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A century later Ethiopians recall reformist ruler

At a time, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel laureate is trying to implement a host of reforms, Ethiopians recall a similar contribution by Lij lyasu, who ruled the country a century ago.

Almost 104 years ago, Prince Ilyasu undertook societal reforms to bring inclusivity and ensure justice to country’s Muslim population, who were reeling under oppression, in the country, where Christianity had been declared state religion.

Enraged at his anti-colonial attitude and having a soft corner for Muslims and Turkey, the country’s political elite and the Orthodox Church overthrew him, by teaming up with colonial powers like France, Italy, and Britain.

Ahmed Mazhar Bey, the then Turkish envoy to Ethiopia had lamented that the coup had derailed the planned efforts of Ethiopia and Turkey to forge an anti-colonial alliance.

Experts believe that unseating of lyasu, who was the designated Emperor of Ethiopia from 1911-16 put brakes on many societal reforms including, ensuring equality among religions, inclusion, unity, and extending friendship with Muslim nations. Read more.

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