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Ethiopians arrests 300 in connection with failed coup attempt

by Elias Gebreselassie ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Security forces in Ethiopia have arrested around 300 people suspected of being involved a failed coup attempt on June 22, an Ethiopian official said on Sunday.

Abere Adamu, Chief Police Commissioner in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state, said around 300 people have been arrested suspected of being involved in the failed coup attempt earlier this month, state media outlet Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) reported on Sunday.

Adamu, noting the formation of an investigation team, said the team has started a thorough investigation to apprehend any remaining suspects in the failed coup attempt.

The officer added that normalcy has returned to the Amhara region, and urged the population not to heed rumors being propagated by destructive elements.

A failed coup attempt on June 22, suspected to be carried out by forces loyal to Asaminew Tsige, head of security at Amhara regional state, caused the deaths of dozens of people including the Amhara regional state president, Ambachew Mekonnen and Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Army, Seare Mekonnen.

Migbaru Kebede, Attorney General of the Amhara regional state, Ezez Wassie, who was an advisor to the Amhara region’s president, as well as Major-General Geza’e Abera, a retired former senior official in the Ethiopian army were also killed in the failed coup attempt.

On Friday, Billene Seyoum, Spokeswoman for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said Tsige, the suspected mastermind of the failed coup, was shot dead Monday in a shootout with security forces.

The failed coup attempt also triggered a total internet blackout throughout the East African country as the Ethiopian government launched nationwide crackdown on the organized coup attempt, mainly in the Amhara region and the capital Addis Ababa.


Ethiopia restores mobile internet connection in capital after 10 days outage

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia has restored mobile internet connection in its capital city Addis Ababa after a 10 days outage.

The Ethiopian government is yet to give a statement on the internet outage, but the internet outage started on the evening of June 22, soon after reports came out of a failed coup attempt in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state that left the region’s President Ambachew Mekonen dead.

Several hours later Ethiopia’s army chief Seare Mekonen was assassinated in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa by his bodyguard, in what Ethiopian officials say was a coordinated effort to destabilize the Ethiopian government.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has linked the two events and vowed to take measures on all suspected coup plotters.

However, the restoration of mobile internet access seems to be only restricted to Addis Ababa and its surroundings with Netzines living in regional cities telling Xinhua that they have yet to access the internet on their mobile phones.

Ethiopia has since Thursday largely restored broadband and WIFI internet connections across the country.

The Ethiopian government has in recent years-imposed internet blackout in parts of the country on several occasions during times of serious unrest, but this is the longest and most extensive internet blackout the east African country has underwent so far.


African Union condemns failed coup in Ethiopia and reiterates support

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has condemned a failed coup attempt in Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state that killed senior federal and regional government officials.

The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, "wishes to express his deepest condolences to the families of the national figures killed in the tragic events that occurred on Saturday in the Amhara region and in the capital Addis Ababa," according to an AU statement.

The pan-African bloc’s statement, issued late Wednesday, followed the failed attempt on June 22 to overthrow the Amhara region’s governance structure, which left at least six federal and regional government officials dead, including the Amhara regional state president, Ambachew Mekonen, chief of staff of the Ethiopian defense forces, Seare Mekonen, and other high-level Ethiopian officials.

The AU "reiterated the steadfast support of the African Union Commission to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the government of Ethiopia in their pursuit of the national reform and reconciliation agenda in the country," the statement said.

Also killed in the coup attempt were a retired major-general, Geza’e Abera, Ezez Wassie, an adviser to the Amhara region’s president, and Migbaru Kebede, attorney general of the Amhara regional state.

While the three Amhara regional government officials were killed in the regional capital, Bahir Dar, the army chief of staff and Abera were killed in the capital, Addis Ababa, according to Ethiopian Minister of Defense Lemma Megersa.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the failed coup was orchestrated by Brig.-Gen. Asaminew Tsige, the intelligence and security chief of the Amhara regional state.

Tsige "has been shot dead on the outskirt of the regional capital Bahir Dar," the government said on Tuesday.

Ethiopian airlines conducts first cargo flight between
China’s Chongqing and Brazil’s Sao Paulo

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia’s national air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has conducted its first cargo flight from the Chinese city of Chongqing to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.

Speaking to Xinhua, Asrat Begashaw, head of public relations at Ethiopian Airlines, said once a week cargo flight between Chongqing and Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo was started on Wednesday and the cargo flight is expected to further facilitate trade ties between the two giant economies.

Begashaw said a general commodity export goods from China were transported by Boeing 777 cargo planes which landed in Sao Paulo airport on Wednesday evening.

Chongqing is a major hub for motor vehicle and high value electronics production.

Ethiopian Airlines already has five cargo and passenger flight destinations in China—Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.

ET is also planning to start flights to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong Province, which is home to internationally known high-tech companies including Huawei and ZTE.

Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier and the fourth in the world to fly to China back in 1973.

Ethiopian Airlines signs U.S. $500 million dollars partnership agreement

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia’s national air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) announced on Thursday it has signed a 500 million U.S. dollars partnership agreement with a U.S. based firm Collins Aerospace.

In a press statement, ET said the agreement with Collins Aerospace, a firm that supplies aerospace and defense products, will last for 25 years and cover agreement to maintenance of heat exchangers, air management systems and fuel metering units on 60 De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 turboprops.

"Within our strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, we envision making our Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) unit, the leading service provider in Africa with revenue close to 600 million U.S. dollars," said ET Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam.

"As ET MRO continues to rapidly expand in line with our strategy, the new partnership enables us serve other African carriers with their Q-400 aircraft maintenance needs," said Tewolde.

Ethiopian Airlines MRO unit has seen significant growth over the past decade and currently provides airframe maintenance on the Airbus A350XWB, Boeing 737/757/767/777/787, Bombardier Q100/Q200/Q300/Q400, Diamond DA40/42 NG and Cessna 172 series training aircraft, including heavy maintenance checks and modifications.

The ET MRO facility also carries out scheduled MRO checks as well as unscheduled maintenance work and winglet installations on the Boeing 767 and Boeing 737.



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