August 30, 2019
In an emergency meeting held on Friday, August 30, 2019, Hawassa City Council approved Tiratu Beyene as the next Mayor of the city.
The council approved his appointment unanimously. According to a report by DW Amharic, he worked as the executive director of Mining and Energy Agency of Southern People’s Nations, and Nationalities Region (SPNNR).
In an acceptance speech in the city council following the swearing-in ceremony, the new mayor said that restoring peace in the city will be a priority focus area. He also asked support from the city council and residents of Hawassa to in his effort to do so.
He is replacing Sekware Shode who is terminated from his mayoral position in connection with the violence that raged in the city for several days starting July 18.
What exactly was his role in the violence which claimed at least 54 people, including in towns surrounding Hawassa City, is unclear yet. Based on a report by The Ethiopian Reporter on August 28, president of SPNNR, Million Matheos, will also be removed from his position.
Apart from the loss of life and destruction of property, the security situation in Hawassa has affected economic activity.
SPNNR culture and tourism officials said on Friday that revenue from the sector has plummeted due as the security situation has negatively affected the inflow of tourists to the city, as reported by DW Amharic.
Seble Tsega Ayele, culture and tourism office head in the region, sais that the number of tourists who visited the city in the 2018/19 Ethiopian fiscal year dropped by 49,000 following the security problem in the city and the region too.
The security operation in Hawassa City and several towns in the region are under The Command Post – a combination of military and civilian body.
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