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Long Distance Running Legend Haile Gebresellasie appointed as a President of Ethiopian Athletics Fed

The outspoken long distance running legend Haile Gebresellasie is appointed as a president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF).The appointment of Haile Gebresellasie comes amid growing national uprisings and clashes in Ethiopia. The EAF has been a center of controversy following allegations of discrimination and ethnocentrism by famous athletes including world record holder athlete Kenenisa Bekele. Athlete and businessman Haile has confirmed his appointment via his Twitter page.

"I feel so honoured to be elected president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation! Will work on a great future for Ethiopian athletics!" Haile Gebrselassie‏@HaileGebr

The Ethiopian Olympic Committee and EAF were criticized by Ethiopian athletics fans following the announcement of athletes heading to RIO 2016 Olympics. The Ethiopian team has won few medals and performed poorly as compared to the neighboring Kenyan athletes. Social media activists and Ethiopian opposition groups believe that the appointment of Haile Gebresellasie just symbolic, as the real authority resides among the ruling Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) _ a major political force behind the ruling coalition party the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). TPLF elites have been accused by international human rights groups as an ethnocentric and oppressive group responsible for the killing, torture and exile of thousands of Ethiopians in Oromia, Gambella, Somali, SNNPR and Amhara regions. According to opposition forces, more than 2000 Ethiopians, mainly Oromos and Amharas have been killed by government security forces.

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