Foreign Hand in Coup Attempt - Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed
By Staff Reporter
August 1, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed that many trainers and training manuals were used in the recent "foiled coup attempt" on June 22,2019 in Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara state in northern Ethiopia.
Briefing journalists on Thursday, PM Abiy Ahmed said the government received 1200 tips within 24 hours, right after the failed coup attempt. He also claimed that trainers who came from abroad were involved.
The foreign trainers had offered training to locals as to how successful coup could be made, he told journalists. "We have managed to uncover the training manual documents and the list of trainers involved. We have good evidence at hand, and following the coup attempt, we have arrested a total of 350 alleged individuals, " he said.
He did not disclose who the foreign power is or provide further evidence how foreign trainers came into the country, nor how the government could not know such extensive planning and training taking place inside a country it rules.
So far, many opposition parties have demanded that an independent body be established to investigate what exactly happened on June 22, 2019, including a coalition of Ethiopian seven parties last week. The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is yet to respond to such requests.
Critics often lament the insufficient evidence the Ethiopian government provides. There have been several claims of planned killings, including the Meskel Square bombing and other alleged assassination attempts directed at the Prime Minister himself. However, the government is yet to show conclusive evidence to the public or to political parties inside or outside the government.
Responding to the question that the government had used the attack in Bahir Dar as a cover to arrest members of forces considered a future threat, PM Abiy said, "we have detained far smaller number of people than we should have arrested."
"We have already released 20 percent of them after some investigation. The release of suspects will continue. We do not want to deny other people's rights and we do not want such practice to prevail but to stop, he said
The tragedy that occured on June 22 should not be understated, the Prime Minister said, adding that if the coup attempt had not been brought under control, murders would have continued to other targeted people and a genocide would have occurred.
According to the Prime Minister, the bodyguard who was suspected of murdering the two army generals, including General Seare mekonnen, the late chief staff of the Ethiopian Defence Forces, was badly injured and is still receiving medical treatment in intensive care unit.
"The officer was shot on his neck and he is not in a position to talk. Hence no new information has been gathered."
Generals Seare Mekonnen and Gezae Aberra were killed some four hours after the alleged coup attempt in Bahir Dar city. So far, the government did not come up with explanation as to how the two events are tied together. Recently, one of the governing coalition members, the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF), all but called it a murder against the Tigrayan people and demanded full investigation.
Responding to questions why the government failed to ensure rule of law in the west part of the country as opposed to the northern part, the Prime Minister said the government has a uniform stance in ensuring rule of law in every corner of the country.
He said, currently, the western part of Ethiopia has been cleared of perpetrators and relative peace has prevailed in the area, even better than the peace situation that existed before his government came to power.
PM Abiy Ahmed admitted that the government intentionally cut the internet and he said that such measures were taken to protect the lives of citizens and their properties from destruction orchestrated by online agitators and implemented offline.
As far Ethio-Eritrea relation is concerned, he said, Ethiopia has established good relations with Eritrea, better than the relations it has with other neighboring countries.
The Prime Minister indicated that the Government and the people of Eritrea want to build closer relations with the Government and people of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government recently disclosed that preparations are nearly complete for a normalized trade with Eritrea.
Although many Ethiopians welcome the peace agreement with Eritrea, many people within and outside the government do not seem to know the exact nature of the new relationship with Eritrea, especially after the unilateral border closures by Eritrea a few months ago.