Haile Salassie

In Ethiopia, Mengistu Haile Mariam
overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974 and assumed power.
The ailing emperor was suffocated with a wet pillow,
and his body was buried in an unmarked grave.


In 1984, while thousands of Ethiopians were starving to death,
Mengistu spent $200 million to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Soviet imperialism.
Ten million dollars were spent to redecorate
the statues of Marx, Engels, and Lenin
in Addis Ababa, the capital.

I was in Ethiopia last summer, July 2006, on the way back from Rwanda, and spent one full day in Addis Ababa. Our taxi driver became our guide. See OUT OF AFRICA.

He spoke proudly of Emperor Haile Selassie for eliminating the rule of the feudal lords and giving democracy to the people and for defeating the Italians when they tried to colonize Ethiopia. Above is a photo of Haile Selassie's throne which is on display in the Ethiopian National Museum.

SalassieJFKvisit SalassieGraveJFK

I told him that Emperor Selassie had gone to the United States for President Kennedy's funeral and had made a huge hit with his children while visiting the USA two months before JFK's assassination. See JFK & ETHIOPIA'S EMPEROR

Later in the day our driver told us that his father had been arrested - and never returned - after Mengistu seized power in the 70s. He said life was terrible under Communism and he was glad when it was thrown out, but the present government is tyrannical too.

I wonder what he's thinking about Ethiopia's troops in Somalia. He'd probably prefer they go after Mugabe in Zimbabwe for giving asylum to Mengistu, the tyrant who murdered Haile Selassie and has been found guilty of committing genocide on his people.

Profile: Mengistu Haile Mariam (He was sent for advanced training to the United States. There, he became anti-American, sympathising with the American black nationalist movement. It was also in the US that his Stalinist philosophy took shape. In 1971, he returned to Ethiopia. Six years later, he was in charge of the country...)

Mengistu is handed life sentence (After his conviction, Zimbabwe said it would not extradite him and many fear he will never face justice). BBC, Jan 17, 2007

The following passages from a book I own describe life in Ethiopia since the overthrow of Haile Selassie.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Africa Betrayed, by George Ayittey
Chapter 5: Indigenous Africa After Independence

pages 107-108:

...In Ethiopia, Mengistu Haile Mariam overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974 and assumed power. The ailing emperor was suffocated with a wet pillow, and his body was buried in an unmarked grave. Scores of his relatives were murdered or chained to walls in the cellars of the imperial palace. Thousands of suspected counterrevolutionaries were gunned down in the streets. More than 30,000 people were jailed. When a member of his own junta questioned the wisdom of such terror tactics, Mengistu shot him in the head. In March 1975 Mengistu nationalized all land under the Land Reform Act. He instituted a villagization program in which he proposed moving 34 million people (roughly 75 percent of the total population of Ethiopia) into state-controlled communes, guarded by the army -- 300,000 strong and the largest in Africa. Since 1977 the Soviet Union has poured over $11 billion worth of arms into Ethiopia, largely on credit. Much of the Soviet military hardware was used to carry out indiscriminate bombings, shellings, and slaughter of civilians. Even famine relief centers in the north and along the Sudan border were bombed and burned.

Villagization was touted as necessary "to move the population away from areas where the soil was degraded to combat the erosion of agricultural land. In addition, resettlement was to provide new opportunities to people in areas affected by drought and to those in highly crowded areas where landholdings were shrinking." An Ethiopian government official asserted: "It is our duty to move the peasants if they are too stupid to move by themselves (quoted in Time, Aug 4, 1986). True, soil erosion and land degradation were problems. But the measures the Mengistu government took to solve those problems were more damaging than the peasants' "stupidity". Dr. Aradom Tedla, former directer general of the Ministry of Law and Justice, pointed out: "The Mengistu Government is one that is systematically oppressing religion, denying starving Ethiopians food, brutally relocating and 'villagizing' millions of people, and persecuting political suspects through false trials -- which mete out death sentences and long prison terms indiscriminately.

Even if relocation was necessary, conditions in the government camps were poor and unsanitary and resulted in the deaths of more than 150,000 Ethiopians. Once in the cooperatives, peasants were forced to walk as far as five miles to and from the fields every day at gunpoint. They were ordered to turn over all their produce to the state and to attend indoctrination seminars that praised the Mengistu government. In February 1988, when drought victims refused to participate in the government resettlement program in the northern town of Korem, Ethiopian troops opened fire on thousands, killing at least 20 (Wall Street Journal, Feb 12, 1988). More insidious was the fact that the real goal of the resettlement program was to eradiate the indigenous power bases of the chiefs or traditional rulers that Mengistu perceived as a threat to his power. Those who opposed Mengistu were either shot or starved into submission. Food became a weapon. Villages that opposed Mengistu were either starved or destroyed. In 1984, while thousands of Ethiopians were starving to death, Mengistu spent $200 million to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Soviet imperialism. As children died, Mengistu and his army were consuming Scotch whisky, crates of caviar, salmon, lobster, and French champagne. Ten million dollars were spent to redecorate the statues of Marx, Engels, and Lenin in Addis Ababa, the capital.

In 1986 Mengistu declared: "We are now on the threshold of the formation of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The constitution was drafted by representatives of the people themselves. It has been submitted to all Ethiopian citizens including those living abroad, and will be promulgated after it is put to a referendum. Such democratic participation is unparalleled in the history of Ethiopia. Once the constitution assumes its final shape, Ethiopia will never again be ruled by the personal absolutism of any one individual or a handful of individuals." (Time, Aug 4, 1986).

Mengistu, of course, never saw the "personal absolutism" of his own rule. In Addis Ababa an arch that led to Revolution Square proclaimed: "The victory of socialism is inevitable!" If this was what African leaders such as Mengistu meant by socialism, it provided a disgraceful commentary on the calibre of their leadership.

The failure of Marxist-Leninism was inevitable in Ethiopia since the ideology is alien to Africa. Under siege from a coalition of rag-tag-rebels, Comrade Mengistu fled Ethiopia on May 22, 1991 to Zimbabwe. Irate citizens chanting "Mengistu Thief, Lenin Thief!" stomped on a smashed statue of Lenin that once graced the capital, Addis Ababa...

pages 145-146

...In Ethiopia on May 12, 1988, President Mengistu Haile-Mariam's army entered the town of She-eb in northeastern Eritrea and rounded up about 400 men, women and children, including the elderly, the disabled, and the blind. Accusing them of collaborating with the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, the soldiers drove two tanks over the people and fired machine guns at those trying to escape. According to New African: "Eighty thousand people escaped from She-eb that day. All the shops were looted and burned by the Ethiopian army, who also slaughtered 10,000 sheep, goats, cattle and camels, putting some of the carcases down the town's only well, thus polluting it forever".

These brutalities drew a protest from Goshu Wolode, Ethiopia's foreign minister: "I cannot, in good conscience, continue to serve a government whose shortsightedness and rigidly doctrinaire policies are leading the country and the people into misery and destruction . . . I have watched with helplessness as my country slipped further and further into authoritarianism and absolute dictatorship." He subsequently defected....

Ethiopia is in a state of emergency. The tyrannical government must go, by Alemante Gebre-Selassie, The Guardian, Oct 12, 2016
...The country's deadly protests stem from ethnic division, endemic corruption and high youth unemployment. The world must support calls for a new government... The TPLF-government has to be held to account. The donor communities, particularly the UK, the US and the EU, should stand with the Ethiopian people by ceasing all military, financial and diplomatic support to the tyrannical government, supporting instead the opposition's call for an all-inclusive transitional process to replace the current government.

Haile Selassie of Ethiopia Dies at 83, August 28, 1975
Preserving Progress, by Alden Whitman... The combination of circumstances that led to Haile Selassie's downfall tended to obscure his accomplishments in leading a largely illiterate, rural and feudal country with 2,000 languages and dialects into the 19th, if not the 20th, century. And it also shadowed his contributions to African unity. An African who met the Emperor at the United Nations Security Council session in Addis Ababa in 1972 summed up a widespread feeling when he said: "Haile Selassie is one of the world's great men. He did a lot for his country and early became a respected voice for Africa and for the third world."...

Haile Selassie I, Emperor, (1892-1975), Biography
... Emperor Haile Selassie worked to modernize Ethiopia for several decades before famine and political opposition forced him from office in 1974.... In February 1974 mutinees broke out in the army over low pay, while a secessionist guerrilla war in Eritrea furthered his problems. Haile Selassie was eventually ousted from power in a coup and kept under house arrest in his palace until his death in 1975. Reports initially circulated claiming that he had died of natural causes, but later evidence revealed that he had probably been strangled to death on the orders of the new government. In 1992 Haile Selassie's remains were discovered, buried under a toilet in the Imperial Palace. In November 2000 the late emperor received a proper burial when his body was laid to rest in Addis Ababa's Trinity Cathedral....

watch This Is Why They Hate Haile Selassie I -- But This Is Why We Love H.I.M!, Another Look CCTV Documentary, June 28, 2014
The pillar of modern Ethiopia. Some information in this documentary does not agree with our sources. None the less this is a valuable gem if you pay attention there is a lot of information that has previously not been told at least in documentary form....


OUT OF AFRICA (souvenirs from day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Jackie Jura, July 2006):

EthiopiaBook EthiopiaBkSelassie EthiopiaBkTitle SelassieYoung SelassieEmperor

EthiopiaBkPg136 EthiopiaBkPg138

BibleHolder BibleHolderBook SelassieSpirituality

12.Ministry of Peace (War) and 7.Systems of Thought

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com