By Jane Nambi
Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi’s body arrived in the country’s capital as the country mourned the death of a great leader who helped Ethiopia be recognized internationally.
The body of Zenawi arrived in Ethiopia at Addis Ababa airport; he died in a Brussels hospital at 57. Zenawi ruled Ethiopia for 21 years.
A military band played as the coffin was taken from the Ethiopian Airlines flight in the wee hours of the morning draped in the national flag. The ceremony was attended by political, military and religious leaders as well as diplomats.
His wife, Azeb Mesfin, was seen leaving the plane dressed in black as the coffin was taken to the official residence of the prime minister at the national palace. His body will stay at the home until the funeral, a national television said.
As a sign of respect, Ethiopia has declared a state of national mourning, though no date for the funeral has been set.
Meles was a key Western ally in a region home to al-Qaeda-linked groups.
Zenawi’s footsteps shall be followed by Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, 47, according to government officials. He had been a deputy since 2010.