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.