Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi is ill

Ethiopian Review has learned from reliable sources that the leader of Ethiopia’s ruling tribal junta, Meles Zenawi, is ill and has not been appearing in any official activity for over a week.

According to the sources, Meles was recently in Dubai for medical treatment, but his current whereabouts are not known.

Meanwhile, members of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (Woyanne) are at each others throat over the decision to return the properties of tens of thousands of Eritreans who were illegally deported about 10 years ago. All of the confiscated properties, including houses, businesses, and cars, were distributed among Woyannes after they hunted down Eritreans from every city of Ethiopia, loaded them on trucks and buses, and expelled them.

Last month, the Meles regime, that had ordered the ethnic cleansing of Eritreans, decided to return their properties, causing anger among officials and rank-and-file members of Woyanne who took over most of the houses and businesses belonging to the victims.

Another issue that is currently causing friction inside the Woyanne camp is the question of who will replace Meles Zenawi after June 2010. No one has emerged as a most likely candidate yet, but names that are frequently mentioned include Arkebe Okubai, Tedros Adhanom, and Tsegay Berhe.

Meles is conspicuously silence on this matter, and is not backing any one, according to Ethiopian Review sources. If a consensus candidate doesn’t emerge, it will pave the way for him to be in charge for five more years. The justification will be to keep the party united.