Coup Plotters Were Trained for Months, Says Ethiopian Court Filing

By Staff Reporter

Coup-plotters-EthiopiaNovember 22, 2019 ( -- The federal high court of Ethiopia has filed charges against thirteen individuals allegedly involved in coup attempt which left senior government officials dead, including General Seare Mekonnen, the former chief of staff of the Ethiopian Armed Forces, and Ambachew Mekonnen, the former President of the Amhara regional state. The coup plotters were trained for months, says the Ethiopian court filing.

The suspects including Mesafint Tigabu, bodyguard of late General Seare Mekonnen, and Christian Tadele, Public Relations Officer of the Amhara National Movement (NAMA) are accused of plotting a coup against the constitution by force. They appeared before 1st anti-terrorism federal court on Friday, November 22, 2019, and the charges were read to them.

According to the charges, the suspects plotted coup using a management institute in Amhara state as a command center under the guidance of the late Brigadier General Asaminew Tsigie who was killed on June 23rd this year.

The charge says the suspects were recruited to carry out the attacks and trained for months in Benishangul-Gumuz and Oromia regions. They were then deployed to Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa city to complete their mission.

Their plan was to create chaos and take control of power in Amhara state and then the federal government by killing leaders of the army and disrupt the chains of command. The suspects also are accused of disseminating information vial Facebook calling for support from the public.

1st defendant, Corporal Mesafint Tigabu is accused of murdering General Seare Mekonnen and retired Major Gezai Abera after he received shoot and kill mission order from Brigadier General Asaminew Tsigie. According to the charges, Corporal Mesafint Tigabu was convinced by General Asaminew Tsigie that General Seare played a major role in the killing of ethnic Amhara people in different parts of the country.

“We will take control of the Amhara State by eliminating its leadership which is not useful to the people, Asaminew told Mesafint.

The charges also read Corporal Mesafint Tigabu had met the first witness for the prosecutor in April this year and he told the witness “I will kill General Seare and you are given a mission from Bergadier General Asaminew Tsigie to kill Berhanu Jula, Deputy Chief of staff of the Army.”  

The charges further said that Corporal Mesafint and the 1st prosecutor’s witness, whose name is not yet disclosed, said Brigadier General Asaminew Tsgie discussed the issue in May this year in the city of Gondar.

After they returned from Gondar, the charges say that Mesafint Tigabu and the prosecutor’s witnesses further discussed their killing strategies around Addis Ababa's national stadium.

Right after the top-level officials were killed in Bahir Dar city, the prosecutor’s witness told Mesafint what was going on in Bahir Dar city, then Mesafint killed Generals Seare Mekonnen and Gezai Abera using his pistol. He feigned dead following the mayhem and was later apprehended while trying to flee.

Currently, the first defendant, Mesafint Tigabu, cannot speak well nor write but said ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ His lawyer expressed willingness to stand on his behalf and the court adjourned the case for December 11, 2019.

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