In a separate development, Ethiopia’s Military chief of Staff General Seare Mekonnen was shot dead, together with an ex-Military general and other officials. The office of Prime Minister Ahmed confirmed the assassination of the country’s military Chief, allegedly by his body guard. In a statement on state Media, the PM’s office said that the incident that led to the demise of the Amhara president and the killing of the country’s army chief were interconnected. It was all a political maneuver to bring disorder and derail Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from attaining his goal of restoring peace and order to a nation that became restive in the year 2018. This eventually saw a change of regime from then Premier Hailemariam Desalegn to now serving Premier Abiy Ahmed.
In an official statement on Sunday June 23, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed asserted that the coup attempt in the Amhara region was orchestrated by a high level military officer and others within the nation’s military. The past days have been very restive in Bahir Dar, the central city of Amhara region. A group of unruly soldiers headed by a rebel brigadier disrupted an official meeting of the regional government, killing officials including the region’s president Ambachew Mekonnen, a move many pundits have seen as a plot to unseat the region’s presidency and to further destabilize the already fragile horn of Africa nation that PM Abiy Ahmed is trying to bring political and economic reforms to pacify the angry population. The Soldier who masterminded the abortive coup was among those who benefitted from an Amnesty granted to political prisoners by Premier Abiy Ahmed.
Attempted Coup contained
Being a former military, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was able to contain the abortive or tentative coup d’état that occurred on Saturday in the horn of Africa nation. According to the Federal government, some plotters who orchestrated the violence in Bahir Dar have been apprehended, while search for others remain ongoing. The main brain behind the heinous act in still at large. Official sources accuse Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige, for orchestrating the coup. He spent nine years in custody for allegedly plotting a coup against the previous government. His whereabouts remains unknown. Notwithstanding, security has been beefed up in Bahir Dir and its environs with Federal Security forces stationed everywhere. The federal government has declared a national day of mourning to honor the slain military officials. It should be noted that Ethiopia’s army is the largest on the continent.
Earlier disguised coup attempt
In October 2018, following the appointment of PM Abiy Ahmed, some soldiers invaded the office of the PM in what was widely defined as ‘’pay dispute’’, however, a startling revelation from the Prime Minister that the soldiers were on a coup mission to his palace, shocked the parliament and the whole nation. As per the Prime Minister, the soldiers’ mission was to abort ongoing reforms in the country.
This according to analysts, this is a major challenge to the reformist because it is clear that his sweeping reforms are not welcomed by everyone especially politicians. Thus challenging the PM to ‘clean-up’ government structures including the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic front (EPRDF), the security, and the army among other government structures probably because the perpetrators of the coup are likely government officials who stand against the reforms in the ruling party and across Ethiopia.
Thus with more sweeping reforms, these officials will stop benefitting from the existing systems in place for almost three decades and as such, there is need to stage a coup to unseat the prime minister. It should be noted that PM Abiy Ahmed had earlier escaped as assassination attempt. Not everyone has welcomed Abiy’s reform agenda which has exposed corrupt officials within the ruling party and the entire government. According to Omer Redi, Director at IFRIKIYA MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS-ETHIOPIA, these unruly politicians/military are deprived of their economic, political benefits and thus oppose the wind of change within the ruling party and across the nation. The abortive coup in Amhara presents another major challenge for the reform oriented young leader Abiy Ahmed.
The coming of PM abiy Ahmed in 2018 as the fourth PM, opened Ethiopia to the rest of the world due to his political and economic reforms across the country. Abiy’s first months in office saw him attained a historic millstone, bridging the gap between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Today the two nations can speak of good relations that have remained tough since the 90s.He has made Ethiopia a favorable hub for investment. He opened many state-owned structures to private investment. The reformist leader is a key promoter of gender balance as his cabinet has a 50% women representation, a move widely hailed. Among other successes.
In a nutshell, Prime Minister Abiy Ahemed has urged the nation to stand and unite against the common enemy and the forces of destabilization that aim to divide the nation fighting for a total reconciliation.
Article from AFRIC Editorial
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