Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ethiopia's Seyoum Mesfin - Fulcrum between Addis and Beijing | The Africa

Shortly after Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died on 20 August 2012, former foreign minister Seyoum Mesfin was back in the country's capital, Addis Ababa from his posting as ambassador to Beijing, China.

The veteran politician, known for his calm temperament, was said to have had a vital role in managing the difficult aftermath.
"He is – bar none – one of the smartest men I have met, Meles included, and good bit slicker," said a journalist who used to cover Addis.
Although the leadership transition was successful, there have been rumours of factionalism within Meles's Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
Leader of a southern bloc in the four-party ruling coalition, Premier Hailemariam Desalegn represents a younger generation who did not take part in the armed struggle that ousted the military junta in 1991.
After Seyoum served in the foreign ministry for almost two decades, the leadership removed him from the TPLF politburo and sent him to Beijing in 2010 as part of that regeneration process.
Ensuring that Chinese lines of credit continue to flow, he is also a key cog in the TPLF.

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