Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s Absence Raises Health Questions

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia was expected to open the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) meeting on Saturday. But Senegalese President Macky Sall opened the gathering instead, telling participants that Meles was unable to be present due “to health conditions.” Sall wished Meles “good health.” (Photo: At the Annual Meeting 2012 of the World Economic Forum at the congress centre in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2012 / WEF)

ABC News

Ethiopia’s longtime ruler and most powerful figure, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is not attending an African Union summit that opened Sunday in Ethiopia, which further fueled speculation that he might be seriously ill.

About three dozen African heads of state and government gathered in Addis Ababa on Sunday, but Meles did not attend the meeting — a first since he assumed office in 1991.

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