February 19, 2012

AfricaIntelligence.com: USA already looks to post-Meles

AfricaIntelligence.com: USA already looks to post-Meles

by siren66 – “Some Ethiopian opponents are convinced that the United States may have already begun to discuss the succession of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The United States has already reportedly begun to check two options for what could follow after Prime Minister Meles Zenawi: he could either rapidly designate his own successor to prepare him for his role or he could establish government of national unity before the end of his term. Such is the belief of Ethiopian opponents who have had contacts with American diplomats in Addis Ababa or in Washington.

These diplomats have had talks with the faction of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) headed by Kemal Gelchu, with the Ginbot 7 group led by Berhanu Nega and with Daoud Ibsa, the leader of another faction of the OLF who was discreetly invited to Washington at the end of last year. Several economic (higher inflation, rampant corruption) and political (the recent sidelining of 300 officers including Tigrayan generals) factors have led the U.S. officials to deem that Ethiopia is not immune to uncontrolled social explosions, even if the EPRDF governing coalition has the situation well in hand.

Hence the idea that Meles Zenawi take the initiative to open his government to some opponents such as Birtukan Mideksa or Seye Abraha, who are currently undergoing training at Harvard University. Failing that, the U.S. delegates reportedly suggested that Meles Zenawi should plan the period after he is no longer in power and prepare his successor, whether it be Tewodros Adhanom the current minister of health, Arkebe Oqubay (advisor to the Prime Minister) or former Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian army, the former General Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae who now works for the UN in South Sudan. But Meles Zenawi is not believed to have favoured either scenario.

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