Ethiopia's Parliament Approves New Deputy PM and Cabinet Reshuffle

Thursday February 08, 2024 - 18:42:30
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Staff Reporter
Addis Ababa (diplomat.so) - In a session held on Thursday, Ethiopia's parliament greenlit the appointment of Temesgen Tiruneh, the current chief of the intelligence service, as the new deputy prime minister. Tiruneh takes over from Demeke Mekonnen, who has held the position for the past 11 years, according to the government's announcement.
Moreover, parliament ratified the nomination of Taye Atske Selassie, a former ambassador to the United Nations, as the country's new foreign minister, succeeding Mekonnen, who has concurrently held the role since 2020.

Temesgen Tiruneh, recognized for his coordination of the government's response to the conflict in the Amhara region last year, was elected in late January to take over as a vice president of the ruling Prosperity Party, a role synonymous with the deputy prime minister.

In tandem with these changes, Ethiopia's national security adviser, Redwan Hussein, was appointed to succeed Temesgen Tiruneh as the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the nation's premier intelligence agency. Redwan, a longstanding ally of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, played a pivotal role as the government's chief negotiator in the peace agreement that brought an end to the civil war in the Tigray region in 2022. His extensive experience includes stints as a state minister at the foreign affairs ministry and as Ethiopia's ambassador to Eritrea.

Demeke Mekonnen, who has been a symbol of continuity in Ethiopian politics amid a tumultuous period, assumed the role of deputy prime minister following the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in 2012. He retained his position through the reorganization of the ruling party after Abiy Ahmed ascended to power in 2018. Mekonnen was appointed as foreign minister shortly after the onset of the civil conflict in the Tigray region in November 2020, a conflict that endured for two years and resulted in tens of thousands of casualties.

Additionally, Mekdes Daba, a former official with the World Health Organization, has been named as the replacement for Lia Tadesse as health minister, as reported by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.

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