A brief account of criminal acts during the funeral of the two generals in Mekelle, Ethiopia

Filed under: Opinion |

After General Seare Mokonnen, the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian armed forces and his colleague Major General Gezae Abera were murdered in the home of the former by his own body guard in an attempted coup d’etat on 15 June 2019, four days later a funeral was arranged on 19 June 2019 at the city of Mekelle, the capital of Tigray.

Representing my party, the Tigrian Alliance for National Democracy (TAND) and to pay my last respect for the slain generals who were my former colleagues during the struggle to oust the military junta known as the Derg, I travelled to the martyrs’ monument in Mekelle where the funeral procession starts and a memorial service was taking place.

As I approached the site, a group of hooligans began shouting insults, like ‘’traitor” “banda” etc. directed at me. The chants  were being aired earlier on the Tigray Radio and tv, also directed at Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Mr. Abraha Desta, Chairman of the Arena Tigray Party.

The chants were followed by throwing stones at me, and the police on the spot had to intervene to protect me. Subsequently, I was whisked away to a nearby police station where the situation seemed calm. After a while, I demanded to fly back to Addis Ababa from where I flew the same morning. The officer in charge of the station, Commander Abadi Zegeye, appeared to heed to my demands and soon I began heading towards the airport of Mekelle escorted by four policemen.

The officer escorting me, however, instructed our driver to continue to Quha, a town about ten kilometers away from the airport. When I challenged the officer why change the direction, he replied “it is an order from above”.  Soon, I ended up in Quha police station and was locked in a prison cell with my personal belongings taken away. There was no explanation to my incarceration.

After I spent the rest of day and the night in the prison cell, at about 10:30 in the morning, my captors set me free and accompanied me back to the airport from where I made my way back to Addis Ababa, but harassed, injured and without attending the funeral of my loved ones.

Meanwhile my close colleague, Mr. Amanuel Wolde Libanos, who drove to Quha looking for me was ambushed by four policemen, and at gun point he was led to the outskirts of Quha where the policemen forced a plastic bottle full of poison into his mouth. As he fought back, some of the liquid poison went through his mouth while the rest was splashed over his clothes and body. Luckily for him, passers-by ladies who shouted for help, rescued him from the deadly ordeal, and to this day he is undergoing medical treatment at Addis Ababa hospital.

Plainly, these criminal acts were perpetrated by agents of the regional government of Tigray – acts which are tantamount to state terrorism. Using the funeral ceremony as a pretext, subsidiaries of the regional government had assembled over 3000 hooligans from all the sub-districts of Tigray (150 from each) and had used the sad occasion as a political platform, reminiscent of the defunct Fascist Derg. Such hideous acts, especially during somber moment when everybody is poised to mourn, are alien from the culture of Ethiopians and humanity at large.

With best regard,

 

Aregawi Berhe (PhD)

Chairman –TAND

12 July 2019

 

Note:

I have been a resident in The Netherlands since 1993 as a political refugee with Ä status. I did my MA in Politics of Development at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and my PhD in Vrije University Amsterdam. Intermittently, I worked as a research assistant at Afrika Study Center, Leiden University for over seven years. I am also politically engaged in the process of establishing a democratic system in Ethiopia.

For futher details on our struggle to democratize Ethiopia, please visit our website, www.tand-tesfana.com

 

 

6 Responses to A brief account of criminal acts during the funeral of the two generals in Mekelle, Ethiopia

  1. The ever sticking up criticism and posturing for respecting some rules,the constitution and bla bla made by the TPLF woyane against the current novice regime remainds of the old adage ofjust do as I say but not as I do. Did they ever respect any rulers over 27 years? Nada. Be aware of all this noises and who or where it is coming from! It is all about smear-mongering campaign, political posturing and staying in relevant, if not sabotage and conspiracy scheme in the crudist form.

    Plain view
    July 13, 2019 at 6:42 pm
    Reply

  2. Sad,very sad but it is also scary and troubling situation.

    Plain view
    July 13, 2019 at 6:58 pm
    Reply

  3. You were extremely to come out alive. This is what ethnic politics does it to you, sir. You are also extremely lucky that they did not force feed you some concoction. I tell what? That was not smart in your part to put yourself in the lion’s den knowing what you have said about those thugs and their ruffian leaders over the years. It was somewhat similar to the mistake the brutally murdered Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi did by going to and entering the Saudi Embassy by himself in Turkey on ‘appointment’. You came out alive but he did not. Consider the hour and minute you arrived back in Addis(Finfine) the time you were re-born. My sincere congratulations to you and your loved ones!!!

    Ittu Aba Farda
    July 13, 2019 at 11:24 pm
    Reply

  4. Farada you are like a snake . I should say a chameleon working for amaras in oromo’s clothings;

    donot meddle up please give it a rest!!

    Are you a political asylum seeker out there. I suppose you are striving to collect stories strengthening your status there.

    thank you for not being chameleon on and off.

    meron
    July 15, 2019 at 6:31 am
    Reply

    • Why do you mention the name “Amhara” here? You are sick. I hope you do not go to your grave with the hatred of the innocent and hard working people of Ethiopia-Amharic speaking people.

      meseret
      July 15, 2019 at 11:53 pm
      Reply

  5. The recent statements of the TPLF directed at the Amhara Democratic Party are all the signs of desperation on its part. It can also be viewed as a preemptive move by the TPLF because it is losing influence and relevance in the very EPRDF it had created to misrule and pillage Ethiopia. The TPLF owned the EPRDF but now it has lost it and seems to prefer to leave it scapegoating the Amhara Democratic Party. Due to its very nature (infatuation with power, feeling av supremacy and robbery) the TPLF does not accept partnership and equality. Its power in Tigray will also wane because the citizens there will not continue to be the pawns of the TPLF. Tigray will not remain the last bastion of the TPLF fascists and criminals. The actions targeting Dr. Aregawi can be takens as the last gasp of the TPLF.

    Mustafa
    July 15, 2019 at 7:26 am
    Reply

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