However, the pages book published in US by Tsehay Publisher still is not able to reach local market here in Ethiopia. Therefore, many are wondering, after two decades of exile in Zimbabwe, what Mengistu could possibly would have to say. Those who accessed the book might expect Mengistu to use this opportunity to clarify the crime that surrounds his personality as a former dictator. People might also hope, after almost 20 years away from all the idiocy of his leadership, he might come to his senses and understand what he has done to the country and the people. Of course, knowing his regret and apology for what happened is in the top of many minds.
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Shortly after coming to power, all rural land was nationalized , stripping the Ethiopian Church, the Imperial family and the nobility of all their sizable estates and the bulk of their wealth. All undeveloped urban property and all rental property was also nationalized.
Private businesses such as banks and insurance companies, large retail businesses, etc. All this nationalized property was brought under the administration of large bureaucracies set up to administer them.
Farmers who had once worked on land owned by absentee landlords were now compelled to join collective farms. All agricultural products were no longer to be offered on the free market, but were to be controlled and distributed by the government.
Despite progressive agricultural reforms, under the Derg, agricultural output suffered due to civil war , drought and misguided economic policies.
There was also a famine in , which was the 10th anniversary of the Derg. Moscow said it proved that a backward society could become revolutionary by adopting a Leninist system. It was hailed as a model junior ally that Moscow was eager to support. In the s Ethiopia plunged into greater turmoil and the Soviet system itself was collapsing by Russian commentators had turned scornful of the Ethiopian regime.
According to Gebru Tareke, he ordered those suspected of leading the mutiny "bayoneted as cowardly and counterrevolutionary elements", then had the soldiers regrouped and ordered to recapture Jijiga in simultaneous attacks from the west and north. The Ethiopians recaptured the city on 5 September, but Jijiga remained within range of the Somali artillery, which shelled the city the whole night long.
The next day the Somalis counterattacked, "considerably strengthened and ever more determined", and before he could be encircled inside the city, Mengistu fled back to Adew on the 7th where he boarded a plane back to Addis Ababa. The Somalis broke through Ethiopian lines, recapturing Jijiga on 12 September, and managing to overrun Ethiopian positions past the Marda Pass.
Mengistu became president, with sweeping executive and legislative powers. Due to the doctrine of democratic centralism , he was effectively a dictator. He and the other surviving members of the Derg all retired from the military.
However, even as civilians, they dominated the Politburo of the WPE. This was followed up less than a year later by another crushing defeat at Shire , with over 20, men either killed or captured and the loss of even more equipment. On 16 May , while Mengistu was out of the country for a four-day state visit to East Germany , senior military officials attempted a coup and the Minister of Defense, Haile Giyorgis Habte Mariam , was killed; Mengistu returned within 24 hours and nine generals, including the air force commander and the army chief of staff, died as the coup was crushed.
In a bid to buy more time, Mengistu renounced communism in and began taking steps toward opening the economy. Although Robert Mugabe was removed from power in , no new extradition requests have been submitted. Mengistu left behind almost the entire membership of the original Derg and the WPE leadership. Mengistu has claimed that the takeover of his country resulted from the policies of Mikhail Gorbachev , who in his view allowed the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the termination of its aid to Ethiopia.
An assassination attempt against Mengistu occurred on 4 November , while he was out walking with his wife, Wubanchi Bishaw, near his home in the Gunhill suburb of Harare. They said that they had been tortured under Mengistu, and on appeal their sentences were reduced to two years each due to "mitigatory circumstances". He is said to live in luxurious circumstances, and it is claimed that he advised Mugabe on security matters; according to Zimbabwean intelligence sources, he proposed the idea of clearing slums, which was implemented as Operation Murambatsvina in , and chaired meetings at which the operation was planned.
We also do not allow him to interfere with his country from Zimbabwe. He withdrew the photo after criticism. The charge sheet and evidence list for his crimes was 8, pages long. The evidence against him included signed execution orders, videos of torture sessions and personal testimony.
The court found Mengistu guilty as charged on 12 December , and imposed a life sentence in January They were directed against anybody who was opposing his government, and they were generally much more political than based on any ethnic targeting.
Mengistu himself is alleged to have murdered opponents by garroting or shooting them, saying that he was leading by example. Several former members of the Derg have been sentenced to death.
A Zimbabwean government spokesman explained this by saying that "Mengistu and his government played a key and commendable role during our struggle for independence". According to the spokesman, Mengistu assisted Zimbabwean guerrilla fighters during the Rhodesian Bush War by providing training and arms; after the war he had provided training for Zimbabwean air force pilots.
The spokesman said that "not many countries have shown such commitment to us". Twenty-three of his most senior aides also received death sentences that were commuted on 1 June As of 4 October , 16 of former Mengistu officials have been released from prison on parole, due to their old age and good behavior while incarcerated.
Some months later the first leaked volume was published in the United States, and in the second volume followed. This time it was published in Ethiopia. Mengistu accused the remnants of the EPRP of leaking the first volume to sabotage his publication. Personal life Edit Mengistu married Wubanchi Bishaw in They have a son, Andenet, and daughters, Tigisit and Timihirt.
Woyzero Abebech lost her land that she inherited from Empress Zewditu , whom she had served as an attendant, as well as her husband.
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