Rumors of military coup in Asmara as state TV went off air

Ambassador Dina Mufti, Spokesperson at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Shimelis Kemal, state minister at the government communication affairs bureau, said they can’t confirm the rumors yet, and our calls to Ambassador Girma Asmerom, Eritrea’s Ambassador to the AU hasn’t been returned.



Reports are emerging from Asmara, Eritrea, that some 200 army mutineers have taken control of the country’s ministry of information building in central Asmara.

Amidst confusing reports what is clear that the state TV, Eri-TV, is off air.  Eritrea’s ruling party People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), website is also inaccessible. 

Tweets coming from Eritreans in exile claim no unusual activity around the national Palace area in central Asmara. #Selkid, an Eritrean from London tweeted “all key areas are surrounded but no major panic yet.” However, ten minutes later she tweeted “another friend just drove to the palace, no sign of unusual activities there.” #habtom, another Eritrean from New York, tweeted, “soldiers didn’t storm any buildings – they are camping outside.”

RFI reported that Asmelash Abreha, head of Eri-TV, has read out a brief statement just a few minutes before the station went down saying that the 1997 constitution would be implemented and all political prisoners would be freed.

Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu Ahmed has been reported missing since Dec. last year and has not been seen in public for the last few months.

Shimelis Kemal, state minister at the Ethiopian government communication affairs bureau, told Addis Standard that his office can’t confirm the information yet. “At this stage we are gathering as much information as we can,” he said over the phone.

Ambassador Dina Mufti, Spokesperson at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  also said that at this moment his government is unable to confirm the news, but will be “closely following events.”  “At this moment, I can’t tell you anything,” he told Addis Standard over the phone.

Our calls to Ambassador Girma Asmeron Tesfay,  Eritrean Ambassador to the African Union (AU) based here in Addis Ababa, have not been returned.

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