News / Africa

Spokesman: Ethiopia PM's Death No Cause for Worry

 Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon (R) makes the official announcement of the death of PM Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 21, 2012.
Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon (R) makes the official announcement of the death of PM Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 21, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Ethiopia's communications minister says there is "no worry" about the country's future after the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who ruled Ethiopia for more than 20 years.

Minister Bereket Simon told VOA the leadership is united and the government is "strong as ever."  He rejected concerns about a power vacuum.

"The policies, the strategies, that have enabled us to register massive growth are in place," he said.  "The party is strong as ever, government is as strong as ever, the leadership is as united as ever.  So there is no worry.  There is no worry at all."

The spokesman says acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will be sworn in and serve the remaining three years of Mr. Meles' five-year term.

Mr. Meles died late Monday from an infection while being treated abroad, according to the spokesman.

In a statement Tuesday, a rebel group in Ethiopia's Ogaden region suggested the leader's death may lead to greater stability and peace.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) described the late prime minister as a "dictator" who had caused "unimaginable suffering" to the Ogaden people.

The ONLF has been fighting for self-determination in Ogaden, also known as the Somali region, since 1984.  The rebels and the government frequently accuse each other of wrongdoing and atrocities.
 
Leaders around the world reacted to news of the prime minister's death.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Mr. Meles deserved recognition for fighting poverty and developing the country.  He said he is grateful for the prime minister's service for peace and security in Africa.  Under Mr. Meles, Ethiopia has been an ally in the U.S. war on terrorism.

Other leaders, including South African President Jacob Zuma and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki praised Mr. Meles' leadership and said his death is a major loss for Africa.

However, Human Rights Watch said he put economic development above human rights.  The group's Africa director, Leslie Lefkow, predicted Prime Minister Meles' legacy will be tarnished by human rights abuses.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Million from: Los Angeles
August 21, 2012 9:09 PM
How could anyone with even an average IQ take Mr. Bereket Simon seriously after he told us the the Prime Minister was well and is coming back in September? Zero credibility!!

Hearing that there is nothing to worry about from Mr. Simon does not help at all! Our new prime minister should come out and speak for himself!

RIP Mr. Zenawi!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid