Ethiopian army chief killed in a coup attempt. The head of security of a region in northern Ethiopia has attacked a meeting of regional representatives, it is said by the prime minister of the country. The regional president had been killed while the army chief fell victim to an attack. said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in a televised speech after the coup attempt in the north of the country.
Ethiopia’s reform-minded Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed suffered a major setback on the weekend: According to his spokeswoman Billene Seyoum, local President Ambachew Mekonnen and another senior regional representative were killed in a coup attempt in the Amhara region on Saturday. A few hours later, Chief of Staff Gen Seare Mekonnen was shot dead by his bodyguard, said Abiy spokeswoman on Sunday. Even a retired general, who visited Seare in his house, then fell victim to the assassination.
Billene spoke of a “coordinated attack”. Accordingly, Amhara’s security chief Asaminew Tsige had attacked on Saturday afternoon with an armed command a meeting of the leading regional representatives. In the evening, the chief of staff became the victim of an attack. According to different sources, his bodyguard was arrested. In contrast, Amhara’s security chief is still on the run, it said.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy held a speech on state television in military uniform during the night, but did not disclose details of the events. He explained that the attackers were individuals. Several people were arrested. “The coup attempt in Amhara violates the Constitution and threatens to destroy the hard-won peace in the region,” said the head of government.
Shortly after assuming office in April 2018, Abiy had initiated far-reaching reforms to open the decades of autocratic rule in the Horn of Africa. In early May, at least 20 people were killed in clashes between hostile ethnic groups in the west of the country. Ethnic conflicts in the multi-ethnic state of Ethiopia are seen as a major threat to the stability and reform of the prime minister. In the televised speech, however, Abiy said the coup attempt was not a sign of ethnic conflict.