Ethiopia: In Comparison to Mengistu Mugabe Ain’t Africa’s Worst
Published by November 19th, 2017
A tyrant and a bungler but Robert Mugabe falls short of Africa’s worst
Among older Africans Robert Mugabe is still held in considerable, though dwindling respect.
Twenty years ago he was seen as the symbol of Africa’s liberation from colonialism, the man who fought a guerrilla war against white minority rule and won.
That respect lingered throughout his rule, making it hard for Britain or the European Union to persuade Zimbabwe’s neighbours or the African Union to support sanctions against him.
His overthrow has divided the continent. Some younger African leaders salute the end of a regime that has bankrupted Zimbabwe, but not a few autocrats see a dangerous precedent, and are underlining the African Union’s condemnation of any coup…
Despite recent excesses, economic misrule and the shameful massacre of 20,000 civilians in Matabeleland at the start of his rule, Mr Mugabe will not go down as the worst of African leaders.
Uganda was more swiftly and more comprehensively ruined by Idi Amin, who murdered 300,000 people and fed some opponents — including his foreign minister — to the crocodiles…Other tyrants included Francisco Macias Nguema, first president of Equatorial Guinea, who had a huge collection of human skulls in his mansion and replaced crucifixes in churches with his own image. He abolished all education in 1974, executed and maimed civil servants, and on his overthrow tried to flee with the entire paper currency of the country in a suitcase.
Equally brutal was [Mengistu Haile Mariam], a Russian-trained Marxist who overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in 1974 and had him murdered and buried beneath a lavatory a year later. He executed thousands of political opponents and brought about mass starvation in 1983-85 with his Marxist economic policies.
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