Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 18, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

On Climate, Business as Usual

The Divide

Truthdig Bazaar more items

Ear to the Ground

Ethiopian Strongman Zenawi Dies

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Aug 21, 2012
World Economic Forum (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Meles Zenawi.

Meles Zenawi, iron-fisted prime minister of Ethiopia for 21 years and a key ally in the U.S. war on terror, died Monday of an undisclosed illness. He was 57.

Zenawi was accused of suppressing journalists and political opponents and of bearing responsibility for tens of thousands of deaths in a war with neighboring Eritrea in the late 1990s. He became president in 1991 after helping oust Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Communist military junta, and prime minister controlling the federal government and armed forces in 1995.

A full obituary on Zenawi can be read here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

During Meles’s election win in 2005, when it appeared the opposition was likely to make gains, Meles tightened security across the country, and on the night of the election he declared a state of emergency, outlawing any public gathering as his ruling party claimed a majority win. Opposition members accused Meles of rigging the election, and demonstrations broke out. Security forces moved in, killing hundreds of people and jailing thousands. Almost the entire leadership of an opposition group that won an unprecedented number of seats in parliament was jailed for life for treason.

In 2009, an anti-terror law was enacted, under which more than 100 opposition figures have since been arrested. The government insists it is tackling rebel groups that have links with al-Qaida and Eritrea.

More than 10 journalists have also been charged under the law, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The group says Ethiopia is close to replacing Eritrea as the African country with the highest number of journalists behind bars. Two Swedish journalists were jailed for 11 years on charges of entering the country illegally and aiding a rebel group.

Read more

More Below the Ad


Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.


sign up to get updates

Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.