Ethiopia: Funeral Of PM Meles To Be Held On Sept 2
ADDIS ABABA (RBC) - The funeral of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who passed away last Monday night at the age of 57, will be held on Sept 2, the national committee set up to organize the funeral proceedings said.
Committee Chairperson and Speaker of the House of Federation, Kassa Tekleberhan said here Thursday that different sub-committees have been formed to coordinate the funeral proceedings.
A final goodbye ceremony will be organized at the Grand Palace, Kassa said, adding, higher level government officials, council members, government employees, city residents, arts, media and sports professionals will express condolences as per a schedule, which will be prepared for the same purpose.
Similarly, representatives of authors, the business community, professional associations, nations, nationalities and peoples, elders and also prominent individuals will express their condolences, he said.
He said a three-day program will be organized at Meskel Square in the capital to enable the public say final goodbye to the leader.
Kassa said similar programs will be organized at regional capitals beginning from Aug 24 until Sept 1 to enable the public residing in different regional states express condolence over the death of PM Meles.
Likewise, another program will be organized at the Grand Palace for foreign diplomats living in Ethiopia for the same purpose.
Leaders of various countries and well-known personalities are expected to attend the funeral of PM Meles, who ruled Ethiopia for 21 years, he said.
Meanwhile, the committee expressed heartfelt appreciation to the thousands of residents of Addis Ababa, who turned out to the streets of the city and escorted the body of Meles from the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to his official residence.
The Chairperson said different ceremonies being organized by the public to mourn indicate that Meles was a great leader.
Kassa also said utmost efforts will be exerted more than ever to realize the vision of PM Meles towards development of the country.
Meles won international recognition for his lifelong contribution to Ethiopia’s development and his key role in mediating regional conflicts.
Higher level government officials and EPRDF executives lauded the people of Ethiopia for the love and respect they showed to the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) Minister, Bereket Simon said.
At a press conference here Thursday Bereket said the government and EPRDF are grateful for the support of the people in this difficult time of deep sorrow and mourning.
The Minister said various segments of the society in the country and abroad are expressing their deep sorrow since the announcement of the death of Prime Minister Meles.
According to Bereket, all higher level officials of the government and also executives of the EPRDF are committed to follow the footsteps of the late Prime Minister for the development of the country.
Currently the succession of Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn as Prime Minister is not an urgent issue.
He said the urgent issue is organizing situations to enable the people express their sorrow over the leader’s death.
According to Bereket, the succession process will proceed after the funeral of the late Prime Minister.
The Minister on the occasion expressed belief that the Ethiopian people and government will work hand in hand to realize the vision of Prime Minister Meles.
Meanwhile, employees and students of different universities as well as various institutions expressed commitment to further strengthen efforts to realize the vision of PM Meles Zenawi.
Accordingly, at a program organized to express condolence over the death of PM Meles on Thursday, employees and students of Mettu University in Oromia State vowed to strive for the same goal.
Similarly, President and students of the Haremaya University as well as the chief and employees of the East Hararge Zone Administration, finance and economic development bureau of the Somali Regional State, employees of the Arbaminch Textile Share Company, and correction commission of the Harari Regional State expressed sorrow over the death of PM Meles.
They said that they will work hard to implement the policies and strategies initiated by the Premier to realize rapid development in the country.
Finance and economic development bureau and police commission of Gambella Regional State as well as the Gambella Peoples Unity Democratic Movement have sent messages of condolence over the death of PM Meles.
They said in their messages that they will further strengthen efforts towards success of the vision of PM Meles towards development of the country.
In related matters, the residents of Addis Ababa are mourning in their respective woredas by setting tents as they did for their departed relatives.
According to the sub-cities communication offices, dwellers are grieving deep sorrow to their beloved and great premier.
Thousands of mourners took the street to pay tribute and express their love upon arrival of the body PM Meles on late Tuesday at Bole International Airport.
The residents were waiting for the arrival of the body of the great leader in heavy rain and cold weather until dawn. Youth were chanting and escorted the body while heading to the National Palace.
Leaders of various countries have continued sending condolences over the death of the great leader Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Accordingly, Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Koichiro Gemba expressed sincere condolence over death of PM Meles.
He said PM Meles has greatly contributed to the development of the relation between Japan and Ethiopia .
The minister said PM Meles passionately promoted activities to popularize a Japanese method for the improvement of quality and productivity, Kaizen in Ethiopia.
He wished comfort to families of PM Meles, the people and government of Ethiopia.
Similarly, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki sent a message of condolence on behalf of the Kenyan people, government as well as on his behalf over the death of PM Meles.
The President said in his message that the death of Meles is loss not only for Ethiopia but also for the people and government of Kenya, for the continent and also for the international community.
Meles has unforgettable contribution in the efforts to maintain peace and stability in Africa in particular in Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, President Kibaki said.