- Reunification of Ethiopia: 1855-1974 [22]


a)      Emperor Tewodros II,

b)      Emperors Tekla Giorgis II, Yohannes IV,

c)      Emperor Menelik II,

d)      Lij Iyasu, Empress Zewditu, and Emperor Haile Sellasie.

a) 1855-1868: Emperor Tewodros II

The campaign to end Zamana Masafint began when Dejazmatch Kassa Hailu of Quara defeated Ras Goshu of Gojam at Gur Amba on 27 November1852. He then defeated others including Ras Ali’s supporters at Gorgora Bichin on 12 April 1853, and at Ayshal on 29 June 1853.  After he captured and imprisoned Ras Wube in Deresege in 1855, he crowned himself Emperor Tewodros. Subsequently, he was the victor in a battle at Bereket on 19 November 1855, though Negus Haile Melekot of Shewa had died before the battle. Tewodros appointed Haile Mikael Sahle Sellasie as governor of Shewa, and took Menelik with him. Later, Lij Seifu Sahle Sahle Sellasie rebelled and was put down by Tewodros on his second march to Shewa, at which he placed Ato Bezabeh as governor of Shewa.  Bezabeh rebelled and declared himself king of Shewa until Menelik escaped from Maqdela in June 1865 and controlled Shewa three years before the death of Emperor Tewodros,

Tewodros struggled to unify Ethiopia under the most difficult of conditions that include the following.

1.      The spiritual fathers of his religion, the Bishop and the Patriarch, who were Egyptians, had betrayed him at crucial times. It was during Tewodros’ reign that a Patriarch of Alexandria ever visited Ethiopia. Tewodros had received the arrival of Patriarch Qerilos with great ceremony and respect.  Yet, he had to imprison the Patriarch before he sent him back to Egypt, because the Patriarch and the Bishop had drafted a letter in the name of Tewodros, without the emperor’s consent, to be sent to the Pasha of Cairo. [Abuna Da’ud was sent by the Patriarch of Alexandra to Ethiopia to help settle disputes between Abuna Selama and the princes on doctrinal matters in the era of Zamana Masafint. He was also asked to bring as much money as possible from the princes to defray the cost that the patriarchate at Alexandria had incurred in defending Ethiopians in Jerusalem. Later, Abuna Da’ud was elected as Patriarch Qerilos in Alexandria. The Itchege of Gondar, who stayed in Cairo during the reign of Ras Ali, had objected vigorously to the selection of Abuna Qerilos. However, Dej. Kassa (became later, Tewodros) had expressed no objections to the appointment of Abba Da’ud as Patriarch Qerilos.]

2.      The catholic mission that had been giving troubles to the princes of the ZamanaMasafint became even more adamant in the reign of Tewodros.  The missionaries took his demand that they should not engage in evangelizing Ethiopians, while they can have the right to practice their own religions, as an affront that they would not tolerate.  Consequently, with the help of the representatives of French and British governments the missionaries used this condition and others to encourage Turkey to occupy other Ethiopian territories south of Massawa. [The missionaries did not restrict their work to evangelization. They infused the notion that the locals would be protected and served better in the presence of missionaries.  This belief was so engrained in the minds of some of the locals, where the catholic missions had evangelized, that after the death of Tewodros the locals desired to have missionaries among them. They respected the white man more than others (themselves).  Eventually, locals would not fight against foreign occupying forces. In the Zamana Masafint, Ras Wube had evicted the CMS catholic mission from Adwa.  Tewodros banned their political evangelization everywhere.  Later, Yohannes IV evicted catholic missions from the Bogos and Akale Guzay.  That prompted Muzinger pasha, to occupy the Bogos on 4 July 1872, the year Yohannes IV was crowned. The occupiers did not meet resistance from the inhabitants or from Yohannes IV.  Subsequently, Muzinger and 400 of his armed Egyptians and hundred of Adal followers marched to Awsa from Tajura, at which the Afar killed Muzinger and his followers on 14 November 1875. Muzinger forgot that all coastal inhabitants of Ethiopia were not “natural allies” of Egypt. Moreover, catholic missions had not evangelized the coastal people in the south.]

3.      The British foreign office that had previously responded to Ras Wube that they would not take action to support Ethiopian suzerainty over its coastal properties at and near Massawa had increased its hostile actions.  Consul Plowden’s activities in the Habab and Mensa were aimed at decoupling that region from Ethiopia and had made it very difficult for Tewodros to govern the region.  According to Rubensen (1978, p.144) “. It was the developments in the Bogos and Mensa in the 1850s that created the favorable climate for further colonial undertakings. .. Here Eritrea was in fact conceived. ”  In fact, in a letter of 20 November 1858 from Plowden to Marlmesbury, Plowden had proposed that Egypt must posses Ethiopia to give a blow to Tewodros’ infant authority unless he submits to the dictates of Britain (Rubensen 1978, P.187).  Yet, Tewodros had to avenge the death of Plowden who was killed in a battle with Lij. Garred of Quara, a nephew of Tewodros.  If Negusse, a self-appointed governor of Tigrey that Tewodros later executed, was right, Lij. Garrad was in the service of Negusse when he killed Plowden.

4.      Emperor Tewodros had released Lij. Kassa Sabagadis, who was imprisoned for 15 years by Ras Wube, and had appointed him governor of Tigrey.  He had also appointed Dej Hailu Twelde Medehin of Hamasen as governor of Hamasen. Yet neither of these gentlemen would control the nephews of Ras Wube, Negusse and Tessema, and later both governors will serve Dej. Kassa Mirtcha.  Negusse became a self-appointed governor of Tigrey.  French missionaries to cause the writing of letters that purportedly ceded Ethiopian Territory to France actually used Negusse. On January 1861, Emperor Tewodros captured Negusse and his brother Tessema and executed them.  However, that act provided additional cause for the French missionaries and representatives and others to encourage the Turks to extend their territorial claims over Ethiopian regions south of Massawa.

5.      Above all else Tewodros had a nemesis in Captain Cameron, the British consul to Abyssinia that succeeded Plowden.  Though Tewodros held a healthy dose of skepticism toward foreigners, he somehow was not skeptical enough to outwit Cameron and the illusive British foreign office that he represented. This issue is expanded below with a liberal quotation from Rubensen’s 1978 book, with numbers in bracket providing page numbers in the book.

Egypt had already amassed soldiers and moved them to Metema, the Pasha of Sudan, Ismail Haqqi, was encouraging Tewodros as he attacked Ras Ali and Wube.  Simultaneously, Egyptians soldiers had actually invaded Ethiopia from the Red Sea during the Zamana Masafint. Then, Egyptians mistreated Ethiopian priests in the Ethiopian convent in Jerusalem, a city in Palestine that was governed by Turkey. Tewodros wondered if all these were not interrelated and “ told Consul Cameron that he would fight the Turks and explain his actions to western countries later. .. Cameron took the first possible opportunity to tell the king that England could not arrange for the safe conduct of his ambassador through Egypt if there was war or even ‘skirmishes on the frontier’. Tewodros then repeated that he would fight in defense of his country and faith; ‘but he made this important addition, that he would not make or bring war until he had made an appeal to all Christendom’.  In order to further deter Tewodros, Cameron on the one hand informed him that the Porte would be warned not to do anything that would cause offence and showed him a letter he had himself written to the British consul in Khartoum asking the latter to do his utmost to preserve peace.  On the other hand, the king was also informed that the French were about to establish a settlement at Tajura to be used as a ‘base of operations against Abyssinia’, that Sa’id Pasha had gone to France and that the Sultan was in Egypt….’ Your Majesty has many enemies besides the Turks and Egyptians.” (221-222.)

The emperor decided to write letters to European leaders, “to Victoria and Napolion II, at least he pointed out that he intended to fight for his lost provinces, but made only the most general appeal that his Christian colleagues ought to come to his assistance. Cameron and a Frenchman, Auguste Bardel, who had arrived with Cameron, were asked to take the respective letters and return with the answers, which was expected to take about six months.” (222)

Meanwhile Musa pasha of the Sudan had invaded Quara burning Dunkar on Feb 1863, looting Metema.  Tewodros did not retaliate because he took the conditions led down by Cameron seriously. (223) Likewise he instructed Dej. Hailu Twelde Medehin, governor of Hamasen, not to engage in any activity that would antagonize the aliens on the Ethiopian coast, but merely to receive tributes from them. He did so because he was awaiting a response from Britain.

“ At Jenda, in July or August, Cameron had reportedly offered Tewodros his head if the reply from London did not arrive within two months.”  Then, “on 22 November 1863 … one of Cameron’s staff, Kerans, arrived from Massawa with the first response to Cameron’s dispatch of 31 October the year before.”  It stated that “ … it is not desirable for Her majesty’s agents to meddle in the affairs of Abyssinia… remain at Massawa until further notice….”  Furthermore, a third letter, “acknowledging the consul’s dispatches from Sudan repeated the disapproval of ‘his proceedings in Abyssinia’ and instructed him to ‘abstain from all interference in the internal affairs of Ethiopia’. [and to].. remain in Massawa…. The minutes of the foreign office indicate reckless indifference on their part.  Six months after the foreign office had received the king’s letter and his promise through the consul that he would refrain from all hostilities against Egyptians and the Turks to allow time for consultations, there was no word, even for the consul, on the issues raised....Their minutes indicate ‘ No notice beyond this [ordering Cameron to go to Massawa] was to be taken of his dispatches.’ (235-236)

The skeptical Tewodros must have been frustrated at his own decision for paying attention to the words of an alien, consul Cameron, which disabled him from taking actions while he was militarily strong. On 3 January 1864, Tewodros ordered the placing of Cameron under chains, perhaps as a manifestation of that frustration. He also imprisoned other foreigners. On July 1864 Rassam (an Iraqi) was sent carrying verbiage from Queen Victoria.   Rassam personally met Tewodros on 19 August 1864. Yet, Rassam was unable to deliver a substantive response to the real demands of Tewodros and was incarcerated on 13 April 1865. [Meanwhile, Khedive Ismail, through the help of the British, had received letters from the Sultan of Istanbul that gave him the Ethiopian ports of Sawakin on August 1865 and Massawa on 30 April 1866. That Sawakin was Ethiopian territory was told by authorities of the Ottoman Empire to the British ambassador at Istanbul and was related to London (Canning to Palmerston in a letter dated 27 September 1848, yet such knowledge was not respected by Britain]. The British never disputed that Massawa was Ethiopian until the request made by the Khedive.]  Colonel Merewether of Aden talked about delivering a substantive response to the request of Tewodros. Yet, despite all the talk, as Britain had not provided skilled manpower that was requested by Ras Wube in the Zamana Masafint, so too they did not during the reign of Tewodros. Moreover, while they were evasive about the suzerainty of Wube over Massawa, this time around they were privy to the donation of Massawa as an inheritable property of the Khedive of Cairo. In contrast, even under stressful conditions the Honorable Tewodros did not harm the prisoners.  He released all foreigners unharmed and sent them to Mr. Napier in 1868.

6.      As the foreign governments were engaging Tewodros with their manipulations,local princes began rebelling. In the northwest, Tiso Gobeze controlled Welqayet and the city of Gondar.  Tewodros burnt down Gondar. In the east and northeast, Wagshum Gobeze (later Emperor Tekla Giorgis II) rebelled in Welo, and Dejazmatch Kassa Mirtcha (formerly a Balamberas of Tewodros, later Emperor Yohannes IV) controlled Tigrey and Hamasen. In central Ethiopia, Menelik had escaped from Meqdela and had controlled Shewa. When Emperor Tewodros was weak and his soldiers numbered about 4,000, the British sent an expedition comprising of 14,700 fighting men (4,000 British and 8,000 Indian troops), and about 27,00 camp followers, 17, 943 mules, 2,538 horses, 1,759 donkeys, 8,075 bullocks, 5,735 camels and 44 elephants, at an estimated cost of £9 million. The disproportionate British assault resulted in a decision of Tewodros “to live as a hero than to die in the hands of man.”  Denied of the satisfaction of killing or imprisoning Tewodros, the British ransacked the Ethiopian capital, and pillaged the finest library of the land and exited the way they came.

It was from Maqdela that the Reverand Flad took the work of Debtera Zenebe, the chronicler of Emperor Tewodros, and gave it to the Berlin Museum. Other chroniclers Aleqa Woldemaryam (written about 1881) and an unnamed author (written in the reign of Yohannes) wrote about Tewodros from the view point of Shewa, and anecdotes viewed from elsewhere, respectively. Despite the concerted efforts by foreigners and contending internal princes to discredit Tewodros, his actions speak volumes to the contrary.  In short 13 years, and despite the great hardships, Tewodros tried to unify and reform Ethiopia. He tried to establish a national army, to institute the r’est system of landuse, to streamline the priest service to churches, to cause the use of Amharic in the righting of chronicles, and to infuse in the minds of three of the subsequent emperors Wagshum Gobeze (later Emperor Tekla Giorgis II), Balamberas Kassa Mirtcha (later Emperor Yohannes IV), both of whom were commanders in Tewodros’ army, and Menelik (later Emperor Menelik II), who was Tewodros’ son-in-law and under surveillance.

b) 1868-1871. Emperor Tekla Giorgis II

Wagshum Gobeze of Welo marched against Tizo Gobeze of Wolqayet when the British were marching to Maqdela against Emperor Tewodros. After their departure, Gobeze appointed himself Emperor Tekla Giorgis I1, and promoted his brother-in-law, to the title of Re’ese Mekonanent (RM) Kassa.  Though Tekla Giorgis was in the consolidation phase of his reign, he provided land grant support to the rebuilding of churches in Gondar.  Yet, RM Kassa Mirtcha obtained an Abun from Egypt that he refused to deliver to the emperor. Part of the condition for receiving the Abun was the promise that RM Kassa would evict catholic missions from Ethiopia, which he did. Emperor Tekla Giorgis marched to discipline his brother-in law. Unfortunately for him, he was captured at a battle near Adwa on 11July 1871.  Reportedly, RM Kassa had uncovered a letter from catholic missions sent to Emperor Tekla Giorgis that encouraged him to attack RM Kassa.  Meanwhile, in 1869, Egyptians had invaded part of kunama.  Yet, neither RM Kassa nor the emperor had expelled the Egyptians that had built a fort at Kufit.

1871-1889. Emperor Yohannes 1V.

After deposing Emperor Tekla Giorgis, RM Kassa was crowned Emperor Yohannes IV in 1872. Earlier, a Swedish political-entrepreneur, Muzinger, who worked as a French consul, was sent by the British to meet at Adwa with Dej. Kassa and to persuade him to allow free passage of the British through the territories thathe controlled. Later, Muzinger as a pasha of Egypt would become a nemesis of Emperor Yohannes IV. After the 1968 British expedition that ended up ransacking the Ethiopian capital at Maqdela, they rewarded Dej. Kassa Mirtcha £500,000 worth of armaments including 6 howitzers, 6 mortars, 850 muskets and ammunitions for his contributions.  Yet, they refused to leave any Britons to help him train his soldiers. However, he was lucky to have been joined by a Britton, J. C. Kirkham, who came to train soldiers despite objections by his countrymen. The year Yohannes IV was crowned, Muzinger wrote Yohannes to tell him that Turkey would send an expedition to do to him what the British had done to Tewodros.  As pointed out by the historian Ato Tekle Tsadiq Mekuria (1982, Ethi.) the ease with which the British were allowed to march through northern Ethiopia had emboldened Khedive Ismail of Cairo who coveted to extend his rule from Egypt to the Indian Ocean. The Turkish fiction of owning Ethiopia had been used by Britain to require and facilitate the writing of letters (firmans) of 18th June1873, and 2nd August 1879 by Istanbul and gave Ethiopian coastal territories to Egyptian leaders.  Earlier such firmans were written in 1865 as indicated above. Armed with such bogus claims the Khedive began a serious of invasions into Ethiopia.  Muzinger was ordered by Egypt and successfully occupied Keren and by association the Bogos for Egypt on 4 July 1872, and met little resistance from the inhabitants or battles from Yohannes IV.  Instead Yohannes IV began a diplomatic offensive by sending Kirkham to European capitals.  Muzinger then was ordered to occupy Awsa and control the caravan routes to Welo and Shewa.  He left Tajura on 14 November 1875 and arrived in Awsa guided by the Afar that feigned support for him. The next morning on 27 October 1875 Muzinger and 150 of his well-armed soldiers and 500 Danakil followers were killed.  Killing Muzinger was perhaps on of the most significant contributions to the independence of Ethiopia delivered by its warriors at Awsa at that time.  Another Egyptian officer, Pasha Muhammad Ra’uf left Zeyla with 1200 soldiers on 18/19 and entered Harar on 1 October 1875.  He met resistance by the Oromo on his way to Harar, and when his soldiers attempted to venture outside of Harar. The invasion of Ethiopia by Khedive Ismail continued.  A Danish Colonel Arendrup was hired to command a large Egyptian army to invade Ethiopia through the north.  He landed in Massawa on 26 September 1875, took about 3000 soldiers and arrived in Asmara on 16 October 1875. Another battalion of Egyptian soldiers was sent from Keren to join the invading army at Asmara.  The invading army moved south and the vanguard unit reached the Mereb on 6 November.   On 23 October Yohannes IV gave a call to arms.  On 15/16 November Ethiopians crossed the Mereb and in a battle that lasted less than an hour Arendrup’s soldiers were annihilated at Gundit. The Egyptians left behind 2,000 to 2,500 Remington rifles, 14 to 16 canons and rocket studs with ammunitions.   Subsequently, the victorious Yohannes IV determined while at Adi Qwala not to take any further military actions against the Egyptians.  Rather, he wrote letters to European leaders and sent Kirkham along with 100 Egyptian prisoners to Massawa.  Kirkham was imprisoned at Massawa and died 6 months later.

Angered by the defeat that his forces had received at Gundit, Khedive Ismail of Cairo desired to punish Ethiopia and sent a huge army commanded by Ratib Pasha, the defense minister of Egypt, and general Loring, an American, as his chief of staff. Ismail’s son was also among the leaders sent. An Italian missionary, Duflos, supplied maps to facilitate the invasion. Dej. Wolde Mikael, governor of Hamasen changed sides and was appointed Ras by Ratib. Ratib arrived 40 miles south of Asmara and built a fort at Gura, and a smaller one at Kayakor. The Khedive sent a letter to Menelik to inform him of the impending Egyptian punishment of Yohannes and requested a quick response from Menelik acknowledging the message.  Instead Menelik sent 500 to 2000 soldiers to Yohannes and ignored the Khedives request for a response.  On 7 March 1876 the Ethiopians marched between the forts of Gura and Kayakor, forcing Ratib to engage them before they attacked the weaker fort at Kayakor. Egyptians lost at the battle. All cannons, thousands of Remington rifles were gathered from the vanquished that included 3,5000 dead 1300 to 1600 wounded, 400 to 600 returning to fort at Gura.  Ethiopian victory would have been achieved with little loss on their side had it not been for the fact that they laid siege of the fort at Gura on 8 and 9 March. Many Ethiopian were killed at that effort and the siege was abandoned. The victory was very sweet indeed and was shared across the land. As reported by the French traveler, Aranaux the Gura victory in the north was celebrated in Shewa for three days.  More significantly, Khedive Ismail’s dream of colonizing Ethiopia was forcibly stopped.  However, since Yohannes did not remove all Egyptians out of Ethiopia, negotiations about the Egyptian invaders and claims went on for 7 more years.

The stalemate at negotiations caused Menelik to send his French emissary Pierre Arnaux with a mandate to ask hard questions, and to assert that Menelik did not favor Egyptian expansion into Ethiopia. Pierre arrived in Cairo in December 1876. (p. 336).  That prompted the British to advise Khedive Ismail to employ a European as his negotiator, and Colonel (later general) Gordon was appointed for the task. Gordon served as negotiator for Egypt until the death of Ismail in 1879, and he became governor of Sudan thereafter until the Dervish beheaded him.

Gordon arrived at Massena on February 1877, and was joined by Mr. Wylde, British vice-consul at Jidda.  Gordon drafted negotiation points, and unilaterally declared that those “terms were accepted provisionally, and stated that there was no need for further negotiations” (p.338).  By mid-June Yohannes IV disputed Gordon’s assertions. With enmity against Egypt still in tact Yohannes decided to subjugate Menelik of Shewa. Monks from Asbe Dera (Huletu Awlalo) sent messages to Menelik and Yohannes to stop any bloodshed between their forces and received assurances in that order. Yohannes then marched to Shewa and an 8-point treaty between Yohannes and Menelik was signed in Fitche (or Selale? Mofer Wouha?) on 14 June1878.  On 26 April 1878 Yohannes and Menelik co-chaired the Boru Meda (Welo) a discussion on the dispute about the nature of Christ. Those that supported the two-birthing nature won the discussion and the Tewahedo Orthodox Christian doctrine was settled.  Important Ethiopians, including Ras Mikael were baptized. It was while at Boru Meda that Yohannes heard that Dej. Wolde Michael has killed his relative, Ras Hailu, the governor of Hamasen.  Yohannes IV sent three monks to Dej. Wolde Mikael to inform him that he would forgive him for the killing and would appoint him governor of Hamasen.  Dej. Wolde Mikael refused Yohannes’ offer.  Ratib Pasha had appointed him Ras, and he was content serving Egypt though he subsequently had discovered a letter, which opposed the actions taken by him against Hailu, a letter that was written by Ratib Pasha in case it would to be uncovered by Emperor Yohannes.  Yohannes appointed Ras Barya governor of Hamasen. He too was killed by Dej. Wolde Mikael. Subsequently, Ras Alula marched to Bogos, Mensa, Mary and Barka and collected tributes from the locals while the Egyptians were hiding in their fort at Keren.  That effectively meant the Egyptians were unable to collect any tributes from the locals. Also Dej. Wolde Mikael had fled to Habab. Subsequently, Wolde Mikael became a lieutenant of Ras Alula after seeking and obtaining pardon from Yohannes, while the later was in Debra Tabor.  While this was going on 5 May 1879, Menelik fought against Negus Tekla Haymanot and defeated him at Enbabo. Yohannes summoned the two combatants to Were’ilu and took Welo away from the regions that Menelik ruled over and appointed Ras Mikael governor of Welo.  A few years later, on 18 April 1883Menelik’s daughter (Princess Zewditu, later Empress) was given in marriage to Yohannes’ son (Ras Araya, tinishu.).

Meanwhile, Yohannes wrote to Queen Victoria asking her to help him resolve the border issues with Egypt, and to facilitate the appointment of an Abun to Ethiopia.  Yohannes had also sent letters to Umbroto I of Italy and to Alexander II of Russia. By this time, Egypt’s ability to meet its monetary obligations to lenders had became too much that a French-British Dual Control was essentially managing the affairs of the country.  In response to Yohannes’ diplomatic initiative Gordon arrived at Massawa on 6 September 1879. However, he brought no negotiating positions and upon his arrival at Debra Tabor Yohannes dismissed him carrying a letter to Khedive Tawfiq.  At Cairo, Gordon suggested that the Gulf of Zula should be ceded to Italy so that Italy and Ethiopia would fight and relieve the pressure that Ethiopia applied on Egypt that way.  The British member of the Dual Control had suggested that Egypt abandon its Red Sea provinces. By 1882, Egypt lost its quasi independence, and Britain became its colonial master, though the myth of Egyptian government was still maintained in so far as Ethiopian situations were concerned.  Britain was vacillating and eventually was dead set against Ethiopia having a coastal territory or a seaport.   On 7 April Rear Admiral Hewitt arrived in Adwa, and on 3 June 1884 a treaty was signed.  Yet, Britain violated the treaty every step of the way including by inviting Italy to occupy Massawa on 5 February 1985. This British effort was augmented by the Berlin agreement (1885 Berlin Act) that effectively denied Ethiopia of its coastal and maritime territories.

Sadly Yohannes IV took the 1884 Hewitt Treaty in good faith, and worked even outside the specifics of the treaty, but in the spirit of it.  “When… Metema and Girra had not fallen to the Mahdists, Yohannes accepted additional obligations, and these two garrisons were saved with Amideb and Keren” (Rubensen, 1978, p. 361). His attention to extricate Egyptian soldiers from Metema was a British ploy aimed at derailing him from focusing on getting the forts of Kassala and Keren as indicated in the Treaty but which the British were not about to help him get.  Yohannes would be shot on 9 March and die on 10 March1889 in Metema at a great cost to Ethiopian pride. His death was a consequence of a dispute that he entered into by extension of the Hewett Treaty, and a series of steps taken by him as described below.  Remarkably, Yohannes’ seal “The Cross has conquered the tribe of Ismail” that was engraved after the battle of Gura and stamped under the peace treaty, was prophetic in that Ethiopia retained its independence, while Egypt was colonized by Britain, and the British murdered the Mahdists mercilessly.  To the extent that the Mahdists wrote him a letter stating that only the sword separated him, the so-called infidel, from them, and he was beheaded in the style of jihad wars, as were two other Christians in the 16th century, Yohannes died a Christian martyr.  The other two martyrs of 16th century were captain Cristovao de Gama beheaded by Gragn, and Emperor Gelawdewos by Amir Nur, the nephew of Gragn. 

To be continued.





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