Africa: Zimbabwe Hints At Sending Genocide Fugitive Mengistu Home to Ethiopia to Face Justice – but Critics Aren’t Buying It

Is it just more Zanu-PF smoke-and-mirrors and deception? Some suggest it’s meant to deflect criticism that Zimbabwe is harbouring genocidal killers.

Is Ethiopia’s former brutal dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, about to be sent home at last, after three decades of asylum in Zimbabwe, to serve the rest of his life in jail for genocide?

This is the prospect Zimbabwe’s foreign minister, Frederick Shava, seems to have dangled. He told the Voice of America (VOA): “If the people of Ethiopia approach the government of Zimbabwe, appropriate steps will be taken by the government of Zimbabwe in response to the request, to the legitimate request from the government of Ethiopia.”

Shava’s remark has sparked considerable interest and speculation about a possible radical about-turn in Zimbabwe’s policy. After long-time Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was toppled in a military coup in 1974, Mengistu, an army colonel, then seized power in 1977 with the support of the All-Ethiopia Socialist Movement, a Marxist-Leninist group. He ruled Ethiopia with a bloody, iron fist as a one-party Marxist dictatorship until 1991, when he in turn was ousted.

He then fled to Zimbabwe, where his friend and fellow autocrat, President Robert Mugabe, gave him sanctuary and whence the ruling…


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