Ethiopia’s army chief and a top local leader have been shot dead during an attempt to overthrow a regional government in northern Ethiopia, underscoring political instability in the country as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tries to push through reforms.
Abiy’s office said yesterday that the latest unrest in Ethiopia flared on Saturday in Amhara, one of nine autonomous regions, when a “hit squad” attacked a meeting of top officials.
Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum said the Amhara “coup attempt” was led by local security Chief Asaminew Tsige, and resulted in state president Ambachew Mekonnen and his advisor being shot.
She said the men were gravely injured in the attack and later died of their wounds, adding that the regional attorney general had been seriously wounded.
Seyoum also revealed that several hours later in what seems like a coordinated attack, the chief of staff of the national security forces, Seare Mekonnen was killed in his home by his bodyguard in the capital.
According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, the situation in Amhara region is under control by the federal government in collaboration with the regional government.