There were attempts on the lives of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa through bomb attacks. Both are safe and sound.
Both are new in their respective posts. Both got in after the resignation of their predecessors. Both are being seen as reformists. But today both the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa had to treasure their lives as they had to be whisked away from the scenes of bomb attacks.
At a rally in support for the new Prime Minister in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, there was a bomb explosion and officials said one person died and several more were injured. It is being thought that a grenade was thrown amid thousands of people in a market square. Earlier on PM Abiy Ahmed had said that several people had died. The Prime Minister described this unfortunate scenario as an "unsuccessful attempt by forces who do not want to see Ethiopia united".
Abiy Ahmed comes from the Oromo ethnic group, and is the first Prime Minister to come from the Oromo group. He has been instituting a major series of reforms, including opening up websites that were previously shut down. He is at the forefront of substantiating the peace deal with Eritrea that was signed in 2000.
Eritrea has condemned the attack on Mr Abiy's rally. Its ambassador to Japan Estifanos Afeworki said on Twitter the rally had been a "demonstration for peace", which he called the first of its kind "in history of Ethiopia". The US embassy in Addis Ababa also condemned the blast, tweeting: "Violence has no place as Ethiopia pursues meaningful political and economic reforms."
Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa had to be whisked away quickly from the scene where he was addressing a political rally after a small bomb exploded as he was leaving the stage. Video footage shows that as soon as he was leaving the stage, the small bomb exploded and there was chaos which ensued. It is being reported that 2 aides have dies while others have been in injured, although the officials have not yet revealed the number of people that were injured and the extent of the injuries.
His spokesperson said that the President, including the Vice-President too (Constatino Chiwenga), are safe, sound and unharmed. The spokesperson said that this was an attempt on the life of Mnangagwa, and that many other attempts have been made on his life in the last five years. Presidential spokesman George Charamba issued a statement recalling: "There have been multiple attempts on the president's life over the past five years."
The other Vice-President, Kembo Mohadi, is said to have suffered leg injuries. Journalists were also injured in the bomb blast. President Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 after a military takeover that deposed the then president Robert Mugabe who formalised it by writing a letter of resignation to the Speaker of Parliament. Elections in Zimbabwe are on July 30 and this has set a bad precedence with many condemning this act.
The opposition leader for the MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, tweeted, "Terrible events at White City stadium. Our prayers go out to the injured and we hope no lives have be lost. Violence must have no place in our politics. May God bless and protect the country we all love."
"I am more worried about you than myself," President Mnangagwa speaking to reporters, after they asked him if he was alright after the explosion.
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