The Late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. [Photo: EPA]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 22 August 2012 [Gurtong] - The government spokesman Dr Barnaba Marial has declared three days of national mourning in honour of the fallen leader.
“We express our profound sadness of the untimely death of His Excellence the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi,” said Marial describing Zenawi as a friend to the people of South Sudan.
Marial said that the government of the Republic of South Sudan has declared three days of national mourning and flags will be flown at half mast.
He explained that the lowering down of the flags is to portray a sign of sadness and condolences.
Describing him a strong man on the remarkable peace efforts in the region taking his position in championing negotiations on issues affecting the region, Marial said Meles death will have impact on the Sudan, South Sudan peace talks.
Zenawi was actively involved in the Thambo Mbeki led efforts by the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to facilitate talks between Sudan and South Sudan which has been held in Addis Ababa.
However, Marial expressed hope, that Zenawis legacy will have able leadership to push peaceful efforts in the region.
He underscored his role in promoting peace in the region.
According to Marial, the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir is expected to attend the burial of the late on a date yet to be announced.
Meles Zenawi was announced by a State media to have passed away after weeks of speculation about his health status.
Speculation about his health began when he missed an African Union summit in Addis Ababa earlier last month.
Mr Meles took power as the leader of rebels that ousted communist leader Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.
Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who is also Ethiopia's foreign minister, will be acting head of government, state television said.