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Harare Rebuffs Call to Extradite Ethiopia's Mengistu

  • Ashenafi Abedje
  • Ndimyake Mwakalyelye

The Zimbabwean government has rejected calls for the extradition of former Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Mariam, who lives in Harare, to face trial in his homeland.

The latest call for Mengistu’s extradition came from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change faction led by MDC founding President Morgan Tsvangirai. It has urged President Robert Mugabe to follow the example of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who handed over former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor for trial.

Voice of America reporter Ashenafi Abedje asked Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya about Mengistu’s current status in Zimbabwe.

Some observers question Harare’s statement that Ethiopia has not officially requested Mengistu’s extradition. Southern Africa advisor Gugulethu Moyo of the International Bar Association in London says Zimbabwe’s 1999 refusal to hand over Mengistu obliged Ethiopia to initiate diplomatic efforts with South Ffrica to try to bring the former dictator to trial on charges of genocide and torture, among others.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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