Ethiopia swears in new prime minister

Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia's parliament has sworn in the country's new leader.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who was sworn in on Friday, succeeds former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Meles died Aug. 20 after ruling Ethiopia for more than two decades.

Last weekend Ethiopia's ruling political party, the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front, named Hailemariam as chair of the party, which controls parliament.

Ethiopia is a strong U.S. ally in East Africa, particularly on security issues. David Shinn, the U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia from 1996 to 1999, said it's unlikely U.S.-Ethiopia relations will change significantly with Hailemariam as prime minister. Shinn said Washington, though, will be interested in seeing a renewed focus on human rights policies, for which Ethiopia is frequently criticized.

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