Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed the country’s spy chief as the the new army chief of staff.
The premier made the announcement late Friday that Gen. Adem Mohammed would take up the post replacing Seare Mekonnen who was killed last Saturday.
In the new appointments, Lieutenant General Mola Hailemariam was named chief of ground forces while Demelash Gebremichael becomes the new director of national intelligence and security service.
PM Abiy Ahmed today appointed :
– General Adem Mohammed as Chief of General Staff of the National Defence Force
– Lieutenant General Mola Hailemariam, Chief of Ground Forces
– Demelash Gebremichael, Director of National Intelligence and Security Service#PMOEthiopia
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) June 28, 2019
Following the Saturday attacks, there has been high security in the capital and the Amhara region amid a wave of arrests. The internet was shut down and only partially reopened on Friday.
A total of 255 people have been detained both in the Amhara region and Addis Ababa following the attempted coup, said the prime minister’s spokeswoman on Friday.
“The Brigadier General who orchestrated the attack, Asamnew Tsige, was killed while he was trying to flee,” press secretary Billene Seyoum said, adding the attacks were designed to gain a shortcut to power. “They were focused on undermining the reforms of the current administration,” she said.
Since the assassinations, Ethiopian security forces have arrested several members and leaders of the National Amhara Movement, a party official told The Associated Press.
“This is unacceptable and against democratic principles. This has to stop,” said Melkamu Shumye, a party leader.
Government officials are describing last week’s killings as the works of a rogue security official and his associates. Some Ethiopians worry that the subsequent mass arrests indicate that the incident is being used by the government to silence dissent, mainly in the Amhara region.