July 4, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The late Amhara region administrator Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen and two other top Amhara officials were killed shortly after 5pm Ethiopian time in Bahir Dar. General Seare Mekonnen and his associate General Gezae Aberra were killed about four hours later, around 9pm in Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian federal government said the two incidents were linked and were part of a coup attempt by Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, who was killed the next day. Audio recordings made by Amhara TV personnel in which General Asaminew talked about actions taken on Amhara leadership appears to support that claim. Several Amhara region officials also said they saw General Asaminew directing the attacks firsthand.
But some people have since raised many questions around the events that unfolded that evening. Among them is regarding the whereabouts of Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen during the twin assassinations. One of the people who questioned the government narrative is Yared Tibebu. Yared asked this question: Where was Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen?
In an opinion piece he wrote, Yared Tibebu, a former member of the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), raised a lot of questions on the official story regarding Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen.
According to reports, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen was scheduled to fly to Washington DC the day the twin killings happened. The Addis Ababa - Washington DC Ethiopian Airlines flight departs around 11pm. Generals Seare and Gezae were killed about two hours earlier, around 9pm. And Dr. Ambachew and his associates were gunned down about six hours earlier, around 5pm. Assuming the Deputy Prime Minister flew Ethiopian airlines commercial, and not private or by other means, he must have been in Addis Ababa while the killings were happening - either at home, his office, on the way to the airport or at the airport - according to Yared Tibebu article.
During Dr. Ambachew's funeral, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen delivered a very emotional speech where he said he received the terrifying news outside Ethiopia, shortly before landing in Washington DC. He said he had spoken to Dr. Ambachew and others a few hours before they were killed.
According to Yared Tibebu, if the Deputy Prime Minister was indeed in Addis Ababa during the killings, and not out of the country, why was he not informed about them? Being the leader of Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) and the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, one would expect, says Yared Tibebu, nurmerous officials would call him during a crisis of this magnitued, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, ADP and Amhara government officials, and federal security officials. Why was he out of the loop, asks Yared Tibebu.
The killing of Amhara region chief is not a small matter. It is a major crisis for today's Ethiopia, and for any nation in similar circumstances, for that matter. Therefore, one would expect the military-security establishment to be at their highest alert during that time, according to skeptics. According to media reports, General Seare returned home late that evening after 7pm to meet his friend, retired General Gezae Aberra. Why was the Chief of Staff of Ethiopian Armed Forces General Seare at home meeting an old friend and apparently at the balcony of his home just a little over two hours after the killings in Bahir Dar? According to skeptics, wouldn't one expect the top military brass, including General Seare, to be at command and control center monitoring the crisis minute by minute?
Yared Tibebu also raised questions regarding the confusion surrounding the whereabouts of General Seare's killer following the tragedy. At first the government reported that the killer, Mesafint Tigabu, was shot dead on the spot. Then a couple of days later, the government said he was in custody, recuperating from bullet wounds. Yared asks why was such very simple, yet crucial information conveyed in such as manner?
Many hope that there are simple explanations for all such questions. It is entirely possible that the Deputy Prime Minister was already in the middle of a flight to Washington DC during the unfortunate events, perhaps in earlier flight, and not in Addis Ababa as the article speculates. That would partially support the coup narrative that the Ethiopian government has so far given. After all, many coups are attempted when top leaders are out of the country. It must also be noted that Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew, who preceded Dr. Ambachew as Amhara chief administrator, was also outside the country on an official visit to Frankfurt. He broke off his visit because of the crisis at home and returned to Addis Ababa.
And many also hope that the Ethiopian government steps up to the occasion and answers these questions fully and convincingly.
You can watch a video report about Yared Tibebu commentary regarding this issue at Ezega Videos.