Alemayehu Atomssa laid to rest

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Addis Ababa, 8 March 2014 (WIC) – Alemayehu Atomssa, former president of Oromia region and Chairman of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), laid to rest at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.


The funeral ceremony was attended by family members and senior government officials including President Dr. Mulatu Teshome and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Burial was carried out after priests performed prayers in front of the coffin draped in the national flag and flag of Oromia region and an emblem of OPDO.
Speaker of House of Peoples’ Representatives Abadulla Gemeda and Speaker of House of Federation Kassa Teklebirhan and representatives of various governmental and private organizations laid a wreath of flowers on the grave. 
A memorial service was held at the Addis Ababa Stadium earlier the day. Proceedings started from Alemayehu’s residence in Addis Ababa from where the coffin was escorted by a marching band to the Addis Ababa Stadium.
Thousands of mourners gathered at the stadium where government officials delivered condolence speeches.
Alemayehu died of his recurring illness at the age of 45 on Thursday. He is survived by his wife and four kids.
‘Exemplary martyr’
Alemayehu joined the struggle to overthrow the 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.
In his condolence speech, Hailemariam praised Alemayehu as an ‘exemplary martyr’ for his lifelong service to Oromo people in particular and Ethiopians in general.
“Alemayehu Atomssa was a fighter and a comrade who worked tirelessly till the end for the people of Oromo and Ethiopia,” the prime minister said hailing the roles Alemayehu played to ensure democracy and good governance as well as fight rent seeking practices.
Regional presidents, mayors of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administrations and heads of party affiliates of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) praised Alemayehu’s commitment to bring about equality of all people and his relentless fight against rent seeking activities. All echoed the message ‘a fighter becomes a martyr but the struggle continues’.
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.
House of Peoples’ Representatives yesterday has declared national and regional flags will fly at half mast for three days to mourn the passing of Alemayehu Atomssa.


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.


House of Peoples’ Representatives yesterday has declared national and regional flags will fly at half mast for three days to mourn the passing of Alemayehu Atomssa.

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