Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hillary Clinton's Condolences on the Passing of Ethiopian PM Zenawi

The Passing of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 21, 2012

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.
I admired the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to transforming Ethiopia’s economy and to expanding education and health services. He was an important and influential voice in Africa, and we especially valued his role in promoting peace and security in the region. I am confident that Ethiopia will peacefully navigate the political transition according to its constitution.
On behalf of the American people, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the people of Ethiopia, and to reaffirm our commitment to a strong partnership focused on strengthening development, democracy and human rights, and regional security.
From Foreign Policy Morning Brief:
Ethiopia: Longtime Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died in the hospital of an infection on Monday. He was a strong ally of the U.S. in the war on terror, but his iron-fisted policies at home made him a controversial figure.

The link above goes to the NYT obituary.  In the photo below she is with the Foreign Minister/Deputy Prime Minister Haiwho, according to the obituary,  will succeed the late  Prime Minister and has a really interesting name, Haile-Mariam Desalegne!  Although Haile(as in Haile Selassie*) appears common enough among men's names in Ethiopia,  hyphenated with Mariam it seems to translate to "Hail Mary," which, if you only know those words from football, is a Catholic prayer.  His surname, Desalegne looks like it would be pronounced almost exactly the same as Dessalines, as in Jean-Jacques Dessalines, hero of the Haitian Revolution and first ruler of The First Black Republic.   It is an interesting coincidence since  Ethiopia is in east Africa and Haitian slaves who revolted against the French were Fon-speaking people from west Africa. 

*Haile Selassie considered a religious figure by Jamaican Rastafarians (who smoke you-know-what as part of their rites).

(Sorry.  That was my "geek-moment.")

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walks with Ethiopia's Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Haile-Mariam Desalegne at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)