Why Amhara’s security chief planned a coup

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Feelings of marginalization among the Amhara people might have been the basis of the attempted coup on the Amhara Regional Government’s president, Dr Ambachew Mekonnen, political analysts have said.

A law lecturer at Keele University, Awol Allo, told Aljazeera that those behind the attempted coup were aggrieved.

“[In] Amhara regional state, there is this feeling that they were marginalized, and these individuals that were suspected to be behind the coup recently said that Amhara people have never been subordinated. So there is this sense of grievance and victimhood that is driving the nationalist movements,” Mr Allo said.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed giving a state address on the recent killings of Ethiopian executives on Sunday.
| Source: Reuters |

Ethnic violence, mostly due to land disputes has displaced nearly three million people across Ethiopia, the Star Newspaper reported. Therefore, it is possible that it was the cause of the attempted coup, Al Jazeera’s Addis Ababa reporter, Leah Harding said.

“Two generals that were killed in Addis Ababa are part of the Tigre ethnic group, and the person who we believe is responsible for the coup plot is part of the Amhara group,” Ms Harding reported.

On Saturday evening, the Amhara Regional Government’s Peace and Security Bureau Head, Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, orchestrated a coup against Amhara’s Regional Government President, Dr Ambachew Mekonnen.

A press release explaining the recent occurrences in Ethiopia.
| Source: Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia |

During the attempted coup, Dr Ambachew and his advisor, Ezez Wassie, were shot dead by a “hit squad” led by Amhara’s Security Chief, General Asaminew. The two later succumbed to the gunshot wounds.

“Several hours later in what seems like a coordinated attack, the chief of the staff of the national security forces, General Seare Mekonnen was killed in his home by his bodyguard in Addis Ababa,” spokeswoman Billene Seyoum told journalists.

Also killed in the attack was retired Major General Gezai Abera who was visiting General Seare. The bodyguard has been arrested but Asaminew is still on the lose.

Amhara is now under control of the Federal government, which entails rulership by both the national government and the regional government.

Amhara’s Vice President, Lake Ayalew has assumed office but will take commands from Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.

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