Ethiopian Prime Minister fires Army Chief of Staff and Foreign Affairs amid fighting in Tigray region
Nov 08, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, whose country is struggling to contain rebellion in Northern Tigray, has fired Foreign Minister, Head of Intelligence, Commander of the Army, and Federal Police Commissioner, according to Ethiopian officials.
Briefing the media from Addis Ababa, Billene Seyoum, the spokesperson in the office of the prime minister defended the decision saying it is a normal reshufle.
“It is a leadership shuffle aimed at enabling the government to carry out the rule of law enforcement efforts started by strengthening the country’s security and foreign affairs,” Ms. Seyoum, the spokeswoman, said.
Dr. Abiy has appointed General Birhanu Jula, instead of his senior General Adem Mohammed, as the new Chief of Staff in a decision that circumvented the hierarchy of the Ethiopian military.
The Prime Minister relieved his Minister of Foreign Affairs Amb. Gedu Andargachew and replaced him with his Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen. Amb. Andargachew has been re-appointed as the national security adviser.
In a seperate decree, Dr. Abiy appointed Temesgen Tirune, a former president of Amhara Regional State, as the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service in the place of the outgoing Demelash Gebremichael, who has been appointed the commissioner of the federal police.
The reshufling came in the middle of war in the Northern Tigray where the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) is battling the Ethiopian army.
On Sunday Prime Minister Abiy accused the TPLF of conducting recruitment along tribal lines with intention to continue derailing peace in the country.
“They sponsored, trained and equipped any force that was willing to engage in violent and illegal acts to derail the transition,” Abiy said in a video posted online on Sunday.
“Their objective was clearly to make the country ungovernable by instigating clashes along ethnic and religious lines; to sow division and discord so that the democratic transition will lose its momentum.” He added.
According to the government reports, the TPLF attacked one of the largest military base in the Northern Command where the Ethiopian army kept vast majority of its heavy armaments and personnel, a report the TPLF has denied.