Lieutenant-colonelMengistu Haile-mariam was a popular army officer in Ethiopia who turned to be the most prominent officer of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and installed as ruler of Ethiopia following the country's 1974 revolution.
He remained in power for seventeen years, and his attempt to mold the country into a Soviet-style socialist paradise plunged it into a brutal reign of terror instead. Ethiopia's government-sanctioned campaign of political repression resulted in an estimated 150,000 deaths, and Mengistu became known as "the Butcher of Addis Ababa" for it.
In 1980 Mengistu announced the formation of the Committee to Form the Party of the Workers of Ethiopia, with himself as chair.
Four years later a full-fledged Party of the Workers of Ethiopia was established, modeled on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and again Mengistu was its chief.
Fifteen years after his 1991 flight into exile, he was tried in absentia and found guilty of genocide. He remains in Zimbabwe, in a walled compound, but the legacy of the long and bloody rule under his leadership remain poignant in Ethiopian history.
Despite arguments have continued about Mengistu's flee to Zimabwe, however, there are people who still believe he is a lone patriot history showed on the land.
Born in 1937 in Wolayta, Ethiopia; son of a soldier and a domestic.
Family: Married Wubanchi Bishaw; five children.
Education: Graduated from Holeta Military Academy, 1966; received advanced military training in the United States, late 1960s.
Career: Officer with the Ethiopian army, after 1966; head of Ethiopian government, 1974-91; Armed Forces Coordinating Committee (Derg), member, 1974-91, and chair, after July 1974; Provisional Military Administrative Council, first vice chair, 1974-77, and chair, 1977-92; commander in chief of the Ethiopian armed forces, February 1977-May 1991; Workers' Party of Ethiopia, secretary general, 1984-91.
Current Residence: Zimbabwe
(More images and additional inputs: Online sources)