EthioChannel’s cover story on Junedin
EthioChannel, pro regime “private” Saturday Newspaper has today reported that top ruling party official and “the Minister of Civil Service” has sought asylum in neighboring Kenya. A political scientist with a close knowledge of the former Minister that De Birhan talked to said that Junedin’s family couldn’t confirm the Report and that he was not contactable.
Junedin Sado’s wife, Habiba Mohammed, is one of 29 people facing terrorism charges related to protests by Muslims. Junedin last year published a letter in the same newspaper defending his wife and criticizing the federal prosecutor’s charges. In the letter, Mr. Junedin said that he had approached the Saudi Arabian Embassy in his personal capacity to raise money to build a mosque to fulfil the wishes expressed in the will of his late mother. The money recovered from his wife, Mr. Junedin said, was meant for the mosque and not to fund terrorist activities.
Habiba was charged in October 2012 with funneling money from the Embassy of Saudi Arabia to Islamist terror groups, at a hearing at the Ethiopian Federal High Court.
Jundein was president of the Oromia Region from 28 October 2001 until 6 October 2005. He subsequently was appointed Transport and Communication Minister, which is the office he was holding when Prime Minister Meles Zenawi moved him to the Science and Technology Ministry October 2008. Following the 2010 general election, Junedin was appointed Minister of Civil Service until November 2012 Prime Minister Hailemariam replaced him with another Minister in his Ministerial reshuffle. The Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), a constituent of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the ruling coalition had also expelled him from the Organisation. It was reported that after “self criticism he was readmitted and secured his posts”. He previously served as the president of the OPDO. Although the Ethiopian Parliament had the plan of “removing Junedin’s immunity” it in its agenda, it was not implemented to that effect. Junedin has also been the Board Chairman of Addis Abeba University (AAU).
Junedin was one of the “most powerful” ruling Party officials who represented the regime in various international and local duties. He was also one of the few Ministers that represented the ruling Party in the Ethiopian General election debates. A close confident and loyal of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Junedin was one of the ardent critics of Ethiopian opposition and Muslim critics/protesters, sources who knows the Minister closely at the Oromia regional Council recount.
The paper also stated that it was not established how Junedin left for Kenya, so far. Some sources close to De Birhan had informed us that Junedin had absconded to Kenya with eight senior members of OPDO and colleagues. There are no details on the whereabouts of his three underage children.