Ethiopia’s army chief was gunned down by his bodyguard just hours after an attempted coup.
General Seare Mekonnen was killed at his home in the capital Addis Ababa.
His murder was linked to an earlier ‘hit squad’ attack on a meeting of officials in the state of Amhara, 300 miles to the north, which killed regional president Ambachew Mekonnen.
General Seare Mekonnen (centre back) was killed at his home in the capital Addis Ababa. Pictured, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (centre left) walks alongside Shams-Eddin Kabashi, Sudan’s Transitional Military Council spokesman, earlier this month
A spokesman for prime minister Abiy Ahmed said the attempted coup – which was said to have been led by Amhara’s security chief Asaminew Tsige – and the violence in Addis Ababa appeared to be co-ordinated.
William Davison, an analyst with peace campaigners the International Crisis Group, said: ‘We don’t know what the broader intentions of the attackers were. It is not apparent that there was any organised plan to take over the regional government, but it is possible,’
The prime minister took office last year and his sweeping reforms – not least of the military and intelligence services – have earned him powerful enemies.
Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki (centre) is welcomed by Ethiopia Prime Minister of Abiy Ahmed (right) and Seare Mekonnen (centre left) as he arrives at the Bole International airport in Addis Ababa. The prime minister took office last year