Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, dies of infection

Meles Zenawi dies in Brussels hospital at 57

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, who led the East African nation for more than 20 years, has died after months of illness, the
government says.

Mr. Meles died in a hospital abroad where he was treated for an undisclosed infection, the country’s council of ministers said in statement on Tuesday. He was 57 years old.

He is the second African leader after former Ghanaian president, John Atta Mills, to die in office in a month.

“The premier had been receiving medical treatment abroad for the past two months and his health as improving, but due to sudden infection which occurred on Sunday, he went back for emergency treatment, and even if a lot of medical attention was given by his doctors, he died yesterday (Monday) at around 23.40,” the statement by the council of ministers said.

Deputy Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, will be acting head of government, state television said.

Okowa Campaign AD

Mr. Meles took power in 1991 after defeating communist leader Mengistu Haile Mariam  with U.S. support.

He served as president until 1995 when he became the prime minister. He worked hard to transform the country’s economy from a 3.8 per cent growth in the 1990s to 10 per cent in 2010.

There were speculations the former leader had been struggling with sickness for a year. Concerns over his health heightened after he missed key state and international functions including the African Union summit.

Mr. Meles had not been seen in public for some eight weeks before his death. Some reports said he was treated in Belgium, others said Germany.

He is is credited with leading a rapid economic surge for the East African country despite the secession of Eritrea and the subsequent war between the two nations.

Ethiopia under his leadership also became a staunch U.S. ally, receiving hundreds of millions in aid and hosting American military drone patrol over the region.

On the domestic front, Mr. Meles’ government was severely called to question for human rights abuses, crackdown on opposition, journalists and critics.

On the regional level, his administration maintained a tense relationship with long-time enemy, Somalia and Eritrea, repeatedly invading both countries with his nation’s powerful and well-equipped military.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: New Discovery! Click Here To See A Miracle Device That Can Cure DIABETES, BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE, ARTHRITIS, PAINS, OBESITY And 50 Other CHRONIC DISEASES Without Drugs Or Herbs.. Click Here Now To See It

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.