Debebe Abera, one of the senior founding members of the Southern Ethiopia Peoples’ Democratic Movement (SEPDM), has been appointed to be the Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the Prime Minister’s Office. The position was left vacant for the past few weeks after Muktar Kedir left the position and was elevated to the newly-introduced cluster, becoming Deputy Prime Minister heading the cluster of Good Governance and Reform and Minister of Civil Service, under Hailemariam Desalegn’s administration. He reportedly received the appointment letter on December 19, 2012 from PM Hailemariam Desalegn. Before his appointment to the PM’s office, which is located off Lorenzo Ta’ezaz Street, Debebe was running the Civil Service Office of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPR). During his long tenure, both in the party and in the region, Debebe has assumed various administrative positions. He had also been serving as Deputy Chief Administrator since 2010 and Commissioner of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission of the Southern Region’s administration. He also served as head, public mobilization and participation affairs, under the regional administration. Though Debebe is one of the old guards of his party, a few years back, he faced demotion to a lower rank at zonal level, after he was accused of being involved in a tribal dispute in Sheko Mezhenger. After spending a few years out of sight and party politics, he gradually climbed up the ladder to regain his old position. Some people, who claim to know him personally, describe him as “a humble man and a canny politician.” He used to be a close ally of the former chief of the region, Abate Kisho, Kassu Illala (Ph.D.), Tadesse Cheko, and other senior officials of SEPDM. He studied law at the Civil Service University and public governance at Hawassa University. He was also one of the founders of the Association of Rift Valley Fighters before SEPDM came into being.
(The Ethiopian Reporter)