Global Politics

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's Vanishing Act

Zenawi.jpg

A cartoonist depicts Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. (Cartoonist Unknown)

Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, hasn't been seen in public since late June.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Ethiopians started wondering when Zenawi was a no-show at a meeting of the African Union in Addis Ababa in July.

Official word from the Ethiopian government has ranged from 'he's fine, doing well,' to more recently, 'he's under treatment and is recovering well'.

But from what no one knows.

Nor do they know where he's being treated. Zenawi has been a fixture in Ethiopian politics since he helped overthrow General Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

He was president for five years and since 1995 has served as Ethiopia's Prime Minister.

Under his leadership, Ethiopia has seen strong economic growth but critics, and there are many, say Zenawi doesn't respect human rights or a free press.