Thursday, December 9, 2021

‘Mastermind’ of Ethiopia attacks shot dead: state TV


ADDIS ABABA: The security chief of Ethiopia’s northern Amhara state, suspected of being behind a coup bid in the region and of possible links to the assassination of the army chief, has been shot dead, state media reported Monday.

“Asaminew Tsige, who has been in hiding since the failed coup attempt over the weekend has been shot dead” in the regional capital Bahir Dar, state broadcaster EBC reported.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office had named Asaminew as the chief suspect in an “attempted coup” in Amhara that left the region’s president, top adviser and attorney general dead on Saturday.

A few hours later in what the government said appeared to be a co-ordinated attack, the army chief Seare Mekonnen was killed by his bodyguard.

However details of links between the two attacks and their ultimate motive have not been made clear.

Asaminew was only last year released from almost a decade in prison over a 2009 coup plot under an amnesty.

Analysts describe him as a hardline Amhara nationalist who was likely facing removal from his job over efforts to form a militia and rhetoric pushing for territory in neighbouring Tigray to be reclaimed.

He recently appeared in a Facebook video calling for civilians to arm themselves in preparation for attack.

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