Ethiopians awakened this morning to state
media reports that Prime
Minister Meles Zenawi, 57, the country's leader for 21 years, had died late
Monday in an overseas hospital of an undisclosed disease. Within seconds, Ethiopians
spread the news on social
within minutes, international news media were issuing bulletins. Finally, after
weeks of government silence and obfuscation over Meles' health, there was
clarity for Ethiopians anxious for word about their leader. Still, it was left
to unnamed sources to fill in even the basic details. Meles died in a Brussels
hospital of liver cancer, these sources told international news organizations,
and he had been ill for many months.
"Death of yet another African leader highlights secrecy & lack of transparency when it comes to ailing leaders," CNN's Faith Karimi noted on Twitter, where the hashtag #MelesZenawi was trending globally.