News / Africa

Obama Speaks With Acting Ethiopian PM

Ethiopia's acting prime minister  Hailemariam Desalegn (2011 photo)Ethiopia's acting prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn (2011 photo)
x
Ethiopia's acting prime minister  Hailemariam Desalegn (2011 photo)
Ethiopia's acting prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn (2011 photo)
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Ethiopia's acting prime minister to promote "development, democracy, human rights, and regional security."

Obama spoke by phone late Thursday with Hailemariam Desalegn, who was named acting prime minister this week after longtime leader Meles Zenawi died at the age of 57.

The White House says Obama pledged continued U.S. "partnership" with Ethiopia, which under Meles has been a strong U.S. ally in the war against radical groups such as Somalia's al-Shabab.

Ethiopians are still awaiting word on when Mr. Hailemariam will be formally sworn in.  Parliament was set to install him on Thursday but the session was canceled.

A government spokesman said Ethiopians wanted more time to mourn Meles, who led Ethiopia for 21 years.  The late prime minister's funeral is scheduled for September 2.

On Tuesday, Communications Minister Bereket Simon rejected concerns about a power vacuum resulting from Meles' death.  He said the country's leadership is united and the government is as "strong as ever."

Hailemariam had served as Meles' deputy since 2010.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Hailemariam Desalegn had briefed foreign diplomats in Addis Ababa Friday and assured them of a smooth transfer of power.  The briefing was given by State Minister of Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebre-Christos and dealt with details about Meles' funeral.  VOA regrets the error.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Behailu from: Norway
August 27, 2012 12:49 PM
Bereket said the session the sworn was cancelled by members of parliament. But, two MP, one from EPRDF disclosed to VOA Amharic that it is not true. It seems there is power struggle inside and the already fragile peace in the region might be at risk. All concerned parties have to watch out.


by: Freddy
August 26, 2012 11:13 AM
Where is Mr Mengistu living now - Isn't the Hague interested in getting him to appear before them, to explain what really happened in Ethiopia.

In Response

by: mamokilo from: harare
August 28, 2012 4:29 PM
Freddy,

Mr Mengistu is in Zimbabwe. The people of Ethiopia would love to see him come home. We will give him the right justice when we have a truly Ethiopian gov't. The Hague is a white man's court made to punish free-minded black leaders. Let us know when George Bush will show up at Hague for killing 1 million innocent Iraqis over false WMD claims.


by: Truth from: Addis Ababa
August 25, 2012 2:34 AM
So, the U.S. president wants to promote "development" first, then comes, "democracy, human rights," later?!?!? ... and, finally, "regional security."?? ... is this order in priority??... I guess that say what the proirity of the U.S. prez!
It seems like the Prez. have no clue what's lacking in this country!

In any case,... it's either one of these reasons the new PM swear in ceremony is postponed:

a) there's a squable behind closed doors to take over Meles's spot, or

b) they're trying to reduce the new PM's mandate before he gets sworn in -

By reducing the new PM mandate, they'll make sure he won't fire them - once he gets elected.... Otherwise, the Meles's Old Guard will be forced to overthrow the newly elected PM - to make things go their way (in case any disagreement arises).... and, that's the last thing they want to do! ..... the last thing Meles clique want to be is Derg: a regime who took over power from the current "legally" or "constitutionally" elected leader.

In Response

by: Tura from: Mekele
August 26, 2012 5:56 AM
Yes, Meles Died. He was very cruil, and killed, torchered, and put in jail thousands of Ethiopian. Bereket Simon, the follower of Meles, wants to take the post. As you may know there was no EPRDF but Meles . Meles has gone. So no capable person in the organization including Bereket all are very weak. So in near future they will fight over power. As you may Meles is a killer and killed thousends of Ethiopia. God helped us in removing him.But I fear we will face problem in near future.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid