Friday, August 31, 2012

Ethiopian Prison official Kefelegn Alemu Worku, responsible for murder, torture caught in Denver area

ARAPAHOE COUNTY - The 9Wants to Know investigators have learned U.S. Federal agents arrested a man who they believe is a war criminal from Ethiopia convicted of killing 101 people and torturing many others.

Kefelegn Alemu Worku went by the name Tufa or Habteab Berhe Temanu, according to federal agents and federal court documents reviewed by 9Wants to Know. Immigration Customs Enforcement arrested Worku was arrested Aug. 24, but news of his arrest wasn't immediately made public.

ICE agents allege Worku stole an identity and forged his citizenship application to be able to get into the United States. Federal prosecutors charged him with unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization and aggravated identity theft. If convicted he could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. It's not clear whether he could be deported back to Ethiopia.

Worku lived in a second-floor apartment at 8861 East Florida Avenue in Arapahoe County, near Florida Avenue and Parker Road.

Girma Baye manages Kozy Café near Havana Street and 1st Avenue, where Worku was a near-daily customer.

"He's about 60-65 years old," Baye said. "He's a very nice guy. He's always fun."
Baye said he was shocked to learn what prosecutors claim is in Worku's past.

ICE agents were tipped off about Worku in May of 2011 after an Ethiopian native who lived in Denver, recognized Worku as a guard in the prison where he was an inmate. The man also told federal agents that he personally watched Worku torture fellow prisoners.

Prosecutors conducted an investigation and now believe Worku worked as a high ranking prison official in the "Higher 15" prison which house about 1,500 political prisoners during the reign of President Mengistu, often referred to the "Red Terror."

Mohammed Aman beats David Rudisha on Diamond League Zurich Men's 800M Watch The Competition

Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman celebrates after winning the men's 800 metres 

ZURICH — Ethiopian teenager Mohammed Aman trumped world and Olympic champion David Rudisha of Kenya in emphatic style in the men's 800m in the Diamond League meeting here on Thursday.
This race, Rudisha's only outing since he won gold in London earlier this month in a new world record of 1min 40.91sec, had been billed as another chance for the 23-year-old Kenyan to better his own mark.
But no one had counted on the kick of 18-year-old Aman, who finished sixth at the Olympics but who importantly last year became the first and last man to defeat Rudisha since 2009.
Starting in lane seven with Kenyan training partner Sammy Tangui on his outside, Rudisha bolted past his pacemaker in the opening strides.
A grimacing Tangui caught up to act the hare, but missed his ambitious target of 48.5sec for the first 400m, going through the bell in a disappointing 49.59sec with Rudisha in hot pursuit.
With any chance of a world record completely out of the window in cold, wet conditions, Rudisha found himself in front but in a real dogfight with Aman, who kicked past the Kenyan world champion as the duo rounded the last bend.
Aman held on for a convincing win in a personal best of 1:42.53, with Rudisha timing 1:42.81 and another Kenyan, Leonard Kosencha, completing the podium (1:44.29).
"The race was good, really," said Rudisha. "The race was fast and the winner acheived a 1:42.5 time and new personal best.
"My legs felt tired and I cannot run well if the weather is not good.
"I hoped for a fast race here and am a little disappointed. It is very difficult to get a good pacemaker to pace for a 800m world record, but this time it was good. It was the rain that stopped me."
Aman was left extremely happy with having trumped Rudisha for a second time.
"I am incredibly thankful to win in front of this audience with a new personal best and a new national record," he said.
"This was the final Diamond League race and therefore a strong one. I am very happy and hopefully next year I will beat the world record."



Thursday, August 30, 2012

President Obama Announces U.S. Delegation to attend the State Funeral of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to attend the State Funeral of His Excellency Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The Honorable Susan E. Rice, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will lead the delegation on September 2, 2012.

Members of the Presidential Delegation:

The Honorable Donald Booth, United States Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

The Honorable Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

Ms. Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director, National Security Staff

An Influential Voice Lost In Africa

The United States joins with the Ethiopian people in mourning the loss of Meles Zenawi.
The death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on August 20 has come as a shock to many. Meles’ was an important and influential voice, not only in his country, but in Africa as a whole. The United States joins with the Ethiopian people, and especially members of the prime minister’s family, in mourning his loss and honoring his life’s work.

Meles worked tirelessly to bring peace and stability in Ethiopia and to promote Africa’s place on the world stage. Taking power from a military junta in 1991, he focused on his country’s security and economic development, leading a war-torn and poverty stricken nation to become one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. He also deserves recognition for his lifelong contribution to Ethiopia’s development and his commitment to its poor.

We are confident Ethiopia will peacefully navigate this transition in accordance with the provisions outlined in the country’s constitution. Parliament is organizing now and is expected to approve Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as the country’s new prime minister.

As Ethiopia moves forward, the United States reconfirms our long partnership. We congratulate its leaders and encourage them to enhance their support for economic development, democracy and human rights, and regional security.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Henok Tesfaye-Washington's Ethiopian 'car park king'


Henok Tesfaye, an Ethiopian immigrant to the US, started in the parking business with just himself and a few family members as employees.

Now he manages some of the largest car parks in the Washington DC area, including the city's convention centre, baseball stadium and Reagan National Airport, with a staff of over 600.

Now an American citizen, he hopes to leave his car park empire to his children.

Meles body to move to Mesqel Square

he body of Ethiopia's late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi's body will be moved to the open air - Meskel Square, to allow Ethiopians to view the body and to express their grief and condolences, as record crowds thronged the presidential palace.

Meles' body has been lying in state at the presidential palace but security concerns at prompted authorities to move the body to an open square.

The body will lie at Meskel Square for three days from, Thursday.

Meskel Square is a popular venue for big demonstrations, rallies and other national activities and has the potential to accommodate close to a million people.

Various halls and tents have been set up at districts level, as the country goes through a time of national mourning and patriotism.

Ethiopia's national television, radios and other private radio stations have been broadcasting special programmes since last week.

The national television has also been broadcasting live from the palace and providing updates from outside the capital.

Musicians and artists have also released various video clips in memory of the late leader. The documentaries show Meles's fight against poverty, as well as development vision for the country.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Africa: the Ethiopian woman who made ethical sandals fashionable

SoleRebels' Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

SoleRebels founder Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu was convinced she could make stylish shoes out of old tyres.
The idea for footwear label soleRebels popped into the brain of Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu in 2004. Looking around her native Addis Ababa, she caught sight of the ubiquitous simple sandals made from recycled tyres and decided to turn them into an international brand. Twelve months later, soleRebels was launched in a local workshop with just five staff.

Made from recycled content, and bringing work to the local community, who are then paid equitably, soleRebels is as ethical as it gets. It is the embodiment of the drive to use commerce to bring about social change, and Alemu is an articulate and passionate believer. (She has twice made the Forbes "outstanding African businesswomen" list.)

But if you think she wants to create a worthy product to sell at church fetes, think again. "Actually, I don't even want to describe my brand in terms of Ethiopia. I want you to buy my shoe lines because they are fashionable and comfortable."

No wonder soleRebels has earned the soubriquet, the Nike of Ethiopia. This year, it will turn over $2m and Alemu now employs 200 staff. Next month, soleRebels opens its first international store in Taiwan, and more are slated to follow. But Alemu has her eye on one place – New York. "If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere," she laughs.

Popularity saves Bob Marley’s best friend from execution Death Postponed: Guns blaze, several killed while 'Skill' Cole sweats in Ethiopia

This is the 26th in a series on close encounters with death by Jamaicans, some of whom are prominent members of the society. ALLAN 'Skill' Coke jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire when he decided to resettle in
the easternmost African country of Ethiopia in December 1976.
The move was prompted by a feeling of disgust, following a failed assassination attempt on the life of his best friend, the Reggae great Bob Marley late that same year, by men said to be from West Kingston, although no one was ever charged in connection with the incident which occurred on the eve of the bloody 1976 general election.

Tanzania: Over 20 Ethiopians Found Hiding in Moshi

Moshi — Saturday, at around 8.00 pm, 24 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia were arrested at Kitogoto village at Jipe ward in Mwanga district, hiding at the residence of one Anwar Ramadhan. However, Anwar Ramadhan took off as the law enforcers readied themselves to raid the house.

RPC Boaz named the nabbed Ethiopians as Adela Amito (32), Abrakadir Hussein (25), Seduko Oboze (28), Alarm Ashebo (30), Daselebu Tatsenye (22), Maluneh Zelate (25), Sultan Ali (20), Baleke Masebo (20), Kibru Girma (17) and Daniel Misano (22).

Others are Buzahe Eyasu (22), Damaka Damis (22), Zaleke Lambaz (24), Tamasgen Eramo (24), Dagafu Ababa (16), Delalegue Asesa (22), Ashemam Lalago ((20), Kefale Yoela (20), Amanueli Abiso (24), Desalegue Geta (24), Bakele Diranzo (22), Ademasi Morado (22), Desta Paules (22) and Tariku Wonedmu (20).

According to the RPC, illegal immigrants are adopting new techniques of entering the country, adding that every week illegal immigrants find their way into our country in collusion with Tanzanians. The foreigners offer cash for hide-outs before they proceed with their journeys.

The RPC made a plea to Tanzanians to be on the look-out for illegal immigrants as they are potential risk to the security of the country, adding that the nabbed illegal immigrants will be handed over to the Immigration Department.

In a separate incident Police in Moshi arrested Evans Korneli Tarimo (29), who was allegedly found in possession of 22 pellets of narcotic drugs. The Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander (RPC), Robert Boaz told the 'Sunday News' that the suspect will be prosecuted soon after the drugs are identified and their destination established. Police said they could not give the value of the illicit drugs.

CNN - Ethiopia's Economy After Meles Zenawi


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ethiopia readies state funeral for Meles Zenawi,It is not yet known where Meles will be buried

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia will hold a state funeral for late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died Monday after 21 years in power, with regional heads of state expected to attend, officials said Saturday.
During the funeral, to be held on September 2, a procession will convene at Addis Ababa's Meskel Square, a vast space in the centre of the city often used for public rallies, and proceed with the coffin to the National Palace.
"It will go from Meskel Square to the palace," said State Minister of Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebre-Christos told reporters.
Several African heads of state are expected to attend, including Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and Salva Kiir of South Sudan, according to their respective ambassadors, who met Friday with Berhane to pay their respects.
It is not yet known where Meles -- a former Marxist rebel brought up in the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian tradition -- will be buried.

Kuwait police officer charged with assaulting Ethiopian woman, attempted murder

DUBAI: A Kuwait police officer has been charged with attempted murder and assault of an Ethiopian woman.

The officer was reportedly arrested after he tried to kill the Ethiopian woman, allegedly his girlfriend, in the Salmiya district.

According to police reports, the man left the woman with heavy bruising.

The Ethiopian woman, police said, was shoved repeatedly and pushed from the first floor of the flat she was living in.

The officer then fled the scene of the crime after the woman did not die.

Police in Kuwait said the attempted murder and assault was the result of a jealous rage after the man accused the woman of cheating on him.

“The man was arrested with possession of a toy gun and live ammunition, while the victim was admitted to the Mubarak Hospital with a heavily bruised face and multiple injuries,” the Kuwait Times reported.

Friday, August 24, 2012

11 Ethiopians Jailed 15 Years in Zambia

ELEVEN Ethiopians have been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment each with hard labour after they pleaded guilty to the offence of Consenting to being smuggled into Zambia.

The Lusaka High Court sentenced the 11 who included a woman yesterday after the 11 took plea to the offence which is contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

The 11 had also been sentenced to nine, six and three months for admitting the charge of failing to appear before the nearest Immigration office upon entering Zambia, contrary to the Immigration and Deportation Act.

The African Union Saddened by the Death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, 21 August 2012: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Jean Ping, has received with great shock and sadness the untimely passing away of Ato Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The Commission will remember late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for his exceptional contribution to the advancement of the objectives of the AU and the promotion of Africa’s interests in global fora. In particular, Prime Minister Meles played a critical role in furthering the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), whose Implementation Committee he was chairing. He also presided over with competence and utmost commitment the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).

The Commission also salutes Ethiopia’s contribution, under Prime Minister Meles’s leadership, to the promotion of peace and security in Africa, both within the framework of the AU and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). In this respect, mention should notably be made of the deployment of Ethiopian peacekeepers to Burundi, Liberia and Abyei, as part of AU or United Nations Missions, as well as the support extended to the Somali authorities and AMISOM in their efforts to defeat terrorism and extremism in Somalia and pave the way for lasting peace and reconciliation in that country. Prime Minister Meles tirelessly deployed efforts in support of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), in order to facilitate the completion of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the negotiations on the post-secession issues between Sudan and South Sudan.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has also overseen the dramatic transformation of his country, which is today one of the top economic performers on the continent. In so doing, he has played an important role in pioneering a new era of hope and growth in Africa, driven as he was by the vision of Ethiopia and Africa’s Renaissance.

The death of Prime Minister Meles has robbed Africa of one of its greatest sons. On behalf of the Commission, the Chairperson wishes to extend to the Government and people of Ethiopia, as well as to the bereaved family, his deepest condolences, and to convey to them AU’s sympathy at this trying moment.

Amazing 3-D Laser Scan Of Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches In Ethiopia

Of all the incredible monuments in Ethiopia, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are by far the most impressive. Starting in the 12th century A.D., Ethiopian rulers dug a series of churches out of the solid bedrock.

This architecture-in-reverse creates a bizarre and otherworldly scene. As you walk along the exposed rock, you come across giant holes in the stone filled with churches. Narrow steps take you down into the pits, where you'll find some welcome shade from the powerful African sun. Enter the churches and you'll come upon pilgrims and priests studying the Kebra Nagast and Bible by the dim light steaming in through stone grills high in the walls. Further in the gloom, you'll spot the gleam of elaborate gold and silver crosses as incense wafts through the air.

Now the churches have been scanned using 3-D laser technology. The World Monuments Fund sponsored the scan along with University of Cape Town in order to better understand the layout and look for any potential problems in its preservation.

Readout of the President’s Discussion with Acting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

The President and Acting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn spoke today.  President Obama conveyed his condolences on behalf of the American people to the people of Ethiopia for the country’s loss.  President Obama also noted that Prime Minister Meles made significant contributions to Ethiopia’s development and to peace and security in the region.  President Obama underscored the commitment of the United States to continuing in our partnership with Ethiopia, and urged Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam to use his leadership to enhance the Ethiopian government’s support for development, democracy, human rights and regional security.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ethiopia sets Meles funeral for Sept 2

Ethiopia will hold the funeral of late prime minister Meles Zenawi on September 2, officials said Thursday, without giving further details.
"(It will be on) September 2," foreign affairs spokesman Dina Mufti told AFP. Meles died late Monday in Brussels following a long illness, after more than two decades at the helm of the Horn of Africa nation.
The 57-year-old had not been seen in public since the G20 summit in Mexico in June.
His death also leaves a major power gap in the region, with Ethiopia playing a key role in the fortunes of many of its neighbours.
Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, 47, who has also been foreign minister since 2010, will take over interim power, officials have said. He is expected to be sworn in as interim leader at an extraordinary parliament session in the coming days.
Government spokesman Bereket Simon has said Hailemariam would remain in the post until elections in 2015, although he must first be formally chosen as head of the ruling party, likely later this year.

ሰበር ዜና፡ የፍትሕ ጋዜጣ ዋና አዘጋጅ ታሰረ

ሐምሌ 13 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም. በገበያ ላይ እንዳይውልና እንዳይሠራጭ በፍርድ ቤት ትዕዛዝ የታገደው፣ እስካሁንም ምክንያቱ ግልጽ ባልሆነ ሁኔታ ሕትመቱ የተቋረጠው የፍትሕ ጋዜጣ ዋና አዘጋጅ ጋዜጠኛ ተመስገን ደሳለኝ ዛሬ ታሰረ፡፡

ጋዜጠኛ ተመስገን እንዲታሰር ትዕዛዝ የሰጠው የፌዴራል ከፍተኛ ፍርድ ቤት 16ኛ ወንጀል ችሎት ሲሆን፣ ምክንያቱ ደግሞ ዋና አዘጋጁ በፍትሕ ጋዜጣ ላይ፣ ነሐሴ 23 ቀን 2003 ዓ.ም.፣ የካቲት 23 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም.፣ ሐምሌ 22 ቀን 2003 ዓ.ም. እና መጋቢት 7 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም. የተዘገቡ መጣጥፎችን ተከትሎ የፌዴራል ከፍተኛ ዓቃቤ ሕግ በመሠረተበት ሦስት ክሶች ዋስትና በመከልከሉ ነው፡፡

ፍርድ ቤቱ ክሱን ለማየት ቀጠሮ ሰጥቶ የነበረው ለነሐሴ 9 ቀን 2003 ዓ.ም. የነበረ ቢሆንም፣ ዳኛው ባለመገኘታቸው በጽሕፈት ቤት ሠራተኞች አማካይነት ለዛሬ ተላልፎ ነበር፡፡ ዛሬ በቀጠሮው መሠረት ፍርድ ቤት ተሰይሞ ክሱን ለችሎቱና ለተከሳሹ ካሰማ በኋላ፣ በክሱ ላይ ዋና አዘጋጁ አስተያየቱን እንዲሰጥ ሲጠየቅ፣ በጠበቃው አማካይነት የዋስትና መብቱ እንዲጠበቅለት ጠይቆ ነበር፡፡ ዓቃቤ ሕግ ግን ባቀረበው መቃወሚያ ተከሳሹ የተመሠረተበት ክስ ከፍተኛ የሆነ ተጠያቂነትን የሚያስከትልበት መሆኑን በመጥቀስ፣ ከአገር ሊወጣ እንደሚችልና ሊቀርብ እንደማይችል በመናገር ዋስትናውን ተቃውሟል፡፡

ፍርድ ቤቱ የሁለቱንም አስተያየት ካደመጠ በኋላ የጋዜጠኛ ተመስገንን የዋስትና ጥያቄ ውድቅ በማድረግ፣ በማረሚያ ቤት ቆይቶ ነሐሴ 28 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም. ለውሳኔ ቀጥሮታል፡፡ በጋዜጣው አሳታሚ ድርጅት ላይ ስለቀረበው ክስ ፍርድ ቤቱ ያለው ነገር የለም፡፡

Parliament session on Meles succession delayed የአገሪቱን ተጠባባቂ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለ ማርያም ደሳለኝን ሥልጣን ያፀድቃል ተብሎ ይጠበቅ ነበር

A special session of Ethiopia's parliament arranged in order to endorse the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's successor has been postponed.

No reason has not been given for the delay. But officials say the appointment of Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is not in dispute.

Mr Meles, 57, died suddenly on Monday from an infection while being treated in hospital in Brussels.

His body has been lying in state at the national palace in the capital.

A state of national mourning has been declared but no date for the funeral has been set.

Mr Meles has been praised for bringing development and economic growth to Ethiopia, but critics say they came at the cost of respect for plurality and human rights.
He had not been seen in public for weeks before his death was announced, and there had been increasingly intense speculation about his health - though authorities insist he had been on the road to recovery when he was suddenly struck down by an infection.

There is still no confirmation of the details of his medical condition.

Mr Hailemariam was appointed deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister in 2010.

State media say he will take over until elections in 2015.

The BBC's Peter Biles says there is intense interest about Mr Meles' succession, because he had been at the helm of Ethiopia's government for 21 years.

The Brussels-based think tank, the Crisis Group, has voiced concern about political transition in Ethiopia.

It says Mr Meles's successor will lead a weaker regime facing mounting grievances along ethnic and religious lines and a likely increase in radicalism.

World leaders have paid tribute to Mr Meles for leading Ethiopia to an impressive era of economic growth but human rights groups say the new leadership now has an opportunity to usher in a fresh spirit of political tolerance lacking during Mr Meles's rule.

Analysts point out that Ethiopia plays a key role in the Horn of Africa, not only facing down its own rebels fighting for greater autonomy in the south-eastern ethnic Somali region, but supporting the fight against al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab rebels in Somalia.

Mr Meles also carved out a major role for himself in Africa and internationally, mediating in the conflict in Sudan and South Sudan and taking a leading position in the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Meles Zenawi: 5 things to know about the Ethio­pian leader’s death and legacy Washington Post

Ethio­pian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died late Monday while being treated abroad for an undisclosed illness. He was part of a coalition of rebel groups that overthrew former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991, and he became Ethiopia’s president soon after. Meles became prime minister in 1995 and had been in power since.

Meles leaves behind a mixed legacy: His government was at times a strategic ally of the United States in the region, but his autocratic style garnered scorn from human rights groups. Here are five things to know about the late ruler:

He was a pseudo-communist doctor-in-training:
 Meles dropped out of medical school to join the revolution and, after becoming president, distanced himself from his self-described “intellectual communist views,” leading the international community to begin describing him as a “mellowed Marxist.”
“The ... provisional government unwaveringly believes that it can solve all the present problems together with the broad masses of Ethiopia. However, we can do this only if all the people come out in unison to implement our planned undertakings. Above all, let us contribute our share in our respective areas for the prevalence of absolute and complete calm, in towns and rural areas,” Meles said in a 1991 address to the nation.
He oversaw significant economic growth:
Ethiopia’s GDP grew from 3.8 percent in the ’90s to 10 percent in 2010, and officials expect 11 percent growth this year, Reuters reported, thanks to rising agricultural output.
Much of the boom can be attributed to foreign investment and the leasing of land to China and India, but the country also embarked on new energy and infrastructure projects under his rule.

Meles was a key ally of the U.S. in the Horn of Africa
His government allowed the United States to deploy Reaper drones into Somalia from a base in southern Ethi­o­pia, according to reports by The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock. Between 2006 and 2009, he also sent Ethio­pian troops into Somalia to fight Islamist militants.
... But he has an ugly human rights record
One Ethio­pian critic, Assefa Seifu, called Meles “adevil incarnate,” the BBC reported.Human rights groups condemned him for sweeping crackdowns on dissent, including the deaths of 193 political protesters in street demonstrations during the 2005 election and a 2009 antiterrorism law that some rights organizations believe could be applied to any and all opposition groups.
More than 10 journalists have been charged under the law, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, and two Swedish journalists were jailed for 11 years on charges of entering the country illegally and aiding a rebel group, according to Reuters.
He leaves behind somewhat of a power vacuum
Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will take over as acting prime minister, per Ethio­pian law.
“I would like to stress, nothing in Ethiopia will change,” said information minister Simon Bereket. “The government will continue. Our policies and institutions will continue. Nothing will change in Ethiopia.”
There is a chance, however, that Meles’s passing could lead to instability in the region. Several writers who follow the country have speculated there’s a chance Ethiopia’s political parties could struggle for power, or that Eritrea, which seceded in 1991, could seize the moment to weaken Ethi­o­pia.
“I think the threat about the instability that many are referring to is actually connected to the idea that he has been in charge of the country for so long and that he’s had an opportunity to make himself, or his personality, stand out to many of the goings on in the country,” Andrew Asamoah, a senior Horn of Africa researcher at the South Africa-based Institute of Security Studies, told Voice of America. “So [there’s] the fear that his sudden exit has the capacity of dislocating the arrangements of the quality of the country.”

Is Ethiopia’s new leader in place for long?

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The death of Ethiopia’s prime minister, Meles Zenawi, pushed his relatively unknown successor into the spotlight Tuesday amid questions about whether the new premier will merely serve as a placeholder or will become Ethiopia’s next longtime leader.

Ethiopia’s communications minister, Bereket Simon, said government policy will remain consistent under Hailemariam Desalegn, Meles’s foreign minister and deputy, who will be acting prime minister until his swearing-in before an emergency session of Parliament. The ruling party controls 546 of the 547 seats in the legislature, all but ensuring Hailemariam’s ascension.
The country’s armed forces pledged allegiance to the constitution and vowed to defend it in the post-Meles era. Meles, who died Monday of an unknown illness at age 57, had ruled Ethiopia since the 1990s.

Hailemariam was appointed to his ministerial posts in September 2010, immediately after the fourth successive election victory by the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A few weeks later, he became a deputy chairman of the party.

Although Hailemariam appears likely to soon take the oath as prime minister, the ruling party congress is scheduled to meet in late September and decide whether he will remain in the post until the 2015 elections. Political observers predict fierce competition for the job, and one said he doubted that Hailemariam could win over subordinates, including military and intelligence leaders.

Birtukan Mideksa and Siyee Abraha on the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Body of Ethiopian PM leaves Brussels-Video

The body of the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zanawi has left Brussels where it was due to travel on an Ethiopian Airlines plane to the capital Addis Ababa.
The silver hearse accompanied by a Police escort left the Saint-Luc University Hospital in Brussels where sources say he died of a sudden infection. It is still unclear as the nature of the illness and treatment. A government spokesman and Meles' right-hand-man Bereket ,said Meles had been ill for a year and was recuperating before being suddenly rushed to intensive care.
The country has declared a period of national mourning until Meles' body returns and details of a state funeral will be announced in due course. The ruling party, Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, will meet to select a permanent successor, although a date has not yet been set.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Statement by President Barack Obama on the Death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia

It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.  Prime Minister Meles deserves recognition for his lifelong contribution to Ethiopia’s development, particularly his unyielding commitment to Ethiopia’s poor.  I met with Prime Minister Meles at the G-8 Summit in May and recall my personal admiration for his desire to lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty through his drive for food security.  I am also grateful for Prime Minister Meles’s service for peace and security in Africa, his contributions to the African Union, and his voice for Africa on the world stage.  On behalf of the American people, I offer my condolences to Prime Minister Meles’ family and to the people of Ethiopia on this untimely loss, and confirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to our partnership with Ethiopia.  Going forward, we encourage the Government of Ethiopia to enhance its support for development, democracy, regional stability and security, human rights, and prosperity for its people.

David Cameron, Tony Blair and Jacob Zuma reaction on The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

African and other leaders have been reacting to the news that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died at the age of 57. He was one of the continent's most prominent leaders and had dominated Ethiopian politics for more than 20 years.

Jacob Zuma, South African President
It is an absolute tragedy for Africa and the people of Ethiopia to mourn such an exceptional leader who contributed as an active role-player in various continental and global initiatives.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had been a strong leader, not only for his country but on the African continent, acting as mediator on numerous talks, particularly in the Horn of Africa region.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso

Prime Minister Meles was a respected African leader. He demonstrated his
strong personal commitment over many years to improving the lives of not just his own but all African peoples, through his work on African unity, climate change, development and in promoting peace and stability, particularly in the Horn of Africa.

I sincerely hope that Ethiopia will enhance its path of democratisation, upholding of human rights and prosperity for its people, and of further regional stabilisation and integration."

David Cameron, British Prime Minister

Prime Minister Meles was an inspirational spokesman for Africa on global issues and provided leadership and vision on Somalia and Sudan.

His personal contribution to Ethiopia's development, in particular by lifting millions of Ethiopians out of poverty, has set an example for the region. Our thoughts are with his family and with the nation of Ethiopia. He will be greatly missed.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

It is with great sadness that I learned of Meles Zenawi's death. He was a hugely significant figure in Ethiopia's history, in particular helping guide his country from extreme poverty to an era of economic growth and development.

My deepest condolences go to his family and the people of Ethiopia.

Obituary From BBC: Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi

Meles Zenawi, who died in hospital at the age of 57, was the cleverest politician to emerge from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), one of the armed movements which spear-headed the struggle against Ethiopia's military regime in the 1970s and 1980s.

Born into a middle-class family in Adawa, Tigray, in Ethiopia's northern highlands, he dropped out of university to join the insurrection.

After the military council (Derg) led by Mengistu Haile Mariam was finally overthrown in 1991, Mr Meles first became president in a transitional government and then, in 1995, prime minister. He went on to dominate Ethiopian public life until his death.

There were some challenges to his leadership, notably after the secession of Ethiopia's most northerly region, Eritrea, when he was blamed for letting it go too easily, and after the subsequent border war.

Ethiopia won that war at a huge cost but the prime minister outmanoeuvred or sidelined his critics within the party, and emerged more powerful than before.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi death: leaders' reactions

African leaders have been reacting to the news that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died at the age of 57. He was one of the continent's most prominent leaders and had dominated Ethiopian politics for over 20 years.

Raila Odinga, Kenyan Prime Minister

Meles Zenawi was a great leader, an intellectual, someone who was very dedicated to pan-Africanism. One will remember him for the great effort he put in to transforming the Ethiopian economy.

One fears for the stability of Ethiopia upon his death because you know that the Ethiopian state is fairly fragile and there is a lot of ethnic violence... I don't know that [Ethiopian politicians] are sufficiently prepared for a succession: this is my fear, that there may be a falling out within the ruling movement.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

Meles Zenawi was an economic transformer, he was a strong intellectual leader for the continent. In our regional meetings he stood out because of his intellect and his ability to respond and to lead dialogue on matters relating to African development. He will be missed in all of our meetings and all of our endeavour.

I don't have fears [over the transition] because I believe there are many other leaders in Ethiopia who will get the support of regional leaders to make the transformation that is necessary, moving towards an open society.

Barnaba Benjamin, South Sudanese Information Minister

It's a very, very sad day for the people of the Republic of South Sudan and the people of the East African region as a whole. This has been a tremendous nationalist leader, a president who had always let peace come to his neighbours.

We in South Sudan in particular, consider Ethiopia and especially Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, a strategic ally that (who) always never let a friend down. Indeed we greatly mourn him and we extend our extensive condolences to the people of Ethiopia.