Intelligence Chief Temesgen Tiruneh Appointed Deputy Prime Minister

Intelligence chief Temesgen Tiruneh appointed deputy prime minister…

The House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) has appointed Temesgen Tiruneh, the former director general of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) as deputy Prime Minister.

Temesgen, who replaced Demeke Mekonnen as second deputy president of the ruling Prosperity Party last week was named head of the national intelligence agency in November 2020 amid an unprecedented security sector reshuffle by PM Abiy Ahmed in the wake of the Tigray war.

Temesgen has been a notable figure in PM Abiy Ahmed’s administration and believed to be a close confidante of the PM. In August 2023 he was additionally tasked with leading a command post overseeing the state of emergency in the Amhara region which was prolonged for another four months last week.

He rose to prominence in July 2019 when he was named president of the Amhara regional state following an assassination of former regional president Ambachew Mekonnen alongside his two cabinet members a month earlier.

Prior to that, he served as a security adviser to PM Abiy Ahmed, with whom he is acquainted with for more than a decade. They worked together at the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) which was once led by PM Abiy.

He will now be replacing Demeke Mekonnen, the longest serving deputy PM who also doubled as Foreign minister starting November 2020. On 26 January 2024, following his farewell from the Prosperity Party, reported that Demeke will also be relieved of his responsibilities as deputy PM and foreign minister.