Will Samora Yenus and Getachew Assefa get the axe?
(By EBK): Short Analysis
April 20, 2018
(OiPlatform): PM Dr. Abiy announced his cabinet and the parliament unanimously approved all his nominees. A total of 28 cabinet members were appointed. Twelve of appointees including the Foreign Minister Workeneh Gebeyew kept their original posts. Siraj Fergessa , Motuma Mekassa, and four other Ministers are reshuffled to different cabinet posts. The remaining ten appointees are all new. Notable names among them include: Teshome Toga (Minister of Public Enterprises) and Berhanu Tsegaye (Attorney General).
The appointment is met with mixed emotions. some are already crying foul arguing that there aren’t enough new and qualified names on the list.
the appointment of Abadula Gemeda as the PM’s National Security Advisory, a role that has been held by TPLF for so long combined with the appointment another OPDO official Motuma Mekassa as the Minister of Defense is a significant development. It has brought the potential firing of General Samora Yenus of the Military and Getachew Assefa of the intelligence within the realm of possibilities.
The two institutions, the Military and the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) play the most important role within the government and epitomized the exclusive hegemony of TPLF within EPRDF for the last 27 years. Both are in the forefront of countless accusations of severe human rights violations, arrests, tortures and killings of citizens for over a quarter century and to this very day. Many believe that if the PM can restructure these two institutions and replace the General and the Director, he will be able to exercise his constitutional power in the true sense of the term and in effect significantly reduce the role of TPLF within his new administration.
The case of Getachew Assefa, Director of NISS is a very interesting one, to say the least. Despite his powerful role as a deputy and later director of NISS for the past 27 years, he has been away from the public eye. His identity is a mystery to many. Even his appointment as a cabinet member (after NISS was reestablished with a ministerial status in 2013) was never brought to parliament for discussion.
In recent months there were reports that attempts were to remove Getachew from his post. Accusations of widespread corruption and embezzlement were reported. His agency is even accused of spying on not only individuals from the opposition and many others but also on senior TPLF officials including the former first lady Azeb Mesfin and Samora Yenus himself.
if there is any truth to the corruption accusations and considering the PM’s strongly worded statement on the subject yesterday coupled with his action against General Teklebrehan Woldearegay of Metals and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC), there is a high possibility that at least Getachew might be removed in the coming few days.