Meles wants to marginalize the Oromo and Amhara factions of EPRDF by replacing them with minority groups from the South. It is the right decision for the Apartheid policy of TPLF. No one would be more loyal to the TPLF than minority groups from the South. The Oromo and Amharas, who constitute jointly about 80% of the Ethiopian population, are no better than Silte or Adare. As it stands, a minority group, Silte wields more power than Oromo/Amhara combined, Ethiopian Analyst tells me.
||Prime Minister (PM)
|Hailemariam Desalegn||M||Walayita||Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Siraj Fegeta||M||Silte||Minister of Defense|
|Dr. Shiferaw Tekelemariam||M||Hadiya||Minister of Federal Affairs|
|Berhane Hailu||M||Amhara||Minister of Justice|
|Junedin Sado||M||Oromo||Minister of Civil Service|
|Sufian Ahmed||M||Oromo||Minister of Finance and Economic Development|
|Tefera Deribew||M||Amhara||Minister of Agriculture|
|Mekonnen Manyazewal||M||Amhara||Minister of Industry|
|Abdurahman Sh/Mohammed||M||Somali||Minister of Trade|
|Desse Dalke||M||Sidama||Minister of Science and Technology|
|Diriba Kuma||M||Oromo||Minister of Transport|
|Debretsion Gebremikael||M||Tigraway||Minister of Communication and Information Technology|
|Mekuria Haile||M||Gurage||Minister of Urban Development and Construction|
|Alemayehu Tegenu||M||Oromo||Minister of Water and Energy|
|Sinknesh Ejigu||F*||Oromo||Minister of Mines|
|Demeke Mekonnen||M||Amhara||Minister of Education|
|Dr. Tewodros Adhanom||M*||Tigraway (Eritrean)
||Minister of Health|
|Abdulfetah Abdulahi Hassen||M||Somali||Minister of Labor and Social Affairs|
|Amin Abdulkadir||M||Afar||Minister of Culture and Tourism|
|Zenebu Tadesse||F||Amhara||Minister of Women, Youth and Children’s Affairs|
|Bereket Simon||M***||Amhara (Eritrean)||Communication Office Head|
|Aster Mamo||F||Oromo||Government Chief Whip|
|Melaku Fanta||M||Amhara||Director General of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority|
Who Is Really In Charge?
Whereas the inclusion of Muslims in the Ministerial appointments is a small token of appeasement for the large Muslim community, the shift to southerners as new political allies is both apparent and a strategic political buffer for Meles. Hailemariam’s double assignment is indicative of that fact. Hailemariam, already hailed by some in the EPRDF as “the rising star in Ethiopian politics”, is sectional even within the SNNP organization.
A minority from Walayita ethnic group, widely rumored as being groomed for the premier post, Hailemariam is a loyal soldier whose survival and elevation to power is dependent solely on Meles. That will in turn give Meles an opportunity to become the Putin of Ethiopia where Mr. Desalegn will be the charming Medvedev. With Girma Birru, the most likely would be successor according to some analysts, out of the game; OPDO has no figure that is loyal to and capable of replacing the Premier. But Hailemariam’s now eminent succession puts to rest the buzz about OPDO’s growing influence.
1) Meles wants to marginalize the Oromo and Amhara factions of EPRDF by replacing them with minority groups from the South. It is the right decision for the Apartheid policy of TPLF. No one would be more loyal to the TPLF than minority groups from the South. The Oromo and Amharas, who constitute jointly about 80% of the Ethiopian population, are no better than Silte or Adare. As it stands, a minority group, Silte wields more power than Oromo/Amhara combined.
2) The second point which became more apparent is TPLF’s lack of any fear and their usual face saving measures. The Minister of Justice, for the first time in that country’s history, is being headed by someone who has never been to Law School, including the Civil Service Political School.
Ethiopia’s Parliament Nominated for Guinness Book
The parliament quite a replica of Lenin’s and China’s rubber-stamp, is made up of representatives from one and only one party (remember, EPRDF won 99.6% of the seats?). As such, Abadula and the MP’s are only there to give the final procedural go-ahead on the decisions made by TPLF, then reviewed by EPRDF Executive Committee. This is already been evidenced by its first unanimous vote on the ministers appointment, the first of many such unanimous decisions to come in the next five years. No debate or argument expected, just a unanimous vote. Eskinder Nega, a prominent Ethiopian journalist who writes startling commentaries from Addis Ababa, recommends the rubberstamp parliament for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records – noting the alacrity with which the congress approved Meles’s ministerial appointments – in 1, 2, 3….11 minutes.
Birtukan Mideksa to be Released
On Birtukan’s now confirmed release, Meles is going to have his biggest PR day of the year. Indeed a blessing in disguise. I welcome her release but no doubt the move is meant to sap whatever energy there is left from the once vocal opposition and to silence “the extremist Diaspora.” A good signal to the west, Meles is all but trying to revamp his image and bury the deep scar inflicted by an embarrassing election.
Also, already on the witch-hunt for donors to finance his five year GTP, Meles will have more talking points at the next meeting with “development partners.” With Seyoum Mesfin rumored to take over the now vacant, United States Ambassadorial post, the release of Birtukan can also be a gambit to level off the relationship with Washington.
** The speculation about Dr Tewodros Adhanom as the favorable Tigrean to replace Meles is cast off with his appointment to the Minister of Health. That is the furthest one can get from the Premiership that is looming in five short years.
***Bereket Simon – stays on, as the regime’s most influential minister of communications credited form muzzling a once vibrant media and suppressing free speech. What happened to the talk about his retirement? Oh! Wait where is the other guy, a certain Redwan Hussein? Hmmm…strange things do happen around here.