Ethiopia’s new leader should replace Prime Minister Hailemariam with Tedros, an Amhara dissident says

Just weeks after becoming leader of Ethiopia’s government, Abiy Ahmed should address the fact that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is leaving office, warned Amhara rights activist Mesfin Woldemariam Ab-Eeneh Friday.

Abiy should replace Hailemariam with a political figure, like main opposition lawmaker Tedros Adhanom, to tackle challenges with real progress in society, Ab-Eeneh told the Washington Post’s Thomas Burr and David Montero in an exclusive video interview.

“A lot of my advice focuses on the dissident element” in the government, Ab-Eeneh said. Abiy has voiced a call for unity in Ethiopia, a nation of 100 million, but critics fear Hailemariam allowed his country to slip down an authoritarian path under him.

Abiy, a former army officer, is dealing with ethnic divisions, political dissent, an economic slump and a myriad of other problems. But Abhete challenges Abiy not to make sweeping changes in policy because that could further destabilize the country.

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