Regional players were among the first to react to a tense weekend in Ethiopia where the federal government confirmed a failed coup in northern Amhara regional state.
Eritrea and Somalia reacted via tweets with the former sending condolences whiles the latter added a condemnation of the action and solidarity with the people of Ethiopia.
“The Government of Eritrea has conveyed its message of condolence to the Government & people of Ethiopia on the killing, in a failed coup attempt, of the President Amhara Regional Government, his advisor, Chief of Staff of Ethiopia’s National Defense Forces and Maj. Gen.(Rt) Gezai,” the message from Asmara read.
H.E President— Abdinur Mohamed Ahmed (VillaCommsDirec) June 23, 2019
M_Farmaajosends sincere condolences to the Govt and the people of Federal Democratic Republic of #Ethiopia over the killing of security & administrative officials. H.E condemns the attempted coup in Amhara Region & stands in solidarity with the people of Ethiopia.
Turkey on Monday issued a condemnation of the action which took the lives of regional officials and the army chief and another.
“We convey our condolences to the friendly People and the Government of Ethiopia. We reiterate that Turkey is against all attempts to unlawfully change elected Governments, and express our strong support to Ethiopia in the aftermath of this coup attempt,” the statement read.
In the case of the former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, he condemned what he said was the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
“Democracy has come to rest in Africa. Constitutionality and the rule of law are what we in Africa need, especially in the cradle of civilisation and the melting pot of the African Union.
“Africa hopes for a speedy return to normalcy and I stand ready to lend my voice and actions to make that possible. May God bless Africa and may He be with the government and people of Ethiopia at such a trying time,” his statement added.
Four officials killed
Amhara’s state president Ambachew Mekonnen and his advisor were killed in Amhara regions Bahir Dar with the PM’s office naming the region’s security head, General Asamnew Tsige, as the orchestrator of the attempted coup.
Over in Addis Ababa, army chief, Seare Mekonnen was also shot at his residence by his body guard. Another former general with him was also shot. Government confirmed their deaths early on Sunday.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government faces growing pressure from regional strongmen, including in Amhara, a flashpoint in growing ethnic violence in Ethiopia.
The shooting occurred when federal officials were meeting the state 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.