Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has vowed to crackdown on those who attempted to abruptly end his life at a rally during the weekend, “We must separate the thorns from the roses.”
His government has swung into action by arresting dozens of suspects in connection with the assassination attempt on his life in the Capital Addis Ababa.
Addis Ababa city deputy Police Commissioner Girma Kassa is among nine other police officials arrested over this security lapse.
So far 20 suspects have been paraded before the court for trial.
On Monday, the head of Ethiopia’s Federal Police Commission Zeinu Jemal said experts from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation were providing assistance in the capital.
“The aim of their support is to help determine the perpetrators,” he told press.
On June 23rd, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia was at a rally at Mesqel Square with more than 3 million people that came out to show him their love and support.
However, as the PM concluded his speech, a grenade explosion was heard near the VIP stage.
An unidentified man in police uniform allegedly tried to throw a grenade in the direction of the stage where the prime minister was sitting with other officials.
Thirty suspects are being held over suspected links to the attack.
The new prime minister has pledged to increase government transparency and reconcile a country torn by protests since 2015.
His government has since released thousands of jailed dissidents since the beginning of the year, including members of armed groups.
Abiy has enacted major policy shifts including the partial privatisation of the state-run telecoms monopoly and state-owned Ethiopian Airlines.
He has also announced that Ethiopia will implement a peace deal with its neighbour Eritrea that was signed in 2000 after a two-year war.
For years, Addis Ababa refused to implement the deal, saying it wanted more talks.