Ethiopian PM Dies During Treatment for Mystery Illness

Meles Zenawi had been receiving treatment for 2 months
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2012 4:50 AM CDT
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi arrives in 2007 for the 12th Summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya   (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim, File)

(Newser) – Ethiopia's prime minister has died at an undisclosed location overseas while being treated for a mystery illness, reports Reuters. Meles Zenawi, 57, considered a stabilizing force in Africa, suddenly succumbed to an undisclosed infection in an overseas hospital where he was being treated over the last two months for an unspecified illness, said authorities.

Just last month, government officials announced that Meles was "recovering well, resting and performing his duties as prime minister and head of state." After rising to power in 1991, Meles was credited with steering his nation toward economic growth and serving as a key mediator in various regional conflicts, including one between Sudan and South Sudan. But critics charged that the friend of the West was intolerant of dissent. (Read more Meles Zenawi stories.)

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