The figurehead president of Ethiopia, Girma Woldegiorgis, has ordered the Minister of Agriculture, Ato Tefera Deribew, to stop selling forest land in Gambela to foreign investors.
This is the first instance of Girma Woldegiorgis speaking against any policy of Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi. The land give away brings hundreds of millions of dollars in hard currency to Meles, and for Girma to take a stand against it in such a public way is a major development.
Girma’s unequivocal instruction to the minister of agriculture not to sell forest land came as we are currently learning about a growing tension between the new foreign minister and deputy prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Meles Zenawi. Reportedly, disagreements are arising over control of local resources. Hailemairam seems to be unhappy about the exploitation of southern Ethiopia natural resources by TPLF companies at the expense of the region’s population who are not getting any benefit.