Kebur Zabangna
Kebur Zabagna or Zebenya (Amharic: ክቡር ዘበኛ /kəbur zãbãňňya/, lit. "Honorable Guard") was the Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

n Imperial Guard
Imperial Guard (disambiguation)
An imperial guard or palace guard is a special group of troops of an empire, typically closely associated directly with the Emperor or Empress...

. Also known as the First Division, this unit served the dual purposes of providing security for the Emperor of Ethiopia
Emperor of Ethiopia
The Emperor of Ethiopia was the hereditary ruler of Ethiopia until the abolition of the monarchy in 1974. The Emperor was the head of state and head of government, with ultimate executive, judicial and legislative power in that country...

, and being an elite infantry division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

. It was not, however, part of the organizational structure of the Ethiopian regular army
Military of Ethiopia
The Ethiopian National Defense Force is the military of Ethiopia. Civil direction of the military is carried out through the Ministry of Defense, which oversees the ground forces, air force, as well as the Defense Industry Sector. The current defense minister is Siraj Fergessa. . Size of the ENDF...

 as it was part of the Zebagna
A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

, the Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 Guard. The Kebur Zabagna was based at Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...


Richard Pankhurst dates the formation of the Imperial Bodyguard (previously known as the Mehal Sefari
Mehal Sefari
Mehal Sefari was the Ethiopian Imperial Guard during the reign of HIM Menelik II. The unit grew from Menelik's personal Guard, although there are oral histories that link it to the elite fighting unit of Atse Tewodros II led by Fitawrari Gebrye...

) to 1917, when the Regent Ras Tafari (later the Emperor Haile Selassie) assembled a unit under his direct control from men who had trained in the British army in Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 as well as a few who had served under the Italians in Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...