Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died at the age of 57
August 21, 2012 — Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi has died at the age of 57, state-owned TV officially announced on its 7am morning news bulletin.
Amid weeks of speculation about his failing health, the longtime ruling premier died abroad at 11:40PM local time from an infection, officials revealed.
“Prime Minister Zenawi suddenly passed away last night. Meles was recovering in a hospital overseas for the past two months but died of a sudden infection at 11:40,” state media said.
The government announced Hailemariam Desalegne, his handpicked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been sworn in as the acting Prime Minister.
Ethiopia's Communications Minister, Bereket Simon, said Meles has been battling an aliment for a year but declined to specify the nature of his illness or where he died. For the time being, he says the country will not change its policy.
During a news briefing with the press today, European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said Meles has died Monday night in Brussels, confirming opposition claims that the ailing premier was being hospitalized in Belgium.
Reports indicate his wife, Azeb Mesfin, and their three children, were by his side when Meles passed away.
Kassa Tekeleberhan, speaker of the house of the Federation, informed the press that Meles' body will arrive in Addis at 9pm local time. The government has established a committee with organizing his funeral service.
Meanwhile, in the Northern Tigrayan town of Mekele, city residents are reportedly in complete shock of Meles' demise. Witnesses say civil servants cannot run their routine as fear and uncertainty grips the city.
More details coming soon.
|Meles Zenawi dies at the age of 57|