Flags at half mast to mourn Alemayehu Atomssa

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Addis Ababa, 7 March 2014 (WIC) – House of Peoples’ Representatives has declared for national and regional flags at all government institutions to fly at half mast as of today March 7, 2014 to mourn the passing of Alemayehu Atomssa.
The former President of Oromia Regional State and Chairman of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) died of his recurring illness at the age of 45 on Thursday.
Alemayehu, who is survived by his wife and three kids, has been receiving medical attention at Bangkok, Thailand since February 16, 2014.
A plane carrying the body of Alemayehu, who is hailed for his unrelenting stance on corrupt and rent-seeking practices, arrived in Addis Ababa late Thursday night.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, President Mulatu Teshome, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and other senior government officials and grieving family members and relatives were present at Bole International Airport.
The funeral of the late Alemayehu will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014. A memorial service is expected to be held both at his residence in Addis Ababa and at the Addis Ababa Stadium before his body is laid to rest at Holy Trinity Cathedral Saturday afternoon.
Alemayehu joined the struggle to overthrow Derg regime in 1989. Three years later, the struggle succeeded in ending the 17-year dictatorial rule of the regime. Alemayehu has been serving his country and Oromia region in various positions ever since.
Born in Bilo Boshe wereda of eastern Wollega zone of Oromia Regional State, Alemayehu was elected chairman of OPDO in June 2010 and became president of Oromia region in September that year.
Shortly after his elevation to these political heights, he was struck by illness which forced him to seek continuous medical attention. However, Alemayehu continued to serve the nation until his resignation on February 17, 2014.   
Following his resignation, the party elected Muktar Kadir, Civil Service Minister and good governance reform cluster coordinator with the rank of deputy prime minister, to be the next chairman of the OPDO.