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Message-Id: <199511090510.NAA06915@docker.library.uwa.edu.au>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 13:10:01 +0800 (WST)
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From: Peter Limb <plimb@library.uwa.edu.au>
To: NUAFRICA: Program of African Studies Mailing List <nuafrica@listserv.acns.nwu.edu>
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Message-ID: <951109045533_100563.3237_GHW25-2@CompuServe.COM>

Ethiopian Envoy Denies Link in Plot to Kill Mengistu

PANA, 7 November 1995

HARARE, Zimbabwe (PANA)—Ethiopian ambassador to Zimbabwe Fantahun Haile Michael said Monday here his government had nothing to do with the failed assassination bid on exiled former president Mengistu Haile Mariam.

He told journalists that his government did not believe in such acts and was surprised by the assassination attempt and had only heard about it through the media.

Mengistu fled Ethiopia in May 1991 and sought political asylum in Zimbabwe where he has been living since.

The former tyrant and about 60 former aides are being tried in absentia for allegedly assassinating Emperor Haile Selassie and exterminating thousands of opponents during his rule from 1974 to May 1991.

Like many of you in Zimbabwe my government learnt about this information from the media. We do not believe in such acts. we are handling this matter through the legal channels and according to international laws and norms, said Michael.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the assassination bid.But the sophisticated nature of the plot with weapons fitted with silencers suggested that the would-be assassin might have received high level assistance, intelligence sources said.

The would-be assassin, an Ethiopian, was shot and wounded by Mengistu’s body guards and the police protection unit, in a secluded spot where he lay in ambush near the exiled former president’s home in the elite suburb of Gunhill.

Michael said the incident was of no interest to his government or the people of Ethiopia.

Ethiopians have been clamouring for the return of Mengistu so that he can face trial in his home country.

Michael said the incident would not affect his country’s relations with Zimbabwe.

We will deal with the mengistu issue in a civilised way, he said.