Rwanda : Kagame in Ethiopia for Meles Zenawi funeral
President Paul Kagame on Saturday afternoon arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for the funeral of the late Prime Minister scheduled for Sunday – where several other global dignitaries are expected to take part.
Last month, the PM died of an unknown illness after a mysterious in Brussels, two month-long disappearance from the public, and will be buried on Sunday in the first state funeral for a leader in over 80 years, according to media reports from there.
President Kagame will Saturday evening pay his respects at the Grand Palace in Addis Ababa where he will sign the condolence book and lay a wreath by casket where the late Prime Minister lies in state, according to a statement from Village Urugwiro (president’s office).
On Sunday President Kagame will join other dignitaries and thousands of Ethiopians at the funeral to be held at Meskel Square. President Kagame will speak at the funeral along with former South African President Thabo Mbeki as friends of the late Prime Minister.
President Kagame and MrZenawi had maintained very close relations during the latter’s time in office. Rwanda honored MrZenawi with the country’s highest recognition for his role in the liberation struggle.
Last week, President Kagame not only sent a personal condolence message to the Ethiopian people, but also led a one-minute moment of silence at a high level gathering in Kigali in honor of MrZenawi. The minute silence was observed during the launch of Rwanda sovereign fund, the Agaciro Development Fund.
The visibly emotional President Kagame described the ex-PM as having been not the leader of Ethiopia alone, but for the entire African continent.