Deputy Chair of TPLF Dismissed from Ethiopian Cabinet

By Staff Reporter

Fetlework-Gebregziabher-dismissedJanuary 22, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has dismissed Fetlework Gebreegziabher as Minister of Trade and Industry and cabinet member in the federal government. Fetlework Gebreegziabher is the Deputy Chair and an Executive Committee member of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). She has been a member of the TPLF since its formation as a rebel group in Tigray.

The state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporations (EBC) has confirmed that Fetlework Gebregziabher, also known as Monjorino by her colleagues, was replaced by Melaku Alebel.

EBC did not disclose why and how Fetlework Gebregziabher, who has been serving in this position since October 2018, was dismissed from her position.

The TPLF has not commented on the dismissal yet. However, the dismissal is believed to be against the wishes of the TPLF, which, according to reports, had warned against such moves following the dissolution of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the creation of the Prosperity Party (PP). The TPLF bitterly opposed the creation of the PP to replace the EPRDF. The organization is now outside the governing party and appears determined to fight back from its base in Tigray.

In an emergency congress the organization held for the first time since its formation, the TPLF denounced the PP as illegal and hinted at plans to form alliances with other bodies to oppose it.

Fetlework Gebreegziabher a.k.a Monjorino was also head of organizational affairs in the now-defunct EPRDF.

The dismissal leaves Yalem Tsegaye Assfaw, the Minister of Women’s, Children’s and Youth, as the only member of the TPLF in ministerial position in the federal government. At the heights of its power, the TPLF controlled multiple ministerial portfolios and other key positions in the federal government, including the offices of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and Heads of Ethiopian Military and Security and other bodies.

Prior to serving as the former Minister of Trade, Alebel has been working as head of Amhara Regional State Trade and Investment Bureau. He was one of the few officials of the regional state who escaped the killings in June last year.

Today's new appointments also include Getahun Mekuria (Ph.D.), who was appointed as the incoming Minister of Education, replacing Tilaye Gete (Ph.D.) who recently resigned to become the Deputy Permanent Envoy for the UNESCO at Ethiopian Mission in Paris, France.

Abraham Belay, (Ph.D.) was appointed as Minister of Innovation and Technology, replacing Getahun Mekuria. Dr. Abraham served as the CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), once held by Azeb Asnake, who is now wanted by the government for corruption. Abraham Belay was once a member of the TPLF but left the organization and is now one of the disciples of Abiy Ahmed since his days as head of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), now renamed National Information Center (NIC). Currently, he is one of the critics of the TPLF.

Meanwhile, Chairpersons of the Benishangul People's Liberation Movement (BPLM), Abdulselam Shengel, and Gumuz Peoples Democratic Movement (GPDM), Geragn Gudeta, have been arrested in Assosa town, the capital of the Benishanul Gumuz regional state.

“Government officials have been intimidating the leaders of the two political parties ahead of the arrest on Monday especially after the BPLM and GPDM formed a coalition, Mohammed Ismael the Movement's Public Relations Head of GPDM told DW Amharic.

“The arrest of the two Chairpersons is one of the intimidations being made to suppress the voices the people in the region,” Mohammed Ismael the Movement's Public Relations Head has said.

Last weekend the two political parties announced their coalition known as the Benishangul Gumuz Peoples Democratic Front (BGPDF), electing Abdulselam Shengul as chair and Gragn Gudeta as vice-chair of the new party.

The Benishangul Gumuz State Peace and Security Bureau head, Abera Bayata, said the political leaders were arrested on suspicion of crimes.

This is another round of arrests of political party leaders, following the arrest of senior members of the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) recently by the federal government. Many people denounce the arrests as unjust and discriminatory, citing government failure to bring even armed groups from Oromia, including the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and some activists who caused the death of hundreds of people.

The chairperson of the Wolaita National Movement (WNM) Andualem Tadesse was also attacked by unidentified men.

The attack occurred after the WNN reached an agreement to form a coalition with Walaita Peoples Democratic Front (WPDF) and vowed to struggle for a common goal.
“I and a friend of mine were attacked at around 10 PM by unidentified persons who hurt me by knives on five places of my body. The attackers took my documents not money and other belongings,” Andualem told the Associated Press.

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