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Ethiopian Prime Minister dismisses Defense Minister, longtime ally

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ousted former Defense Minister Lemma Megersa, who was once one of his main allies and had distanced herself in recent months and even criticized the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in 2019.

The change came as part of the appointment of ten senior officials announced on Tuesday, including Kenea Yadeta as the new defense minister, without the prime minister’s office offering an explanation of the change.

Lemma was one of the architects of Abiy’s takeover in April 2018 following the resignation of then Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in February after he resigned to his detriment as chairman of the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) to become leader of the ruling Revolutionary Popular Democratic Front of Ethiopia (EPRDF) to get voted.

Ethiopian Prime Minister dismisses Defense Minister, longtime ally
Ethiopian Prime Minister dismisses Defense Minister, longtime ally

In the past few months, however, the two have grown apart. The Oromo politician had criticized Abiy for his decision to found a new formation, the Prosperity Party (PP), which the EPRDF left behind in view of the parliamentary elections planned for 2020 and has now been postponed without an exact date due to the pandemic of coronavirus.

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