Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ethiopians remember Red Terror victims

Thousands of people gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Sunday for a ceremony honoring the victims of the Red Terror on the anniversary of the overthrow in 1991 of former dictator Haile Mengistu Miriam. The ceremony was not only for remembrance, but offered a final, proper burial for the remains of Mengistu's victims found scattered in mass graves across the country. Some 150,000 were murdered in cold blood by Mengistu's senseless Red Terror campaign, with countless more starved to death in a famine deliberately exacerbated by the Mengistu regime.

Mengistu, for his part, remains a guest of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, surviving on a comfortable Zimbabwean pension in a government supplied estate. Predictably, Mugabe has refused every Ethiopian demand for extradition of his honored guest, even though (or perhaps because?) Mengistu is one of Africa's most notorious mass murderers. For his part, Mengistu is completely unrepentant, and used the "you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs" argument in defense of the Red Terror.

"The so called 'genocide' was this war in defense of the revolution."
- Haile Mengistu Meriam

Without a defendant, Ethiopia was forced to try Mengistu in absentia, where he was duly convicted on charges of genocide, murder, illegal imprisonment and theft along with his other associates in his government. However, in the increasingly likely event that the 83 year old Mugabe dies or falls from power, Mengistu will have nowhere left to hide, and who knows? The mourners in Addis Ababa may get something more tangible for their grief than some reburied remains; they might just get Mengistu back in Ethiopia for a date with the gallows.

1 comment:

ambi said...

Good day to you all

I would like to send my sympathy for all who have to go through this atrocious massacre which claimed the lives of thousands of Ethiopians.

I was just wondering if someone could tell me of the measures that the Ethiopian government has done in terms of bringing justice to the victim's family aside from the trial that were being held at different levels of the courts in the country and the now move towards constructing of monuments. What I am specifically inquiring about is has the Ethiopian government ever used other models like reconciliation or truth finding to address such a concern?