In Ethiopia, a Tigrayan general, a former commander in the African Union mission in Somalia, died in custody. He had been arrested with other senior officers in the early days of the war in Tigray in November 2020. Rebel authorities in Tigray are calling for an independent investigation into the circumstances of his death.
General Gebremedhin Fikadu, also known as “Wedi Necho,” had been a leading figure in the Ethiopian army. On Tuesday, the external affairs office of the tiger authorities called him a “martyr” when it announced his death in custody on May 2 and called for an “independent investigation” into his death, which it said followed the suspicious deaths of two other generals, as well as “hundreds” of tiger officers and soldiers.
A former Amisom sector commander, he was the head of communications for federal troops when the war broke out. Before that, he had commanded Ethiopian troops in Liberia and then on the Badme front during the war against Eritrea between 1999 and 2000.
He was arrested on November 11, 2020, along with 16 other senior officers at the start of operations in Tigray. They were accused of sabotaging communications between the federal command and the northern commander.
General Wedi Necho, in particular, was accused of trying to get explosives to the rebel authorities. Last year, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission met with him in prison and deemed his conditions of detention “acceptable.