Secret emergency meetings of senior TPLF officials are underway

Secret emergency meetings of senior TPLF officials are underway

July 26, 2012 — Senior officials of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) have been holding a series of emergency meetings in the capital, Addis Ababa, over the passed few days, according to a source with ties to the secretive Ethiopian National Intelligence Security Service (NISS).

The ongoing meetings have predominantly focused on three main topics: Meles Zenawi's serious aliment; the possibility of needing a successor within the immediate future and on how to handle the ongoing Muslim demonstrations, according to a source who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

TPLF bigwigs are reportedly split on how to deal with the massive Ethiopian demonstrators in the capital of late. Some party officials have cautioned if they do not meet some of their demands, it may intensify and become an Egyptian-style revolution. Getachew Assefa, the head of NISS, on his part, argued caving in to their demands will only embolden them. The 53-year-old chief officer suggested tougher measures as a solution.

Party officials also began preliminary deliberations on a successor in the event Meles fails to recover from his unspecified aliment that has left him absent from public light for over a month. Sources say senior officials have already began vying for support from party members to be the next Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, news agencies loyal to the government have been airing conflicting reports of Meles' whereabouts to confuse the masses. Last Sunday, government-owned Addis Fortune reported Meles was 'back in town', while Ethiopianreporter, a longtime mouthpiece of the government, said he was on vacation in the United States yesterday. Neither of their claims were independently verified and were largely dismissed by Ethiopians and western news agencies as propaganda.

Is it the end of an era? Dictator Meles Zenawi has been
absent for a month and is reportedly seriously ill -
In the event he does not make it, senior TPLF officials begin talks
to replace him yesterday