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Published On: Wed, May 14th, 2014

Ethiopia PM at odds with TPLF on Oromo protests

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By Staff

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is once again at odds with the powerful TPLF branch of EPRDF ruling party, according to sources connected to his adminstration. This time the dispute is on government response to Oromo protests in Oromia region, according to a journalist of an English weekly paper who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.

Hailemariam, an ethnic Welayta native, does not have the military background and the political power that former Tigrayan Prime Minister Meles zenawi had. Meles was the executive head of the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) for over thirty years. Even though various ethnic groups are well represented inside the Ethiopian military, most of the top executive positions are held by Tigrayans. Some reports claim that around 70 percent of the country’s top generals and military leaders are still ethnic Tigrayan today, even though Tigrayans makeup only 6 percent of the Ethiopian population.

The Govt source said TPLF military chiefs wanted to stop the peaceful Oromo student protest early before it turned into riots, but there was “lack of leadership and policy from Arat Kilo,” (refering to the Menelik Palace were the PM resides. )

Despite their small numbers in the country, Hailemariam’s ethnic Welaytas are said to have significant presence in the mid-level positions in the army and federal force. However, TPLF’s military heads complain that Hailemariam portrays a “soft leader” image and the police has been overstretched with nonstop demonstrations for months. They say the public is emboldened to take their angers to the streets since Meles died. Since 2013, millions of Muslim Ethiopians have been protesting in the cities while the “legal opposition” groups have also organized various protests, sometimes without permit. But the recent Oromo protests have irritated the TPLF military authorities the most, as some OPDO (another EPRDF branch) members have provided covert support.

The source said Hailemariam’s chances of being re-elected to lead EPRDF ruling party are slim. Hailemariam has also been under American pressure to deliver a peace deal in South Sudan, though some TPLF army officials are suspicious of the Sudanese opposition.

TPLF military chiefs claimed South Sudan peace deals signed in Addis Ababa are symbolic but meaningless on the ground because the rebel leader Riek Machar does not have full control of opposition fighters.

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  1. Ethiopian says:

    Unless Hailemariam replace tigrayan generals with oromo and amara, he always ne seen puppet

  2. ykhm says:

    Bravo PM Hailemariam
    You did the right thing in confronting the TPLF thugs who always believe that power is the only means to rule a nation.
    If their view was right derg might have been the eternal ruler of Ethiopia.
    YKHM

  3. Warso says:

    These tplf criminals are used to jailing or killin any politician that opposes them but they made bad calculation giving a non-tplf the pm position
    So Are they going to arest the prime minister?? This wiil be a pr disaster

    The only choice the tplf criminals have is hold his family hostage or blackmail him

    If hailemariam has backbone he can singlehandedly liberate our country from tplf but he is weak

  4. ደቦል says:

    its a good move, signifies baby steps for democratization. For the sake of stability however it is crucial that the PM remains for at least one term. He is doing exceptionally well especialy considering Meles had 10 years to screw up before he had his act together and turned his leadership arround!

  5. Mr. M says:

    I am not calling you guys liars or anything. But why is this site the only news source for this story.

    The prime minister of Ethiopia’s disagreements with the ruling party should have been reported on more sites if it were true.

  6. Dulaa says:

    Good news!

    I heard the same thing from adama
    Many OPDO are finally standing up to TPLF

  7. Borago D says:

    This guy “hailemariam” is doing busines in the name of welaita but we welaita people hate this evil man. He never did anything for us when he was president of SNNPR The only reason some Welaita joined TPLF army is because we can speak our language under new constitution
    Otherwise we welaitaa hate tigres because tigre monks invaded our country over 900 years ago even before menelik finished the job with genocide of our people …our people also hate these galla oromos who invaded destroyed welaita damot country
    Either way welaitas have no love for anyone in ethiopian empire except some selfish ones like the dikala “hailemariam” who worship agame

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