Alemayehu Atomsa

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Alemayehu Atomsa
Alamaayyoo Atomsaa
ዓለማየሁ አቶምሳ
Alemayehu Atomsa.jpg
President of the Oromia Region
In office
6 September 2010 18 February 2014
Preceded by Abadula Gemeda
Succeeded by Muktar Kedir
Personal details
Alamaayyoo Atomsaa

(1969-02-12)12 February 1969
Bonaya Boshe, Welega, Ethiopia
Died6 March 2014(2014-03-06) (aged 45)
Bangkok, Thailand
Political party Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
Other political
Oromo People's Democratic Organization
Alma mater Ethiopian Civil Service University (J.D.)
Peking University (M.P.P.)

Alemayehu Atomsa (Amharic : አለማየው ፡ አቶምሳ Oromo : Alamaayyoo Atoomsaa; 12 February 1969 6 March 2014) was an Ethiopian politician who served as the president of the Oromia Region, the largest of the country's regions, from 2010 until his resignation due to illness in 2014, [1] from which he died in Bangkok, Thailand, on 6 March 2014. [2]

Oromo language Cushitic language

Oromo is an Afroasiatic dialect chain that can be identified as four major languages, Southern Oromo, which includes the Gabra and Sakuye varieties, Eastern Oromo, Orma, which includes the Munyo, Orma, Waata/Sanye varieties, and West Central Oromo. Like with the varieties of Arabic, Oromo is a dialect continuum, so language varieties spoken in neighbouring regions differ only slightly, but the differences accumulate over distance so widely-separated varieties are not mutually intelligible.

Oromia Region Regional State in Ethiopia

Oromia is one of the nine ethnically based regional states of Ethiopia, the homeland of the Oromo. It is bordered by the Somali Region to the east; the Amhara Region, the Afar Region and the Benishangul-Gumuz Region to the north; South Sudan, Gambela Region, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region to the west; and Kenya to the south. The 2011 census reported the population of Oromia Region as 35,000,000; this makes it the largest regional state in population.

Bangkok Special administrative area in Thailand

Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand, and has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over fourteen million people lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region at the 2010 census, making Bangkok the nation's primate city, significantly dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.


Early life and career

Alemayehu was born on 12 February 1969 in the village of Sere in Welega Province, now in Bonaya Boshe District in the Misraq Welega Zone of the Oromia Region. [2] Alemayehu attended school close to his home district at Gubo Leyo Primary School and Siri Secondary School. [3] During the Ethiopian Civil War, he was conscripted by the government to fight against EPLF and TPLF rebels. He, however, was captured by TPLF rebels. Not too long, his capturers gave him the option of continuing to be their POW or becoming a founding member of the Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO); he chose the later.

Welega Province

Welega was a province in the western part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Nekemte. It was named for the Wollega Oromo, who are the majority of the population within its boundaries.

Bonaya Boshe is one of the woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It is part of the Misraq Welega Zone and it was part of former Wama Bonaya woreda.

Ethiopian Civil War civil war in Ethiopia between 1974 and 1991

The Ethiopian Civil War was a civil war in Ethiopia and present day Eritrea, fought between the Ethiopian military junta communist governments and Ethio-Eritrean anti-government rebels from September 1974 to June 1991.

He received a law degree from the Ethiopian Civil Service University and a Master of Public Policy degree from Peking University in Beijing, China. [2]

The Ethiopian Civil Service University (ECSU) is a public university in Ethiopia. Its purpose is capacity building in the public sector. It is located in the capital city of Addis Ababa.

The Master of Public Policy (MPP), one of several public policy degrees, is a master's level professional degree that provides training in policy analysis and program evaluation at public policy schools. The MPP program places a focus on the systematic analysis of issues related to public policy and the decision processes associated with them. This includes training in the role of economic and political factors in public decision-making and policy formulation; microeconomic analysis of policy options and issues; resource allocation and decision modeling; cost/benefit analysis; statistical methods; and various applications to specific public policy topics. MPP recipients serve or have served in the public sector, at the international, national, subnational, and local levels.

Peking University university in Beijing, China

Peking University is a major research university in Beijing, China, and a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities. The first modern national university established in China, it was founded during the late Qing Dynasty in 1898 as the Imperial University of Peking and was the successor of the Guozijian, or Imperial College. The university's English name retains the older transliteration of "Beijing" that has been superseded in most other contexts.

Alemayehu started his career as a teacher. He rose to become the Director of the Information Agency of the Oromia Region, and then managing director of the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency. [4]

Alemayehu joined the armed struggle against the military junta of President Mengistu Hailemariam in 1989. He had been part of the leadership of OPDO and EPRDF since the ouster of the military junta in 1991; among others, as head of Oromia’s eastern Wolega zone and head of Oromia’s western Wolega zone. Alemayehu served as Oromia’s chief of security, as head of OPDO’s political department and as head of OPDO’s headquarters from 1996 to 2002. He was head of Oromia’s Communications Bureau, then Director General of Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency from 2006 to 2010. In 2012, Alemayehu became Chairperson of OPDO and President of Oromia region. [3]

He was the father of two daughters and two son. [4]

Presidency of the Oromia Region

Alemayehu, an "obscure figure with little connection to the OPDO’s rank and file" became president of the Oromia Region on 6 September 2010, succeeding former General Abadula Gemeda, who was elected to the Federal Parliamentary Assembly and became the Speaker of the House of Peoples' Representatives. [4] [5] "Hailed [for] his strength and leadership charisma", as president, Alemayehu took a strong, public, and controversial stance against corruption, and within months of his assuming office several public officials had been arrested for bribery, nepotism, and other acts of corruption. Under his presidency, the Addis Ababa - Adama Expressway, the country's first modern motorway, was built to connect the capital city of Addis Ababa to the city of Adama, the largest city and de facto capital of the Oromia Region.

Abadula Gemeda Ethiopian politician

Abadula Gemeda is the former Speaker of the House of Peoples' Representatives, the lower chamber of the Ethiopian Parliament, from 2010 to 2017. Previously, from 2005 to 2010, he was President of the Oromia Region. He was succeeded in that position by Alemayehu Atomsa.

Federal Parliamentary Assembly parliament of Ethiopia

The Parliament of Ethiopia consists of two chambers:

House of Peoples Representatives

The House of Peoples' Representatives is the lower chamber of the Ethiopian Federal Parliamentary Assembly, the House of Federation being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of Ethiopia. The House has 547 members, elected for five-year terms in single-seat constituencies.

However, within months of taking office, he fell severely ill due to food poisoning, and remained so throughout his tenure. [6] Thus for much of his tenure, he was abroad seeking medical treatment, and by 2013 he had "virtually withdrawn from public life" as a result. [4] In 2012, he tendered his resignation to then-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, but it was rejected, as were several other requests, before his resignation was finally accepted on 17 February 2014. [5]

Illness and death

Alemayehu died of food poisoning on 6 March 2014 at the Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, at 1AM in the morning, having received treatment for the five weeks prior. [2] [5] Some opposition sources has suggested that foul play was at hand in his death, as his anti-corruption campaign threatened existing political figures. [7]

At a memorial service at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Alemayehu had been "a fighter and a comrade who worked tirelessly till the end for the people of Oromia and Ethiopia." Flags around the country flew for three days at half-mast. [8] Also expressing their condolences were President Mulatu Teshome, the House of Federation and the House of Peoples' Representatives.

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  2. 1 2 3 4 "Alemayehu Atomsa dies at age 45 after battle with "typhoid fever"". Awramba Times. 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  3. 1 2
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Oromia regional state president Alemayehu Atomsa steps down". Addis Journal. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 "Alemayehu Atomsa Dies". Addis Fortune. 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  6. "Capital Ethiopia". Capital Ethiopia. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  7. "Alemayehu Atomsa Dies". ESAT. 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014. It is to be recalled that ESAT, quoting some officials of the OPDO, had reported that Alemayehu Atomsa was ‘poisoned’ after consuming a food two years ago. Alemayehu’s bodyguard has been also suffering from a similar disease since then.
  8. "Alemayehu Atomssa laid to rest". Walta Information Centre. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.