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In Pictures: Meles’ Ethiopia
Taking power in 1991, Zenawi presided over strong economic growth, regional wars and political repression.
Ethiopia(***)s former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died at a hospital in Europe, the country(***)s state television network reported on Tuesday. He was 57 years old.
22 Aug 2012
Ruling Ethiopia for more than 20 years, Zenawi governed during an economic boom with growth rates of around 10 per cent during the 1990s. Trade with China played a large role in improving Ethiopia(***)s fortunes.
Zenawi was known for cracking down on dissidents, journalists and political opponents. He frequently faced protesters during trips abroad.
Presidents Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia signed an accord in March 2012 following a ground breaking ceremony of an ambitious port, railway and refinery project in Kenya(***)s resort town of Lamu.
During his reign, Zenawi fought a war of words with Egypt and Sudan over control of the Nile river. Water for agriculture has become a geopolitical battle between some African countries and Zenawi(***)s plans to build dams on the Nile evoked a firestorm of protest from neighbours.
In 2011, supporters of Zenawi gathered to mark the twentieth anniversary of the the Ethiopian People(***)s Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) rise to power. During rallies in Addis Ababa, the capital, Zenawi promised to finish the building of a dam on the Blue Nile, a project that has put Ethiopia at odds with Egypt.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (R) welcomes Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (L) upon his arrival at Khartoum on September 16, 2011. Unlike some other African leaders, it is said that Zenawi never developed a taste for excessive luxury.
In 2005, nearly 200 people died in a crackdown on demonstrators who accused Zenawi of rigging elections. The prime minister and his ruling party said the polls were free and fair.
Ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia(***)s eastern Ogaden region have been waging a long running insurgency against Zenawi(***)s government. They complain of gross human rights violations by Ethiopian forces.
During international climate change talks in Denmark in 2009, some analysts considered Zenwai a strong voice for developing countries.
With a population of some 84 million, increasing food production is crucial for Ethiopia, which has experienced severe famines in the past.
In May, 2010 Zenawi rejected opposition complaints of fraud in a national election and said he would win on the strength of his economic record.
Despite harsh condemnation from human rights groups and some ethnic minorities, some Ethiopians believe Zenawi did what was necessary to stabilse the country.
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