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Ethiopia replaces army, intelligence chiefs
 (2018-06-11)

ADDIS ABABA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed General Adem Mohammed as director general of Ethiopia National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) replacing Getachew Assefa, state media Radio Fana said on Thursday.

The news came just hours after Ahmed appointed General Seare Mekonen as the new chief of staff of Ethiopia National Defense Forces (ENDF), replacing Samora Younous.

Local and foreign analysts have been keenly watching Abiy's moves in the army and intelligence sectors ever since he came to power in April as a test of his grip on power.

In a related development, the Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia in a press statement announced a decision to restore full ranks to two ex-generals who had been stripped of their title after being accused of a coup plot in 2009.

Ahmed, chairman of Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO) that rules over Ethiopia's largest regional state Oromia, took over from Hailemariam Desalegn who resigned on February 15 amid deadly protests and ethnic clashes in various parts of Ethiopia.

Oromia, which along with Amhara regional state accounts for about 65 percent of Ethiopia's estimated 100 million population, has witnessed persistent deadly protests since 2016.

Protestors accuse the central government in Addis Ababa of economic and political marginalization of their communities.

In recent months, reports of internal political wrangling among four coalition partners of the ruling coalition EPRDF, had also raised fears about the stability of the major economy in East African.

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