Ethiopia lost its former president, Sorghum Girma Wolde-Girorgis, on 15 December and laid his body to rest on the afternoon of December 19. The funeral which was concluded on the officially declared national mourning day was made using the military. Ethiopia’s flag flew half-staff on the day of the funeral.
Including Abey Ahmed (Ph.D.) and the first lady, various top government officials, diplomats, representatives of international and regional organizations were present at the funeral at St. Trinity Cathedral Church at 3 pm. The two former presidents, Mulatu Teshome (Ph.D.) and Negasso Gidada (Ph.D.) were present.
Girma Wolde-Girorgis, who died at 92, served the nation as the head of state for 12 years before finalizing his five year terms. EPDRF elected him at the age of 77 on Monday, October 8, 2001.
Girma was charming and outgoing; many say he was easy to converse with. Even though no official statements came out from the government at the moment, just four days since taking his seat as the head of state, he was admitted to the Defence Force Hospital for what appeared to have been a serious medical problem which was said to be related with age.
He had a colorful career in the government. In 1941, he was enlisted at the Ethiopian Military Radio Communication set up by the U.K. Then in 1944, he graduated from the Oletta Military School as a Sub-Lieutenant and after a couple of years joined the Air Force and took various Air Management courses, later becoming an assistant teacher in Air Navigation and Flight Control.
In 1955, he became the head of Civil Aviation of the Federal Government of Eritrea which at the time was federated. After that, he assumed the post of Director General of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and Board member of Ethiopian Airlines in
- Then in 1961, he became a member of the lower house (Chamber of Deputies) of the Imperial Ethiopian Parliament.
He served as Deputy Commissioner of the peace program drawn up in 1977 by the provisional government of Ethiopia (Derg) to settle the Eritrean problem peacefully. In 2000, Girma became a member of the House of Peoples’ Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) after winning in the Becho Woreda constituency in the west Shewa Zone of the Oromia Region as an independent candidate. (Capital Ethiopia)