Ethiopia holds memorial for slain military chief


A memorial service has been held by Ethiopian authorities in honour of slain army chief of staff who died along four other senior officials while trying to foil a coup plot in Amhara region over the weekend.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, other government officials as well as hundreds of soldiers and officers in uniform gathered for a ceremony in a huge hall in central Addis Ababa.

The coffins of army chief of staff Seare Mekonnen and a retired general, both shot dead on Saturday by Seare’s bodyguard in the national capital, were wheeled into the hall, draped in Ethiopian flags.

Seare will be buried in his home region of Amhara on Wednesday.

Saturday’s violence unfolded in two separate attacks. They were led by Amhara’s head of state security General Asamnew Tsige, who had been openly recruiting fighters for ethnic militias in a state that has become a flashpoint for violence.

In addition to the assassinations in the capital, Amhara state president Ambachew Mekonnen and an adviser were also killed in the region’s main city Bahir Dar.

The killings are the biggest challenge yet to sweeping political and economic reforms that the 42-year-old prime minister kick-started after he took power in the Horn of Africa country in April 2018.


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