Is the TPLF/EPRDF an ethnic-based-apartheid government?

Institutions are to be independent of political control in a healthy, just and inclusive society; however, in Ethiopia, one can see that one ethnic group, affiliated with one ethnic-based political party, dominates key positions in government and its institutions. Judge for yourself. The majority of the examples given below provide information of ethnic background and political affiliation for key leaders within key institutions in Ethiopia. This is a sampling of some of the most critical institutions under the control of the Government of Ethiopia. Civic organizations should act as watchdogs, but a similar sampling of such organizations would show a similar ethnic makeup and party affiliation following the passing of the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law). It should be noted that the TPLF has often placed persons from other ethnicities in a top role, but in most cases, those second in command are the hidden power-holders to fool Ethiopians, donor countries and other outsiders into believing this is an inclusive government when it is not. This kind of domination should be admitted and openly discussed, for tensions related to it have become a source of potential backlash that could evolve into ethnic-based violence and instability. We should all try to avoid this outcome; yet, it will require honesty, integrity and a willingness to put humanity before ethnicity or any other distinctions. Until then, none of us will be free!

Some of the current leaders heading key institutions in Ethiopia:

Institution Head Ethnicity Political Affiliation
  1. Ethiopian Prime Minister:PM Hailemariam

Desalegn is said to be a figurehead, without any real

power, who was appointed to bring the appearance of

ethnic diversity to the TPLF/ERPDF. He led the team that

drafted the draconian Charities and Societies Proclamation

law (CSO law) that when adopted in 2009, virtually eliminated

civil society.  There are currently four deputy prime ministers

(DPM) rather than only one, as done in the past. Each DPM is

from a different party within the EPRDF, each representing

one of the four ethnic-based parties that make up the EPRDF;

however, the de facto prime ministers are said to be

Abaye Tsehaye and Seyoum Mesfin.




  1. Minister of Federal Affairs: Abaye Tsehaye is said

to be the “hidden prime minister.” He is the founder

of the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray; member of  the

TPLF Central Committee; allegedly, he helped

mastermind the massacre of Anuak leaders in Gambella

in 2003, as well as other human rights crimes in the

country.  Abaye is a fervent disciple of Marxist-Leninist

repression of all religious groups, seeing them  as a

primary potential threat to the ruling party.

Reportedly, he believes that religious groups, above all other members

of civil society, can more rapidly and effectively mobilize

to bring about an uprising that could result in the downfall

of the Government.  Additionally, Abaye, along with

Seyoum Mesfin, a retired member of the TPLF Central

Committee and the current Ambassador to China,

are alleged to be the real power-holders in the regime.


 Hailemariam Desalegn







































































  1. National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS);

From the very top positions of the NISS to the

kebele (local) level, most every key position is held by

Tigrayans, or their proxies, who are also affiliated with the TPLF.

According to Human Rights Watch’s report (p 29), the NISS

together with the Federal police, form the anti-terrorism

task force responsible for the arrests and detentions

of numerous journalists, politicians, opposition leaders,

and others. Currently, it is believed Getachew Assefa and

Debretsion Gebremikael, another Tigrayan and the head of

the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

(MCIT), work closely together andwere responsible for the

arrest and detention of Ethiopians like the Zone9 bloggers and

the Oromo students, and the kidnapping and extradition of

Ethiopians holding foreign passports from other countries like

Okello Akway Ochalla, the former governor of Gambella, a

Norwegian citizen, who was taken from South Sudan and

Andargachew Tgige, a British citizen, who was taken from

Yemen.  It is also rumored that they acted independently of

the prime minister, the military and other government officials.

HRW indicates that the NISS shares little information with others,

including the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (EDF). (p 30)

  • Second in command in the NISS: The role of Isayas

has allegedlybeen the purposeful creation of division—ethnic,

religious, political and other.  Polarizing society has been a

well-used strategy of the TPLF as a means to maintain minority

rule when they make-up only 6% of the population of Ethiopia.

  • Head of NISS for Religious organizations:

Mikael Abraha is responsible to ensure religious groups

do not pose a threat to the ruling party, using puppet leaders,

division, repression, and other strategies, particularly by

advancing regime-friendly leaders to positions of responsibility.


This is particularly obvious within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

and Muslim leadership; this has led to the division of the EOC

and to continuing protests by Muslims, including arrests of

leaders, due to government interference in religious affairs.

This practice is also carried out among Protestant groups at

the local level, affecting top leadership. The TPLF/EPRDF

Strategic Plan for Hegemony and Perpetual Rule gives some

further details on this practice on how the TPLF/ERPDF has

controlled religious groups and other parts of civil society as

part of a master plan.


  1. Ethiopian Federal Police: The federalpolice and security

agents enforce the will of those in charge from the top federal

level to the district level.  This includes havingprimary

responsibilityfor all federal, regional and district

investigations; including, directing others in that role at the

local levels.  The various departments of the federal police are

led by individuals of the same ethnicity and party affiliation;

for example, the head of the police, the head of investigations,

the head of forensics, and the head of the prison system are all

controlled by Tigrayans who are committed to enforcing

TPLF policy, regularly trumping the rule of law. The federal

police work closely with the NISS and are often the first called

to suppress protests. They are believed to be responsible for

recently killing student protestors in the Oromo region.


  1. Ministry of Defense:  This ministry is led in name only by

a non-Tigrayan from the South; but again, it is a TPLF effort

meant to deceive outsiders while maintaining control for the

interests of the TPLF.  The real power of the military is clearly

seen in the nearly total domination of Tigrayans in the

roles of the top leadership within the military. Out of 55 top

officers, only 2 were of an ethnicity other than Tigrayan. Please

refer to the list below.

  • Ethiopian National Defense (END);  The makeup of

the leadership of the military is almost all made up of  people

of Tigrayan ethnicity and affiliated with the TPLF, making it

an ethnic-based, namely Tigrayan defense force rather than

an Ethiopian National Defense Force.  Please see below for

a detailed list of the ethnic composition of ENDF leadership

or the link.


  1. Minister of Foreign Affairs: In order to protect the

interests of the regime, all key foreign relations positions

are held by Tigrayans or others who are regime loyalists;

one notable case is Seyoum Mesfin, previously a member

of the TPLF Central Committee, a founder of the TPLF,

the head of EFFORT—the Tigrayan business conglomerate

that enjoys favorable treatment by the TPLF/EPRDF in

regards to business dealings—and an ambassador to China.

Sources indicate he was given the ambassador position in

case the US backs out of the long-standing supportive

partnership with the TPLF/ERPDF. Seyoum also is highly

influential in all matters of the TPLF.

Getachew Assefa 





















Isayas Woldegworgis





Mikael Abraha















Aregash Beyene

(Head of Federal Police)


Girmay ?

 (Commander of Investigations


Meucha ?

(Commander of Forensics)



Siraj Fegesa Sherefa







General  Samora Yunis







Tedros Adhanom































































































































































  1. Minister of Communications and Information

Technology (MCIT):  This ministry monitors and controls

technology and information systems; this includes radio,

television, websites, telecommunications, networks and

the development of technology services within the country,

where Ethiopia is lagging far behind most other countries

on the continent.  This ministry is responsible for the control

and surveillance of the Internet, Voice Over IP, mobile phones,

messaging, video conferencing, and jamming various

programming. Debretsion Gebremikael is said to work closely with

Getachew Assefa and the NISSand are thought to be responsible for

information leading to the arrest of journalists, opposition

figures and activists under the politically-motivated and

repressive anti-terrorism law. When facing charges,

records of phone calls and emails are misused as evidence

of false terrorism charges, often manufactured.


Debretsion Gebremikael(also holds position of Deputy Prime Minister, one of four with same title and role)











  1. Ethio Telecom:  This government-owned company

is the sole provider of telecommunications in Ethiopia.

Debretsion Gebremikael, who is also the Minister of

Communications and Technology, is the board chairperson.

In an unusual display of open criticism by parliamentarians,

he has been confronted for thepoor performance of Ethio

Telecom; accusations of placing security over service and

development.  Ethio Telecom operates under the auspices

of MCIT and the government.

Debretsion Gebremichael  Tigrayan  TPLF 
  1. Minister of Finance and Economic Development;

This ministry is in control of financial institutions, loans,

investments, banking and is very powerful.  It has been

criticized for its practice of giving preferential treatment

to Tigrayans, EFFORT businesses and TPLF approved

individuals and businesses.  EFFORT has never been

audited. Seyoum Mesfin was the head of EFFORT until

Azeb Mesfin, the wifeof deceased former prime minister,

Meles Zenawi, took it over.She has now been replaced

by another Tigrayan.


  • Second in Command and the real power in the

ministry again is a Tigray and TPLF member. Many of the

banks are government owned, but operated as extensions

of the TPLF.


  1. Ethiopian Revenues and Customs AuthorityThis is a

key ministry which has been used to control individuals and

businesses to ensure regime compliance through assessing

revenues/taxes or by giving favored treatment.

Most customs agents are Tigrayans, many of whom are former

TPLF guerilla fighters.  This includes women soldiers

who were given these jobs in lieu of other appointments.


Agents are said to regularly give preferential treatment

on custom tariff rates to fellow Tigrayans; sometimes

eliminating fees altogether, while exorbitant fees are

charged to non-Tigrayans. This practice has curbed

development and opportunity in non-Tigrayan  regions;

for example, import taxes on electronic equipment are

prohibitively expensive and deter persons from bringing

them into the country.

Soufian Ahmed Beker 









Mikael Abraha




Kaidaki Gezahegn

(Deputy Director)


































  1. Ministry of Justice: As one of the most strategic

institutions, the Ministry of Justice is one of the most

crucial to the TPLF if they are to maintain their minority

rule.  The current head is said to hold little power, but

instead is thought to be used by the TPLF to show ethnic

diversity when there is little to none.  The following

positions are key:


  • President of  Federal Supreme Court;

This mancontrols the Court to ensure the interests of the

TPLF are primary, from the highest courts of the land to

the local level. Both he and the Deputy President of the

Federal Supreme Court were rebel fighters in the bush

With Meles Zenawi.


  • Deputy President of the Federal Supreme Court

Although Medhen Kiros is second in command, he is the

actual head of the Ministry of Justice.  He is a former

TPLF guerilla fighter.  Dessalegn Berhe and Medhen Kiros

are responsible for making sure the court serves the agenda

of the Tigrayan/TPLF.


  • State Minister of Justice:Dr. Hashim is reported

to be the mastermind of the manipulation of the  legal

system so to serve the goals and purposes of perpetuating

TPLF control of any challengers. He has the equivalent power

of Isayas Woldegworgis,second in command of the NISS

intelligence ministry and is the right hand of NISS minister,

Getachew Assefa; known for getting things done him at the

Ministry of Justice.  He is a true TPLF supporter.


  • Federal High Court Judge:Now a judge,but previously

the prosecutor in charge of the cases involving the Swedish

journalists, Reeyot Alem, Eskinder Nega, Andualem Arage

and other political prisoners. Some believe his judgeship is a

cover while acting in the actual role of prosecutor—a serious

judicial conflict of interest to act as both prosecutor and judge.

Federal court justice technocrats (titles reflect job roles):


  • Deputy Commander of Anti-terrorism

Investigation Division


  • Head of Federal Police Investigations for

the Courts: Commander Reta is close to the head of NISS

mastermind of intelligence, Getachew Assefa.  Heis also

in charge of Maekelawi Prison where many of the prisoners

are tortured. He is loyal to the TPLF.


  • Head of politically-motivated cases (unknown title):

All political prisoners are dealt with by this individual at

the Ministry of Justice.  He was the one who prosecuted

the Kinijit leaders in 2005.  He was transferred from the

Tigray region where he was involved similarly with Tigrayans.


  • State Minister for Regional Affaris of Justice:   

Leul Kahsay is responsible for overseeing regional judicial

affairs for the entire country at the federal level to make

sure the interests of the regime are pursued in all criminal

investigations and litigations.  He is said to be a cold-hearted

perpetrator of torture and other cruel and inhumane methods.


  1. Ethiopian News Agency; The ENA is responsible for the

dissemination of politically-correct information in all forms of

the media such as radio, television, and newspapers.  This

includes Ethiopian Television Broadcasts (ETV).  Most all of the

top people, including producers, reporters, photographers

and anchors are Tigrayan.  Please refer below for further

details. This organization is state-run.

Berhane Hailu Dagne 






Dessalegn Berhe






Medhen Kiros







Hashim Tewfik









Berihu Teweldebirhan







Tekle ?



Reta Tesfaye






Mikael Teklu






Leul Kahsay







Tewodros Hagos










































































































































Ethnic Preference Seen at ETV    
Name Ethnicity Position at ETV
  1. Temesgen Beyene
  2. Kibrom Woldselassie
  3. Eden Gebrehiwot
  4. Le-Alem Desta
  5. Hermela Gebrekidan
  6. Helena Mebratu
  7. Alganesh Teka
  8. Solomon Gebremedhin
  9. Eden Berhane
  10. Abrehet Adem
  11. Daniel Gebregziabher
  12. Hirut Gebreamlak
  13. Metasebia Legesse
  14. Kebkab Tadesse
  15. Atkilt Gebremeskel
  16. Tsega-Leoul Woldesadik
  17. Rahel Tekleyohannes
  18. Sara Feshaye
  19. Alemayehu Gebrehiwot
  20. Siyaf Aseged




















News AnchorAmhara Region News

ETV Special Entertainment Anchor

ETV Producer

News Anchor

News Anchor

ETV Program Producer/News Anchor

ETV-Southern Region of Ethiopia News Anchor

Special correspondent: Office of the Prime Minister

ETV Camera/Film Producer

Southern Region of Ethiopia ETV News Anchor

ETV Sports News Anchor

ETV Correspondent

ETV Correspondent

ETV Photographer

ETV Program Producer

ETV English Program News Anchor

ETV Program Producer

ETV Program Producer

ETV Program Producer






This report comes from an insider who alleges that over the past twenty years, different techniques have been used for giving preferential treatment to people of Tigrayan ethnicity. In the broader society, especially in regards to journalists and people in the media, techniques such as firing without just cause, intimidation, imprisonment, torture, and other such methods, have been used to eliminate any who might be critical of the TPLF/EPRDF. Through various tactics, the Ethiopian regime has managed to replace 95% of ETV employees with a single ethnicity, without proper evaluation of their journalistic qualifications or experience. The dominant hiring factor is simply their ethnic origin (TIgray) and their loyalty to the TPLF/ERPDF regime.
By Nemera Dinsa W | May 31, 2013

Defense Departments

No Job Division Name & Rank Ethnic Group
1 Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff General Samora Yenus Tigre
2 Armed Forces Head of Training Lt.General Tadesse Worde Tigre
3 Head of Logistics Lt.General Gezae Abera Tigre
4 Head of Intelligence Br. General Gebre Dela Tigre
5 Armed Forces Head of Campaign Major General Gebreegzher Tigre
6 Armed Forces Head of Engineering Lt.General Berhane Negash Tigre
7 Chief of the Air Force Chief of the Air Force Tigre


Heads of the Ethiopia’s Four Military Commands

No Job Division Name & Rank Ethnic Group
1 Central Command General Abebaw Tadesse Agew
2 Northern Command Lt.General Saere Mekonene Tigre
3 South Eastern Command Lt.General Abraha Wolde Tigre
4 Western Command Br. General Seyoum Hagos Tigre

Army Divisional Commanders

Central Command & Northern Command

No Job Division Name & Rank Ethnic Group
1 14st Army Division Colonel Wodi Antiru Tigre
2 21st Army Division Colonel Gueshi Gebre Tigre
3 11th Army Division Colonel Workidu Tigre
4 25th Army Division Colonel Tesfay Sahiel Tigre
5 22nd Army Division Colonel Teklay Klashin Tigre
6 4th Mechanized Division Colonel Hinsaw Giorgis Tigre

South Eastern Command

No Job Division Name & Rank Ethnic Group
1 19st Army Division Colonel Wodi Guaae Tigre
2 44st Army Division Colonel Zewdu Tefera Tigre
3 13th Army Division Colonel Sherifo Tigre
4 12th Army Division Colonel Mulugeta Berhe Tigre
5 32nd Army Division Colonel Abraha Tselim Tigre
6 6th Mechanized Division Colonel G/Medhin Fekede Tigre

Western Command

No Job Division Name & Rank Ethnic Group
1 23rd Army Division Colonel Wolde Belalom Tigre
2 43rd Army Division Colonel Wodi Abate Tigre
3 26th Army Division Colonel Mebrahtu Tigre
4 7th Mechanized Division Colonel Gebre Mariam Tigre

Commanders in Different Defense Departments

No Job Division Name & Rank Ethnic Group
1 Agazi Commando Division B.General Mohammed Esha Tigre
2 Addis Ababa & Surrounding Area Guard Colonel Zenebe Amare Tigre
3 Palace Guard Colonel Gerensay Tigre
4 Banking Guard Colonel Hawaz Woldu Tigre
5 Engineering College Colonel Halefom Eggigu Tigre
6 Military Health Science B.General Tesfay Gidey Tigre
7 Mulugeta Buli Technical College Colonel Meleya Amare Tigre
8 Resource Management College Colonel Letay Tigre
9 Siftana Command College B.General Moges Haile Tigre
10 Blaten Military Training Center Colonel Salih Berihu Tigre
11 Wourso Military Training Center Colonel Negash Heluf Tigre
12 Awash Arba Military Training Center Colonel Muze Tigre
13 Birr Valley Military Training Center Colonel Negassie Shikortet Tigre
14 Defense Administration Department B.General Mehari Zewde Tigre
15 Defense Aviation B.General Kinfe Dagnew Tigre
16 Defense Research and Study B.General Halefom Chento Tigre
17 Defense Justice Department Colonel Askale Tigre
18 Secretary of the Chief-of-Staff Colonel Tsehaye Manjus Tigre
19 Indoctrination Center B.General Akale Asaye Amhara
20 Communications Department Colonel Sebbhat Tigre
21 Foreign Relations Department Colonel Hassene Tigre
22 Special Forces Coordination Department B.General Fisseha Manjus Tigre
23 Operations Department Colonel Wodi Tewk Tigre
24 Planning, Readiness and Programming Department Colonel Teklay Ashebir Tigre
25 Defense Industries Coordination Department Colonel Wodi Negash Tigre
26 Defense Finance Department Colonel Zewdu Tigre
27 Defense Purchasing Department Colonel Gedey Tigre
28 Defense Budget Department Ato/Mr. Berhane Tigre


posted by Gheremew Araghaw


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