Friday, January 31, 2020

Tigray Region Appointed the Minister Removed from Federal Government Position
January 29, 2020

Last week, Fetlework Gebregziabhier, who is the deputy chairperson of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), was removed from her Federal government position as minister of Trade and Industry.

The decision turned out to be controversial. For Tigray regional state, which is under the leadership of TPLF, it was an action targeted against “TPLF member and Tigreans.”

The Federal government refuted TPLF’s allegation saying that Fetlework was removed for competence reasons and sabotage to obstruct work in her ministry.

VOA Amharic service aired an interview on Tuesday. It is an interview that it had with Fetlework Gebreegziabhier. She, too, framed her removal from her ministerial position as a politically motivated decision. It has something to do with TPLF’s refusal to join the Prosperity Party, she argued.

Solomon Kidane, another TPLF Member and a senior official at Addis Ababa City Administration with the rank of deputy mayor, is also dismissed from his position.

The office of the prime minister announced on Tuesday this week that Sadik Abraha, used to be a central committee member of TPLF before he announced his resignation sometime last year, is appointed as the coordinator of the Democratic Building Center in the Federal government. Maybe the intention behind the appointment is to demonstrate that the Federal government has no issues with Tigrean identity.

When three core political organizations that constituted EPRDF, the coalition that ruled Ethiopia for nearly 28 years, decided in November 2019 to merge as one, TPLF declined it arguing that the move is not right on constitutional and political grounds. 

Despite TPLF resistance, the three parties mobilized five other region-based support parties. They merged to form the Prosperity Party –  which the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) recognized in a matter of weeks. 

TPLF chairman, Debretison Gebremichael, said a few days ago that the difference between Tigray regional state and the Federal government is widening – and some think it might lead to war.

It is against the backdrop of the above political development in the country that the Tigray regional government made two appointments on Wednesday this week.

Two of them are those who were removed from the Federal and Addis Ababa City Administration positions.

In Tigray, Fetlework Gebreegziabhier is appointed as Head of Justice and Good Governance Cluster with a rank of Deputy head of Tigray regional state.

And Dr. Solomon Kidane is appointed as head of a department in the region’s Urban Development Office.  The region’s council made the decisions formally.  

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