Asaminew Tsige

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Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige (Amharic: አሳምነው ፅጌ; died 24 June 2019) was an Ethiopian general who served as chief of the Amhara Region security forces during part of 2019. He had previously been serving a life sentence in relation to an alleged coup attempt staged by Ginbot 7. During his imprisonment, he was allegedly tortured and lost sight in one eye.[1] He was released in 2018 and restored to his prior rank and pension.[2]

Asaminew is part of Amhara people, which is Ethiopia's second largest ethnic group. He has been known for his hard line ethnic nationalism and was particularly popular among a segment of young Ethiopians.[3] After his release from prison and appointment to a government post, he has advocated for more autonomy for Amhara and went as far as calling members of his ethnic groups to arm themselves and join local militias.[4] Though the International Crisis Group said that his activities helped the rise of the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA), which emerged as a challenger to the Amhara Democratic Party, NaMA was established before the coming of Gen. Asaminew to the government power.[5]

Asaminew was accused of being behind an alleged attempted coup in the Amhara Region in 2019. The President of Amhara region Ambachew Mekonnen was killed during the alleged attempt. In a related event, the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, Gen. Se'are Mekonnen, and his aide, Maj. Gen. Gizae Aberra, were assassinated by a bodyguard, the office of Ethiopian prime minster Dr. abiy Ahmed said.[6] Se'are and Ambachew were close allies of the prime minister.[3] Following the alleged attempted coup, he was on the run, with his whereabouts unknown,[7] until he was shot dead by police on 24 June, after 36 hours at large, Ethiopian state television announced[8]


  1. ^ Shay, Caitlin (20 January 2010). "Ethiopian Court Sentences 33 Opposition Members to Life Sentences and Five Leaders to Death". Human Rights Brief. American University, Washington College of Law. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Ethiopia: Army and Intelligence Chiefs Replaced". Tesfa News. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Ethiopia 'coup ringleader killed'". 25 June 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  4. ^ Solomon, Salem (25 June 2019). "Analysts Unsure Why General Killed Amhara Region President". Voice of America. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  5. ^ AFP (30 June 2019). "Ethiopia on edge in ethnic heartland of 'coup leader'". The Chronicle. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Ethiopia's Amhara state chief killed amid regional coup attempt". Al Jazeera News. Al Jazeera Media Network. 23 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Ethiopia Amhara 'coup ringleader on the run'". BBC News Online. BBC Online. BBC. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Alleged Ethiopian coup mastermind shot dead after 36-hour manhunt". i24 News. Retrieved 24 June 2019.