Former Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis laid to rest

20 Dec 2018

Former Ethiopian president H.E. Girma Woldegiorgis died on 14th December 2018, just two weeks short of his 95th birthday.

A state funeral was held in his honour on 19th December at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, in the presence of high-level Ethiopian and foreign dignitaries including Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Speaking at his funeral, broadcast live on television, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde said “Wolde-Giorgis showed the true principles of public service, serving Ethiopia during challenging times over the last several decades, in various capacities.”

A 21-gun salute was fired in his honour during the state funeral.

President Girma was born in Addis Ababa on 28th December 1924 and served as Ethiopia’s president for twelve years between 2001 to 2013. He sustained a long career in public service, close to six decades, spanning multiple governments – from the imperial period, as a military officer, to the current EPRDF government – performing multiple state duties.

President Girma was also a staunch environmentalist who in 1991 founded a local environmental protection association, Lem Ethiopia.

In recent years President Girma had been active in efforts to foster reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea, who declared an end to two decades of hostility in July.

President Girma is survived by his five children.

…Ethiopia mourns

19th December was declared a national day of mourning in memory of the former president. Flags were flown at half-mast all over the country as well as at Ethiopian embassies and missions abroad.

At the Embassy in London, staff held a minute’s silence in remembrance of the former president on 18th December, where the Ambassador outlined the major achievements President Girma will be remembered for.

A book of condolence was also opened to the public on 20th and 21st December. Condolence messages are also being accepted by email at condolences@ethioembassy.org.uk

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