Ethiopia army has announced that it has killed former Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin, one of the founding members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Mr Seyum, who served as foreign minister from 1991 until 2010, was killed along with three other senior TPLF members in the northern Tigray region, the army said.
The government had issued a warrant for his arrest – along other top figures in the party – following the military operation in Tigray in November. A reward of 10m birr ($254,000; £187,000) for tips leading to their arrest was also offered.
The army said they were requested to surrender but refused to do so. Dozens of other TPLF members had been killed and arrested in its latest operation, it added.
Big Blow for TPLF
Seyoum Mesfin was an influential Tigray People’s Liberian Front (TPLF) figure and after serving as foreign minister for 19 years, most of that time under former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
He was involved in the South Sudan peace talks as the chief mediator after civil war erupted there in 2013.
He was then posted to China as the country’s envoy at a time when China was slowly exerting its influence across the continent and was key in making Ethiopia one of the biggest recipients of Chinese foreign direct investment on the continent.
He is probably the most influential TPLF figure killed so far and his death is a big blow to the party.