Home > Uncategorized > Dejazmatch Zewde Gebresellasie passes away

Dejazmatch Zewde Gebresellasie passes away

Prominent nobleman, historian and former deputy Prime Minister, Dejazmatch Zewde Gebresellasie has died at the age of 80.

Born to a royal family, Dejazmatch Zewde has a had a varied and distinctive career as governor of Shere, Minister of justice, Mayor of Addis Ababa and Ambassador to Somalia, and deputy Prime Minster and Foreign Minister.




A great-great grandson of the Emperor Yohannes IV and related thorough marriage to the Crown Prince, Dejazmatch Zewde  is widely recognized among Ethiopians as possessing an unparalleled knowledge of Ethiopian history and of the past and present day Ethiopian personalities, their relationships, intrigues, foibles and strengths.As John H.Spencer wrote in his book, Ethiopia At Bay that through his official positions and relationships with the leading figures in political life, he has been a witness to some of the important events recounted in his book.

He was too independently minded to get on as minister and his attempt to reform the judicial machinery were thwarted.He fell into disfavor with Haile Selassie due to his firm liberalism as Minister of Justice during the trial of the conspirator General Mengstu Neway and went into self-imposed exile. He later served as Minster of Foreign Affairs under the Provisional Military Government but soon resigned in protest against the massacres of the former minister in November, 1974.

He was the author and editor of many history books. “Yohannes IV of Ethiopia: A political biography, Oxford ‘is one of the most cited works.In the preface, Prof. Edward Ullendorff wrote that he has devoted to his royal ancestor, his great-great grandfather, a treatise that is fair and dispassionate, yet for the first time recognizes Yohannes’ crucial role in the re-unification of the Ethiopian Empire. 

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Had a chance to spend an afternoon with him discussing his time as Mayor of Addis . A little too royal but by all means very well educated and experianced. He knew what he was talking about. Great loss.
    May he RIP

  2. Roman
    December 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    This is truly tragic and sad and is a great loss for the Country.Dejazmatch Zewde was a truly great figure, his work was and should be an inspiration to us all. .

  3. Me
    December 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    endet yasazinal

  4. abraham
    December 20, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Truly a sad day for those who love Ethiopia. without question he was a great ethiopianist. histroy will do him a favor.

  5. December 20, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Its sad news. His contribution to Ethiopian history is great, he has authored some books and served his country for decades. Let Him rest in peace.

  6. Zema
    December 24, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Thou, royal, he was a humble friend to all. He was a truly humble person who was interested in Ethiopians everywhere. Sad Day!

  7. Lily
    December 24, 2008 at 7:58 am

    He was an inspiration to young and old. It’s a great loss!!

  8. Maia
    December 24, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I met him while he was visiting NY – a great person to talk with..and full of Historical facts – he will be missed

  9. Shawel
    December 24, 2008 at 8:07 am

    What a grea historian..full of class..He was a true Ethiopian Icon!!

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