Ethiopia Amhara Unrest: ‘coup ringleader killed’

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Latest reports from Ethiopia said the suspected ringleader of Saturday’s failed coup attempt in the country’s Amhara region, which claimed the life of Ethiopia’s army chief Gen Seare Mekonnen has been killed by police.

The suspected coup leader Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige was shot dead on the outskirts of Bahir Dar, Amhara’s capital, according to the latest reports. Many other coup plotters have been arrested.

Both Ethiopia’s army chief Gen Seare Mekonnen and Mr Ambachew Mekonnen, the governor of the Amhara region were killed while trying to foil the coup, orchestrated by Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige. Gen Seare Mekonnen was assassinated on Saturday evening at his residence together with Gezai Abera, who was together with the Army Chief. On the other hand, Mr Ambachew assassinated at a meeting in his office along with his senior adviser, Ezez Wasie. Others are wounded in the attack, amongst them the region’s attorney general who recently died of the wound sustained from the attack, according to state news.

The killer of the army chief Gen Seare Mekonnen has been identified as his bodyguard, who later killed himself, according to the latest information available.

Reports have it that the purpose of the meeting called by Mr Ambachew, the Amhara governor, was aimed at discussing alleged attempts by Brig-Gen Asaminew to recruit ethnic militias to destabilize the country.

Before the latest coup attempt, Brig-Gen Asaminew had this month, openly instigated the Amhara people to arm themselves. The call which went viral on social media was not a secret to the government of Abiy Ahmed

Definitely, the deaths of Gen Seare Mekonnen and Mr Ambachew, both allies of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, are a huge blow to Mr Ahmed, has called on Ethiopians to unite against what he called  “evil” forces trying to sow a seed of discord in Ethiopia.

Despite clearly taking giant steps to bring positive changes in Ethiopian since elected last year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is facing numerous challenges and obstacle, amongst them, the persistent unrest in the Amhara region of the country.

While trying to introduce more freedom, democracy and rule of law, as well as the fight against impunity and human rights abuses, especially amongst the military, Mr Ahmed has equally made war on corruption one of his other top priorities. This did not go well with many high ranking corrupt individuals, especially those in the military, who were once regarded as the untouchables. The arrest last year of high-ranking intelligence and military officials, including the former deputy head of the national security agency and the former head of the Metals and Engineering Company (METEC) the massive military-run conglomerate, all set the reform-minded Prime Minister against some powerful individuals.

Despite all the challenges and setbacks, Prime Minister Ahmed has called all Ethiopians to unite and fight against those he called the enemies of Ethiopia. Ranked the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria, Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, economic growth is yet to be transcended into prosperity, with many youths unemployed.

 With more than 80 different ethnic groups in the country, amongst them the Amhara ethnic, which is the second largest, it is left to see whether Ethiopians will grab the opportunities offered with the emergence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as the leader of the country. Or rather choose to succumb to ethnic anarchists, bent on planting the seed of disunity and perpetual ethnic consciousness amongst Ethiopians, which might turn the clock of development and progress in Ethiopia. The ball is in the hands of Ethiopians to make the right choices for their future.