ETHIOPIA: Massacre in the Night

In the hours around midnight, soldiers kept arriving at the stone-walled Akaki prison with truckload after truckload of prisoners. There were repeated bursts of machine-gun fire. Only the next morning did the stunned citizens of Addis Ababa hear the radio announcement that the ruling Provisional Military Council, after nine months of relative moderation, had summarily executed 59 members of the regime of deposed Emperor Haile Selassie. "My God," said a Western diplomat in the Ethiopian capital, "they've wiped out the old aristocracy in a single stroke."

The death list included two former...

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