The Ethiopian Red Terror, or Qey Shibir … was a violent political campaign in Ethiopia and Eritrea that most visibly took place after Communist Mengistu Haile Mariam achieved control of the Derg, the military junta, on 3 February 1977.
It is estimated that between 30,000 and 500,000 people were killed over the course of the Red Terror. …
Mengistu was found guilty of genocide in absentia and was sentenced to life in prison in January 2007. After his conviction, Zimbabwe, where he received sanctuary due to friendship with Robert Mugabe, said it would not extradite him. …
The Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum in Addis is the #1 tourist attraction.
The museum is well laid out and incredibly moving. Nothing more so than the walls of photos and names of just some of the estimated half a million killed under the Derg, or the display cabinets filled with human remains dug out of mass graves. Some of the skulls and other bones are displayed alongside a photo of the victim and personal artefacts they had on them when they died. …
There’s very little reason, aside from this museum, for tourists to spend many days in Addis Ababa. It’s a dusty construction nightmare right now.
I’d like to return some day, but only after the new Addis Ababa Light Rail opens.
Even more ambitious is the new Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam. Ethiopia’s Nile dam project signals its intention to become an African power.
I wish them luck.