Zimbabwe should extradite Ethiopian dictator Mengistu

Monday December 18 2017

Zimbabwe has said it will not force former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam to return home despite the fall of his ally Robert Mugabe.

However, the Zimbabwean opposition has revisited the issue of the asylum given to Mengistu, whose brutal reign left thousands of Ethiopians dead.

The push by the opposition should reawaken Africa to re-examine itself and its sincerity when it comes to why dictators who left behind a trail of suffering in their countries should be protected and allowed to lead a comfortable life in exile.

Mengistu fled in 1991 and has been shielded by Mugabe even after he was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia.


Why President Emmerson Mnangagwa is shielding the dictator is astounding.

Hiding behind the lame excuse that Ethiopia is not demanding Mengistu’s return is absurd. The fact that his country convicted him is sufficient evidence that Zimbabwe continues being his accomplice as long as he lives in that country.

African leaders apply double standards. Some former presidents who fled their countries have been handed over to face justice by their host countries. Let the new Zimbabwean regime hand over this man to face his compatriots.

Mnangagwa will claim a place in history by doing justice to Ethiopians.

DAVID M. KIGO, Nairobi.