Kenyan view of regional effects of Zenawi death

Daily Nation

What loss of Ethiopia PM means to Kenya and the region
World leaders have mourned the death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi with high praise after the strongman's more than two decades in power and despite a chequered human rights' record August 21, 2012

By RASHID ABDI

Widely regarded as highly intelligent, articulate and with an excellent grasp of complex policy issues, Mr Meles helped raise Ethiopia’s regional and international profile.
The country will remain a key player in the regional “axis of moderates” engaged in the battle against the extremist Somali Islamist movement Al-Shabaab.
Kenya and Ethiopia have a similar outlook and share the same concerns about Somalia.
The death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has thrown the Horn of Africa nation into a period of deep uncertainty.

The death has profound regional implications, especially for Kenya and Somalia. Many leaders are expressing fears the death may have serious repercussions for peace and stability in the region.

Concern has been mounting in Nairobi and Mogadishu since reports emerged four weeks ago that the Ethiopian leader was critically ill in a Belgian hospital.

That concern has now turned into anxiety, judging from the initial reaction.

Widely regarded as highly intelligent, articulate and with an excellent grasp of complex policy issues, Mr Meles helped raise Ethiopia’s regional and international profile.

In Kenya, he was mourned as an African leader whose “pragmatic and visionary” leadership was instrumental in the efforts to stabilize Somalia and Sudan and to contain Eritrea.

His death does certainly create new complications for regional governments. However, it is unlikely to cause a huge geopolitical upset.  Read more…

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