Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 25, 2012 — The funeral of the late
Ethiopian leader, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, will be held on
September second, a national committee set up to organize the funeral
proceedings said on Thursday.
57 year old Zenawi died on late Monday evening following an unspecified
illness for over two months.
His body arrived home from Brussels on Wednesday night during which
thousands of mourning supporters gathered outside the international bole
Airport to pay respect.
The National Committee said that "the way the people welcomed the body
of the late Prime Minister back to Addis Ababa demonstrated just close
he had been to the hearts of the people.
Communication minister, Bereket Simon, has said that successor, foreign
minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, would remain in the post of prime
minister until the next elections in 2015 and will soon be sworn in
during coming parliament session to be held very soon.
However some political analysts say that Ethiopian politicians are not
ready to follow the intellect of Zenawi and there might be a power
vacuum in the horn of Africa's largest country.
Zenawi has been considered by supporters as an economic transformer of
his country and a key peace making factor in the East African region.
However his leadership also has been criticized by international right
groups as doing little to bring change on fundamental human rights
citing to mixed legacy of Zenawi who led Ethiopia for 21 years following
the over throw of former Dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam's Communist
Following Zenawi?s death, in a statement Human Rights watch said that,
Ethiopia has seen a sharp deterioration in civil and political rights,
with mounting restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and
The group called on the new Ethiopian leadership to commit to
fundamental human rights reforms in the wake of the death of the late
African prominent leader urging Ethiopia's international partners to
call on interim government to back fundamental rights and freedoms in
the country and a prompt rollback of repressive laws.
"Ethiopia's government should commit to respect for human rights and
core rights reforms in the coming days and weeks," said Leslie Lefkow,
deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
"The country's new leadership should reassure Ethiopians by building on
Meles's positive legacy while reversing his government's most pernicious
"Ethiopia's leadership should demonstrate its commitment to human rights
reform by taking urgent steps to amend or repeal some of the most
damaging legislation, including its anti-terrorism laws and restrictions
on civil society," Lefkow said.
HRW urged the immediate release of Political Prisoners who the group
said were unlawfully detained further urging for a reform on legislation
and repeal restrictive Laws, reform legislation meaningful opening of
Source: Sudan Tribune