APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Ethiopia on Sunday inaugurated the “Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum” for victims of the “red terror” in the 1970s under the former military regime.
The “red terror” campaign is reported to have claimed thousands of lives during the regime of the former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam who is now in exile in Zimbabwe since his over throw in 1991.
Families of the victims and survivors as well as government officials attended the inauguration of the museum located in the centre of Addis Ababa.
The museum, built through the contribution of over $ 1 million from the public and business people, took three years to be completed and is quite similar to the Rwandan Genocide Memorial museum.
The museum was built to remember those who were killed by the former regime because of their political stand against the government.
The museum comprises various photos of those who were killed, and documents remembering the time during which thousands were killed in various prisons and in the streets of the country.
Newspapers that wrote about the campaign, as well as belongings of the victims are also in the museum.
Ayne Tsige, chairman of the organising committee said that the museum will be open to the public to let them know the country’s past political history.
According to available information, around 100,000 people, a majority of whom were youths and students, were killed during the ‘red terror’ campaign under Mengistu’s orders.
However, Mengistu has denied that he was behind this mass killing.
An Ethiopian court sentenced him a couple of years ago to death along with other military officials for the charges of genocide.
The current government and families of the victims want Mengistu to be extradited to Ethiopia and tried for his crimes.
However, Zimbabwe has so far refused to extradite him.