By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
- Temesgen Weldegiorgis briefing groups of journalist during Ethiopia communities pays last tribute to Meles funeral rite in Unity State capital Bentiu Photo By Bonifacio Taban 2-Sept-2012 (ST)
A funereal ceremony was held on his behalf on Sunday in Benitu hospital. Many of those assembled cried while watching the television broadcast of the procession in Addis Ababa on a television broadcasting the event.
An attendee told Sudan Tribune that Ethiopia had lost a great leader, who ended the tyranny of the Communist Derg.
Temesgen Weldegiorgis, a civil services support officer in Bentiu hospital, who works with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) expressed his sorrow at the event.
Weldegiorgis said he came to South Sudan with two Ugandans, two Kenyans and two Ethiopians to assist with IGAD’s health initiative and to “serve the people of South Sudan.”
Although news of Zenawi’s death has received mix response throughout the international community, the Ethiopian community of Unity State were clearly in mourning.
Zenawi brought development to Ethiopia but ruled the country as a one party state, and detained opposition groups and silenced the press. The necessity for unilateral decision-making in these circumstances is still open to debate.
Bergudae Bancha, a citizen of Ethiopia working with the UN Development Programme in Unity State expressed their deep sadness over Zenawi’s death to Sudan Tribune, explaining his view that Zenawi was an exemplary African leader for 21 years.
He also noted Zenawi’s role in negotiations between north and South Sudan and expressed his hope that Zenaiw’s successor would continue to do so.
The event was not attended by the state governor, Taban Deng.