Seyoum Mesfin

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Seyoum Mesfin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
1991–2010
Personal details
Born (1949-01-01) 1 January 1949 (age 68)
Adigrat, Ethiopia
Alma mater

Seyoum Mesfin Gebredingel (born January 25, 1949) is an Ethiopian politician and diplomat. He was Ethiopia's Foreign Minister from 1991 until September 2010 and has subsequently served as Ethiopia's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

Biography[edit]

Born in Tigray Province, Seyoum was trained in science and academic background, gained first at Bahar Dar Polytechnic Institute and later at Addis Ababa University. According to Aregawi Berhe, he was one of seven students who met on 14 September 1974 at an inconspicuous cafe in the Piazza district to create the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front.[1] Mesfin served as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in the 1980s.[2] He was a member of the Marxist–Leninist League of Tigray and composed songs to honor the organization.[3]

Seyoum was the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs for nearly 20 years, from 1991 until he was replaced after the 2010 parliamentary election. He is also an executive member of the Central Committee of the EPRDF.[4] He was also Chief Executive Officer of the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray from 2000 until early 2009.[5] On December 28, 2004, Mesfin made a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York on the policy in the region, in particular the relationship of Ethiopia to Eritrea and Somalia.[6] In 2007, Mesfoun indicated that Eritrea had breached the agreements that ended its war and Ethiopia might end all or part of those agreements.[7] He was also a member of the House of Peoples' Representatives, representing Adigrat.[8]

After leaving the government in 2010, Seyoum was appointed as Ambassador to China.[9] He visited Singapore in December 2012 to potentially set up a Ethio-Singapore Special Economy zone and expand cooperation in aviation.[10] In 2015, Mesfin was the chief mediator of South Sudan's IGAD-mediated peace talks. He urged both sides to end hostilities and form a transitional government.[11] He launched the think tank Centre for Research, Dialogue & Cooperation (CRDC), a part of the Ministry of Education, on April 12, 2016.[12]

Personal life[edit]

He is married and has four children.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Berhe 2008, p. 40
  2. ^ a b "Seyoum Mesfin Foreign Minister". Ethiopian Embassy. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ Berhe 2008, p. 219
  4. ^ "List of Central Members of EPRDF". Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  5. ^ "First Lady Makes it to EFFORT's Helm". Addis Fortune. March 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ "STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. SEYOUM MESFIN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA AT THE 59TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY". Ethiopian Embassy. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ Jopson, Barney (September 26, 2007). "Risk grows of Horn of Africa conflict". The Financial Times. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ "House of Peoples' Representatives of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia". Ethiopian Parliament. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  9. ^ "A five-year exit plan". Africa Confidential. 52 (3). February 4, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Ethiopia: Ambassador Seyoum Visits Singapore". AllAfrica. December 10, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Seyoum Mesfin Hopes South Sudanese Peace Talks Reaches Turning Point". The Reporter. February 28, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Ethiopia: A Brand New Think-Tank, Re-Christianized From Its Original". AllAfrica. April 12, 2016. Retrieved November 2, 2016. 

References[edit]