(NEW YORK) -- Ethiopia’s long-time prime minister, Meles Zenawi, died Monday night from an undisclosed illness, state media reported. He was 57.
Under Meles' more than two decades in power, Ethiopia attracted millions of dollars in international development aid and foreign business investment along with making significant strides toward reducing poverty.
Meles was seen as an ally to Western governments concerned about the spread of terrorism in the Horn of Africa. His death has sparked some worry about stability in Ethiopia, which has become an important security partner to the United States.
But human rights and democracy activists criticized Meles for his efforts to maintain strict control of the country. They say he refused to allow any dissent with sometimes violent crackdowns, and that he jailed political opponents and journalists.
Funeral arrangements are being made.
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