The unusual absence of Dictator Meles Zenawi

Where is dictator Meles Zenawi? 

It's been 31 days and counting since Ethiopia's dictator has made a public appearance.  It seems everyone in Ethiopia is asking one question: where is Meles Zenawi? Given that Primer's appearance is the daily staple of state media, this has, understandably, raised speculation that he is seriously ill and perhaps, even, incapacitated.

Yesterday, citing an anonymous source, state-owned Addis Fortune claimed 'Meles is back in Ethiopia.' The report gave no details of his whereabouts or what he's aliment is; nor did it say when the ailing Premier will be back on the job. The entire claim felt as if it was done to calm the fears of regime loyalist; rather than a report based on facts. It is also important to note, Addis Fortune said Meles would be back within a week in early July but that claim never materialized.

Contrary to what the government and its many websites would want the people to believe, no healthy person takes 31 days off for 'exhaustion' at a hospital. Anyone who spends that much time off usually is battling something serious that tends to leave them bedridden and clinging to life.

Not surprisingly, unnamed western diplomats, who have nothing to gain in spreading disinformation, reveled to the Telegraph and AFP news agencies that Meles is in 'critical' condition and 'may not survive.' This seems to be the best explanation for his unusual absence. A person missing for that length of time at a hospital is surely not battling the common cold or exhaustion.

So where is Meles? As they say in Ethiopian politics: there is the opposition's claim, the regime's claim and then there's the truth. If you were to disregard both sides and strictly focus on neutral and credible sources, then your answer would be: Meles is in critical condition in a Brussels' hospital and may not survive.

In any case, Meles' illness has had social networking sites and search engines trending his name. A hashtag called #WhereIsMeles was created to poke fun of the regime's mafia-style silence by tweeting funny one-liners of his whereabouts. Additionally, for several days, Meles was even searched more on Google than Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; who is battling a full-fledged civil war with US-backed rebels.

Crime Minister Meles Zenawi is missing

Dictator Meles Zenawi has not been seen in public for 31 days