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Breaking: Intelligence chief Temesgen Tiruneh appointed deputy prime minister

Temesgen Tiruneh, ex-Director General of National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) appointed DP Prime Minister (Photo: NISS)

Addis Abeba – The House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) has appointed Temesgen Tiruneh, the former director general of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) as deputy Prime Minister. 

Temesgen, who replaced Demeke Mekonnen as second deputy president of the ruling Prosperity Party last week was named head of the national intelligence agency in November 2020 amid an unprecedented security sector reshuffle by PM Abiy Ahmed in the wake of the Tigray war.

Temesgen has been a notable figure in PM Abiy Ahmed’s administration and believed to be a close confidante of the PM. In August 2023 he was additionally tasked with leading a command post overseeing the state of emergency in the Amhara region which was prolonged for another four months last week.

He rose to prominence in July 2019 when he was named president of the Amhara regional state following an assassination of former regional president Ambachew Mekonnen alongside his two cabinet members a month earlier.

Prior to that, he served as a security adviser to PM Abiy Ahmed, with whom he is acquainted with for more than a decade. They worked together at the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) which was once led by PM Abiy. 

He will now be replacing Demeke Mekonnen, the longest serving deputy PM who also doubled as Foreign minister starting November 2020. On 26 January 2024, following his farewell from the Prosperity Party, Addis Standard reported that Demeke will also be relieved of his responsibilities as deputy PM and foreign minister.

The foreign minister post will now be held by ambassador Taye Atskesellasie, former Ethiopian permanent representative to the UN. Ambassador Taye has been serving as the PM’s foreign policy adviser.

Ambassador Taye had previously served as state minister for Political Affairs at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ethiopian ambassador to Egypt among other posts.

The parliament sanctioned the appointment of Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie as the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Photo: Social Media)

The parliament also approved the appointment of Dr Mekdes Daba, as minister of health replacing Dr Lia Tadesse. Dr Mekdes, a senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist and a public health specialist, was the first woman in Ethiopia to have completed Family planning & reproductive health subspecialty training in 2022.

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Dr Mekdes Daba appointed health minister replacing Lia Tadesse (Photo:Hakim/Facebook)

She served as the president of the Ethiopian Obstetricians and Gynecologists Association (ESOG). Upon her appointment she was serving as team lead at the Deputy Director General Office of World Health Organization, in Geneva.

In November 2021 she received the FIGO Awards in Recognition of Female Obstetricians/Gynecologists. AS

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