News / Africa

Ethiopian PM Undergoing Treatment in Europe

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (File)Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (File)
x
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (File)
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (File)
James Butty
A founding member of Ethiopia’s ruling Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) party said ailing Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is receiving medical treatment in an unnamed European country and that he’ll return to his official duties in a few days. 

Sebhat Negga said the prime minister’s health is not a major issue among the public.

Meles has not been seen in public for at least two weeks.

Ethiopian dissident websites have published unconfirmed reports that the prime minister suffers from brain cancer. 

But, Negga said the Ethiopian opposition is trying to exploit the situation.

“I can tell you for sure that there is no undesirable eventuality regarding his health.  I am 100 percent sure that he’s recovering health wise and he will be back to his official duty in a number of days,” he said.

Negga described as “completely untrue” European media reports that Meles is hospitalized in critical condition at Saint Luc Hospital in Brussels.
 
The hospital Wednesday declined to say if the Ethiopian leader is there.

Negga said the prime minister’s health is not a major issue for majority of Ethiopians.  He accused the opposition of trying to exploit the issue.

“It’s not a very important issue [among] the people.  It is the opposition parties that are trying to exploit this because they are wishful thinkers. Otherwise, in the normal situation, it’s not a major issue,” Negga said.

He accused the opposition of wishing that Meles were dead.

Butty interview with Sebhat Negga
Butty interview with Neggai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

“They want Ethiopia to go back to the situation whereby there is no direction and there is no system,” Negga said.

He said there is no vacuum in leadership even in Mr. Meles’ absence because, he said, Ethiopia has in place a good system of governing.

“There is no concern.  The system is there.  The system does not depend on one person.  People are curious about his health, but it should not be about the issue of governance,” Negga said. 

He said Ethiopia is being run in the prime minister’s absence by the parliament and the deputy prime minister.

The group Human Rights Watch has accused Ethiopia of severely restricting basic rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly.  It said hundreds of Ethiopians were arbitrarily arrested and detained in 2011.

Last week, 20 Ethiopians, including a prominent blogger and opposition figures, were jailed for between eight years to life on charges of conspiring with rebels to topple the government.

Human Rights Watch said Ethiopia is using broad anti-terrorism legislation to crack down on dissent and media freedoms.

But, Negga said Meles is not a dictator and can never be one because the powers of the federal government are limited.

“The power of the center is given by the nations and nationalists and people in the original states.  Therefore, he [the prime minister] doesn’t have any hand in the affairs of Oromo, Amhara, Tigrai, Afa, etc.  They are not within his reach.  They have their own structures, their own constitutions, their own president, and their own legislature,” Negga said.

You May Like

Russia Names US NGO 'Undesirable'

Prosecutors determine activities of National Endowment for Democracy to be 'undesirable,' paving the way for it to be outlawed on Russian territory More

Erdogan Vows 'Anti-Terror' Campaign in Syria, Iraq

Erdogan expressed confidence the 'necessary steps' will be taken by NATO leaders, who will meet Tuesday at Turkey's request More

North Korea: 'No Interest at All' in Nuke Deal

Senior US envoy Sydney Seiler visits Beijing Tuesday for talks on how to revive the stalled six-party nuclear talks with North Korea More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Titi from: Ethiopia
July 25, 2012 3:42 AM
But can this guy can tell us what is the reason of disturbing enosent Ethiopian Muslims and Christians in different occasions? By now they are harming muslims in this respected month of Remedan? They kept many of them in gail and enjured them. What are they doing?

by: Abyot from: Winnipeg
July 23, 2012 9:59 PM
the so called Ethiopian politicians in the west and north America are airing the bad new about the Meles, whether Meles dies or lives there is no space for pseudo politicians to take over the power in Ethiopian politics. As individual i like Meles for his charsimatic leadership, his vision for the nation and his assertiveness. he is not a flawless leader, there are so many thing need correction but i do not thing his death will be a solution for any problem. I wish him fast recovery. Ethiopia and Africa needs his excellent leadership but not excellent talkative politician from the West or N. America.

by: takel from: ethiop
July 21, 2012 5:58 AM
nega said these is not etiopian people majore issu are yuo sure how is leding in EPRDF???????????? then this is majore issu oure ethiopan people

by: Zemen from: Vancouver
July 19, 2012 1:04 PM
When the whole country does not want you and you are imposing yourself on them by force, it is bad karma. Take away message from this is all the guns in this world cannot save you from your deeds. Your deeds are all bad. Who is going to count torture, imprisonment and stiffing dissent as good.

by: mammae from: hawassa
July 19, 2012 12:46 PM
no one accepts death evils to mr meles while the terminally living and non functional pres. Girma is alive. we love u meles, though u cant satisfy the interests of >70mln people @ atime.

by: awell from: addis abeba
July 19, 2012 10:09 AM
First off : belive me or not meles is going to death
Second off: there is a bloode worest things happen in ethiopia those the TPLF people will kill people after they died all the TPLF

by: Aman from: Europe
July 19, 2012 5:04 AM
That is the solid truth about the EPRDF basic foundation, which is independent of any member´s existence in the power. This should be understood by any one who thinks existence of Meles makes a difference?

One amazing thing about a boy Sibhat question to the journalist, "what about your job"? that is a deep message! He knows he is a journalist but he asks him about his job, which if he understands to convey a message you are ....???

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs