Monday, February 02, 2004

Ethiopia: members of deposed regime ask for forgiveness

Thirty three former government officials on trial for genocide have asked Ethiopia's people to forgive them for crimes they committed during the former regime of exiled dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.

"We, the few who are being tried for what had happened, realise that it is time to beg the Ethiopian public for their pardon for the mistakes done knowingly, or unknowingly," they said in a letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, published on Sunday by Ethiopia's Reporter.

"We are the people who remain from the regime, our actions had the support of the majority of the people who benefitted, while we believed it was also the cause of the civil war that has consumed the life of the people and destroyed property," the letter said.

..."Even though we were the sworn servants of the regime of the emperor to protect it, when the people showed their dissatisfaction against the regime, we decided to side with them, instead of protecting it," it added. (article)
It reads kinda wonky to me. Either the translation isn't that great ... or the original is wonky. Will continue searching for another translation or the full-text.