ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -
Ethiopia's former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died on Monday after a
long illness, is to be buried in a state funeral on September 2, the
government said on Thursday.
Meles' death at 57 in a Brussels hospital left a gaping hole in
Ethiopian politics and deprived Western powers of a trusty ally in the
fight against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa.
Thousands of mourners, many holding candles, gathered to witness
Meles' casket arriving in the capital Addis Ababa late on Tuesday. His
body is now lying in his private residence as funeral preparations are
Acting prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn will run the country
until scheduled elections in 2015, a government spokesman said. He is
due to be sworn in in the coming days.
Guerrilla fighter Meles became one of the central political
figures on the continent after toppling Mengistu Haile Mariam's military
junta in 1991.