situation is under control, and things are returning to normal. That is very good news but the fact that we have now moved from communal violence to political assassination of a president of a region, and the army chief, suggests that we are entering a new chapter.
Late General Seare Mekonnen 

This is a big deal and whichever way you look at it, it will have significant ramifications on the country’s democratic experiment.
But the question now is why would anyone begin a coup at a regional level,  against a regional government that is a member of the ruling coalition? Can any reasonable person assume that the federal government would just allow them to establish their own enclave there in the event that they succeeded in launching a successful coup? It is too early to say but the deaths in Addis Ababa suggest that this is probably coordinated and not merely limited to the region.
Prime Minister Abiy addressing
rally in 2018
In an update provided on the botched coup attempt in Amhara region on Saturday, Abiy said the military men were killed on Saturday night within Seare’s residence, by his bodyguard, who has been arrested. The statement blamed the botched coup on Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, head of the regional government’s Peace and Security Bureau, acting in collaboration with some other people, not identified.
“Many of the individuals involved in the attacks have been arrested and there is an ongoing operation to arrest the remaining" Prime Minster Abiy said.

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