Name: Meles Zenawi
Career: President of Ethiopia, 1991-1995; Prime Minister of Ethiopia, 1995 - August 2012.
Born: 8 May 1955, Adwa, Tigray, in northern Ethiopia
Died: 20 August 2012. Before his death Zenawi had been sick for four months and was receiving medical treatment at an unknown European country foe an undisclosed illness.
Education: MBA, Open University, 1995; MSc, Economics, University of Rotterdam, 2004.
Before his death Zenawi had played an important role to ease tensions between Sudan and South Sudan. In May 2011 when the north Sudanese army seized Abyei after an attack on its troops by uncontrolled elements Zenawi sent Ethiopian troops to fulfill a UN mandate in the region. He had also dedicated much of his time to bring the Sudanese government and the SPLM-North rebels to the negotiating table.
Sudan and South Sudan are yet to settle a host of differences amounting from the partition of the two nations last year as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Ethiopia which shares joint borders with the two countries considers its stability is largely linked to the political situation in the two countries.
Zenawi also led his rebellion from Sudan with the support of Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir to overthrow in 1991 the communist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam who supported the SPLM rebels. However, the late Ethiopian leader very quickly sought to normalise his relations with the Sudanese rebel group and allowed it to have an office in Addis Ababa. Zenawi, cut relations with Sudan late in 1996 but normalised it after his war with Eritrea in 1998.
His deputy and foreign minister Hailemariam Desalegn assumed Zenawi’s position as Prime Minister after his death.
Profiles and Obituaries
Meles Zenawi - Videos
Guardian | Ethiopia’s prime minister Meles Zenawi dies after illness – video
Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon announces the death of prime minister Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa, and declares a period of national mourning. Meles had been receiving treatment abroad when he died. His body will be flown back to Ethiopia. Deputy prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn will take over the running of government
Al Jazeera English | Talk to Jazeera - Meles Zenawi | 22 Nov 2007
Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow talks to the Ethiopian prime minister about his country’s role in Somalia and asks him whether his country is, as the UN claims, on the verge of war with Eritrea.
Al Jazeera English | Talk to Jazeera - Meles Zenawi Part 1 & 2 | 18 March 2007
Al Jazeera English’s Andrew Simmons talks to Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia - on Ethiopia’s controversial deployment in Somalia and human rights in the African nation.
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