A Shadow Government set to rule Post-Meles Ethiopia

Gulele Post | August 23, 2012

By Jawar Mohammed

As expected, although they have no choice but to elevate Hailemariam Desalegn formally to replace Meles’ position, the ruling elites have formed a shadow government that will make all the real decisions behind the scenes. This shadow government – a “transition time caretaker” – is made up of seven members. According to individuals privy to the process of selection, the justification given for the appointment is that the shadow government should be made up of one person from each of EPRDF’s member parties, and one each from key government agencies – intelligence, foreign affairs, and the military. Below is the list.

Name Representing Parent Party Ethnicity
General Se’are Mekonnen Military TPLF Tigrean
Getachew Assefa Intelligence TPLF Tigrean
Berhane Gebrekiristos Foreign Affairs TPLF Tigrean
Seyum Mesfin TPLF TPLF Tigrean
Bereket Simon ANDM ANDM Tigrean (Eritrean)
Kuma Demeksa OPDO OPDO Unknown (Tigrean/Amhara)
Hailemarim Desalegn SEPDM SEPDM Walayta

It is astonishing that despite the nominal diversity of parent parties and government agencies represented, all but one of these individuals are from a single ethnic group, Tigre, which makes up just 6% of the country. That sole member is Hailemariam Desalegn, the soon-to-be prime minister. Although a founding member of the the Amhara National Democratic Movement (previously Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement), it is a well known fact that Berekt Simon is an Eritrean Tigre. In similar fashion, despite the fact that he is a founding member of OPDO, the ethnic identity of Kuma Demeksa is rather ambiguous. In this WikiLeaks report, former US Ambassador Donald Yamamoto writes that “Kuma Demeksa, a.k.a. Taye Teklehaimanot, was born in Oromiya Region of Amhara parents in 1958.” However, Kuma’s comrades from the days of Eritrean POW and later in the Tigrean desert claim that he was a Tigrean, an assertion supported by his classmates in Gore (Ilubabor) who testify that his parents spoke Tigrigna.

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