News / Africa

Former U.S. Diplomat Lauds Selection of Ethiopia’s New Ruling Party Leader

Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
x
Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Ashenafi Abedje
Ethiopia’s ruling party has elected acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as its new chairman. The vote by the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front puts Hailemariam in line to become the next Prime Minister. 

David Shinn, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, said he is not surprised by Hailemariam’s elevation to the party’s top spot.

“I think it was almost predictable in that Hailemariam was being groomed by Prime Minister Meles to succeed him. I think a lot of thought has gone into this selection,” he said.

Shinn said all of the speculation, particularly in the Diaspora, that Meles will be followed by another Tigrayan, was “widely off the mark.”

The former diplomat, who currently serves as Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University, explained what he sees as the importance of the EPRDF Council’s decision.

“I think it’s trying to acknowledge that the EPRDF must broaden its base, reach out more widely to different ethnic groups, and that the Tigrayan leadership, which in the past has controlled so many of the key slots, has to share more power,” he said.

“After all,” Shinn noted, “Tigrayans constitute only 6.1 percent of the population.

The former diplomat said with the new hierarchy, there will likely be more consultation within the EPRDF, not necessarily the TPLF, the dominant party in the ruling coalition.

“Someone who is as relatively new to the position as he (Hailemariam) is cannot be expected to have the kind of authority Meles had,” said Shinn.  “Hailemariam will have to rely more on advice from other members of the EPRDF for key decisions.”

With the change in leadership lead to possible policy changes? Ambassador Shinn doubts there will be significant policy departures.

“There will inevitably be nuanced changes. Whether there will be really significant changes, it is very difficult to predict,” he said. “I’d hope in the government’s approach to the pace of democratization, opening of the political process and handling of human rights issues, that there will be significant change.”

Shinn said whether or not the emerging leadership undertakes such changes will determine how the West will view the new government. For now, he said, there’s a long way to go in improving those aspects of Ethiopian policy.

Listen to interview w/ Ambassador David Shinn
Listen to interview w/ Ambassador David Shinni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: FETEH from: SWITZERLAND
September 17, 2012 4:07 PM
With great respect i agree with ur comment but i dont know why you have ignored the recent rush by the TPLF generals to promoto about 37 high military officials before the rulling party selects PM Hailemariam. in the absences of a primier where among 34 of them are tigryans which was a signal to the ethiopian people that still there is too much to go to bring a power share despite TPLF alowing the two top postions please lets not forget that all the millitary and security are still complitly controlled under TPLF knowing that will HD have the path of his own I doubt and they repeatedly mentioned to continue the legacy of the late PM Melese. They told us there won't be any change (I mean, policy,...). The other question is, who really has the real power? I think the ball is under the hands of TPLF who had controlled the military and the security ...., not..... Anyway, let's wait and see. PEACE!!

by: Truth-Teller from: Addis Ababa
September 17, 2012 3:21 PM
I wish Mr. Shinn stop telling us what the EPRDF regime is thinking, and start telling us - what the U.S. government would do to promote democracy, inclusive political party system, Human Rights and etc. He can answer if and when the U.S. would stop subsidizing the terrorist organization in Ethiopia. It didn’t work in Egypt, so why is the U.S. think it will work in Ethiopia???? … can Mr. Shinn answer why the U.S makes the same mistake and not learn from the past?

I know the U.S. policy is not to force democracy on to other society. Neither should it be helping undemocratically elected regimes. The sad part about US-Ethiopia relation is that U.S. is as much despised as in the Arab world. The funny part is that the U.S. policy maker and administration could NOT figure out why they're despised so much!! .... I don't know if I can make this easier for U.S. law makers to understand, but I will try .... STOP SUPPORTING THEIR TORTURER REGIME!! ... and, see if that makes a difference. If there's a regime that's undemocratically elected, the U.S. should STOP subsidizing the regime!
In Response

by: Truth-Teller from: Addis Ababa
September 18, 2012 3:50 PM
One important fact to keep in mind - that you're not even denying you're a dictator or dictator-lover!! ... And, history tells us, dictators won't last long (case be point to Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria,...). "...Ethiopians will keep moving forward and build the nation for better tomorrow..." we can agree on that if you're referring to ALL Ethiopians - regardless of their political and religious background - and, not communists like yourself! ... United States will never stand with commies and we'll make sure of that!!
In Response

by: Mike from: Oregon
September 18, 2012 1:22 AM
I think you are off line and totally wrong by your remarks. With our without you and your likes, Ethiopians will keep moving forward and build the nation for better tomorrow. Thus I know people like you will never be happy no matter what. Go figures!
In Response

by: anti extrimism from: USA
September 17, 2012 9:04 PM
Hi "Feteh", the US government did not, and is not supporting the regime. the US government is giving aid for poor ethiopians throu the ethiopian gov`t. if you do not want to see new schools, hospitals, roads etc. untill their is a regime change, you should have stayed in ethiopia to make a difference. but it is not fair to ask the US government to stop its support for poor ethiopians while you are living a good life abroad. may be your immediate families do not need help, but look the situation macroscopically.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More