Mengistu safe in Zimbabwe - official

(AFP)Harare - Zimbabwe has praised former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam for helping to free Zimbabwe, and has ruled out extraditing him after his conviction this week for genocide.
"As a comrade of our struggle, Comrade Mengistu and his government played a key and commendable role during our struggle for independence and no one can dispute that," William Nhara, a spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe's government, said yesterday.
"The judgment is an Ethiopian one and will not affect his status in Zimbabwe.
"As far as we know there is no extradition treaty between Harare and Addis Ababa."
An Ethiopian court on Tuesday found Mengistu guilty in his absence of genocide for atrocities committed under his Marxist regime, after a 12-year trial. Mengistu, who was ousted in 1991 and went into exile in Zimbabwe, faces the death penalty.
Nhara said Mengistu had helped to train Zimbabwean guerrillas in Ethiopia and provided arms during the war against British colonial rule which culminated in the country's independence in 1980.
"After independence Comrade Mengistu's government provided training for our air force pilots, and not many countries have shown such commitment to us." - Sapa-AFP

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at10:28 PM


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