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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs