Ethiopia Names New Police Chief for Capital After Blast at Rally

(Bloomberg) -- Ethiopia’s prime minister appointed a new police commissioner for the capital in the wake of a grenade attack at a political rally in the city at the weekend that killed two people and wounded about 150 others.

Premier Abiy Ahmed named Brigadier-General Degfe Bedi to the post, the ruling party-funded Fana Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday. His appointment follows the appearance in court Monday of 26 suspects in Saturday’s attack, including a deputy commissioner of Addis Ababa’s police.

Abiy, who took office in April amid sporadic unrest in Ethiopia’s regions, has made a raft of changes, naming new leaders to one of Africa’s largest armies and replacing his intelligence chief. The ruling coalition has vowed to continue its reforms, including improving relations with neighboring Eritrea and partially liberalizing the state telecommunications monopoly, despite the blast in Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square that it blamed on “anti-peace forces.”

Two new deputy police commissioners, Hassen Negash and Zelalem Mengiste, were also appointed, Fana said.

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