Ethiopia: Unprecedented Move By PM Abiy Sees New Leadership in Entire Security Sector, Foreign Ministry

A map showing the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Addis Abeba — In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced today the replacement of the leadership of the entire security sector: the national armed forces, the intelligence and the federal police. The PM also announced the replacement of the foreign minister.

Accordingly, General Berhanu Jula, who was the deputy chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), is appointed as chief of staff, replacing General Adem Mohammed. Lt. Gen. Abebaw Tadesse will be the new Deputy Chief of Staff.

Lt. Gen. Abebaw is one of the three former Military officers who were previously laid off from the ENDF were called back by PM Abiy Ahmed to return to the army on Novemebr 04.

Temesgen Tiruneh, who has just resigned from his post as president of the Amhara regional state, is now appointed as Director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), replacing Demelash G. Michael. A trusted confidant and close ally of PM Abiy, Temesgen was his national security advisor before he assumed the presidency in Amhara regional state in the wake of the June 22/2019 assassination of the regional state President Ambachew Mekonnen and other senior officials.

Demelash G. Michael, who is the outgoing Director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) who led the spy agency since June 28/2019, is now appointed as Commissioner of the Federal Police Commission; he replaced Endeshaw Tasew. Demelash, who is the other trusted ally of PM Abiy, has served as deputy director of NISS, Chief of Security of Oromia regional state; Commissioner General of Oromia Police Commission; & Internal Security Advisor to the federal Police Commissioner.

This is the first time Prime Minister Abiy has replaced the entire security sector (the intelligence, the army and the police) with new leadership by individuals known as his close and trusted allies. It also comes amidst growing fear for possible escalation of military confrontation between the federal government and the TPLF, the party governing Tigray regional state.

Today's appointment also saw the replacement of Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew by Demeke Mekonnen, who is the deputy Prime Minister. Demeke will double as the new foreign minister and his old post as deputy prime minister.

The outgoing foreign minister, Gedu Andargachew, is appointed as Pm Abiy's national security advisor.

Today's reshuffle saw General Adem Mohammed, the outgoing ENDF chief of staff, assume no new position yet. General Adem was the director of the National Intelligence & Security Service (NISS), before his appointment as the army's chief of staff on June 28/2019. AS

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