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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mystery As Mengistu Moved from Harare Home

newzimbabwe.com -- ETHIOPIA’s former military dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, has abandoned his Harare home in the plush suburb of Gunhill and is now living in Kariba, near the Zambian border.

Mengistu -- wanted for war crimes in Ethiopia -- lives in Zimbabwe as a guest of President Robert Mugabe.

Intelligence sources said Thursday that Mengistu left Harare sometime in July and has not set foot at his Highlands home.

It was not clear whether the man who once ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist had decided to live in Kariba permanently.

“Mengistu left Harare some time in July. He is living at a private residence in Kariba. The move is a security measure. Once in a while he visits Harare as he has acquired a stake in a local wholesale company which is based in the capital,” said the source.

A former colonel in the army, Mengistu fled to Zimbabwe in 1991 following his ouster by rebel forces in a country he ruled with an iron fist after the 1974 assassination of emperor Haile Sellassie.

Thousands of people were murdered during his rule commonly referred to as the “Red Terror”.

In 1995, he survived an attempt on his life .His would be assassin, an Ethiopian, was shot and wounded by Mengistu’s bodyguards and the police protection unit.

At the time, the Ethiopian government denied any involvement in the
assassination attempt.

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