“He definitely has brain tumor, probably glioblastoma multiforme, stage 4; the tumor (slow growing) has been deemed inoperable from initial diagnosis in 2006; he is in hospital in Belgium; recent physical appearance probably due to intense regime of chemo and or radiation; similar diagnosis and prognosis as Sen Ted Kennedy.”
Other indepedent sources also add their voice that Meles Zenawi, who is at St. Luke Clinic in Brussels, has been in a vegetative or coma-like state on a life-support system from which recovery is nearly impossible.
Meanwhile from the government side, Communications chief Bereket Simon said Meles is in “good and stable condition.”
Such statements are easily dismissed by the public as non-sense. Meles has been the one and only engine of the eprdf existence. His death means the death of the entire EPRDF structure. The tough question for Bereket Simon and other officials is how they can stay in power in post-Meles Ethiopia. The only option they have is to stand together and repeat the lie that Meles is alive and will come back to office.
If Meles is in “good and stable” condition, as Bereket Simon claimed, why not he shows the public a TV footage that Mr Meles is at least alive?
The answer could be: ‘He is not.’
Meles on “sick leave” – Bereket Simon
Government spokesman Bereket Simon briefed reporters Thursday in Addis Ababa, following media reports that the Ethiopian leader was critically ill at Saint Luc Hospital in Brussels, Belgium.
Bereket specifically denied reports on Ethiopian dissident websites that Meles has brain cancer. The spokesman did not identify the prime minister’s illness or say where he is being treated, but said he is in “good and stable condition” and remains in charge of the government.
A government statement said Mr. Meles’ sick leave was prescribed by his doctor, and noted he will resume work when he recuperates.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn told VOA the press conference signals a “significant health issue.”
“You wouldn’t make a statement like that – that is so open-ended – unless the problem is significant” Shinn said. He noted he has no information about the prime minister’s health.
He added that Meles is the kind of leader who plans ahead. And if he is ill, he says the 57-year-old prime minister likely has a plan in place.
“I’d be willing to bet very good money that he has been planning some way to deal with this issue in order to ensure some kind of reasonable succession of government in Ethiopia,” said Shinn.
Meles has led Ethiopia for more than 20 years, since taking power in a 1991 coup. He has not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and did not attend an African Union summit last Saturday and Sunday in the Ethiopian capital.
In an interview with VOA, Sibhat Nega of Ethiopia’s ruling party said Meles is in better shape than reported.
“I can tell you for sure that there is no undesirable eventuality regarding his health,” he said. “I am 100 percent sure that he’s recovering health-wise, and he will be back to his official duty in a number of days.”
Nega’s statements are consistent with those of government officials, who said Wednesday the prime minister is sick, but not gravely ill.
Nega, who is a friend of the prime minister’s, said the government has been functioning normally during Meles’ absence, insisting that the “system does not depend on one person.”