For months, Ethiopia’s long-reigning leader has been promising to “bury” the person who is believed to have assassinated his close ally, Hailemariam Desalegn.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Melese Alemu dismissed criticism of Hailemariam’s pledge as “hysteria” on Wednesday after footage emerged of him recently addressing a rally.
On March 29, Ethiopia’s 79-year-old Emperor Haile Selassie, whom Ethiopia’s current leaders are canonizing, died at a hospital near the city of Bishoftu in the Red Sea region.
He was 90 when he died of pneumonia, though it is not yet known how old he was when he was assassinated by an exiled oppositionist in 1977. Hailemariam was 49 at the time of the bombing.
Last week, after Hailemariam’s close ally Hailemariam Desalegn was killed in a hotel bombing, he vowed to “bury” the man believed to have killed him.
“I promise you that we will visit you at the very site of the crime, and … we will bury you at the very place where you were taken,” Hailemariam said. “We will do this if there is no security in which to carry out this work.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.