Addis Ababa: Leaders of various countries, including President Jacob Zuma, arrived in Addis Ababa on Saturday to attend the funeral of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, taking place today.
Others who will be attending the funeral include the Presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan, the Prime Ministers of Gabon and Namibia, Vice President of Ghana, speakers of People’s National Assemblies of Algeria and Yemen, the former President of Nigeria as well as an Italian delegation and the renowned Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote.
Ministers of Industry as well as Labour and Social Affairs Mekonnen Manyzaewal and Abdulfetah Abdulahi respectively as well as higher level diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the leaders upon arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir expressed sadness over the death of Zenawi, who was a man of peace and development.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for his part said the death of Zenawi was a great shock to all Africans.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda said the Prime Minister had been a leader, who strived towards renaissance of the country and also for development of Africa. He also expressed the belief that Ethiopia would further strengthen efforts of the Premier to maintain peace and stability in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
The Vice President of Ghana and the Prime Ministers of Gabon and Namibia for their parts said Zenawi significantly contributed in the efforts to register results in peace and security, economic and social sectors in Africa.
They said he would be remembered for his significant contribution towards growth of Africa.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian President Girma Woldegiorgis in a press conference on Saturday urged the public to contribute in the efforts of the government to realise the development activities launched by the late Prime Minister.
He affirmed government’s commitment to realise the dreams of the late Zenawi.
Zenawi was being treated abroad at a hospital for an undisclosed illness when he had a sudden infection and passed away.