Saturday, June 22, 2019

Ethiopia: Coup attempt fails.

(Bahir Dar) A coup attempt against the head of one of the Ethiopia’s nine regional states on Saturday has failed. A spokesman for Prime MinisterAbiy Ahmed, speaking on state TV on Saturday stated:
“There was an organized coup attempt in Bahir Dar but it failed,”
It has been reported that the chief of staff of Ethiopia's army was shot dead by his own body guard in his home hour before the coup attempt began, he is now under arrest. The coup was led by former political prisoner Brig. Gen. Asaminew Tsige, who was freed last year.

The Prime minister Mr Abiy has stated that several officials had been killed during the attack in the Amhara regional capital Bahir Dar and that there has been gunfire in the capital.

The coup could be over how the Prime Minister has ruffled a few feathers since his inauguration last year by:
  1. Brokering a peace treaty with Eritrea regards their 20 year border conflict.
  2. Signed a peace treaty with rebels in the restive Oromia Region
  3. Amended the country's "draconian" anti-terrorismlaw, widely perceived as a tool of political repression.
  4. Released thousands of political prisoners
  5. Ended the state of emergency which was put in place after his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn resigned
  6. Set up a commission aimed at reviewing the divisive system of ethnic federalism. 
  7. Announced his intention to pursue the large-scale privatisation of state-owned enterprises 
  8. Declared his intention to carry out reforms of the military to strengthen its effectiveness and professionalism, with the view of limiting its role in politics

The above very rarely seen in Africa has upset quite a lot of powerful people and he has met some resistance. For example there was an attempt on his life this time last year which saw 2 people killed.
It appears that some very powerful people don't want the country to change for the better and feel that returning to how things were, is so much better. lets hope they fail.