Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Space headache for Ethiopia as millions expected to attend Meles funeral

(Aug 29, 2012, The Africa Report)--Millions of people are expected to attend the state funeral of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Sunday, but authorities are worried that there is not enough space to accommodate the expected throngs.

(Reuters Pictures)
A national committee set up for the state funeral fears that there wouldn't be enough space to cater for the expected crowds during the funeral and is appealing to people to go to their respective district halls, where the ceremony would be beamed live. Various spaces, tent, halls have been set up throughout the country, including Addis Ababa, where the public can go to express their condolences.

The committee will on Thursday move the body of the late leader to the open air, Meskel Square, located at the heart of Addis Ababa, to allow more people to pay their last respects to Meles. Leaders from various African countries and representatives from countries around the world are expected to attend the funeral ceremony.

On Saturday, a mass prayer ceremony will be held throughout the country where Christians and Muslims will host a special prayer ceremony, which will be held on the request of the various religious leaders across the country. On Wednesday, thousands of people continued to flow to the palace to express their grief.

Authorities are yet to say where Meles will be buried, but speculation is rife that a final church service will be held at the Trinity Church in Addis Ababa, located close to the palace. Former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie who was reburied in 2000 at Addis Ababa's Trinity Church, 25 years after being killed during the Mengistu Haile Mariam, triggering rumours that Meles will also be buried there. Mengistu now lives in exile in Zimbabwe.
Source: The Africa Report

Related topics:
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Body of Ethiopian Church Patriarch arrives at St. Trinity Cathedral Church 
Thousands of Ethiopians pay last respect to Meles 
Why do so many African leaders die in office?
Addis Ababa Edirs Erect Mourning Tent for the death of Meles Zenawi 

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