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Ally of Former Ethiopian Dictator Sentenced to Death for Genocide


An ally of former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam has been sentenced to death for his role in the killings of more than 900 people during the country's "Red Terror" campaign in the 1970s.

The state-run Ethiopian news agency reports the Federal High Court handed down the sentence Thursday to Melaku Tefera after convicting him of genocide.

The news agency says Melaku was also convicted of shattering the heads of people and then laying their dead bodies on streets for dogs to eat, among other crimes against humanity.

Melaku's conviction and sentencing were part of an 11-year court case brought against some 40 top officials of Colonel Mengistu's regime.

His rule from 1974 to 1991 is considered among the most brutal in Africa's history. An estimated 50,000 people, including students, political figures and members of the middle class, were killed for opposing his regime.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

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