Ethiopia’s army chief General Seare Mekonnen, Amhara’s state president Ambachew Mekonnen and at least two other senior officials have been killed in a coup attempt in the northern state of Amhara.

The shooting was carried out by a bodyguard during a state meeting between the federation officials and the state president. Ethiopia’s state media as identified General Asamnew Tsige, the region’s security head, as the orchestrator of the attempted coup. In a video that went viral on social media last week, General Asamnew had openly asked the Amhara people to arm themselves

The Amhara people are one of Ethiopia’s larger ethnic groups, in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populated country with over 100 million people.

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed on State TV in military uniform address the nation on the killing of the Army Chief of Staff

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister appeared on state media dressed in military uniform and confirmed the coup attempt and killings. He stated that the army chief of staff was “… was shot by people who are close to him,” State also media reported on Sunday Seare was shot dead by his bodyguard and that most of the perpetrators of the coup have been arrested. This was confirmed early on Sunday by Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, the head of special forces in Amhara, told state television that “most of the people who attempted the coup have been arrested, although there are a few still at large.”

Ethiopia has experienced serious ethnic upheavals and bloodsheds in recent years which forced the unprecedented resignation of Prime Minister Abiy’s predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn last year. Since coming to power PM Abiy has implemented political reforms to tackle the problems. He has released political prisoners, removed bans on political parties and prosecuted officials accused of gross human rights abuses.


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