Ethiopia’s government has vowed to secure ongoing democratic reforms, saying on Friday that the ‘attempted coup’ in the Amhara region would not affect prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda.
The government said it continues to hunt for suspects, even after 255 people have been arrested in the wake of the weekend attacks that left five high-ranking officials dead.
Abiy’s office said evidence was uncovered that a series of weekend attacks in the capital Addis Ababa and northern Amhara state, had been part of “a larger plan”.
“So far, 212 people in Amhara region and 43 people in Addis Ababa have been arrested in connection with the attempted coup,” a spokesperson for Abiy told reporters in the capital.
“We have uncovered the weekend attacks were part of a larger plan and discovered documents,” to this effect.
The spokesperson said an operation to arrest suspected coup-plotters was ongoing, “and we believe some suspects may still be at large.”
An ethno-nationalist party in Amhara said more than 56 of its members and supporters have been arrested in Addis Ababa alone.
The country has been on high alert since weekend attacks killed the national army chief, a retired general and three senior regional officials dead.
The violence has underscored the pressure on Abiy, who has pursued democratic and economic reforms that critics say have brought to the surface long-running ethnic tensions and territorial disputes, leaving the country divided and wracked by ethnic fighting