Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has died at the age of 57 on Monday after suffering from an undisclosed illness in a hospital in Brussel, Belgium.
Reports say PM Zenawi was not seen in public for about two months. Last month, PM Zenawi reportedly missed to attend a meeting of AU heads of state in the capital, Addis Ababa.
The passing of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi gained worldwide coverage as he was considered as one of the powerful leader on transforming Ethiopia into one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies during his 21-year reign. He was one of Africa’s strongmen.
PM Zenawi was considered to be a key US ally in the war on terror as well.
Today at DC, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed sadness to learn of the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.
“I admired the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to transforming Ethiopia’s economy and to expanding education and health services.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton says PM Zenawi was an important and influential voice in Africa, and the United States especially valued his role in promoting peace and security in the region.
She adds she is confident that Ethiopia will peacefully navigate the political transition according to its constitution.
“On behalf of the American people, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the people of Ethiopia, and to reaffirm our commitment to a strong partnership focused on strengthening development, democracy and human rights, and regional security.” -Ms. Clinton
In addition, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he was deeply saddened by the death of Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi and offered his heartfelt condolences to Mr. Zenawi’s family and to the Government and people of Ethiopia.
“Prime Minister Zenawi will be remembered for his exceptional leadership and advocacy on African issues within and outside the continent, as well as for overseeing his country’s economic growth and development.” -Mr. Ban’s spokesperson
Mr. Ban also extended his gratitude for Mr. Zenawi’s strong support of UN peacekeeping and peacemaking operations.
PM Zenawi had been active in the Ethiopian politics since 1991. when he served as President. He became Prime Minister in 1995.
Ethiopia is among the countries that are on track to meet the goal of eradication poverty. PM Zenawi has played an important part in this work as recognized by other African states.