Tesfaye Gebreab: How he fled to Kenya
Ethiomedia | April 21, 2009

Editor's note - Tesfaye Gebreab, author of Yegazetegnaw Mastawesha and Yeburqa Zimita, has been using every opportunity to blame Abraha Belai, Editor of Ethiomedia, for falsely reporting that he had fled Ethiopia by emptying a government coffer worth half a million Birr in 2001. Actually, it is not the Editor of Ethiomedia but Africa Intelligence (See below), which reported how the former TPLF junior official and later Efoita magazine editor made away with the money. Upon arriving in Nairobi, Kenya, says the report, Tesfaye reported to Eritrean Embassy. Here's the full report from 'Africa Intelligence:'

N° 949


The Ripple Effect of TPLF’s Crisis

The crisis within the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the hard core of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), is having side effects in several sectors of society. The first repercussions touched the armed forces (ION 948), where the most notable example was last week’s refusal, by Brigadier General Tadesse Berhe, to attend an officers’ meeting presided by Meles Zenawi, during which the prime minister denounced the positions of the dissident group expelled from the TPLF’s central committee.

The brigadier general is said to have explained his decision by pointing out that the army ought to remain removed from any and all political influence. Another repercussion is the closing down of the TPLF’s Efoyta daily, with only the magazine of that name remaining with the party. Tesfaye Gebreab, Efoyta's editor-in-chief, recently left Ethiopia for Kenya without informing his colleagues.

A former army lieutenant for former President Mengistu Haile Mariam, Tesfaye Gebreab was made a prisoner by the TPLF, then a guerilla movement, after suffering wounds in Debre Tabor, Gondar.

He subsequently joined the TPLF, worked for the party, and wrote a book called "Yeburka Zimta"(The Silence of Burka), a fictional account a bit too close to reality since it led to accusations of his having wanted to stir up passions between the Oromo and the Amhara communities.

Considered close to the TPLF dissidents led by Grebu Asrat and Alemseged Gebre Amlak, Tesfaye Gebreab had not been allowed to join a meeting of TPLF leaders held in Addis Ababa a few weeks ago.

After his departure to Kenya, the Ethiopian leaders claimed they found the newspaper’s coffers empty, with a debt of almost 500,000 Birrs ($1 = 8 Birrs) in a local bank.

According to certain sources, Tesfaye Gebreab has already contacted the Eritrean embassy in Nairobi and may already have found refuge in Asmara .

Additional Audio

(April 19, 2009 - Addis Dimts Radio's Abebe Belew interviews Tesfaye Gebreab)


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