Major General Gebremedhin Fekadu (name de guerre: Wedi Necho) has died in prison in Addis Ababa in a mysterious manner. The Tigrayan general who was serving as head of Ethiopian Defence Communications before his imprisonment as part of the sweeping detention of almost all Tigrayan members of the ENDF, died abruptly after doing his normal prison activities. The Major General served Ethiopia as a soldier and a commander for a long time, including in peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Somalia. Before his role as head of Ethiopian Defence Communications, he was commander of the Ethiopia peacekeeping Forces in Somalia.
Major General Gebremedhin Fikadu was detained on 11 Nov 2020 together with 17 other generals and lower-ranking officers on the accusation that they cut communications to the Northern Command and enabling Tigrayan forces to attack it. But Tigrayans believe it is a bogus claim to attack Tigrayans, as later events targeting all Tigrayans showed.
The Major General was charged with treason together with the following six military leaders.
- Major General Yirdaw Gebremedhin,
- Brigadier General Gebrehiwot Sasuniyos,
- Brigadier General Ansu Yijajo,
- Brigadier General Fiseha Gebressilassie,
- Colonel Desalegn Abebe,
- Colonial Eyasu Negash Tesema
Later, the following were also charged.
- Brigadier General Abraham Mawcha
- Colonel Gebrehiwet Desta
- Colonel Yohannes Bekele
- Colonel Zemen Tamene
- Shaleqa (Commander of a Thousand) Gebreegziabher Girmai
- Lieutenant Tekel Hailu ኮሎኔል ተክለ ኃይሉ፣–
- Lieutenant MiRuts Weldearegai
- Shaleqa Haileselassie Girmai
- Shaleqa Birhane Gebru
Tigrayans have been attacked, arrested and disappeared in Ethiopia on the basis of their identity. Their businesses have been closed and their properties confiscated. More than 17,000 Tigrayan members of the Ethiopian Defence Forces have been arrested in concentration camps across the country.
The Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, Se’are Mekonnen (ስዓረ መኰነን) who is a Tigrayan, was assassinated on 22 June 2019. The Abiy government which is the prime suspect for the assassination has, of course, not conducted any investigation into his assassination.