General Seare Attacked, Coup Attempted in Amhara Region - PM Abiy
June 22, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- A coup attempt was made on the regional government of Amhara, according to the office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. In appearance on Ethiopian Television (ETV), the PM press office head, Nigusu Tilahun, said certain organized groups conducted a coup attempt to overthrow the Amhara regional government. However, the group has failed in its attempt, said Nigusu Tilahun.
Nigusu Tilahun further said federal forces are in Bahir Dar city to stabilize the situation. According to witnesses, there is still some gunfire in the city, and Internet and telephone networks are not operational.
The Prime Minister press office did not disclose who were behind this attempted coup, or whether anyone is under control for the attmpted coup
However, in a TV statement, the Amhara regional state government said the attack was instigated and led by General Asaminew Tsigie. General Asaminew Tsigie is a former Ethiopian army general who is believed to be behind a growing nationalist movement in the region.
There were unconfirmed reports in the past that the Amhara regional government was planning to detain the reneged general.
According some media reports, both NAMA (National Movement of Amhara) and General Asaminew Tsigie have denied any involvement in coup attempt or any hostile activities. In fact, they downplayed the incident as failure of law and order.
In a separate press statement, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, said the Amhara regional government was attacked while it was in meeting in Bahir Dar city. Dressed in army uniform, he said, some Amhara government officials have died and others are wounded. He did not disclose the exact nature of the cacualities due to the attack.
Unconfirmed social media reports indicate Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, the Head of Amhara regional governement, is critically wounded.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also said the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Armed Forces, General Seare Mekonnen, was attacked in Addis Ababa by 'hired' gunmen. He did not say whether the two attacks are linked in any way. He also did not say the exact condition of General Seare Mekonnen, although there are social media reports that indicate that the Chief of Staff may be dead.
A nominal Chief of Staff, General Seare Mekonnen is believed to have been sidelined from real power for much of his tenure. In the past, there have been unconfirmed reports indcating that it was only a matter of time before General Seare is replaced by someone else.
General Seare's attack marks a new low in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government, which many blame for the lawlessness and dysfunction engulfing the country. Without a question, the new development will shock many Ethiopians who had hoped the country is finally teetering back to normalcy. It is difficult to see how anyone can feel safe with a government that cannot protect its own army chief of staff.
For Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's statement, please click the link to watch it on Ezega Videos.