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Ethiopians mourn death of prime minister

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 01:13

Aug. 21 - Ethiopians mourn the loss of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as the European Union calls on the current government to continue his work. Sarah Wali reports.

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In the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopians are mourning the sudden death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Zenawi had spent more than two decades fighting Islamic militancy in the Horn of Africa, earning him strong alliances with Western governments. In a news conference in Belgium, where Zenawi passed away while being treated for an unknown illness, the European Commission said they hoped the country would continue his legacy and work. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION SPOKESMAN, OLIVIER BAILLY, READING A STATEMENT FROM EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO: "I sincerely hope that Ethiopia will enhance its path of democratization, upholding of human rights, and prosperity for its people and of further regional stabilisation and integration." Back home, in Addis Ababa citizens were are still trying to come to terms with the loss. 2091 (SOUNDBITE) (Amharic) ADDIS ABABA RESIDENT, BEZA KINFE, SAYING: "We were at a stage of solving many of our problems. We have just encountered an unexpected event when we had made major strides forward and this is very sad. I wish all Ethiopians comfort." Ethiopia has declared a period of national mourning in remembrance of Zenawi.

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Ethiopians mourn death of prime minister

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 01:13