Mengistu Neway

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Mengistu Neway

Mengistu Neway (1919 – 30 March 1961) was the commander of the Ethiopian Imperial Bodyguard during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. He is noted for being one of the early dissidents of the Emperor's regime and for organizing the 1960 coup attempt with his younger brother Germame.


  • I will not appeal your decision. You have already denied me justice by not letting me have a proper defense in this trial. I have done what you say, but I am not guilty. Ethiopia has been standing still, while our African brothers are moving ahead in the struggle to overcome poverty. What I did was in the best interests of my country.
    • As quoted by Donald Levine, Haile Selassie's Ethiopia: Myth or Reality?, Africa Today, May 1961
  • I must die so as to see again those who died before, and to tell them the seed we sowed has taken root.
    • March 30, 1961, as quoted in Edmund J. Keller (1991) Revolutionary Ethiopia: From Empire to People's Republic, Indiana University Press, page 131
  • If I wanted, I could have changed cars on a daily basis. I could drink selected French Champagne everyday. When thousands of people would queue-up to enter the grounds of the Imperial Palace I had unfettered access to the Emperor. I chose to forfeit these privileges and opportunities and decided to free my people and country from darkness, poverty and underdevelopment. I had no other ambition.
    • As quoted by Dr. Yacob Haile-Mariam (January 2007) Open Letter to the People of Ethiopia and the Judges

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