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Mengistu Haile Mariam (መንግስቱ ኃይለ ማርያም, pronounced [mənɡɨstu haylə maryam]) (born 21 May 1937) is a politician who was formerly the most prominent officer of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991. He oversaw the Ethiopian Red Terror of 1977–1978, a campaign of repression against the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party and other anti-Derg factions. Mengistu fled to Zimbabwe in 1991 at the conclusion of the Ethiopian Civil War, and remains there despite an Ethiopian court verdict finding him guilty in absentia of genocide.
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