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Friday, 26 November, 1999, 23:55 GMT
Ethiopia tells South Africa: Extradite Mengistu



Ethiopia has appealed to South Africa to extradite its former dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, to stand trial for human rights abuses committed during his seventeen-year rule.

Mr Mengistu, who fled to Zimbabwe in 1991, is visiting South Africa to receive treatment for a heart complaint.

Although Ethiopia has no formal extradition treaty with South Africa, an Ethiopian government spokesman told Reuter news agency it would not be just to let a man such as Mr Mengistu go free.

He is currently being tried in absentia in Addis Ababa on charges including the killing almost two-thousand identified victims. Correspondents say tens of thousands of people were killed during Mr Mengistu's campaign against political rivals.

Hundreds of thousands died during a civil war and famine which ended in the ousting of Mr Mengistu.

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