A hero?A dictator? A peacemaker or a warmonger?
Learning about Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is mystifying but it was hard to avoid
For the average bystander trying to understand just what sort of a leader Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was is mystifying. He was loved by many but at the same time dreaded; feared but at the same time respected; idolized but at the same time loathed; a warmonger but at the same time a peace maker. He hated neoliberalism but he was a darling of a neoliberal west; he presided over a country with the most draconian civil society laws, but he left behind a country that is one of the largest donors’ money recipients. He was everything many would wish to be and nothing many would like to remotely look alike.
Amidst talks of a rising Africa, peace and security issues remain critical in parts of the continent
Of the several agendas that crowded the 19th Ordinary Session of African head of states and governments, held in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the issue of continental peace and security stood high, next, of course, that of the election for the new chairperson. AUC’s Peace and Security Department led by its Commissioner Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra of Algeria was seen scrambling to address how the continental body was trying to deal with four active conflict areas in the continent: the ongoing conflict between the two Sudans that is threatening to tear Africa’s youngest state apart; the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo with its potential to destabilize African Great Lakes Region; the ever more complicated situation in Mali; and the uncertain political clouds hanging over the skies of Guinea Bissau.
Seen here second from left, Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs assured the gathering by pledging the government will be back to business “as of tomorrow.” “I would reassure you that the [ruling] EPRDF and our developmental and democratic state will immediately act to implement all the policies and strategies, including those of the Growth and Transformation Plan,” he said.