Le diplomate et dictateur de l’Afrique

BRUXELLES – Le récent décès du Premier ministre éthiopien Meles Zenawi à Bruxelles apporte enfin une réponse sur les raisons de sa disparition publique ces deux derniers mois. Le gouvernement éthiopien avait jusqu’à lors fermement démenti les rumeurs de son grave état de santé causé par un cancer du foie. Le pire s’étant désormais vérifié, l’Éthiopie et l’ensemble de l’Afrique de l’Est vont devoir apprendre à vivre avec l’absence de ce grand diplomate-dictateur à l’influence stabilisatrice.

C’est en effet cette dualité qui caractérisait Meles. L’Éthiopie a connu une transformation remarquable sous le mandat de cet homme de fer, et cela à partir de 1991, année où le groupe minoritaire originaire de la région nord-éthiopienne du Tigray est arrivé au pouvoir en renversant l’odieux Derg communiste dirigé par Mengistu Haile Mariam (lequel profite encore aujourd’hui d’une retraite agréable dans le Zimbabwe de Robert Mugabe).

Ayant commencé par exercer la fonction de président du premier gouvernement post-Derg, avant d’occuper le poste de Premier ministre de l’Éthiopie de 1995 jusqu’à sa mort, Meles (son pseudonyme pendant la révolution) a contribué à offrir au pays une croissance annuelle du PIB de 7,7% ces dernières années ; une excellente performance économique qui apparaît quelque peu paradoxale compte tenu des mesures politiques interventionnistes appliquées par son parti. Il faut toutefois noter que Meles s’est révélé être un pragmatiste accompli dans l’attraction d’investissements – notamment en provenance de Chine – ayant permis de stimuler la croissance. 

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