Menilik II & Mandela vs. Mengistu & Meles – By Robele Ababya

16 mins read

By Robele Ababya, 17/12/2013

I would like to start writing this piece with this quote attributed to Sir Isaac Newton in his own right as one of the giants in mathematics and classical physics: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.


This article is not meant to compare historical events that took place a century apart. The piece is merely a tribute to colossus fighters for freedom from oppression in their own times. This approach provided the opportunity to illustrate what attributes Menilik II and Mandela  had in common, such as their reliance on outstanding feats of their heroic ancestors.

The duo are now at their final resting home in heaven leaving behind a laudable legacy that would take the present and future generations forward through the complex world where, as Sir Isaac Newton said: “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”

Menilik II

In the 19th century (1896) Emmye Menilik II won the victory of the Battle of Adwa that put Ethiopia on the world map as an independent country. The victory shocked European powers, which had no choice but recognize Ethiopia as a free and independent country and establish or bolster their diplomatic missions in Addis Ababa. This was an epic achievement by Menilik II that subsequently paved the way for stalwart liberation fighters like Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela et al in the 20th century. Ethiopia under Empeeror Selassieassie, Founder Father of Africa, played a leading role in the fight for the liberation of the African continent. This would have not been impossible without Menilik’s victory in the Battle of Adwa.

Menilik II earned the epic accolade of “Emmye” (Mother) for His magnanimity and exceptional ability to work with His former rivals and foes promoting them to top key positions in His kingdom, irrespective of their ethnic background.  As several prolific Ethiopian writers and prominent scholars have recorded the exceptional qualities of the Monarch, I will only add that He will be remembered as the first to lay down the inspiring foundation in the struggle for the liberation of black people of African origin.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela fought for liberation in his time in the 20th century setting sterling example to African leaders of the 21st century to fight neo-colonialism. Mandela stood for the principle of no group should oppress any other groups as expressed in his famous vow written in these enduring words:  “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination.  I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and [with] equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mandela was crowned with the accolade of one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century in our own time by standing on the shoulders of giants political leaders like Menilik II of Ethiopia – the root of his genesis as framed in his immortal words: “Ethiopia has always held a special place in my own imagination and the prospect of visiting attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African. Meeting the Emperor himself would be like shaking hands with history.”

Read Aloud:   Why Starvation repeats: A perspective on a less spoken cause

Mandela was buried at his birth place of his ancestors having been a victim of man’s inhumanity to man and leaving a colossus legacy of truth-peace-reconciliation as a Founder and first black President of the inclusive Rainbow Nation that is  exemplary  to the world.

By the way, the above quote is a very significant reminder that “The Kingdom of Kush or Kush (1500 BC – 8 BC) was an ancient African kingdom situated on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now the Republic of Sudan and that a part of modern Nubia in Egypt and Sudan, as well as all of Sub-Saharan Africa in general.” My emphasis


Kush originated from the descendants of Noah’s three sons: Japheth, Shem, & Ham who survived the great flood.  Kush is the eldest son of Ham or grandson of Noah. Source: Genesis 7: 13 of the Holy Bible (KJV)


Based on my belief in the Holy Bible, I often ask why in South Africa, and for that matter in our entire world, the descendants of Noah (Japheth, Shem and Ham) live in acrimony that sometimes border on mutual destruction.

Stalinist Mengistu

mengistu_melesMengistu hijacked and turned the peaceful change of 1974 Ethiopian Revolution into a bloody civil war. He got his deputy Atnafu Abate executed in cold blood for genuinely advocating a policy of mixed economy, free media and democracy; this criminal act shocked even the ex-USSR which was supportive of broad-based and inclusive struggle for change as well as normalization of relations with the Western powers; he and most of his accomplices in the Derg dubbed the ex-USSR as revisionist.

Mengistu enticed the nobilities and dignitaries of the Imperial regime by extending an olive branch of “Ethiopia Tikdem Yale Menim Dem” (Ethiopia First without Bloodshed) and then put them in prison subsequently massacring them in cold blood without trial.

He failed stop the state-sponsored Red Terror inspite of the objection of the Kremlin to that effect.

He got General Aman Andom, which reckless action worked to the advantage of the Shaebia. He got B/General Teferi Benti for advocating in public peace and reconciliation with opposition entities, with EPRP in particular. Both Generals aforementioned were Chairman of the Derg under which Mengistu served as their deputy, but in fact as a real mafia leader in power.

Ziade Bare of Somalia took advantage of the massacre of highly experienced officials of the Imperial regime including the irreplaceable Prime Minister Aklilu Haptewold, Lt. General Assefa Ayene and others to invade our country,
Mengistu overturned his own land proclamation of private land of 10 hectares to each peasant and introduced the State and cooperative farming systems, which were on the verge of dying in the ex- USSR.

Read Aloud:   Why Famine is a Permanent Phenomenon in Ethiopia?

It was under Mengistu that an Institute of Nations and Nationalities was established and that the structure of government reflected divisiveness along ethnic lines – a bad omen of things to come which many of his own officials feared.

Mengistu failed miserably to read the writings on the wall demanding reform; for example: he ordered the killing of capable senior officers and generals in the 1989 coup; he reneged on his publicly declared decision to adopt a mixed-economic policy.

Finally, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Mengistu fled the country leaving behind in disarray a huge army equipped with advanced weapons – thus allowing the brutal TPLF regime, which inflicted untold crimes and colossal damages to our national resources in the past 23 years. His sudden flee gave the golden chance to Shaebia and TPLF to loot the military equipment and for the latter to explode  large munitions depot one in Addis  Ababa causing civilian casualties; the latter (Shaebia) used the stolen weapons and munitions in the Ethiopia-Eritrea war of 1998 – 2000.

Stalinist Meles Zenawi

It is noteworthy to recall that the Axumite Kingdom is recorded as controlling Yemen in the 6th century. “Around 523 AD, the Jewish king Dhu Nuwas came to power in Yemen and, announcing that he would kill all the Christians, attacked an Aksumite garrison at Zafar, burning the city’s churches. He then attacked the Christian stronghold of Najran, slaughtering the Christians who would not convert. Emperor Justin I of the Eastern Roman empire requested that his fellow Christian, Emperor Kaleb, help fight the Yemenite king, and around 525, Kaleb invaded and defeated Dhu Nuwas, appointing his Christian follower Sumuafa’ Ashawa’ as his viceroy. “Source: Google & my official visit to SANAA (Yemen) on government business

 Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi


However, Meles downsized the history of Ethiopia to the time of Menilik II deliberately ignoring the glorious history of the Axumite Kingdom.


Meles desecrated the Green-Yellow-Red Ethiopian flag and encouraged the removal of the statute of the Great Victor of Adwa, Menilik II; he deliberately belittled or shunned the achievements of glorious past leaders including Emperors Kaleb, Theodros II, Yohannes IV, and war heroes such as Alula Aba Nega all but  the second in the list hailing from the Tigray region of the present day.

The tyrant finally died leaving us with the legacy of: sellout of Ethiopia’s vital national interests such as active support for the separation of Eritrea; grisly heinous crimes including genocide, victims of torture, incarceration of peaceful protesters en masse; extra judiciary execution of peaceful protesters, the wailing of mothers, the agony of bereaved families, filthy jails in which hundreds of political prisoners are cruelly kept, toiling peasants in serfdom, interethnic hatred, daylight robbery of votes, pervasive corrupt practices, culture of pathological lies, muzzled media, government monopoly of all pillars of democracy, blocked freedom of expression, poor educational standard, forbidden academic freedom in tertiary institutions, a land-locked country, fertile farmland ceded to the Sudan; leasing large chunks of fertile farmlands to unscrupulous foreign investors at tiny prices; massive unemployment largely affecting the youth; demoralized youth addicted to psycho-thermal drugs; abject poverty; embezzlement of national treasure and diverting donor fund;  rampant breach of the constitution; regional instability et al.

Read Aloud:   Zehabesha Daily Ethiopian News June 22, 2018

Excerpt from President Obama’s speech

I would very much like to draw the attention of readers to a part of President Barrack Obama’s speech at the Funeral of Madiba: “And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice.  We, too, must act on behalf of peace.  There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.  There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.”

I say yes, we too Ethiopians must act in earnest in unison especially at this most critical time in our history to save Ethiopia from fragmentation; and to bequeath to our children a united, democratic, strong, prosperous, all-inclusive, tolerant, and caring Ethiopian society governed by a constitution of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Closing remarks

  • The African continent is in quagmire; it is beset by multiple problems including incompetent leadership, dire corruption, rampant youth unemployment, abject poverty, social injustice, moral turpitude, et al. Therefore great leaders of the caliber of Menilik II and Mandela are critically needed to avert donor dependency and/or neo-colonialism
  • I believe that the virtues of truth, peace, and reconciliation were conspicuous by their absence in the lexicon of the brutal Stalinists Mengistu and Meles. Let us not make any attempt to ennoble these criminals
  • I praise the leaders of the G7 “Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy” for their responsible publicly expressed stance to advance the cause of truth, peace and reconciliation subject to genuine measures to be taken by the TPLF/EPRDF regime to establish trust such as by releasing all political prisoners and allowing unfettered freedom of expression. The onus is on the regime to reciprocate positively!!!

I call on the ruling regime to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba, Reeyot Alemu, Leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims et al!






  1. Too biased and rosy Ethiopian history. Minilik has both great accomplishment as well as shortcomings. We have to take notes from both.

  2. Robale!

    What makes Minilik’s killings any different from the ones undertaken by Mengistu and Meles? All of them did to maintain power, in the name of stability and sovereignty.

    Mengistu fairs better in terms of not targeting a specific race. Why are you poking our wounds?

    How about the Arsi oromo who suffered from Minilik’s terror and brutalization by chopping off arms, breasts, and genital? What is the value of their blood? That despicable human being will be remembered for what he is despite you and your likes continuous effort to paint him as a saint. As you keep on praising him, our resentment continues. We will never forget.

    • መች ይሆን ዉሸትን በመደጋገም እዉነት ለማስመስል የማያቆርጥ ጥረት በድንቁርና በጥላቻ በክፋት የግልና የቡድን ጥቅም ለማግኘት ወየም ለመጠበቅ ደንቁሮ ለማደንቆር የምማደረገዉ ዘመቻ የሚቆመዉና ለሠላም ለፍትህ ወንድምና እህት ሁኖ ተከባብሮ ተፈቃቅ በሰብአዊነት ለመኖር ሁኔታዎችን የምናመቻቸዉ?
      ይህ የዉሸት ጋጋታ ወያኔን በተለይ ሻቢያዎቺን የት እንዳደረሰ እያየን ያለነዉ። ዓላማቸዉ ራሳቸዉን ጀለዎቻቸዉን መጥቀም ኢንጂ ተበደለ ተጎዳ የተባለዉን ሕዝብ አይደለም።
      ይህ የአዞ እንባ ቢቀር ኢጂግ በጣም ጥሩና አስፈላጊ ነዉ፤ አንገብጋብና ወቅታዊ ነዉ ሰብአዊነት ለሚሰማዉ ፣ለሰዉ ልጅ በልጽግናና ዕደገት ለምመኘዉ። ኢስቲ ከተከበሩት ማንዴላ እንማር።

    • Sam why do you lie?
      Is it that you are ignorant and politically ambitious, who is saying and writing anything to achieve or just a puppet echoing what your political mentor told you?
      Don’t forget that you’re in 21st Century, think and act accordingly.
      Read what I wrote below -the Amharic comment.

  3. Robele,

    I don’t know how old you are, but I can only guess that you are one of the disappointed remnant of the feudal lords of the 1950s and 1960s. You are a lost soul. We assure you that you will never get to where you are aiming.

  4. Robele,

    I don’t know how old you are, but I can only guess that you are one of the disappointed remnant of the feudal lords of the 1950s and 1960s. You are a lost soul. We assure you that you will never get to where you are aiming. It is hard how even to contemplate how any one with the right mind can compare Mandela and Menelik the butcher. Mandela did not kill any body to liberate his people. Menelik killed tens of thousands to enslave and expropriate the natural resources of the south. You have the gall to compare a Hitlerite with Mandela. These days it has become a fashion for Ethiopianists to raise the dead from their graves to find if they could give them some courage to repeat what they did.
    This action does not take much for the victims for they too have to erect memorials to remember those who perished protecting their family.

  5. I have a great respect for menlik and Mr. mandell who have done a lot for their beloved country. On the same token Mengistu and melesse are the two worst and do nothing leader Ethiopian ever had. King Menelik the best of the best who has brought
    civilization, and courge to all proud Ethiopian.There will be no super great leader Like Kink Menelik. King Menelik Has done Great things for Arsi Oromo more than those two buthers , Mengisu and Meles

  6. what are you smoking men? how do you compare tut qorach , monster minilk with mandela or you just desperate enough to write this in time where minilk is rejected by you the oromo forgot what he has done to them in mid 1880s? you think, people doesn’t know how current Ethiopia is imposed on people? it is just a matter of time truth will fall in to its place, the inforced Ethiopia up on people and Ethiopia of only one ethnic group will be history.. When such time comes, you might be thanking mengistu or meles in your writing.

    • You barked like a dog who, s master sttaked by enemy’s I know you dont know nothing except what you heard from your dicievers like meles zinawi otherwise you are to young to witness those days so many narrow nationalist that rat created and you are one of them you shouldn’t worried about minilik he is not alive any more on the country he left for you to live in.and as long as you are happy living

  7. Robel, it is a very articulate and far sighted article as usual. Way to go!! now, there some of out there who are outraged by this well written piece. You need to get over with it both Mengist and Legese were alike and the same to majority of our people. Ethiopians has suffered a great deal by this treacherous and vicious individuals. thanks god they are both gone for good. One is paying the price in eternal fire and the other one is suffering from amnesia. It is ironic that the former dergues are attempting to surface with different disguise assuming that everything is forgiven and forgottten. No! Mengistu was never any better than of Meles they were the same. Mengistu slaughtered over half million Ethiopians and he need to face a court of law for the crime against humanity. Meles was a street smart and he passed away before he seen all that and I am praying that Mengistu can stay longer to be tried for his brutality. I am also furious and disappointed by the so called ESAT et al. It is not up to me to assume their intent on why they had to decide to interview this fascist. If the purpose is merely a cheap political promiscus to collect fund across the board, Shame on you ESAT and especially those board members who manages the station.

  8. How come Col. Mengestue lost the war with half millions armies ? Now Mengestu is hidding in banana republic of Zimbabwe.

  9. Hello Robele,

    You said Menilik II earned the epic accorlade of “Emmye” (Mother) for his good work. Are you historian or “ye qollo tamari??”. You are wrong . Read historical book written by Chris Prouty what Empress Taytu Betul did against Italian and what Amharas did against Empress Consort of Ethiopian Empire Taytu. He earned this name after Taytu concluded that he was not the man who can fight against Italian. Empress Taytu said to Menilik in Amharic “hinka wused kemissen inna sittegn suriin inne hijje liwagga na lawagga.”
    According to Chris Prouty, Empress Taytu held a hard line against Italians, …, she marched North with… Imperial Army, commanding a force of cannoneers at the historical Battle of Adwa which result in humiliating defeat for Italy in March 1986. Thanks to Empress Taytu who liberated Ethiopian Empire.

  10. To compare the dirty banda tplf/woyane, traitor, murderer who killed Ethiopia and Ethiopians wit the Great nationalist leader like Menelik and Mengistu is not wise. The banda/s shouldb compared with mosolini the fascist italian.

  11. i don’t think so the majority of Ethiopian at present political enviroment needs this kind of divisive individuals idea need. we can’t avoid like any other country Ethiopia is passed those historic movment. the only thing what we learn from this and what we have to do not comparisin one leader to other. i think now a days those the so called elites has to be grow up. i have a question for this writer i read so many of your script and you critise many of them what is your contrbution for that country apart with this divisive script. could you put your mind to bring a positive thinking for this new generation.

  12. If it was not for the battle and victory at Adwa, the black man would have remained a slave for centuries. Until that time blacks /negroes were shackled in chains and driven like cattle to be sold on the market in the era known as the slave trade. Arabs and Europeans used to shift millions of negroes for sale around the middle east and north and south america and europe.

    The victory at Adwa by Menelik was deadly to the white supermacist, racist and fascist Mussollini who used to call black people as savages and animals that needed to be ruled by white men. The victory at Adwa changed world perception about black people.

    The black race gained its place in the world thanks to what Menelik did. There is no one in world history that did anything to change the world history of the black man.

  13. Robele and Robale
    You both mentioned the killings that took place in Arsi and elsewhere by Emeye Menelik. Crying always as victims is OLFites tricks. If you want history, go back to the 16th Century of Oromo migration and you will find out the savagery of the Oromos who have inflicted untold misery across the nation. Your response to this fact is well known: dismissing it as a fabrication of the Amharas. This is fact. Making noise as the only victims of power struggle will not get you anywhere. The Oromos have always been in power in Ethiopian history. Robele and Robale, why do you think the Oromo migration took place? Is it to build bridges and schools and civilize the Amharas?
    Do believe the Oromo migration leaders were carrying Laptops and not spears at the time? Whether you like it or not, Menelik is the reason why, not only Ethiopians but all Black Africans are proud today as he paved the way for blacks to demand and fight for their freedoms. After you read this gather your friends and organise a Rally to demand Saudi Arabians not to kill you because you are not Ethiopians and also are not criminals. Before you demand ” Freedom for Oromia”, learn how to be a human being, have a little bit of humanity. Then learn something from Eritreans who every time they open their mouth, they used to blame Menelik and they betrayed their country now they chose an Eritrian monster who made Eritrea earthly hell. The same fate awaits you. I am not scaring you, instead I am begging you to change your medieval mentality and behave as 21st century human beings. The majority of Ethiopia’s rulers had Oromo origin which means that if atrocities were committed at the time, the Oromos were involved.and you can not point your bloody finger at the Amharas. Who wil forget the savage crimes committed against the innocent Amharas right after TPLF- the master of OLF- took over power., OLF behaded children as old as i year and less in Arba Gugu Water and other areas. And now you have the nerve to tell us the crimes of Emeye Menelik who introduced civilization to this graet country. Menelik was surrounded many heroic Oromos who had a great vision for Ethiopia. But now the great grand children of the great Balcha Abanefso and others are erasing the shining history made by their forefathers. Deal with it; we shall honor and remember Menelik for ever.

    • Thank you, I liked your information for some of us who are ignorant and for those who are waging war against “the so called enemy” to full fill their personal goals.
      However, I would like if you restrain yourself from using any ethnic group that gives way for those who will use to further their divisiveand inhuman agenda.
      In the construction or destruction we all were and are part of it directly or indirectly. But what we need now is getting together to build a brighter future for people and country we love.

  14. Minilik and Mandela are like Haramba and Kobo, no common denominator to bring them on the same page. Minilik shackled millions of non-Amharas and, thanks God, Meles Zenawi unshackled them. Apartheid shackled millions of non-whites in South Africa and Mandela unshackled them. Robale, now you got an idea of how and what to compare? Yes, Bantustanization during apartheid regime! Why don’t you talk about language and ethnic policy instituted after apartheid? Is it because it is similar with that of Ethiopia under Meles? a right denied under Menilek? Rest assured Mandela and Minilk never meet in heaven. Where Minilik is now is a foregone conclusion. Meles could have gone, but he could not because of his brutality in many respects. Mandela may meet Meles on occasions. Otherwise, Mandela and Minilik, healer and killer respectively- will never meet. Robale, keep of halucinating!

    • You weyanes when do you stop this dreaming?
      What ever way you guys trying to get rid of the complex you guys have, by trying build a cult around this embarrassing Melse is not working.
      Get rid off this terrible complex that dragged you guys to war and still you guys unable to overcome it. It is getting uncurable disease like cancer.
      Please work on it to bring peace to everybody.

  15. why u waste your time in comparing un comparable things.none of your people-Minilik,mangistu and Melese did not do good for ethiopia. the bad things the have done in history outweighs than the good things.So no one agrees with your idea.just writting a garbage can conveince the 21st century people. we have full of information about them(minilik,Mengsitu and melsee). foolis guy

    The difference is Menilike oppressed and genocided Oromos, while Mandela free his people.menile sold Dejibuti to France,Eritrea to Italian and Somalia to Brits.

  17. mengistu hailemariam is a brutal fascist who massacred people for the sake of it.

    Meles SATANAWI zenawi was the devil himself in human flesh. This satanic individual was a cold blood murderer who did not blink an eye when he lied and lied and lied.
    He was a hateful, divisive, ethnicist, fascist individual whose hateful nature turned into poison in his blood and killed him in an instant.

  18. ምንሊክና ማንዴላ ተመሳሳይ ባህሪ አላቸው፣ የሀኸውም ምንድን ነው፣ ሁለቱም የነጭን የበላይነት አይቀበሉም፣ማንዴላ በሰላማዊ መንገድ ፣ምንሊክ ደግሞ በትጥቅ ማለት ነው የሰው ዘርን እኩልነት አረጋግጠዋል። ማንዴላ ስልጣን ላይ ሲወጣ ተቀናቃኝ እንደነበረው ሁሉ ለምሳሌ ዙሉዎች እነደሚቀናቀኑት ሁሉ፣ ምንሊክንም እነዲሁ ተቀናቃኝ ነበሩአቸው። ሁለቱም ስልታቸው ነው የሚለያየው አላማቸው አንድ ነው።
    በተመሳሳዩ መለስ ዜናዊና መንግስቱ አንድ ናቸው።የሚለያዩት መንግስቱ ገድሎ ሲፎክር መለስ ደሞ ገሎ የሞተውን አብሮ ያፋልጋል። መንግስቱና መለስ ሁለቱም አብዮታውያን ናቸው።
    ምንሊክና ማንዴላ ላገራቸውና ለጥቁሮች መብት የሞቱ ናቸው
    መለስ ደንግጦ የሞተ ነው
    መንግስቱ በቁሙ የሞተ ነው።

  19. Very well put. Thank you Mr. Ababya for your hard work and well researched article. The historical fats already are on the ground proven and has earned the Emperor Melnilk II a wll deserved respect and achievement all around the world. He came out victorious. This didn’t happen today but decades ago.

    Looking back retroactively the Europeans addmissin to the Italians defeat is a huge factor for the Emperor’s brillians and good governance. He massivlely moved his people together from united ethnic groups with one name, Ethiopians and fought the hard war with great tactics and brillance.

    Monsters, Mengistu and Meles hae aslo left a trail of evil and disloyal evidences. As in those days we still have some disloyals or bandas ( (offspring of bandas) today. As in the case of Meles and Mengisty who are trying to disguise themselves as good Ethiopians but promoting hate, genocide and division with their own falsely created tail.

  20. Thank you for your valuable insight. Emperor Menelik went long way 160 years before for reconciliation after defeating his rivals through intermarriage and amnesty. Aba Jiffar can be a good example. Regarding Mengistu vs Meles, in my view both are cold blooded murderers. However, the later was more venomous who worked tirelessly to divide and disintegrate the country in ethnics and language line.

  21. 60 Amhara cabinet minsters assassinated.

    Col. Mengestu destroyed Debub Amharas socioeconomic domination and power that was preserved since Menilike era.

    60 of Haileselassie’s Amhara cabinet minsters and the amhara king (Haileselassie) were massacred by Col.Mengestu Hailemariam.
    Mengestu blamed Amhara elites for the backwardness of Ethiopia and poverty of Ethiopia, mengestue hates Amharas irrational superiority mentality with passion, he even contempted and referred Amhara elites as “The cancer of Ethiopia”.

  22. Robel Ababia, ” Zenjero, be Sewu Kimir.. Lijiwan Tidir” this wise Ethiopian saying discribes you and your article

    1. You are comparing un comparable
    2. If you don’t praise Menelik, you cant move an inch in Ethiopian politics. Its smart move on your side changing your attitude regarding Menelik and Ethiopian history
    3. For God sake how come you involve gimbot7 leaders in this article. “Ezih lay tefogerk”. You exposed yourself. For your information refer to this website ( or Google ginbot7 democratic) to know facts on ground about gimbot7 you trying to praise

    Weyane ena ye weyane agelgay lik ende shinfila newu… Tatibo yemayitera

  23. Pls,
    every body what we have to know is that ; when we read we don’t have to be biased and run to oppose the reality as far as whether it was good or bad the past history is our people property .standing on this reality as the past should not happen based on our interest pls don’t assume what you expect to be happened. yes Menilik did great on the battle of Adwa ,that is great but didn’t do great thing for that people who he called for war and Eriteria but showed the way how Ethiopian can be divided ,cut hands of many of his people with little difference way of Hitler if you want talk about unity through blood Hitler did it by saying German first .pls don’t go against reality.

  24. You cannot possibly compare Menilik with Mandela – Menilik achieved something that inspired the whole of the Black race, changed the perspective in which whites view Africans/Blacks, whom they had enslaved for centuries before then. Mandela is Menilik’s disciple in many respects though. Please read

    Of course, this account is for everyone other than Oromo elites, who are stupid for the most part.



    You can not compare the great Mandela with Menilike, Menilike was an Amhara Tribalist who systematically mass genocided millions of non Amhara Ethiopians in particular Oromos and Tigreans.
    We can not build greater Ethiopia by hidding Menilik’s crime and Haileselass’s crime, these two Amhara Tribalist fake kings were the most destructive force to Ethiopians unity. They had systematically mass genocided millions of non Amhara Ethiopians during their time in order to preserve Amharas domination.

  26. Ayana: You are so wrong. Both Menelik II and Haileselassie have Oromo blood running in their blood. Menilik accomplished His great achievement with the gallant participation of distinguished Oromo epic officials ncluding Ras Gobena Dache, Dejazmatch Balcha Aba Nebso, Fitawrari Haptegioris (Minister of war). My ancestors Oromos held positions as heads of state in Gonder. General Mulugeta Buli and General Abebe Gemeda were commanders of the elite Imperial Body Guard. 70% of the Derg militarrry officers were Oromos.

  27. Great article. There is no comparison between angle and evil. Menilik, Haile Sellaise and Mandiba are peace living, visionary and very wise borne before their time. Menilik II and Haile Sellasie personally fougth with their people agianst the enemy.

    On the other hand Megisu and Meles are viscously cold blooded murderers, ignorant and enemy of human beings and Ethiopia. Coward Megnistu started shouting Emporer Theodors’s name only to run away from Ethiopia when confronted with ignorant rebel group.

  28. Mr. Robele

    I am so glad you are a relative of my hero, Gen. Mulugeta Buli. I love that man. Although not as accomplished as Gen. Mulugeta, my grandfathers are also Oromos, Aboye and Gemeda who lived happily with their families and children by owing farmland until murderer Mengisu conficiated their land.

    Ayana Bultee,
    You are on vicious person. You sound contedn to find Megistu killing those highly principled, devoted, disciplined and very wise people the country counld’t afford to miss inocent people’s life sloughtered by one coward ignorant (aser aleka)Mengisu withoud due process. Mengistu is not a worthy person to quote. He is one blood thirty mass murdere who truned Ethiopia into a bloodbath. He is criminal waiting to go to jail.

    Hailesellasie gave up power peacefully bu Mengistu came out of nowhere after killing Gen. Teferi Banti and his cabinet by surprise and grabbed power only to needlessly kill and creat war with his own people. When Woyane rebels showed up in front of his house he fled the country with a promise to get millions of dollars. He didn’t get the money.

  29. I read the article in full with interest. I thought I would learn something new….the only thing true about this article is the pictures of Mengistu, Menelik and Meles. You conclude with the release of prisoners of conscience and name a few terrorists wanted by the Ethiopian people. I am sorry to waste five minutes of my life reading garbage from another so called elite diaspora trying to make sense of his life.

  30. @ Ayana,

    Yes, may be you are on the money that King Menilike may had committed horrable crime against The Oromos, and Menilike also sold Ethiopias vital land and strategic sea access to foreigners included Dejibuti to France,Somalia to Brits and Eritrea to Italian.

  31. The Strange Twist in Amhara Politics: Rehabilitating Past Tyrants
    Published on December 19, 2013.

    The latest fanfare surrounding the celebration of Menelik’s centennial marks an interesting strategic shift in Amhara politics. This memorialization function which, both by design and default, turns every futile, petty, even downright brutal acts of ancient kings into a dazzling action, began a decade ago with a successful resurrection of Haile Selassie I. Now it’s Menelik’s turn. With the publishing of his memoirs and multiple interviews, Mengistu is just around the corner. I argue that the resurrection and rehabilitation of the memory of past rulers is not just an obsession of the fringe in the right and some populist artists, but a calculated and systematic undertaking by intellectuals supported by the broader political community suggestive of a deeper and seismic shift in the Amhara politics.

    In 1990s most people, regardless of their ethnic background, remembered Hailesilassie for the despotic ruler that he was, as a king who oppressed millions, starved Wallo and held the country in perpetual darkness. That began to change in less than a decade. All of a sudden, newspapers, magazines and songs began transforming him into a glorious king whose deeds, big and small, must be inscribed in stone and made present for posterity. His remains were exhumed and given a public burial; his crimes were erased from public discourse. With vocalist Teddy Afro as a leading of revivalist voice of the Solomonic dynasty, Hailesialassie’s sanctification reached its climax. He was accorded a status of not just a caring Emperor of Ethiopia, but also a unifying father of Africa.With his revival in public culture, those who suffered under his authoritarian rule rendered even more invisible and inaudible.

    With successful completion of Haileselassie’s remaking, the next project is the difficult task of portraying Menelik’s legacy as the most shining not only in Ethiopia but also in Africa. The Adwa victory has always been celebrated but now all of a sudden it began receiving a heightened emphasis in media, academia and the arts. The historical significance of the war in the black-white racial divide is now given special attention and Menelik is refashioned as a hero of all black people around the world (despite the fact he himself denied being black, telling the black rights activist Benito Sylvain “I am not a Negro at all; I am a Caucasian”).

    To further advance this tactic of cleansing Menelik, small slices of credits were thrown for his commanders such as Habtagiorgis (Qusee) Dinagdee and Balcha Safo. This credit sharing was meant to spread the blame around so that the massacres committed during the war of conquest in the South would be reframed as a war of unification waged by the unified leadership of all nationalities, not just the Amhara onslaught on the rest. The aim is to turn the bloody massacre of millions into a blessed holy war, as declared recently.

    Now we are observing the beginning of an attempt to sanitize the not so distant dark memory of Mengistu Hailemariam’s rule. A two volume biography by a talented writer and autobiography are followed by choreographed interviews on noble issues such as the future of Ethiopia and Mandela’s legacy! It’s a matter of time before we start seeing picture of him on t-shirts and banners.

    The question then is this: why are Amhara elites laboring so hard to rehabilitate the image of past tyrants at the cost of antagonizing the rest of the nationalities? The answer is that they are undertaking a fundamental shift in their political strategy from the Pan-Ethiopianist narrative to a plain Amhara ethno-nationalism. Masking the Amhara partisan interest under the garb of pan-Ethiopian rhetoric required deemphasizing the past. However, as a result of the robust transformation in the national consciousness of other groups over the last few decades, neither hiding the past nor masking partisan interest in the name of unity is selling well. In fact, the past has been dug out and being used as a roadblock to the ambition of restoring the Amhara hegemony. Moreover, the effort to bury the past in order to keep the increasingly less profitable pan-Ethiopian narrative floating has split and weakened the Amhara base. The division is between those who want to openly advocate for Amhara interest and those who want to stick to the masking. Now it seems a consensus is emerging in favor of the modified version of the former.

    As mentioned above, the indignation and violence committed by the Amhara elites in the past have been used to delegitimize the ambitions of the current generation of Amharas. Hence, they feel that their effort to distance themselves from the legacy of these rulers has not worked. Thus, in rehabilitating past tyrants, Amhara elites are trying to turn historical legacy of those men from political liability to asset. They aim to do this in two ways. One is by denying, minimizing or rationalizing the heinous crimes committed by their past rulers; thereby developing a narrative that provides post facto justification for it. If that past is successfully reframed as unfortunate but justifiable and largely positive undertaking, men like Menelik would no longer be liabilities but assets whose credit in ‘unifying the country’ could be cashed out by the current generation. Once the war of conquest is turned into a civilizing mission, it then would enable Amhara elites transform the discourse from defensive to offensive, attacking their adversaries as ‘ungrateful savages’. Note the common utterance that goes ‘had it not been for Menelik, you would have remained naked and enslaved by European colonialists’!

    The second tactic is to embrace the legacy of the past rulers as a way of turning them into unifying and motivating historical figures for the Amhara base. This is particularly important at a time when the Amhara political community lacks any contemporary unifying figure due to being scattered into countless rival factions. While Menelik can be rebranded as a unifying figure, the rehabilitation of both Hailesialssie and Mengistu would also help to heal the wound caused by the split of the Amhara base in the 1970s in support of or opposition to the monarchy and the revolution.

    As effective as this strategy of rehabilitating past rulers to advance contemporary politics may be, it carries serious risks for the Amhara political agenda. By promoting these past rulers, Amharas will obviously face two problems. Morally, it becomes hard to justify their criticism of Tigrean domination or point out crimes committed by leaders like Meles Zenawi while glorifying their own. Second, by rehabilitating these rulers, Amhara elites might be benefiting from a unified and energized base, yet at the same time they further antagonize the rest of the nationalities—consequently facilitating recreation of a unified opposition to themselves, the type that brought down their past hegemony.

    Finally the shift in Amhara politics from the pretension of speaking for others and hiding behind the Ethiopianist mask towards openly advocating their partisan self-interest is an encouraging development. But they have to seriously think how best to articulate this transformation. No doubt that these past rulers could be considered heroes in the Amhara community. After all they brought about and sustained their socio-economic domination that lasted almost a century and still persists. But they were also a brutal war criminals who devastated other nations; turning them into a socio economic underclass. Hence using these rulers as central heroes of the emerging Amhara nationalism would be scratching old wound and putting the Amhara political community in perpetual tension with the rest of the peoples in the region.

    • This is the political reality happening in Amhara camp. Any how they can not fool the south as usual. Celebrating the genocidal Menelik would not rehabilitate them but produce them abundant foes.

  32. you guys, how many of you knows Ethiopia inspired many Africans, even black Americans to struggle for their rights? once upon a time there was a movement called Ethiopianism in south Africa( after the battle of Adwa). read history rather than advocating ppl who needs steal history, peace

  33. Mucca

    The harebrained PHD. What did you study? Fabricating and reinventing history?

    The fact has alrady been proven that Ethiopia is the only coutnry in Africa that fought and won against colonization and kept its people free from slaver and that is because of the heroic decision and act of Emp. Menilik not anyone else.

    One can only imagine how the situation would have gone wrong if things had gone your or the other way with those who disagree with the policy of Emperor Menilik. The other side was people like you hosting the invaders while our people have fallen for slavery.

    So what is the point here that you are trying to make? Are you trying to change history, deny that it did’t happen or are you trying to say why the Emporer fought against colonizers?

    Our people fought united behind their king without splitting hair and wasting time taking tribal talk. They fouth for what was very dear and important for them. Freedom and pride. My great grand fathers, and ancles all Oromos fought the same war and lost their lives for your and my freedom.

    Now people like you who never were on the forfront to face bullets and bombs dropped on and lost nothing are busy trying to shift and split hairs. Where were your father, grand or great grand father when our people were slaughtered duirng all those battles? May be working with the invadors?

    There are always few disgruntled people in Ethiopia who were not happy with all Kings and they have their own version of history that the majority did not accepted or agreed with.

  34. We still have a 16th century political view, no wonder why we are behind most of the coutries in any given standard. We are driven by emotion, not facts.The problem of the country is not entirely the governments (current or past). Our backward thinking contributed as much for where we are now. Shame on us!

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