Afrikas Diktator-Diplomat

BRÜSSEL – Der kürzliche Tod des äthiopischen Ministerpräsidenten Meles Zenawi in Brüssel klärt die Hintergründe seiner zweimonatigen mysteriösen Abwesenheit  aus dem öffentlichen Leben auf. Die äthiopische Regierung hatte Gerüchte um seinen schlechten Gesundheitszustand aufgrund von Leberkrebs heftig dementiert. Nun, da sich die schlimmsten Befürchtungen bewahrheitet haben, werden Äthiopien und ganz Ostafrika lernen müssen, ohne den stabilisierenden Einfluss ihres großen Diktator-Diplomaten zu leben.

Meles war gewiss beides. Unter seiner Führung hat Äthiopien, das er mit starker Hand regierte, einen bemerkenswerten Wandel durchgemacht. Im Jahr 1991 übernahm seine Tigray-Minderheit aus dem Norden des Landes nach dem Sturz des verhassten kommunistischen Derg unter Mengistu Haile Mariam die Führung (der übrigens noch immer seinen komfortablen Ruhestand in Robert Mugabes Simbabwe genießt).

Anfangs fungierte Meles (sein Kampfname in der Revolution) als Präsident der ersten Regierung nach der Herrschaft des Derg. Zwischen 1995 und seinem Tod war er Ministerpräsident des Landes und in den letzten Jahren gelang es ihm, für ein jährliches BIP-Wachstum von 7,7 Prozent zu sorgen. Die starke Wirtschaftsleistung kommt angesichts des interventionistischen Ansatzes seiner Politik etwas überraschend, aber Meles zeigte sich als vollendeter Pragmatiker, wenn es darum ging, Investitionen – vor allem aus China – anzulocken, um das Wachstum anzukurbeln.

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