Africa: Ethiopian Assassinations Likely a Backlash From Old Guard Against Abiy Ahmed's Reforms

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (file photo).

US assistant secretary of state for Africa Tibor Nagy says reformist Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed probably still has a rocky road ahead after an apparent regional coup attempt in Ahmara and assassinations in Addis Ababa.

America's top Africa diplomat suspects the failed coup attempt in Ethiopia's Amhara region and the killing of the country's army chief in Addis Ababa on Saturday were likely further attempts by vestiges of the old regime to sabotage the ambitious liberal reforms of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

US assistant secretary of state for Africa, Tibor Nagy, noted in Pretoria on Sunday that these were not the first attempts by the old guard to torpedo Abiy's radical changes, and would probably not be the last.

He characterised the violent reactions also as the results of rising ethnic pressures suppressed by the previous autocratic regime and now released by Abiy's efforts to liberalise Ethiopia's politics.

Amhara state president, Ambachew Mekonnen -- an Abiy appointee -- and his adviser were shot dead and the state's attorney-general was wounded in Amhara's capital Bahir Dar on the evening of Saturday, June 22, 2019, according to a statement from Abiy's office.

It blamed the killings on Amhara state security head...

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