Ethiopia readies first state funeral of a leader in 80 years

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Ethiopia readies first state funeral of a leader in 80 years

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Ethiopia readies first state funeral of a leader in 80 years

by AFPMaktoob 2:02 mins

SCRIPT:Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have made the pilgrimage to Meles Zenawi's palace in Addis Ababa over the last 10 days, to pay their respects to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, who died last week. His coffin, draped in the flag of his country.The grief that has gripped the capital plain to see.SOUNDBITE 1 Tirhas Negash (woman) Nurse (English, 10 sec):"His legacy lives forever, he is man that you can't forget, he is like Martin Luther King and I just love him so much."SOUNDBITE 2 Bayam Tsegaye (man) Student (English, 8 sec):"He was one of the greatest leaders of all time from Africa. He was like a father, a role model."On Sunday, leaders from around the world will come to Addis for his funeral. Presidents and prime ministers will join thousands of others in celebrating the life of a man who ruled over Ethiopia for 20 years, after he toppled the regime of dictator Mengistu Hailemariam in 1991.Despite criticism from human rights groups, Meles was seen as a safe pair of hands by western governments in a volatile region.After his death, there were fears Ethiopia could become unstable itself. But a government spokesman says that won't happen.After the funeral, the deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will be sworn into power.SOUNDBITE 3 Dina Mufti (man) Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English, 18 sec):"We don't anticipate any change in both domestic and foreign policies, because the policies have been fruitful, it has worked, they have yielded results therefore there is no need to change these policies. They have to continue."Meles will be buried in the same church as Ethiopia's last emperor, Haile Selassie, who was killed in 1975. (But) the funeral will start on Sunday morning in the city's main square, where thousands have gathered for candle light vigils for the past few evenings. And although his burial will signify the end of a period of mourning, he is unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon.SHOTLIST:All images filmed on August 31, 2012, except interview with Dina Mufti, shot on August 23, 2012 , SOURCE: AFPTV Various images of mourners at the Prime Minsters PalaceSOUNDBITE 1 Tirhas Negash (woman) Nurse (English, 10 sec):SOUNDBITE 2 Bayam Tsegaye (man) Student (English, 8 sec):Further images of mourners at the palaceSOUNDBITE 3 Dina Mufti (man) Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English, 18 sec):Various images of mourners at Mescal square at a candlelight vigil

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