Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/