I'm a military man, I did what I did only because my country had to be saved from tribalism and feudalism. If I failed, it was only because I was betrayed. The so-called genocide was nothing more than just a war in defence of the revolution and a system from which all have benefited.— Mengistu Haile Mariam
The most uplifting Mengistu Haile Mariam quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual
In this country, some aristocratic families automatically categorize persons with dark skin, thick lips, and kinky hair as "Barias" [Amharic for slave]... let it be clear to everybody that I shall soon make these ignoramuses stoop and grind corn!
Henceforth we will tackle our enemies that come face to face with us and we will not be stabbed in from behind by internal foes. To this end, we will arm the allies and comrades of the broad masses without giving respite to reactionaries, and avenge the blood of our comrades double - and triple - fold.
Mengistu does not understand the meaning of self-determination, either historically or in the abstract. He cannot conceive of a nation as anything but an absolute centralized authority, totalitarianism, for his rule is nothing less than that now.
From now on you must pray for your people and yourself three times a day.
I am a revolutionary; my life is dedicated to freeing the people.
Everything Mengistu has done since 1977 has been to place himself in a position of uncontestable power. Neither Haile Selassie nor any of the previous emperors had this insatiable thirst for power.
When [Nelson Mandela] was in prison I admired him for his moral strength.
.. Of his period in power I can see few results. Apartheid no longer exists, at least to all appearances, but no one understands what the new government in South Africa is doing.
Mengistu is a barbaric and cruel creature who becomes happy with the death of human beings.
After Mengistu consolidated his power in 1978, his personality gradually began to change. His ability to listen and his patience faded away. We could now see these qualities were pretences only; he had been putting on his best behavior in his bid for support.
One of the fundamental preconditions of successful socialist construction is to ensure the people's readiness to defend themselves from the ravages of probable regional or global wars on the basis of the balance of forces generating from the basic contradictions of our epoch.
Mengistu seemed to symbolize the revolution.
He was the baria, the slave who overthrew the master, the member of the conquered tribe who got even with the conquerors, the poorly educated son of a servant who rose against the intellectual elite.
Ethiopia did not have the same problem [of corruption]. African leaders looked at us with envy.
When we planned our country's economic development, we had the strategic objective of our Revolution in mind. It was not planned for economic development [to be] solely an end in itself. There are some who have forgotten that the sole basis of our revolutionary struggle was the ideology and politics which we follow.
We thought that the proletariat would eventually run the world.
But it is the Americans who have assumed that position... The American people have changed.