Hailemariam’s Administration Remains Mute on the Destination of Newly Appointed Diplomats

The first batch of diplomats since the induction of the current administration has been posted to overseas missions, after Mulatu Teshome (PhD), himself a diplomat before his current position as president of the nation, appointed them according to the list sent from Lorenzo Te’azaz St. Yet, the administration of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn remains mute on their respective destinations, gossip noticed.

None of these 15 appointees signal any changes in the most important diplomatic destinations for the country though, claims gossip. At least for the meantime, there will be no change of envoys in Washington D.C., New York, Brussels, and Beijing, the four most essential capitals for Ethiopia both in politics and business, according to gossip.

For instance, it was widely rumoured on Menelik II Avenue a few weeks ago that Brehane G. Kirstos, the veteran diplomat who had served as state minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, could be dispatched to London, replacing the outgoing longest serving ambassador there, Brehanu Kebede. It was a matter of discussion for those in the gossip corridor last week that Brehane’s name was omitted from the list, although it had appeared on the original list Tewodros Adhanom (PhD), minister of Foreign Affairs, had sent to Lorenzo Te’azaz St., gossip disclosed. He may likely end up at the Prime Minister’s Office as an advisor under ministerial rank, gossip anticipates.

Brehane is not alone in the claimed ommission, claims gossip. Ababi Demissie, now director for public diplomacy & communications; Genet Teshome, director for Asia & Oceania Affairs; and Mulie Tareqegn, chief of cabinet office, are some of the diplomats whose names have not made it past the Prime Minister’s desk, gossip disclosed.

Hailemariam has been keen to see the ambassadorial appointments fulfil the ratio of 70 to 30, the latter being political appointments forwarded by the political leaderships in the ruling coalition, claims gossip. One such glaring appointment in full consideration of government could be that given to Terfu Kidanemariam, spouse of Abay Woldu, chairman of the TPLF and chief of the Tigray Regional State. Herself a political bureau member of the TPLF up until the party’s congress in August 2015, her ambassadorial appointment to Australia has been a subject of clamour up in Meqelle last week, gossip disclosed. There was a hue and cry to see a politician admonished by the Congress of the TPLF promoted to an ambassadorial role and dispatched overseas in no time, gossip claims.

Another political prize goes to Hailemichael Abera (PhD), a founding president of the Ethiopian Civil Service College and member of the central committee of the TPLF. He was appointed as Ambassador to London, replacing Brehanu who gave nearly a decade of service there. A distinguished career diplomat, Brehanu has been with the foreign office since 1978. Shiferaw Jarso, a former minister whose time as director general of the Ethiopian Sugar

Corporation (ESC) caused a frenzy among some in the leadership for not completing one single sugar factory of 10 planned under the first Growth & Transformation Plan, is to get dispatched to South Korea; while Asfaw Digamo, former minister and director general of the Ethiopian Petroleum Development Enterprise, is to travel to India, replacing Genet Zewdie (PhD), as an ambassador. Dewano Kedir, the state minister for Foreign Affairs until recently, is dispatched to Cuba as an ambassador, his introduction to overseas missionary work.

Gossip is not clear where Muhammed Said and Mustefa Deq Abdulselam will go to serve as ambassadors of Zambia and Senegal, although Amin Abdulqader is certain to serve as an ambassador to Saudi Arabia, gossip disclosed.

It is not clear if these assignments will help to realise the balance in the ratio the Prime Minister wants.

Nonetheless, there are many from the foreign service promoted to ambassadorial positions such as Cham Ugala, the Ministry’s Inspector General, to Tokyo; Solomon Abebe, director for African Affairs, to Algeria; and Shambo Fitamo to Djibouti replacing Sulieman Dedefo, gossip revealed. Yeshi Tamrat, a francophone, is appointed to serve as Ambassador to Morocco; and, Gebeyehu Ganga (PhD), director general for the Office of Capacity Building under the Ministry, is to move to New York to serve under Teqeda, but with ambassadorial rank.

Mahlet Hailu, chief of the Prime Minister’s Protocol Office, is also appointed as an ambassador to the United Nations, under Teqeda, gossip disclosed. Another career diplomat, Mahlet had served the foreign office as a diplomat in Los Angles and Paris before moving back to the head office to work under Qonjit Sinegiorgis, now retired, in the Africa Affairs department. Known to be a talented young diplomat, she was named Chief of Protocol of the late Meles Zenawi, during his final years in office, gossip recalled.

Published on Dec 09,2015 [ Vol 16 ,No 814]



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