Home > City Journal > Lidj Michael Imru dies

Lidj Michael Imru dies

News of his death has come on Monday. Lidj Michael Imru, who died at the age of 79, had been in and out of intensive care for several months here in Ethiopia, Thailand and the USA. The former prime minister might have been absent from the public and the media for some time. But his long career had been anything but obscure. Born into prominent parents, Imru moved to Jerusalem during the Italian occupation.  His father, Ras Imru Haile Selassie, a cousin of the Emperor, was taken to Italy on exile after he was defeated in the war.

The young Michael stayed in Jerusalem for five years where he begun school. After his return to Ethiopia, he joined the Kotebe Qedamawi Haile Selassie School where he attended his high school education.He did well in class and earned good grades.

 After finishing high school, Michael went to Oxford and did his first and second degree in Economics, Political Science and Philosophy. He was active in school activities and was president of the Ethiopian Students Union in England and a champion of issues related to civil liberties and land reform.    

He spent only two months as Minister of foreign Affairs, before sent to Moscow, and was with UNCTAD, in Geneva from 1965 until 1968.

Among the major posts he held- administrator of the planning Board, 1957-59; vice-Minister of agriculture 1958-59, ambassador to Washington 1959-61, minister of Foreign Affairs 1961 and ambassador to Moscow 1961-65. He was said to have inherited much of the aura of radicalism and honesty attached to his father, Ras Imru. He was distinguished by both opposition to the monarch and his liberal views His brash and confrontational manner at times put him at loggerheads with the monarch. When the Emperor was dethroned, he was one of the few aristocrats not detained. In fact was made a prime minister. But he was manipulated from the outset. Historian Harold Marcus wrote Michael really had no opportunity to follow an independent policy, but he provided a cover of legitimacy for the derg’s decision.

He was a mere eight week’s prime minister and retired from the derg almost immediately.

Lidge Micahel is survived by three children.

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Categories: City Journal
  1. Taddele G Hiwot
    November 2, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Greetings to you all,
    My name is writ above, I am among Ethiopien writers passing.

    Thank you for your efforts in teaching the Ethiopian public about its seniors.

    እንኚህ ታላላቅ የኢትዮጵያ ዛፎች ሲያልፉ
    በገድላቸው ዜና ለተተኪዉ ትዉልድ ካለፋፉ
    እነ ክቡር ልጅ ሚካኤል ያጠሉት የእዉነትድባብ ይሞታል
    በእነርሱ አይነት የሚተካ የኢትዮጵያ ሰዉ ይታጣል።

    ዋርካ ሆነዉ ሺበራሪ ኣስተናግድዉ
    ትዳር ኣሲዘዉ ጎጆ ኣስቀለሰዉ
    በራሪዉ የሚኖርብትን ስራ ኣሳይተው
    ለተጠጋቸዉ ሁሉ ጥላ ሆንዉ

    እንደት እንድኖሩ የሚያብራራ ፅሁፍ
    ያሉት ኣንጋፎች ፅሁፋቸዉ መጥቶ ካላምራምሩን
    ምን ኣለን ይባላል
    ሙዋቹም ቀባሪዉም ባንድንት ሞተናል።

    ኣንቱ የንጋት ኮከብ
    ግርማ ወ ኣለማይሁ ላቀዉ
    ጆርናል ኣዘጋጆች
    ሞት እንደሁ ኣይቀርም
    ገድሉን ከሚያዉቁ
    ጸህፍት እገናኙን።
    እንዲህ ኣይነቶቹ ሞተዉ ዝም ሲባል ይከፋል
    በተለይ በነስም እይጠሩ
    ኢትዮጵያን ባምቻቸዉ ጎራ ከፍለዉ በሚያስኮርፉ ዘምን
    ዝምታ ከማመሙም ያንገበግባል።

    የሚካኤል እምሩን ነፍስ ይማር
    በፈለጋቸው ኢትዮጵያ ላይብቻ ያተኮረ ወጣት ክልሎችን ደርምሶ ይዉጣ።
    ደግነቱ ኢትዮጵዉያን እስካሉ የኢትዮጵያዉያንን ሃያልነት ሰውሰራሽ ከለላ ኣይደረምሰውም።

    ታደለ ገ ሕይወት
    ዘብሔረ ጦቢያዉ።

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