Here is an assessment from NED’s Democracy Digest, “Ethiopia: Zenawi’s ‘tainted’ authoritarian legacy.”
Kenya’s government has lost a key regional ally. From the Obituaries in the Washington Post:
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who was once hailed as a major U.S. ally against terrorism but whose 21-year rule was tarnished by the killing and jailing of political protesters and a grisly border war with former ally Eritrea, died late Monday while being treated abroad for an undisclosed illness. He was 57.
The death was announced by Ethiopian state television, which said only that Mr. Meles died shortly before midnight after contracting an infection. The government did not specify where he died, and the circumstances of his death were laced with intrigue. . . .
With Ethiopian troops in Somalia just as the process of selecting new Somali leadership is underway, and heightened tension in Ethiopia itself, the region will be anxious as the stability and sustainability of new leadership post-Meles. Meles got along with other rulers and governments in the region, and with the U.S. and China and international institutions, while maintaining a repressive role at home.