News / Africa

Ethiopia's 'Visionary' Leader Meles Zenawi Laid to Rest

A funeral procession transporting the coffin of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is pictured in Addis Ababa, September 2, 2012.
A funeral procession transporting the coffin of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is pictured in Addis Ababa, September 2, 2012.
Gabe Joselow
ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia has laid to rest Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who led the country for more than 20 years before his death, announced last month. Heads of state from around the continent praised Meles' intellect and his vision for his country and Africa.

Ethiopian soldiers stood in formation as the flag-draped casket carrying the body of Meles was carried into Meskel Square in downtown Addis Ababa.

Thousands of Ethiopians gathered to pay their respects to the late prime minister, who was credited with bringing economic development to the country during his many years in power. Foreign dignitaries, including heads of state from across Africa also attended the ceremony.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki praised Meles for his commitment to his country and the continent.

"We too, your fellow Africans, are here to join you to pay tribute to Meles Zenawi and to convey to you our sincere condolences of the loss to you of a great architect of a new Ethiopia, and to us who come from outside the borders of this country, the loss of a great architect of a new Africa of which a billion Africans dream,” said Mbeki.

While many African leaders credited Meles for his single-minded dedication to development, he was often criticized in the West for stifling the opposition and putting economic success ahead of human rights.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said the prime minister was misunderstood by critics because he was ahead of his time.

“Where some would have been compromised for short-term profit or gains, or easily succumbed to pressures, he was steadfast and always took a definite stand on issues of right and wrong and more often than not, he was on the side of right,” he said.

A woman wails while lifting a portrait of Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi as she waits for the arrival of his remains in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 21, 2012.A woman wails while lifting a portrait of Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi as she waits for the arrival of his remains in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 21, 2012.
x
A woman wails while lifting a portrait of Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi as she waits for the arrival of his remains in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 21, 2012.
A woman wails while lifting a portrait of Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi as she waits for the arrival of his remains in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 21, 2012.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said she enjoyed a close relationship with Meles. Rice praised him for what she called his “world-class mind,” but said they sometimes “profoundly disagreed” on issues including human rights and foreign policy.

She said as the United States will continue to work with Ethiopia to help develop the country's institutions.

“As always, we will encourage peaceful political dialogue, civil society development and protection of human rights, including freedom of the press,” said Rice.

Meles' deputy, Hailemariam Desalegn has taken over the powers of the prime minister's office and is due to be sworn in after the funeral. He says he plans to continue on the path of development started by his predecessor.

“Today we are prospering because of the vision and guidance of Meles Zenawi,” he said. “He paved the road for prosperity and peace that we are committed to follow.”

After the ceremony, Meles' casket was carried to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where he was buried next to other prominent leaders of Ethiopia, including former Emperor Haile Selassie.

A 21-gun salute marked the end of the ceremony, and a long and transformative political era in Ethiopia.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid