Fitawrari Gebeyehu

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Fitawrari Gebeyehu
Born1868
Shewa, Ethiopia
Died1896
Adwa, Ethiopia
AllegianceEthiopian Empire
Years of service1868–1896
RankLord Protector of the Crown
Battles/warsFirst Italo-Ethiopian War

Fitawrari Gebeyehu popularly referred to by his "horse-name" አባ ጎራ, was an accomplished Ethiopian military commander and lord protector of the crown. He played a leading role in several important battles of Ethiopian history.

Early life[change | change source]

Gebeyehu was born in Angolela, Shewa, Ethiopia, of humble birth. He was born in the same village as Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia.

Military career[change | change source]

Gebeyehu was Fitawrari (literally commander in chief). He played a leading role in several important battles of Ethiopian history. He made his reputation at the Battle of Amba Alaje (also known as Amba Alage or Amba Alagi) and later at the Battle of Adwa. In the Battle of Adwa, he commanded 5,000 riflemen, 15,000 spearmen, and 3,000 cavalry.

Death[change | change source]

Gebeyehu was killed in action in the Battle of Adwa.

Legacy[change | change source]

A street in Addis Ababa is named after Gebeyehu. He is still known for his military skills.

References[change | change source]

  • pp. 7f; Bahru Zewde, A History of Modern Ethiopia, second edition (London: James Currey, 2001), pp. 132f