News / Africa

    Ethiopia Rejects Rumors, Says PM's Health Improving

    Meles Zenawi speaks to reporters in Cairo, Sept. 17, 2011.
    Meles Zenawi speaks to reporters in Cairo, Sept. 17, 2011.
    VOA News
    A top Ethiopian official says the health of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is "much improved” in recent days, following treatment for an unspecified illness.

    Meles has not been seen in public for more than a month, and opposition websites this week reported the Ethiopian leader is dead.

    In an interview with Ethiopian television late Wednesday, Information Minister Bereket Simon dismissed those rumors as false and said Meles' health is in "good condition." 

    He did not reveal the prime minister’s illness, or where he is being treated, but said Meles has improved since the last time officials briefed reporters, about 12 days ago.

    Media reports last month said Meles was critically ill at Saint Luc Hospital in Brussels, Belgium.

    On Monday, Amsterdam-based Ethiopian Satellite Television said the the prime minister was dead, saying it based the report on information from a Brussels-based think tank, the International Crisis Group. 

    However, the International Crisis Group released a statement saying it has "no direct knowledge" of Meles condition and is not in a position to speculate about it.

    Meles Zenawi is 57 years old and has ruled Ethiopia since taking power in a 1991 coup.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    Video Energy Lacking at Annual Offshore Oil Conference

    The slump in oil prices that began in 2014 has taken a toll on the industry but all express confidence it will end eventually

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: aman from: BD
    August 05, 2012 7:57 AM
    long live to tigrian and eritrean which are pure ethiopians...derom k aheya ga menor kebad neew!

    by: LEMMA from: SHEWA
    August 04, 2012 7:32 AM
    ETHIOPAIN PEOPLE ARE PRAYING THE END MELESE DECTATOR RULE

    by: DAMESSA from: TOLOBOLO
    August 04, 2012 7:30 AM
    WHERE IS THE DICTATOR
    In Response

    by: Tolosa from: Waqjirra
    August 05, 2012 9:46 AM
    He has already gone to hell to meet his friend gaddaffi and Mobuttu....

    by: almu from: AA
    August 03, 2012 6:08 AM
    where is meles zenawi are you sure he didn't die.
    In Response

    by: Tatek from: Vancouver, Canada
    August 03, 2012 5:25 PM
    TPLF Communications Minister Bereket Simon was telling us the true colors of the TPLF and their puppet party EPRDF, WHEN HE SAID his party didn't want to make the sickness of his boss a public relations instrument, and rather wanted to keep this a personal matter. But Ethiopians are footing the bill for their highest paid employee, in the name of Meles Zenawi, and by virtue of the fact that they are employers, they have every right to know what ailment the tyrant is suffering from and how long it would take him to get back to work, if applicable. Secrecy is a recipe of corruption and corruption is a way of life under the TPLF ranks and they are telling us what they are made of and I think we need to understand that.

    by: Ras Mitat from: Ethiopia
    August 03, 2012 1:17 AM
    VOA sexing-up article... Meles won decades old civil war, not some shortcut "coup."

    VOA now obsolete.

    by: vittorio from: melbourne
    August 02, 2012 10:05 PM
    this reminds me of another similar situation that happened few months ago in regards to President Isayas Afwerki of Eritrea. Out of his own country, all were talking about his death, only to discover after few days of speculations that he was and still is in great health, with great dismay of the so-called opposition. Although i will not cry is Meles is dead, I am sure the opposition to the Ethiopian government is not going to gain by spreading false information.

    by: Tedla Asfaw
    August 02, 2012 6:14 PM
    Who is paying for Meles Zenawi health "vaccation" ? Ethiopians have the right to know. No doubt the bill most likely will be paid by USAID and American tax payers should ask why such privilage is not given to the 30 millions of Americans who have no health insurance. The cost per day of Meles will save many lives in poor Ethiopia.
    In Response

    by: dude123 from: u.s.a
    August 04, 2012 5:30 PM
    Evn if the bill is being paid by USAID and other communities you mentioned a country would fall into chaos if their leader is not properly treated. A country withoout a leader is bound to fall.

    by: me
    August 02, 2012 6:00 PM
    The international media such as VOA, BBC, AFP.....are known for their ability in digging into secrecy and letting the people know it. So, how it comes the case of Meles hidden from the whole world? Where are those 'sniffer' journalists of the west? Are they paid by the Ethiopian government not to report or what is going?

    by: Shergaz from: DC
    August 02, 2012 4:27 PM
    Reckless Opposition Medias started rumor of PM death even before, G20 meeting in Mexico, It is totally unprofessional and irresponsible. Whatever the outcome, there is no short cut to Ethiopian palace, just relax and stop pressuring Ethiopian people and government. Wish PM full health.

    by: enquirer from: DC, Ethiopia
    August 02, 2012 2:51 PM
    C'mon!! VOA ... Don't you feel responsible to find out where and what's happening to the dictator???? .. what is his sickness?? ... Ebola?!? (fingers-crossed) ..... do your job and put my tax money to work!! .... Don't tell me what the Spokesman told you, investigate and find out what's really going on!! ....
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora