It was a sombre Monday for Ethiopia as the country held a national day of mourning.
Ethiopia was grieving the brutal death of the chief of the national army staff and a regional leader, killed in what the authorities have described as an “attempted coup d‘état” against the government of the northwestern region.
The office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that an “orchestrated coup attempt occurred on Saturday night against the President of the Amhara regional government”, one of Ethiopia’s nine autonomous regions, and the second most populous in the country.
Ethiopia observes a day of national mourning after the assassination of army Chief and regional leader.
Amhara regional ‘s president, Ambachew Mekonnen, and one of his advisors were killed in an attack in Bahir Dar, the region’s capital.
In a separate attack, but which, according to the authorities, appears to be “coordinated”, the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Armed Forces, General Seare Mekonnen, was killed by his bodyguard at his home in Addis Ababa.
The Amharas are Ethiopia’s second largest ethnic group after the Oromos. Both ethnic groups have been at the forefront of two years of demonstrations that have shaken the country.
Abiy Ahmed, of Oromo decent, has worked to democratize the country, legalizing dissident groups and improving press freedom.
But with the relaxed rule comes the liberal acts of ethnic tensions, often involving land and resources, that have led to violence in Ethiopia