The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has announced the countries of which its 20 Ambassadors are to be posted to head Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions; including Fitsum Arega. The former chief of staff of the Office of the Prime Minister is bound to Washington DC.
The announcement comes three days after the ambassadors appointments were made public by President Sahle-work Zewde, with no mentioning of their posts at first.
Out of the lists of new appointees, some have already caught the public’s attention for their appointments and the countries they will go too.
Notably, more than anyone else, the appointment of Fitsum Arega and Suleiman Dedefo (Amb.) surprised the public.
It has only been two months since Fitsum moved back to the Ethiopian Investment Commission, which he previously led for five years; having served as the Chief of Staff for Prime Minister Abiy for six months where he has gained his fame. Now, after four months since he retained his former role, President Sahle-work included Fitsum among the 20 new appointed Ambassadors unveiled on Monday, this week.
Later, on Thursday, MoFA officially announced that Fitsum is going to be Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Washington replacing veteran politician Kassa Teklebirhan (Amb.)
Like Fitsum, Suleiman Dedefo – the former Head of Mission in Djibouti – was also appointed as Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Until his new post became public, Suleiman has been serving as Directorate Director at MoFA. Suleiman, who has further gained reputation after the controversial documentary film featuring the grand corruption and embezzlement in the Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC), was praised by many people for his bravery.
However, some argue that Suleiman should have been appointed to an office with a regulatory power like the Anti-Corruption Commission or public enterprises that run mega projects.
Similarly, Meles Alem, the current Spokesperson of the MoFA was given an Ambassadorial role to Kenya. A few years ago he served as a diplomatic attaché to Ethiopia’s neighbor to the south.
Furthermore, Teshome Toga, the former ambassador to the EU takes the Ambassador’s role to Beijing, China replacing Berhane Gebrekirstos.
Another long serving politician, Abdulaziz Mohammed received the nod to become the Ambassador to Djibouti replacing Shamebo Fitamo.
Replacing the veteran politician, Kuma Demeksa as Ethiopia’s new Ambassador to Berlin, German is the outspoken, prominent businesswoman and former president of the Ethiopia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association; Mulu Solomon who was picked from the civilian side to represent the Government.
Other appointees include, Nasise Chali to Canada, Hassen Taju to Senegal, Reta Alemu to Israel, Henok Tefera to France, Alemtsehay Meseret to Uganda, Tizita Mulugeta (PhD) to India, Tesfaye Yilma (Amb.) as Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the AU, Teferi Tadesse to South Sudan, Addisu Gebregziabher (PhD) to Zimbabwe, Million Samuel to The Netherlands, Berhane Fisseha as Deputy Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the AU, Airorat Mohammed (PhD) to Oman and Samia Zekaria (Amb.) to Qatar.