ADDIS ABABA–Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced in a televised address over the weekend that his government thwarted a coup attempt in a region outside the country’s capital Addis Ababa with some dead and injured.
The Prime Minister made the remarks during late Saturday.
According to sources, a senior army official and others within the military led the coup in the Amhara region, Prime Minister Ahmed said.
Hundreds of people were wounded and others killed in the failed coup attempt, the prime minister said without giving more detailed information about the failed coup.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian army, Gen Seare Mekonnen, was shot dead by his own bodyguard in the capital, Addis Ababa while trying to prevent the failed coup attempt against the administration in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region, according to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
In Amhara itself, regional governor Ambachew Mekonnen was killed along with an adviser to his administration.
Although the atmosphere in the country remains tense, the government says the situation is under control after arrests were made. And the prime minister has gone on TV to urge Ethiopians to unite in the face of “evil” forces set on dividing the country.
However, Globe Afrique’s ongoing investigation and information from unanimous but reliable sources suggest that the failed coup may have been staged in an attempt to curb the undue influence of the late Chief of Staff Gen Seare Mekonnen and others perceived as very powerful in the country, especially in Amhara region.
According to a prime minister’s press office, Gen Seare was killed on Saturday evening at his residence along with another general, Gezai Abera, by the bodyguard who is now in custody.
The Ethiopian authorities believe they have reason to think the attacks against the Chief of Staff and General Gezai Abera was linked to the assassination of the governor of Amhara a few hours earlier in the region’s capital, Bahir Dar.
Mr. Ambachew was killed at a meeting in his office along with his senior adviser, Ezez Wasie, while the region’s attorney general was wounded.
The prime minister’s office has accused Amhara’s regional security chief, Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige, of plotting the coup attempt even though it remains unclear whether he has been arrested.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister has appointed Lake Ayalew as the region’s acting governor.
Several of those implicated in the failed coup attempt are under arrest and operations are ongoing to detain others, the Prime Minister’s press office said.
“The coup attempt in Amhara regional state is against the constitution and is intended to scupper the hard-won peace of the region,” it added.
“This illegal attempt should be condemned by all Ethiopians and the federal government has full capacity to overpower this armed group.”
The Amhara Region is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, containing the homeland of the Amhara people. Previously known as “Region 3”, its capital is Bahir Dar. Ethiopia’s largest inland body of water, Lake Tana, which is the source of the Blue Nile river, is located within Amhara.
The region also contains the Semien Mountains National Park, which includes Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. Amhara is also bordered by the state of Sudan to the west and northwest, and in other directions by other regions of Ethiopia: Tigray to the north, Afar to the east, Benishangul-Gumuz to the west and southwest, and Oromia to the south.
The government of Amhara is composed of the executive branch, led by the President; the legislative branch, which comprises the State Council; and the judicial branch, which is led by the state Supreme Court.
Covering an area of 98,344 mi, the executive branch is headed by the President of Amhara. The current president is Ambachew Mekonen, an ANDM member, elected in 8 March 2019. The current vice president is Alemnew Mekonnen.
There are three levels of the Amhara state judiciary. The lowest level is the court of common pleas: each woreda maintains its own constitutionally mandated court of common pleas, which maintain jurisdiction over all justiciable matters.
The intermediate-level court system is the district court system. Four courts of appeals exist, each retaining jurisdiction over appeals from common pleas, municipal, and county courts in an administrative zone. A case heard in this system is decided by a three-judge panel, and each judge is elected.
The highest-ranking court, the Amhara Supreme Court, is Amhara’s “court of last resort”. A seven-justice panel composes the court, which, by its own discretion, hears appeals from the courts of appeals, and retains original jurisdiction over limited matters. The chief judge is called the President of Amhara Supreme Court (Yeneneh Simegn).
Legislative branch is the State Council, which is the highest administrative body of the state, and is made up of 294 members.
In Ethiopian national politics, Amhara is represented by 138 representatives in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples’ Representatives. Like other Regions in Ethiopia, Amhara is subdivided into administrative zones.