Italy Shelters Former Ethiopian Leader

Times Wire Services

The Italian Embassy in Addis Ababa has granted refuge to the Ethiopian official who briefly led the country after President Mengistu Haile Mariam fled the country, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The embassy refused demands by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to turn over Tesfaye Gebre-Kidan, Ethiopia's former acting president, saying it would shelter him until it receives formal guarantees that he would receive a fair and public trial.

Tesfaye and six other members of the fallen government fled to the embassy Monday, on the eve of the EPRDF takeover of the capital.

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