The late Girma Yeshitila (Photo: Addis Media Netwrok)
Addis Abeba – Head of the ruling Prosperity Party, Amhara region branch, Girma Yeshitila, is shot dead, sources confirmed to Addis Standard.
The specifics of the killing are yet to emerge but Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted that the party official was killed by “violent extremists who believe that he [Girma] shouldn’t have a different idea from ours”. The PM also hinted that he was killed where he was born and grew up.
Girma was at the center of the government’s controversial decision to abolish the regional special forces and “reorganize” them into national army, federal and regular police. While justifying the government’s move, Girma said that the mass protests seen in the Amhara region in opposition to the decision were the result of poor leadership on the part of the task force commissioned with reorganizing the special forces in the region.
According to him, the responsible reorganizing team was unable to adequately notify the public about the reorganization plan, and the media concentrated on disseminating political sabotage and inaccurate information irrelevant to the actual picture of the plan.
In his statement denouncing the killing of Girma, PM Abiy said it was an act of “ultimate extremism.”
The PM said that Girma was a victim of those who could not overcome differences of thoughts with their thoughts and that they “have stolen the soul of our brother.” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his grief over the death of Girma. In a statement posted on his social media pages, the Prime Minister also said that Girma’s killing came at a time when resolving differences in a civilized manner is a culture. He blamed the perpetrators as those who espoused “ultimate extremism” to try to persuade everyone who disagrees with them “with a gun” and have committed this “shameful and horrible act.”
Similarly, the Amhara regional state government denounced the “armed extremist forces” that it blamed for the killing. Furthermore, the region said he was gunned down along with his security detail while traveling from Mehal Meda to Debre Berihan, in north Showa zone, at a special place called Menz, Guwasa. They were killed when returning from government and party related works, according to the region.
“They died in an attack by armed extremist forces.”
The regional government vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. “To prevent the anarchy and terrorist acts that these extremist forces are carrying out in the region, the regional state government will take actions to control and enforce the law,” it said adding that “justice will be ensured by bringing all the forces and collaborators involved in the attack to the law”, the region further said.
The Amhara region’s Prosperity Party branch echoed the same denunciation and blamed the killing on “armed extremist forces.”
“To prevent this anarchy and terrorism in the region and to enforce the rule of law, the regional state government will take actions against those who participated and cooperated in this act. The party will fight hard for the perpetrators to be brought to justice,” it said.
In addition to leading the Amhara region Prosperity Party, Girma was also doubling a vice president of the region and a member of the party’s executive committee. AS