The story began like this. According to a close family of General Seare Mekonnen, on 22 June Saturday around 7pm, the Commander in Chief of the Ethiopian Army was rushing home from his office to meet one of his friends waiting for him at his villa house located at the back of Desalgne Hotel around Bole Atlas. The commander reached home around 8pm and hugged his friend who was coming to say congratulations about Ma’asho Seare, his son, who graduated a week ago from the university. Then the two friends sat down in small chairs which were put on the balcony of the house.
Usually when General Seare Mekonnen and Brigadier General Gezai Abera met they laughed by remembering the old incidents and happenings in the war they both participated in.
The two friends who had been close friends since the armed struggle against to topple the Derg regime would visit each other whenever they had free time. Seare was playing a great role in the Ethio-Eritrea war in addition to defeating the Derge solders in Guna Mountain and evacuating them in Dessie. ‘Aba Hawi’ was his nick name which means fire to describe how brave he was in war tactics. PM Abiy Ahmed who understood his bravery assigned him to lead the army a year ago. Gezai who has three children was widely known for his brave logistic management by purchasing army material.
Gezai said, “sorry my friend I was not able to come to your son’s graduation ceremony last week due to my busy schedule” and Seare said with a smiling face, ‘No problem.’’
Colonel Tsige, the wife of the General Seare brought them wine and went to the kitchen to bring food. But then suddenly their lives were snuffed out. The young guard of General Seare whose age is in between 25 and 27 and named Mesafint Tigabu came alone to the balcony and pulled the trigger of his gun and showered bullets into the two friends.
Loud screams began to be heard around the area. Colonel Tsige along with her daughter started crying and screaming in the room she was hiding in. Nobody came but there was continuous gun firing. After a couple of minutes other guards who were outside of the house went into the house and they found the two friends lying on the ground bleeding and dying. In the middle the of the generals Mesafint was also lying and families picked the two generals and took them to Washington Medical Center around 7:30 pm but the generals had already passed away before they reached the hospital.
A close family member said, “You know what happened while the two generals went to the hospital people heard that the person who killed them was in the ground and everybody thought he had died but it is was not like that. He pretended as if he was dead. But he latter tried to run and one of the guards shot him around his legs and he then entered into a small guard house and then there was more gun fire until eventually he shot himself and the security guards pulled him out and took him to the hospital.’’
Though Washington Medical center refused to give any information regarding with the deaths of the friends, General Seare’s close family said the guard showered 10 bullets in Seare’s body.
“It is a very sad day for us. We lost big men. Our hero died in front of his children who won several wars. And it is a shame to kill a General by his own guard who was assigned to protect him,’’ said Colonle Tekelay W/Giorgis a longtime friend of General Seare.
A close family source told Capital that Mesafint, who had been working for Serae for four months was asking officials to change him from the general’s house. And Colonel Tsige was also not comfortable with Mesafint and frequently asked her husband to replace the guard with another one but the General was not interested in her opinion and instead continued trusting the guard.
Two or three hours ago before the generals’ deaths big shocking news was also heard from Bahir Dar when the Amhara Region President, Ambachew Mekonnen was assassinated.
According to Amhara Mass Media (AMM) seven of central committee member of the Amhara Democratic Party were in meeting in their head office. Around 5 PM a group of armed men entered in to the office and headed to the meeting office and killed three of the central committee members including regional president, Ambachew Mekonnen, his adviser Ezzeze Wassie, and the regions attorney general Megbaru Kebede. According AMM the top officials killed were led by Amhara’s security chief, Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige.
“While we were in the meeting and discussing how to handle the region’s peace, gun fire was heard outside of our office and when we looked from the window it was Asamnew who was ordering men to go to us and kill people. Ezzeze Wassie was trying to close the door to save our life but in the end three died and four of us survived from the horrible incident,” said Melaku Alebel, Amhara Regional State Investment Commissioner.
Both Ambachew Mekonnen and his adviser Ezzeze Wassie were part of the EPDRF arm who fought the Derge regime. Both of them were gaining acceptance in their work in the region.
Melaku was asked if there was any tense disagreement between Asaminew Tsige and the others central committee members.
“No! Like any human being we might have differences but we had not that much a big gap which could cause us to kill each other. Three days before the incident we had a meeting and Asaminew was happy so we did not expect him to kill our brothers.”
After the incident more than 300 people were arrested in connection with the case. The mastermind, Asaminew was killed in a town called Zenzelima, 15 km away from Bahir Dar.
Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, head of the region’s special forces is also detained in connection with the assassination of high level government officials.
In Addis also more than 100 people have also been arrested in connection with the coup attempt and other suspected terrorist activities and their cases have gone to court.
What really motivated Asaminew to kill the leaders and who is behind General Seare Mekonnen’s assassination has not been fully answered by the government who was saying simply the incident was part of the failed coup attempt.
But some politicians and dwellers in the country say that the government has failed to secure the country’s peace.
Kinfe Michael Abebe (Abebe Kesto) says that the recent killing of the officials is the result of poor consensus and a big division among the ruling party.
“I was sleeping when I heard the news form my friend who called me. And I said to myself where are we going and what we can we do to save our nation. They told us that EPRDF is a strong party but we have seen that they are killing each other and they don’t respect one another. We are observing that one ethnic class is trying to dominate another and one region is building its own special force and currently it is not safe to move freely in the country and we have reached the right time to change the constitution and to ease the burden of ethnic clashes otherwise we will get into big trouble because we cannot make peace in the way we are following now.’’
Teshome Behailu, a dweller in Addis said that Abiy’s government must act like a soldier not like a preacher.
“I am pleased about some of the things that this government has done. But war lords are everywhere. They can do whatever they want. As a citizen I feel unsafe traveling to somewhere in the country. I have seen that the government is doing nothing when juvenile men are disturbing the country. It is the time to act not only to speak.”
A security officer in the government told Capital that government should deeply investigate the police and the security staff to make stable peace in the country.
“We have heard that the higher military staff was killed his own guard and this story is telling us there is hidden agenda among some of the security staff and we have to sit and investigate this case. When we see the crime in the country we have seen also some of the police are part of the crime which let citizen’s to feel fear in their own country and this case also need deep looking and solutions to save the country from recurrent disability.’’
But for well-known politician Kebede Chane the meaning of freedom and democracy is wrongly interpreted in the country which has cost many lives.
“Is that democracy? To see mob justice? Is that freedom? To block roads and kill people with hatred and ethnic discrimination? The news that we heard from Bahir Dar and Addis last Saturday is totally against our culture and values. We have to work in the media to shape the wrong things being done in the country and the government should also look inside to find a way to stop war lords and to make sustainable peace in the country.”