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Ethiopia’s Prime Minister reshuffles cabinet

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By Tesfa-alem Tekle

October 31, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Thursday reshuffled his 15-member cabinet, including key ministries of Defense and information for what he called was "poor performance" caused due work load.

The newly appointed nine ministers were sworn-in before Ethiopia House of Representatives after the house approved their appointment in vote.

Accordingly, Ethiopian Federal Affairs Minister Siraj Fergesa is the new Defense Minister, replacing the Kuma Demeksa who was earlier appointed mayor of Addis Ababa city administration.

Ethiopian Information Minister Berhan Hailu is appointed as Justice Minister. But No appointment was made for the Ministry of Information in return.

However there are unconfirmed sources saying that government will suspend this ministry and replace it as a bureau, commission or department instead.

The Public Organization Advisor to the Prime Minister Haile-Maraim Desalegn is the new Government Whip.

The Deputy Chief of the Amhara State Administration, Demeke Mekonnen, is the new Education Minister, replacing Sintayehu Woldemickael.

The Transport and Communication Minister Junedin Sado is moved to the Science and Technology Ministry.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Shiferaw Tekle-Mariam, is appointed Federal Affairs Minister.

Tefera Deribew is appointed as a new minister for the Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) department, which was earlier lead by Ethiopia’s deputy PM Addisu Legesse.

Also, Diriba Kuma is the new Transport and Communication Minister and Muferiat Kamil is the Women Affairs Minister.

PM Meles expressed his hope that the appointees would manage to register a better performance by discharging their responsibilities while. in office.

(ST)

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