Legesse Asfaw Dies

January 26 , 2019


Legesse Asfaw Dies


A former senior government official under Mengistu Hailemariam (Col.), Legesse Asfaw, has died today while under the medical care of the Korean Hospital, in Addis Abeba. He was admitted to the hospital three days ago, according to people close to his family.

Legesse was one of the 120 founders of the Dergue that ousted the Imperial regime in the mid-1970s. A close ally of Mengistu, he was in charge of organizational and administration affairs of the junta and later on the Workers Party of Ethiopia (WPE).


He was also assigned as a military administrator of the Tigray region when the rebels, the TPLF, made advances to the regional capital in the late 1980s. He was accused of ordering the bombardment of civilians crowded in a market, Hawzen, in the Tigray region.

Along with many members of the Dergue, he was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death, a court ruling that was never carried out. He was pardoned and released subsequently after spending over two decades in prison. Legesse ran a bakery and dairy farm in the later years of his life. His funeral will be held tomorrow, Sunday, January 27 at the Trinity Cathedral.


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