Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator is gripped with fear that disgruntled members of his own ruling party, the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), are plotting to assassinate him.
Two months ago, Meles replaced many of his bodyguards from Tigray with those from the Adwa Awraja and some Eritreans whom he seems to trust more.
Last week, at least 5 of the replaced Tigrean bodyguards have been arrested and taken to an unknown location, according to Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit Sources.
The detained bodyguards have been arrested after being suspected of secretly communicating with the opposition ARENA Tigray Party.
ARENA Tigray was founded by former TPLF fighters, including the former president of Tigray Gebru Asrat.
ARENA Tigray considers Meles Zenawi as a thief and a traitor who is pitting the people of Tigray against other Ethiopian ethnic groups to prolong his rule.
As a result of growing hostility from Tigreans and his fear of assassination, Meles Zenawi, who already takes extraordinary measures to protect himself, has doubled his security detail since January and hired security experts from U.S. and other countries to train them.