Kinfe Gebremedhin

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Kinfe Gebremedhin was an Ethiopian national who fought as a commander of the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) against the military junta known as the Derg. Upon the overthrow of the Derg, Kinfe served as Chief of Security and Immigration in the new government and became a right-hand man of Meles Zenawi. He was murdered in 2001 by a fellow officer, which resulted in one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Ethiopian history.

Military career[edit]

In the 1980s, he served as a commander in the TPLF against the military government.

Political career[edit]

Following the TPLF victory, a new government under Meles Zenawi took power. Kinfe was appointed Chief of Security and Immigration, and became the right-hand man of Meles Zenawi.


In May 2001, Kinfe walked into an Officer's club in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. He was killed when Major Tsehaye Woldeselassie shot him in the head at point blank range. Tsehaye was quickly arrested. Major Tsehaye's motive was unknown, but it was speculated that it was due to a dispute between former members of the TPLF, with some dissatisfied over the outcome of the recent war with Eritrea. Kinfe's funeral was held in the Addis Ababa, with thousands of people in attendance. Tsehaye was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death; he was executed on August 6, 2007. The authorities refused to disclose the method used, but Ethiopian law states that all executions of military officers must be carried out by firing squad.