After not being seen in public for nearly two months, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has reportedly died at the age of 57. Ethiopian authorities provided very few details about Meles death, refusing to reveal what the infection was, when he contracted it, or even where he was when he died. Meles apparently left the country to seek treatment, but his location was not disclosed.
Meles became President of Ethiopia in 1991 and Prime Minister in 1995, following the overthrow of the Communist military rule. He made his country a strategic partner with the United States, helping with their counter-terrorism efforts in East Africa, but was often criticized for a questionable human rights record. His coutnry also fought a war with neighboring Eritrea in late 1990s and often inserted itself into troubled war of Somalia. The Islamic militant group Al Shabaab, which is based in Somalia, praised Meles' death and happily predicted that "Ethiopia is sure to collapse."
Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will be promoted to the top job and no new elections have been scheduled.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.