Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Another top advisor to Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has resigned from his post.
Bereket Simon according to BBC Amharic submitted his resignation as the PM’s advisor in charge of Policy Studies and Research, leaving a post he has held for the past four years.
Local media reports indicate that Simon, a veteran politician has thus resigned from two top positions in just a week. Last week, he gave up his position as board chairman of the government-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
A member of the ruling Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), he has served the government in different capacities including as Minister of Communication.
The move comes weeks after two major political shifts around the Prime Minister. The Protocol Chief of the PM, Baye Tadesse Teferi, sought asylum in the United States for fear of political persecution.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abadulla Gemeda, also resigned his post following ‘disrespect’ to members of his ethnic group and his party in the ruling coalition.
October 2017 asylum move of Baye Tadesse and the fear of political persecution
Baye Tadesse Teferi, was part of the Ethiopia’s official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York weeks ago.
The Ethiopian delegation returned to Addis Ababa but he remained in the U.S. He confirmed to the Voice of America’s Amharic service that for political reasons he had opted to seek asylum in the United States.
The Protocol Chief of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn thus quit a role he had served in for over two years. Ethiopia’s economic successes have long been eclipsed by what political and rights watchers call a systemic and institutionalized crackdown on media and political dissent.
The East African nation has been severally called upon to open their political space and to tolerate dissenting political views.
After Abadula Gemeda, speaker of the Ethiopian lower house of Parliament, the House of People’s Representatives, resigned from office last week, he now explains his decision with the disrespect of his ethnic group, the Oromo, and the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) by the government. Protests against the government and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), ruling the country since 1991, had risen again in past weeks and have resulted in the death of eight protestors, with many more being injured. In light of the continuous violence, Mr Gemeda proclaimed he would step down from his position but continue his fight for the rights of the Oromo population.
The article below was published by Daily Mail:
The speaker of Ethiopia's lower house of parliament, who resigned last week [9-15 October 2017], said Saturday that he quit because of "disrespect" of his ethnic group.
Abadula Gemeda, a member of the Oromos, the country's largest ethnic group, announced last Sunday that he was stepping down after seven years as speaker of the House of People's Representatives.
He is one of the highest-ranking government officials to resign since the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition took power in 1991.
A former army chief of staff, Abadula is also a founder of the Oromo People's Democratic Organisation (OPDO) C, which represents the Oromos within the EPRDF.
Oromos led a wave of anti-government protests that began in late 2015 and were only quelled after more than 940 deaths and the imposition of a 10-month state of emergency, and distrust of the EPRDF still runs deep.
In comments carried by the state-affiliated Oromia Broadcasting Network, Abadula said he was dissatisfied with the EPRDF's treatment of his people.
"I resigned because my peoples and party were disrespected," he said. "However, I will struggle to bring the necessary respect and do the best I can for Oromo people to gain their rights."
His resignation came at the start of a turbulent week in Ethiopia, which saw protesters return to the streets in several towns in Oromia, the largest of the country's ethnically based regional states.
On Wednesday, three people were killed and more than 30 injured at a protest in the city of Shashamene, while another protest in the town of Boke left another three dead and three more injured, spokesman for the Oromia regional state Addisu Arega said in a post on Facebook.
His accounts could not be independently verified, and the cause of the deaths remained unclear.
An official in the southern Borena zone told AFP the four people were killed and 20 injured on Thursday after they tried to stop a convoy carrying what they believed to be weapons destined for communities in neighbouring Somali region.
A separate conflict started last month along the border between the Oromia and Somali regions, leading to hundreds of deaths and the displacement of at least 67,800 people from the two regions.