Teddy Afro Marries Amleset Muchie in Addis Ababa

September 27, 2012 —Tewodros Kassahun, commonly known to his fans as Teddy Afro, married his fiance Amleset Muchie today. The deeply religious Ethiopian pop star proposed to his longtime girlfriend and former beauty pageant contestant last Easter, just a week before his smash album "Tikur Sew" was set to be released.

The lavish wedding ceremony was held at the Sheraton Hotel in the capital, Addis Ababa, where family members, close friends and a number of distinguished guests were in attendance. After their ceremony concluded, the couple stopped by at the National Theater and made donations to the Ethiopian Association of Persons with Disabilities.

Days prior to his wedding celebrations were set to take place, the 37-year-old pop star released a wedding song for his devoted fans that was originally recorded five years ago. It is to be recalled, Teddy's next performance on stage is scheduled to take place three weeks after his big day.

Teddy Afro with his wife Amleset Muchie
Teddy kissing his wife Amleset

Teddy and Amleset 
Teddy and Amleset Dancing on their wedding night

Teddy Afro and Amleset Muchie's wedding ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - September 27, 2012

Teddy Afro and Amleset Muchie's wedding ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - September 27, 2012
Teddy Afro and Amleset Muchie preparing to leave the Sheraton Hotel
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - September 27, 2012

Ethiopia's Abay Woldu appointed chairmen of TPLF

September 13, 2012 — Amid a growing internal power struggle, Abay Woldu, the President of Tigray region of Ethiopia and a conservative Tigrayan nationalist, was appointed by senior officials to be the Chairmen of EPRDF TPLF.

The 59-year-old Tigrayan president was handpicked to his position by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in an unpopular 2010 ministerial reshuffle that subsequently led to Abay wielding considerable authority and influence within the regime.

Abay's promotion comes hours after Ethiopia announced it promoted thirty-four colonels to the rank of brigadier general and three colonels to major generals, in what is believed to be the country's largest military promotion in over a decade.

Well-placed observers believe senior officials will attend a meeting in the capital, Addis Ababa, this weekend, to select a new Prime Minister. Due to external pressures from Washington, TPLF bigwigs are expected to appoint the current acting premier, Hailemariam Desalegn, to take over Meles' post.

*Updated 9:25 PM EST: Our source in Addis Ababa said Abay Woldu was appointed Chairmen of TPLF, not EPRDF, as we had originally reported. It was a misunderstanding on our part. We apologies for any inconveniences.

Abay Woldu, President of Tigray region and Chairmen of TPLF

Video used to convict Swedish Journalists was a hoax

September 13, 2012 — Following the release of Swedish journalist's Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, SVT, a Stokholm-based TV channel and news agency, released a video containing evidence the Government of Ethiopia staged the clip that was used to incriminate the correspondents.

The unedited version of the video, which was provided to SVT by a source named Abdullah Hussein, shows men next to the two Swedes that were said to represent the ONLF by Addis Ababa, that are seen joking with men representing government troops in between scenes.

The source disclosed to SVT the video was created two days after the Swedes were captured in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, where they had entered the country to document the numerous human rights abuses by the government.

After the staged drama had been completed, the Swedes were transported to the capital, Addis Ababa, where they met with embassy officials and obtained medical treatment for the wounds they sustained, Hussein said.

The journalists were originally sentenced to 11 years in prison but were released as part of a pardon on Ethiopian New Years. Sources say Swedish officials were informed of their September 11 release date as early as last May, after the Nordic country threatened to withhold aid.

Swedish Journalists Johan Persson (L) and Martin Shibbye (R)

Biography of Hailemariam Desalegne

QuestionsQuick  Information
NameHailemariam Desalegne
BornJuly 19, 1965 (47) 
In Office Aug. 20, 2012 - Present
TitlePrime Minister 
Religion Protestant Christian
SpouseMarried to Roman Tesfaye
ChildrenThree: Johanna (22),  the rest unknown
EthnicityWelayta Ethnic Group
Languages Welaytta, Amharic, and English

Present Political Positions

Hailemariam Desalegn is an Ethiopian politician and the acting Prime Minister of Ethiopia. He formerly served as the country's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister from 2010 until August 2012. Following the death of Meles Zenawi, who passed away from complications of liver cancer in Brussels, Belgium on August 20, 2012, the Council of Ministers appointed Hailemariam as the country's temporary successor. 

Early Childhood

Described as a timid and short-tempered individual by his childhood friends, Hailemariam was born on July 19, 1965 in the Welayta district of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region of Ethiopia. He spent most of his youth playing football and assisting his father, Desalegne, with the family business.Upon entering high school, Hailmariam joined political youth group representing the former military junta, Mengiustu Hailemariam.

Hailemariam's Education

Hailemariam obtained a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Addis Ababa University in 1988. He subsequently worked as a graduate assistant in Arba Minch University. Shortly after, he obtained a scholarship to attend Tampere University of Technology in Finland and achieved a masters degree in sanitation engineering. Upon his return to Ethiopia, he served in a number of academic and administrative positions, including the dean of the Water Technology Institute for over a decade.

Hailemariam's family

Hailemariam married his longtime girlfriend, Roman Tesfaye, in 1989. Like her husband, Roman was born in southern Ethiopia and has a lengthy educational and political background. She has two Masters Degrees in leadership and economics from local universities. Prior to her current job at the African Union, She was an advisor for the people of South region and was on the human rights commission of Ethiopia. The couple have three daughters, with 22-year-old Joanna being the eldest of the three.

Acting Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegne -
Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA
Roman Tesfaye, Hailemariam Desalegne's wife

Johanna Hailemariam, daughter of Hailemariam
Desalegne - Credit: De Birhan

Ethiopians celebrate the death of dictator Meles Zenawi

September 7, 2012 — A small crowd of Ethiopians gathered outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington D.C. over the weekend to celebrate the death of the former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

In a show of defiance to the regime in Addis Ababa, the group cheered, danced to music and held up poster-sized images of Ethiopian civilians who were killed by the late premier's notorious security apparatus.

The demonstrators came together after learning of another smaller group of regime loyalst made up of the ruling party's power base of Tigrayans were going to assemble at the embassy to mourn the late dictator's death.

Meles, who ruled the country with an iron-fist for 21 years, was laid to rest on Sunday, September 2, where a number of heads of states and dignitaries payed their final respects to the former guerrilla fighter's life.

During his rule, Meles is said to have killed tens of thousands of Ethiopian citizens, including the brutal killings of 193 unarmed civilians in 2005 and the massacres of more than 400 Anuak civilians in the Gambela region in 2003.

Dr. Gregory Stanton, the head of Genocide Watch, a non-profit human rights organization based in D.C., accused the late primer in 2010 of being a 'genocider' for his numerous atrocities in the Gambela and the Ogaden regions of Ethiopia.

Dictator Meles Zenawi - 1957-2012