Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, has died at the age of 57 after weeks of speculation about his health, state media said.
Zenawi was admitted to hospital in July. The nature of his condition has not been made public. Speculation about his health began when he missed an African Union summit in Addis Ababa earlier last month. Zenawi took power as the leader of a rebel group that ousted communist leader, Mengistu Haile Mariam, in 1991.
Deputy Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, who is also Ethiopia’s foreign minister, will be acting head of government, state television said.
“Even if Ethiopia has been badly affected for missing its great leader, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi initiated fundamental policies and strategies which will be further strengthened,” the state TV announced.
Three weeks ago, a government source had told the BBC that Zenawi was in “a good condition and recuperating”, and dismissed reports that he was critically ill.