Ethiopians grieve after paying their respects at the coffin of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as preparations continued for a handover to his interim successor.(SIMON MAINA/AFP/GettyImages)
Ethiopians grieve after paying their respects at the coffin of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as preparations continued for a handover to his interim successor.

Ethiopia Still Leaderless

September 8, 2012  •  From
Nearly three weeks after the prime minister’s death, Ethiopia’s ruling elites haven’t agreed on his successor. The division could leave the country vulnerable.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died on August 20 and was given a state funeral on September 2. Yet despite reports that Meles’s Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn would be sworn into office a couple of days after Meles’s death, Ethiopia still lacks a prime minister. The situation leaves Ethiopia vulnerable to internal pressure and outside influence.

Leaders of the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (eprdf), failed to agree on the procedure to select a new prime minister in a meeting September 4. The delay shows “unexpected internal political tension and power squabbling among the ruling elite,” wrote Kenya’s Daily Nation.

“Further delay of naming Mr. Hailemariam party chief exposed the growing internal power struggle among the four ethnic-based members of the ruling party coalition: Amhara, Tigray, Oromo and Southern people,” wrote the Nation.

The eprdf is scheduled hold a bigger meeting soon to elect a new leader.

Its decision goes against Ethiopia’s cabinet, which endorsed Hailemariam as the next prime minister on August 21. State media have now stopped referring to Hailemariam as the prime minister designate.

Meanwhile, Iran is showing an interest in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Foreign Minister Berhane GebreKristos traveled to Iran for a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement last month. Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on economic and customs cooperation with Ethiopia and 29 other countries, including Syria, Kenya, India and Cuba, on the sidelines of the summit. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Mansour Borqeyee recently spoke to Berhane, where he “underscored Tehran’s enthusiasm for the further expansion of relations and cooperation with the African nations, specially Ethiopia,” according Iranian state-owned Fars News Agency.

Watch the succession process closely. The Bible prophesies that Ethiopia will soon align itself with Iran, which implies that a major political change is coming. A power struggle, or more dangerously, an ethnic struggle, could leave Ethiopia vulnerable.

Ethiopia is facing pressure from Muslims protesting against government interference in their religion. It’s also opposed by Islamists in Somalia. But its greatest threat could be the new Islamic government in Egypt.

In this week’s Key of David program, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said that Daniel 11:43 shows that “Egypt is going to have a major impact on other nations in the Middle East, and in Libya and Ethiopia, in particular.” This scripture shows that Ethiopia and Libya will ultimately come under Iran’s influence. “So does this mean that Egypt leads Libya and Ethiopia into the Iranian camp with Iran’s help?” asked Mr. Flurry. “Well, yes, it certainly does.”

Egypt has a big incentive to play a leading role in Ethiopia—the Nile. Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan all depend on the river. Ethiopia is upstream of the other nations. If it keeps the Nile’s water for itself, the other nations suffer.

Files stolen from intelligence company Stratfor released by WikiLeaks earlier this week claim that Egypt was working with Sudan to prepare attacks on an Ethiopian dam currently under construction.

The report may or may not be true. But it illustrates how Egypt wants to influence Ethiopia. Egypt wants more of the Nile’s water as its population grows. But Ethiopia is working on two huge dams that would diminish Egypt’s supplies further. Having great political control in Ethiopia would allow Egypt to steer the country away from such policies. The recent creation of an independent South Sudan further muddies the waters.

Keep watching Ethiopia’s political scene, and for Egypt and Iran to gain more influence there. For more information on this key prophecy, read our latest booklet, Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy.