Who assassinated Dangote Cement Ethiopia manager and assistants?
May 18, 2018 (Mereja) — Many in Ethiopia, including the new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, and foreign investors in the country are shaken up by the apparently targeted assassination of Dangote Cement’s country manager Deep Kamra, his secretary Be’akal Alelign and driver Tsegay Giday yesterday as they were returning to Addis Ababa.
The killing has all the hallmarks of a premeditated assassination. It was planned and carried out by a trained group of gunmen. The gunmen’s action did not appear to be a robbery or a protest. They intended to kill all the passengers in the Toyota Landcruiser. Kamra was shot 7 times.
Nizar Nanek of Bloomberg wrote:
The assailants were laying in wait for Kamra and forced his driver to lose control of the vehicle by throwing a concrete block at it, before opening fire on the occupants, Edwin Devakumar [Group Executive Director] said. Addisu Arega, a member of Oromia’s regional government identified the other victims as Beakal Alelign and Tsegay Giday. Mr. Kamra tried to get out and escape,” Devakumar said. “They shot him in the leg. When he slumped into the jeep, they went near and shot him multiple times. Then they shot the driver and the secretary — also, each of them, multiple times. It was simply a massacre.
Despite reports by some media, the area in Oromia region where Kamra and his assistants were ambushed has been relatively peaceful recently. Even during the widespread protests in Oromia that ended after the appointment of Prime Minister Abiy last month, the protesters were unarmed and mostly peaceful, except when brutally attacked by security forces they responded by blocking roads. Kamra himself had built a good relationship with the local population after protesters burned down trucks that belonged to Dangote Cement in October 2016. In that particular incident, the protesters were reacting to the death of 55 people in a stampede at a religious festival that they blamed on government troops. Dangote Cement was not the target of the protest.
With military checkpoints everywhere near major cities, the only armed group that is currently able to carry out such a coordinated-attack a short distance from Addis Ababa is the government itself or, to be more specific, the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF).
TPLF’s motives for such an attack are twofold:
1) Large-scale factories such as Dangote Cement are competing with industries that are owned by the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), a minority ethnic junta that has [mis]ruled Ethiopia for the past 27 years and still controls the country’s military, the intelligence services, and economy. Dangote Cement is a major competitor of Mesobo Cement, a factory that is owned by TPLF. It is in the interest of TPLF to discourage large-scale investments that it does not control.
2) TPLF is forced to lose its grip on power in Ethiopia by several years of persistent protests that its security forces were unable to put down. In fact, the brutal measures TPLf implemented have only increased the civil unrest. Over the past few months, TPLF has lost political control of the country. But it still controls the military and the economy. The only way TPLF can keep its grip on power is by destabilizing the country and impose a military rule. The recent ethnic clashes in Somali, Giji, Benishangul, and other places in Ethiopia are all directly or indirectly linked to TPLF.
Ethiopia will not be at peace until TPLF is completely disarmed and forced to submit to the rule of law.
If the U.S. and other countries really want to help Ethiopia, it is time use the Magnitsky Act against TPLF leaders?