April 23, 2018
(OiPlatform): According to sources of OiPlatform, tension is building between the new prime minister’s team and the army and security chiefs. According to the sources, the Intelligence chief Ato Getachew Assefa and the army Chief General Samora Yenus are both critical of the recent cabinet nominations and the tour that the new Prime Minister is doing in the country.
Furthermore, according to these sources, these top TPLF decision makers are very critical of the answer that the new prime minister has given to the question about Wolkait. This view is shared by online activists who support TPLF.
The sources also underlined that the new prime minister did not give the two top chiefs a concrete guarantee about their posts. In their thinking, the sources underlined, both Getachew Assefa and Samora Yenus are worried about the momentum building around the new Prime Minister. They are worried in a sense that the prime minister would eventually remove them after solidifying his support among the populace.
The sources also stated that even though the two chiefs have not confronted the Prime Minister in person, they are both concerned about their future.
Frustrate and embarrass him
In the meantime, it has been observed that tactics of embarrassing the new prime minister are being employed. For example, the initial denial of Eskinder Nega is being mentioned by some analysts. The arrest of some officials, especially in Oromia region is also the part of the larger tactics that are designed to create a gap between the new prime minister and the general population. According to people who are familiar with the thinking of the army and the intelligence chiefs, these two top officials and their aides strongly believe that by arresting or harassing the general population, the prime minister would eventually lose his ground, and that would make him vulnerable for criticism both in home and abroad, and evenentually he would resign the post.
The sources also noted that the prime minister does not budge.
Oiplatform analysts say that “it is more likely than not that this tension is boiling up. Considering the recent nominations and reshuffling, especially the fact that the new Prime Minister has put attorney general, chief of staff, defense minister and PM’s national security advisor from OPDO, it is natural for Getachew, Samora and other top TPLF Military generals to feel cornered.”
The analysts also add that it is possible that both Getachew and Samora are using the perception that ‘the prime minister would find it difficult to effectively exercise his constitutional power especially over the military and intelligence sectors’ to their advantage by manipulating and ordering their subordinates to do acts that undercut or/and frustrate the prime minister.
TPLF has been on the top of the country’s military and intelligence since 1991. At the moment, both the head and deputy head of the country’s National Intelligence are members of the TPLF Executive Bureau.
Many global analysts and the international community have predicted and expected this tension, and it is expected that they are closely monitoring the situation.
Isayas Woldegiorgis, Former Deputy Head of the National Intelligence
OiPlatform is closely monitoring the development.