The return of political violence last week was such a shock following the assassinations of Army Chief-of-Staff Se`are Mekonnen (Gen) and his friend Ge`zai Abera, a retired army general.


Shock and grief engulfed the nation last week as news spread that top military officers in Addis Abeba and high ranking politicians in Bahir Dar were assassinated. A nation grieved with family members see during the farewell in Addis Abeba (above) and funeral (inset) held in Bahir Dar.


Hours before that, in Bahir Dar, the seat of the Amhara Regional State, its President, Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD); his aide, Ezez Wassie; and Migbaru Kebede, the region’s attorney general, were shot dead while attending a meeting.


It was a sober moment in a time span of a little over a year, the country has gone from euphoria and hope to tragedy and trauma.




When three years of widespread protests resulted in two rounds of states of emergency, the entire country, even the world, was holding its breath, fearing the worst. Whether Ethiopia was going to descend into a civil war was the question on everyone’s mind. When a ruling party renowned for its stubbornness, reluctantly but with unexpected flexibility, offered a bold reform agenda that included a change of leadership, there was a collective sigh of relief. It was a realisation that the country had just stepped back from the edge of the precipice. The new leadership of EPRDF, now led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), moved quickly to open up the political space, release prisoners and journalists, and invite political organisations to freely and legally operate in the country. When that was followed up with new appointments to the Election Board and the Supreme Court, signalling the intention to reform independent institutions, it was taken to be kind of an unwritten bargain for a new beginning of electoral politics.


The return of political violence last week was such a shock following the assassinations of Army Chief-of-Staff Se`are Mekonnen (Gen) and his friend Ge`zai Abera, a retired army general. Hours before that, in Bahir Dar, the seat of the Amhara Regional State, its President, Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD); his aide, Ezez Wassie; and Migbaru Kebede, the region’s attorney general, were shot dead while attending a meeting.  The government accused Asamenew Tsegie (Br. Gen.), head of the regional state’s security bureau, for masterminding and orchestrating the killings in an attempted coup d’etat. He was later killed in an exchange of fire with police. Now, people are not only grieving bitterly for those who lost their lives, but they are also grieving for much more.



PUBLISHED ON Jun 29,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1000]



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