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.
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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs