Condolences of Meles Zenawi

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Reactions to Meles Zenawi's passing around the globe

Meles Zenawi, the intellectual leader of Ethiopia, criticized more than his fair share alive was celebrated after his death. One can only say “better late than never”. Here I compiled the reactions of various personalities to the untimely death of the great leader.


1.Tony Blair, Former British Prime Minister

“It is with great sadness that I learned of Meles Zenawi’s death. He was a hugely significant figure in Ethiopia’s history, in particular helping guide his country from extreme poverty to an era of economic growth and development. My deepest condolences go to his family and the people of Ethiopia.”

david-cameron2.David Cameron, British Prime Minister

“Prime Minister Meles was an inspirational spokesman for Africa on global issues and provided leadership and vision on Somalia and Sudan. His personal contribution to Ethiopia’s development, in particular by lifting millions of Ethiopians out of poverty, has set an example for the region. Our thoughts are with his family and with the nation of Ethiopia. He will be greatly missed.


3.Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao of China

”Meles was an outstanding leader of Ethiopia and a renowned African statesman who was dedicated to the great cause of national development and Africa’s revival.”


4. Gordon Brown, the UK’s former prime minister

“Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, made more progress in education, health and economic development under his leadership than at any time in its history, and it is a tragedy for the Ethiopian people that they have lost a committed leader and a champion of children at such a young age,” he said. “When I last saw him earlier this year we held meetings about how we would ensure every child would be in school in Ethiopia by 2015. His passion was in abolishing poverty and our hope is that he will inspire a new generation of men and women who will champion the cause of eradicating poverty.”

yoweri-museveni5.Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda

”The death of Prime Minister Meles was not only a tragic loss to the people of Ethiopia but to the entire continent of Africa. “The late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi will always be remembered for his historic struggle for the unity of the great people of Ethiopia and his contribution towards the economic transformation of his country. As for Africa, we have been robbed of a great Pan- Africanist and a reliable partner in the struggle to bring peace and stability as well as the economic emancipation of the continent.”


6. Jacob Zuma, South African President

”It is an absolute tragedy for Africa and the people of Ethiopia to mourn such an exceptional leader who contributed as an active role-player in various continental and global initiatives. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had been a strong leader, not only for his country but on the African continent, acting as mediator on numerous talks, particularly in the Horn of Africa region. ”


7. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia

”Meles Zenawi was an economic transformer; he was a strong intellectual leader for the continent. In our
regional meetings he stood out because of his intellect and his ability to respond and to lead dialogue on matters relating to African development. He will be missed in all of our meetings and all of our endeavour.

I don’t have fears [over the transition] because I believe there are many other leaders in Ethiopia who will get the support of regional leaders to make the transformation that is necessary, moving towards an open society.”


8. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti

President Guelleh said in his message that he was deeply sorrowed to learn the death of “Djibouti’s great brother”.

“In this difficult time, the Government and People of Djibouti express their solidarity to the people of Ethiopia. Meles’ determination to bring his country among the top economic powers in the continent has started yielding fruit. As a role model for courage and conviction, Meles will be remembered for his brave fight against terrorism and violence in the region. Africa has lost one of its best men.”


9.Barack Obama, U.S. president

Meles “deserves recognition for his lifelong contribution to Ethiopia’s development, particularly his unyielding commitment to Ethiopia’s poor,” Obama said in a statement.

“I met with Prime Minister Meles at the G-8 Summit in May and recall my personal admiration for his desire to lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty through his drive for food security,” Obama said. “I am also grateful for Prime Minister Meles’s service for peace and security in Africa, his contributions to the African Union, and his voice for Africa on the world stage.”


10.Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Good morning. First Lady Azeb Mesfin, President Girma, Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam, members of the Council of Ministers, members of Parliament, excellencies, distinguished guests, and the great people of Ethiopia – thank you for the privilege of speaking here today.

We gather to mark a profoundly sorrowful loss for Ethiopia, for Africa, and for the entire world. Our shared grief is palpable.

On behalf of President Obama, the United States government, and the American people, I wish to extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy for the untimely passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Our prayers are with the people of Ethiopia and, most especially, with Prime Minister Meles’s beloved wife, Azeb, and their cherished children, Semhal, Senay, and Marda.

As we join you in mourning, we affirm our deep respect for, and solidarity with, the proud citizens of Ethiopia, and we renew our commitment to our valued partnership with the people and government of Ethiopia.

I suspect we all feel it deeply unfair to lose such a talented and vital leader so soon, when he still had so much more to give.

Meles was a friend—both to my country and to me, personally. Whenever we met, no matter how beset he was, he would always begin by asking me about my children. His inquiries were never superficial. He wanted detailed reports on their development. Then satisfied, he would eagerly update me on his own children. Meles was a proud father and a devoted husband. As he laughed about his children’s exploits and bragged about their achievements, a face sometimes creased by worry, would glow with simple joy. In his children and all children, Meles saw the promise of renewal and the power of hope.

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