Prime Minister Hailemariam’s protocol head defected

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A senior Ethiopian palace officer defected while attending the general assembly of the United Nations in New York last month. Baye Tadesse Teferi, who has served as Prime Minister’s Hailemariam Desalegn’s protocol head, told the Amharic Service of the Voice of America that has has resigned from his post and has taken up asylum there.
Baye said some members of security officials tried to discredit him and associate him with events in the restive Amhara region, pointing to his Amahra origin, when he refused to give them access to the Prime Minister’s office and documents. Saying that he is not member of the party, the defector said he has served in the palace for more than twenty years. He talked about the deep rift between security officers and government officials, and he felt that his life was under threat. He said members of his family are still in Ethiopia and he hopes they would not be in danger because of his defection. Baye promised the VOA’s senior journalist, Solomon Kifle to provide more information in an extensive interview in the near future.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry contacted by the VOA refused to make statement on the official’s defection.

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