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Mengistu Haile Mariam on South Sudan leaders

Author : Daniel Danis | Published: Monday, February 9, 2015

The former Ethiopian President, Mengistu Haile Mariam is calling on the leaders of the SPLM to reunite and build South Sudan based on the principles of democracy and liberty for all.

Mengistu was President of Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991.

He was instrumental in supporting dissidents of the Sudanese army in the 1970s.

The Anyanya 1 and 2 soldiers were allowed by Mengistu to set up their bases in Ethiopia.

When the SPLM/SPLA was formed in 1983, Dr. John Garang established another training camp for mutineers of the Sudanese army in Ethiopia.

President Mengistu helped the SPLM/SPLA with soliciting funds and weapons in their fight against Sudanese President Jaffer Numeri.

Mengistu and Dr. Garang also send thousands of South Sudanese and Nuba officers for military training and education to Cuba, who was then an ally to Mengistu’s regime.

24 years after being deposed from power in 1991 in Ethiopia, President Mengistu made an appeal to South Sudanese leaders.

He gave an interview to the Australian based SBS radio-Dinka program.

President Mengistu expressed disappointment over the Mid-December incident which he says stems from the system of governance applied by the SPLM since independence.

“We were hoping that South Sudan is a rich country –naturally you have good soil, oil, gold –you have almost everything. So you need peace and time in order to build that country,” he said.

“That country will be a very strong country in our continent. But hearing of fighting against each other and destroying everything, fighting by narrow-nationalist course – for me, is a shame, I can say.”

President Mengistu says the leaders of South Sudan must unite under its initial liberation ideas.

He said the SPLM ideology of justice, liberty and prosperity should be the cornerstone of developing South Sudan.

“They must be united, they must be Southerners, and they must build their new independent country. They have to bring their people to a big standard of living instead of fighting. They must build the New Sudan.”

President Mengistu Haile Mariam is currently living in Harare, Zimbabwe were he sought asylum after he was overthrown by former Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in 1991.

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