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News: Families searching whereabouts of former Amhara state Special Forces commander


Former Amhara State Special Forces Commander, Brigadier General Tefera Mamo. Picture: Screengrab/AS

Addis Abeba – After reports surfaced that Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, the former commander of Amhara regional state Special Forces, was missing since last night, his wife confirmed today that he did not come home after he went to meet a friend on Monday 17 May at around 11:15 AM local time.

Menen told the BBC Amharic that despite her efforts going to Addis Abeba Police and Federal Criminal Investigation Bureau in the capital to request her husband’s whereabouts, she was told that “he has not been in custody”.

Brig. Gen. Tefera was in charge of the region’s special forces when military offensive by Tigrayan forces swept through a large part of the regional state before their withdrawal in December last year. But on 17 February 2022 he was removed from his position and appointed as as Security Adviser to the President Amhara region, Dr. Yilikal Kefale, a position he declined to take.

In recent weeks, he has been making several media appearances accusing the federal government of working to “weaken” the Amhara regional state security structure including criticizing crackdowns against the Fano armed structure. He also accused some senior members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) of not having the military skill and interest, as well as being part of conspiracies to mount a successful military deterrence against Tigrayan forces.

He is accustomed to detention and has endured it but we are concerned about his health”

His wife Menen

According to his wife, Brig. Gen. Tefera traveled from Bahir Dar, the capital of Amhara state, to Addis Abeba to seek medical attention regarding the bullets shrapnel in his legs. “He is accustomed to detention and has endured it but we are concerned about his health,” she said.

Neither the federal nor the Addis Abeba police commissions have commented on the matter as of the writing of this news.

Background

Bir. Gen Tefera was leading the regional state’s Special Forces until he was detained with 52 others in connection with the 22 June 2019 assassination of senior officials, including the region’s president and its attorney general. But on 19 December 2019 all charges brought against him and a few others including Col. Alebel Amare, Col. Beamlak Tesfa & Commander Getnet Shiferaw, were dropped and the cases were closed by the region’s prosecutor office. Bir. Gen Tefera was reinstated to his previous position in July 2021.

Before that he was one of the top military officers jailed in 2009 accused of attempting to stage a military coup. Along with the late Bir. Gen. Asaminew Tsige, who was killed by government security forces while on the run after the assassination of the senior officials in Amhara region, and eight other senior military officers, Bir. Gen Tefera was released after nearly a decade in prison following the decision by EPRDF’s executive to release political prisoners; he was subsequently freed along with thousands in February 2018. AS






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