THE REPORTER (Ethiopia), THE GUARDIAN, BBC NEWS (UK), CNN (USA)
ADDIS ABEBA - Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is dead, a government spokesman said Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation about his health, reports CNN.
Meles, who was 57, died Monday night at 11:40 p.m. from an unspecified infection in a foreign hospital, reports CNN.
The spokesman acknowledged the prime minister had been sick for some time, but hadn’t immediately sought treatment. Meles had not made public appearances in two months, adds CNN.
Rumors about his health grew as he missed an African Union summit in Addis Ababa last month, explains BBC News.
Meles took power as the leader of rebels that ousted communist leader Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991 and led the country's economic transformation as president, adds BBC News.
He then became prime minister in 1995, reports The Guardian.
According to BBC News, Meles has played a key role in providing stability in the region. Western powers welcomed his decision to send troops to Somalia to battle Islamic militant military groups.
However, he was largely criticized by human rights groups for the country's lack of democracy and its fierce repression.
Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Haile Mariam Desalegne, will serve as the acting-prime minister of the country, reports The Reporter.