Ethiopian leader sobs at service for murdered military chief

Ethiopian Coup Mastermind Killed

Ethiopian Coup Mastermind Killed

A man reads the Ethiopian newspaper "The Reporter", depicting the portraits of killed Ambachew Mekonen (L), President of the Ahmara Region, and of Gen. Seare Mekonnen, Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Forces, in Addis Ababa, on 24 June 2019.

The Prime Minister has made sweeping changes to the politics of the fast-growing African nation since taking office in April a year ago, transforming relations with neighbouring Eritrea, and making a series of bold internal reforms.

Among the five senior regional and federal government officials who are so far confirmed dead from the gunshot injuries also include Migbaru Kebede, Attorney General of the Amhara regional state, Ezez Wassie, who was an advisor to the Amhara region's president, as well as Major-General Geza'e Abera, a retired former senior official in the Ethiopian army, the Ethiopian government confirmed Sunday.

His bid to transition from single-party state to multiparty democracy has seen him embark on economic reforms, allow dissident groups back into the country, crack down on rights abuses and arrest dozens of top military and intelligence officers.

The latest round of violence began in Oromia, Abiy's home region and hotbed of the protests that propelled him to power.

"The two attacks in Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa were part of a highly coordinated mission led and masterminded by Brigadier-General Asaminew Tsige", Tasew said.

Asamnew was shot on Monday near Amhara's capital Bahir Dar, the prime minister's press secretary told Reuters.

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Ethiopia has been in the middle of an internet blackout since Saturday (22 June), making it hard to ascertain details of a reported attempt to unseat the Amhara regional state government.

Roads in the capital were blocked for the ceremony and security was tight.

More than 97pc of users in Ethiopia were reportedly offline as of Monday, according to data revealed by NetBlocks. He had served almost a decade in jail for a previous coup plot, but was released as part of an amnesty past year. Brig. Birhanu Jelan, the deputy army chief, speaking at the service Tuesday said security forces will fight to maintain Ethiopia's unity and stability.

The weekend killings came as Ethiopia prepares to hold parliamentary elections next year, although the electoral board warned this month that they were behind schedule and that instability could delay polling.

Ethiopia analysts say the prime minister must tread carefully to restore security.

The government said he was coordinating the response to the "attempted coup" at the time.

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