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Ethiopian Leader Meles Zenawi Dies at 57

 

VOA

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died at the age of 57 after months of speculation about his health.

State television announced his death Tuesday, saying he died from a sudden infection late Monday while at a hospital abroad.

Mr. Meles had been suffering from an undisclosed illness and had not been seen in public for more than a month.

State media said Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will serve as acting prime minister.

Prime Minister Meles ruled his country for more than 20 years, after the rebel alliance he led, the EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front), seized power in 1991.

Mr. Meles earned praise abroad for improvements in the economy, education and health care. But human rights groups sharply criticized him for various abuses, including restrictions on independent media.

Under Mr. Meles, Ethiopia fought a border war with Eritrea and sent troops to Somalia to fight Islamist militants.

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought from 1998 to 2000 in a conflict that killed more than 70,000 people. Tension between the two countries remained high.

Mr. Meles was also known as an ally to the United States against terrorism.

In 2006, Ethiopian troops entered Somalia to fight Islamist militants allegedly armed and trained by the Eritrean government. Ethiopian forces returned to Somalia last year in a multi-nation offensive against militant group al-Shabab.

Mr. Meles' most serious political challenge came in the 2005 elections, when opposition parties said the government rigged to results to cheat them of victory. Nearly 200 people died in post-election violence and protests.

In the most recent elections in 2010, the EPRDF and its allies took all but one seat in parliament, sparking new accusations of fraud.

The criticism increased in recent years as Ethiopian courts jailed journalists and political activists under an anti-terrorism law that rights groups said was overly vague and broad.

Mr. Meles was born in the northern Ethiopian town of Adwa in 1955. He attended Addis Ababa University for two years before joining the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front, or TPLF, one of several groups that was fighting the government of Mengistu Hailemariam. The TPLF later became the core group within the EPRDF.

After taking power in 1991, Mr. Meles served as president for four years before assuming the prime minister's post in 1995.


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24 Comments

  1. ALEMAYEHU says:

    WE DO NOT CARE! WE ERITREAN BLEDING BECUSE OF HIM? HE WAS A SEREVANT AND PUPPET FOR USA AND STARTED WAR WITH ERITREA TO DIESTROY ALL OUR HISTERY AND PPL. HE KILLED OUR PPL AND INSULTING ERITREAN AND ETC. SO HOW CAN I THINK ABOUT HIS DEATH? HE KILLED MY PPL AND BOMBARDED AND EXPELLED THE PPL LIVED IN ETHIOPIA OVER 50 YEAR BY DISCRMINETING BUT NOW HE GOT THE PRICE. I DO NOT WANT FOR 1 SECOND TO THINK ABOUT HIM. HE IS NOT ONLY ENEMY FOR ERITREAN BUT OLSO FOR ALL AFRICANS AND FOR HIS OWN PPL. WE ERITREAN LOST HARD EARNING MONEY AND HOUSE IN ETHIOPIA BECUSE OF HIM. SO WE DO NOT CARE.  

  2. Lili says:

    All i want to say is …May God give his family strength through this difficult time……
    Yes some of us lost our money in Ethiopia most of us lost our brothers uncles cousins husbands and children but we kept our identity and gained our beloved beautiful Eritrean Flag!
    Nobody can take our pride and identity from us, we will prosper more than ever if we continue what we are doing and follow and trust and work with our dear President Isayas Afewerki.
    Just like Meles's people trusted and supported and followed him with all their strength no matter what he was doing.
    God is in control he has a plan for everything and people come and go for a purpose.
    May God Bless and continue to protect our dearest President/brother/father Isayas Afewerki!

  3. @Alemayehu..ዓለም ከ አይትርአ ዋ ገዕ ሓርኢ ሓርኦ መቀመጢካ ፍለጥ, ድሁል! It seems you don't even have the mind the to judge the easiest case ever.

  4. paul says:

    ante   yeshermuta  lij   !  we  have  him    meles  bimotem    egnea  Alen   egnean  tekto  alfual    gena  yemnlekeh  meslohal    afer deme  new  yemnabelak   !  Ante  durom shermuta  Ahunem shermuta   nek   stupid  shabia  !!!

  5. WE  ALL  ETHIOPIAN   NEVER  EVER  FORGOT  HIS  GREAT  JOB  THAT  IS  :  DESTROY   TERORIST ERITRIANS  !!!

  6. PAUL says:

    Ante  JEZBA   ,  JEZBA  YEMERAW  HIZB JEZBA  NEW   !  ESAYAS  YEMELESEN  CHAMA  ENKUAN  METREG  SIANSEW  NEW  B/C  OF  HIS  KNOWLADGE   !     U SAYS   ""WE  DONT CARE   ""     JEZBA   AHYA  MEN   CARE  ALEW  BLEH  NEW  B/C  UR  JEZBA  AHYA  YE ASMERA  JESBA   !  GENA  YEMNLEKEH  MESLOHAL  !!   TERORIST  BEETHIOPIA  LAY  SEFRA  YELEWEM !!   U HAVE  TO  BECAREFULL   , KEMDER  ENATEFAHALEN  !   WE  ETHIOPIAN  STAND  BY TOGATHER   AGAINST  TERORIST PEOLPE  LIKE  U   KOSHASHA   SHABIA  !!!

  7. Rest in peace Prime Minister MELES ZENAWI

  8. Senayt Wolde says:

    It does not matter what this man did during his life, he is gone now and all we can do is look forward. With no animosity, Rest In Peace Meles Zanawi

  9. zelalem says:

      1st let my condolence rich to all ethiopians,generally all habesha ethnics in regard the death of our 21st centuart visionary leader his excellence pm Meles zenawi. I am very said due to his death at the same time i am very happy for his best efort to be the best example as he becomes to all african leaders.I hope all of them learn from his greatnes and his ideology.the man drow a line on the sand what he want to achieve,which is  peace  progres for his country and the african continent.he left the best legacy behind him which never ever has done before in africa.my hope is ''he is the beigner for others will follow his foot step.the best leader doesnt chastise his people,doesnt opress and must know there is a day for everything,there for leadrs you have a duty to lead and serve your people with justice.    again may our lord yesus christ resurrect him.

  10. nana neirtrawiyan meles mmatu abi hagos eu meknyatu meles telam kihidan slezkone neit habhibun hagizun ab menber kof abilu shimet zerekebu hzibn mengstn Eritrea khidu  temelisu nab Erirea knebh hzba kketl, Oadtata kekatsil nbreta kzemtn kwersn kemtom kedamot yhwatu gzie aywesedelun. nhzbi Eritrea gn tlmetn khdetn ms ngestat Ethiopian lumud bahryatom slezkone ayegermun eu. kab tsinatun meketuun kea menm neger nek ayblon eu. Neti adeda timeitn motn zkewn zelo hzbi Ethiopian gn zhash mengsti zhalyelun zhbhbon mengsti kmetso tselot ygbrelu .
     thanks misgana.

  11. Anonymous says:

    rest in peace  mr praim minister Meles ,and the remains  go ahead  as he do lets try for peac and for good  country comminications ,there thing in  words,let as try  to do our best

  12. Hulachenem anenorem baykenachen anmotalen laja eritrana etiyopywyan fekerena 
    selam yawrdelen 

  13. ALEMAYEHU says:

    FEWSE ASHA: WHO ARE YOU AGAME GENGAN. SERVE YOUR TIGRIANS NOT ERITREAN. WE KNOW VERY WELL OUR ENEMY YOU AND ULIKE YOU THAT HAVE ID CRISES. GO TO HELL WITH YOUR MASTER MELES CHENAWE. YOU MUST SWALOW THE TRUTH YOU AND YOUR MASTER ARE SEREKTE AND HASADAT. WE ERITREAN DO NOT CARE WHAT HAPPEN ON YOUR MASTER OR YOUR TIGRAY. KONDAF AGAME.

  14. MELES FOR US  0 0 0 0 NOT EVEN A NUMBER. HE IS A PUPPET AND SEREVANT FOR ALL DEVIL WORK. HE IS A MASTER OF LIE AND MAFIA TIGRIAN GANGES. LEBE TIGRAY TEWEYWAY. MEN KEAMNEKUM KONDAFAT NABE KETATWU HEJE. EE SEREKUN HASEYUN AHEWATU KETELUN ZENABREKUM ZENEBERE SEYTAN NEHAWARU KEYDU. WEY WEY EYEYEYEYEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  15. First of all pease be up on you(readers) ,2nd i hope God forgive him(meles zenawi).
    I wona give alittle knowledge in general , think about it ," Why we fight each other". Eventhough we look like more than any neighbouring countries we are still bleading .
    Meles was having the greatest power on Africa as whole and that is due to his wisdom and help from foreing counties i mean almost all europe as one nation.B U T  Meles had used this chanse to make his country ina better condition economically and powerfully. Then he colonize eritrea and that is not all he killed more than thauthands of pure(people who donot belive yet that Mingistu Hailemariam has passed away.   
    As a result what prophits does USA (UN) as an example have ?  OR do u think that USA give one billion every year to Ethiopia just helping the poor and as a result Ethioppia help it to get ride of the terrorist,just that all ?
    Ok let us take a look at Areab nation as whole , USA and other Europian countries helping them to over come the dictatoreship in their country. Then do u think it is wise when u marry or choose your wife that some one other interfear among  u. To give u a clear wide look those countries bring a terible among u and then elect some one who is suppper slave(servant) for helping them getting all the needs for them like all type of minerals and to bury their nonbiodegredable product AS WHAT MELES DID ALL THESE THINGS.
    And what do u think we ERITREAN,i'mean how is our leader Isayas afewrki is ?  there is no much difference in betwen them. Till we get our freedom and now he did alote of effort to get his country to where it is today but the people (Eritrean ppeople) doesn't realize that when  put some as a leader u HAVE to respect what so ever he says and the way he choose.    BECAUSE of Isayas i'm a refuge out of my country, i see many many people suffer ,prisoned,punished rappped,violenced,kidnapped…..and passed a way(died) in many many ways(by sea,by land and by air .              But all this happen b/c God wont it happpen, isn't it ?  
    Even for you Isayas time will come and u will be pput in court to be judged by your people and i hope not by foreing b/c if that happen all we ERitrean have mental challenge (mental illness)    or  u might get a call from the highest God  as Meles  .   
    WHAT ever has happened and will happpen i'm proud that i'm an Eritrean and we will never ever be defited no matter what u bring after meles b/c all of the are the same policy servants servants servants servants servants servants ………………………………………………………….. and servant tomorrow till after tomorrow ?????????????????.
                                  JUST CALL ME " 29 MAY "

  16. Essay says:

    I was about to worry cause I thought a human being was dead on Tuesday August 20 .then my friend  told me that was an Ethiopian papi then I start to lough .so you guys don't lose nothing just a an American dog .you guys are a handicap getting help from all over the world .meles is a begger lemagn he embarrassing the all country he is an asshole he should die long time a go …….

  17. meles nchayna nhindi hageru sheytsuwa rusu hasot kskem kebidwa nekia tesera haki ketsina tesia hasot ferkesh kesh elaaaa

  18. Jose says:

    IT is  a shock for Eritrean president , cuz  the Game over !!!!  
    What ll be the next Game . 

     

  19. zelalem says:

     
     I am just wondering reading some coments written by my fellow eritreans.people settle down and think humanely,and just google the truth what the difference is between ethio and eri.the differnce is cristal clear.1 eri youth flee away,some of them on sahara dessert,some in mediterranean ocean,some on  sanay dessert,some on endless slavery.the maltitude of eritrean can't feed themselves.hegdef has no friends no one wants to do business with them.when we look in to the othere side where is  ethio,the atmospher is oppsite.who is the best leader cares about his people and others,not to mention many eritreans recived free education in ethio because of meles.people before we open our mouth and trashed others credibility,we must do our home work.my felow eritreans please review your dictionary you may find good words if you have one.

  20. chakurrrrrrr says:

    eeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrritreaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa kulu gize forzaaaa wedi hofom 

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