An unsuccessful coup attempt in Ethiopia has left the country chief of staff and some other top officials dead.
The coup was carried out by the country army general in the northern state of Amhara, the country television broadcast announced on Sunday.
In the attempted coup, Amhara’s state president, Ambachew Mekonnen and his advisor lost their lives.
The country media say Mr. General Asamnew Tsige, the region’s security head, masterminded the coup.
Mr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister is facing legitimacy crisis that has been engulfed with growing ethnic violence in the county.
The coup attempt happened at the time the country officials were holding meeting with the president, an ally of Abiy, to discuss how to rein in the open recruitment of ethnic militias by Asamnew, one Addis-based official told Reuters.
A week earlier, Asamnew had openly advised the Amhara people, one of Ethiopia’s larger ethnic groups, to arm themselves, in a video spread on Facebook and seen by a Reuters reporter.
Ethiopia, a nation of 100 million people, is struggling to contain widespread ethnic violence that has displaced around 2.4 million people, according to the United Nations.
Abiy donned military fatigues to announce on state television late Saturday that there had been an attempted coup in Amhara’s capital Bahir Dar earlier that day and that Ethiopia’s Chief of Staff General Seare Mekonnen was among the casualties.
“He was shot by people who are close to him,” Abiy said.