According to the report obtained by WLKA, this morning Ethiopian Television broadcasted the death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Melese Zenawi. The agency stated Premier passed away in the mid-night, 11:40 PM, while he was abroad (Belgium) for medical treatment. Later, Bereket Simon, Minister of Communication gave news conference for local journalists on the matter. Without disclosing the nature of illness, the minister said, he was recovering well, but in a few days, sudden infection developed and admitted to intensive care. The doctors in duty were unable to control the infection; consequently, he died of. Mr. Bereket stated Deputy Prime Minister Haile Maryam Desalegn is in charge of the state affairs till he would swear officially at the Parliament. He also declared the continuity of Mr. Zenawi’s policy and strategy. His body is expected to arrive in Addis Ababa about 3:00 PM at the local time. Federation House Speaker, Mr. Kasa Tekle Birhan disclosed that the plane carrying Mr. Zenawi’s body would land 3:00 PM at Bole International Airport. Then, will head for National Place accompany with public and military marsh. But, funeral date has not yet set. The Ethiopia Television has been broadcasting condolence from various state agencies and Addis Ababa residents. Mr. Zenawi 57 was the head of the state from 1991 until he fallen in sickness.
Update Aug. 25, 2012:
Mourning Over Prime Minister Melese Zenawi
The funeral will be held on September 2, 2012. Before yesterday, the National Funeral Proceeding Committee Chairperson and Fedration House Speaker, Kassa Tekle-Birhan, gave briefing on the schedule. He said that a final goodbye ceremony is organized at the Grand Palace, for higher level government officials, council members, government employees, Addis Ababa residents, artists, sports professionals and prominent figures to express condolences as per a schedule. The proceeding has been already in effect since yesterday at the National Palace, Zenawi’s residence. Senior generals paid respect to Mr. Zenawi yesterday and it will continue accordingly. After paying tribute, the mourners wrote the note of condolence in a book prepared for the same purpose. One of notes broadcasted by the ETV reads “we know will not see you any more, but we assure you, we will carry out your policy and strategy.” The last day before funeral was scheduled for diplomats to pay their tribute. Mr. Kassa also disclosed prepared funeral ceremony at regional cities and towns. Since Tuesday, mourning has been taking place publicly at every Ethiopian city and town. Almost around clock, the ETV is broadcasting condolence message from government agencies, private agencies and foreign governments.
There is unconfirmed information, which claims Mr. Zenawi died in Thailand not Brussels as though before. A source claimed he returned to Ethiopia in August to advise his subordinates on an important issue as he felt bit better. When he suddenly fallen back in sickness, his colleagues took him to Thailand instead of Brussels. Mythical theories are also growing in cause his sickness led to death. In related news, after weeks of rumors on his status, Dr. Alamudi shown on Ethiopian Television while extending his condolence with his MIDROC Technology Group employees.
On the 1st of September, Ethiopia Television showed footage of Mr. Meles Zenawi’s 2003 developmental policy speech at a conference for civil servants and his party officials. Zenawi emphasized two things in his oratory for survival of Ethiopia as the nation, development and good governance. He said in effect that the country is in the course of disintegration unless poverty is defeated, as well as, democracy and good governance is fostered.
Updated Sep 2:
Mr. Zenai’s funeral service was conducted in Addis Ababa, Meqele Square. The service started with Mr. Kuma Demekisa’s schedule introduction and the Orthodox prayer ritual. Keynote speakers from foreign dignitaries include:
• Boni Yayi, Benin President and AU Chairman
• Yomeri Museveni, Ugand President
• Omar Al-Bashar, Sudan President
• Paul Kagame, Rounda President
• Jacob Zuma, South Africa President
• Goodluck Jonatan, Nigeria President
• Salva Kir, South Sudan President
• Susan Rice, US Ambassador the UN
• Louis Michel, EU Representative in Addis Ababa
• UN Political Affairs
• Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s former President
The speakers lauded Mr. Zenai’s economic vision and his role in Africa. The UN representative and Ms. Rice acknowledged the contribution to UN peace mission. Ms. Rice also made the remark in reference to difference on democracy and human right definitions. She said, “we cannot guarantee agreement, but we can guarantee engagement.” She added, we encourage dialogue for process of democratization including freedom of press. Deputy Prime Minister Haile Maryam Desalegn and Zenawi’s widow, Ms. Azeb Mesfin made remarks. Ms. Azeb said that her late husband had conviction against domination of one people by another and devoted for equality. Another speaker was Mr. Abdi Omar,Somali Region Governor on behalf of called 5-developing regions. The last speaker at the funeral service was Mr. Addis Legese, former Deputy Prime Minister who read around for one hour Mr. Zenaw’s bibliography. At the end of the service, burial performed at 3:28 PM in local time at Holy Trinity Cathedral, located close to the state headquarter. Just before the body lay down in the tomb, there was gunshot 21-times.