An ambassador who makes waves


Girma Asmerom,born in DebreBirhan town to Eritrean parents is the new Eritrean envoy to the AU

The Eritrean opposition is displeased that Ethiopia has accepted the appointment of Girma Asmerom as Ambassador of Eritrea to the AU in Addis Ababa.

The former ambassador to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa, who was declared persona non grata by the Ethiopian authorities in 1999, is back in the Ethiopian capital. Girma Asmerom Tesfay presented his letters of accreditation there to the President of the African Union (AU) Jean Ping, on 17 January, as the new Eritrean permanent representative to the AU. Given his personality, this appointment is not to the liking of the Ethiopia-based Eritrean oppostion, which is annoyed with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for not opposing it. Girma Asmerom Tesfay was a member of the Ethiopian national football team in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City and so is accustomed to stating privately that he is “more Ethiopian than Meles Zenawi ”. For his part, the Ethiopian Prime Minister holds him responsible for the degradation of his relations with the Eritrean Head of State, Issayas Afeworki, after Eritrea achieved independence in 1993. Girma Asmerom Tesfay knows Ethiopians and Addis Ababa well, which raises concern among the Eritrean opposition that he might form a pro-Eritrean network of influence in the Ethiopian capital.

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