Nasibu Emmanual
Nasibu Emmanual, also Nasibu Zamanuael, (Amharic: ነሲቡ ዘአማኑኤል; 1893 - 16 October 1936) was an army commander
Army of the Ethiopian Empire
Armies of the Ethiopia have existed since earliest times. Ethiopia maintained a sizable contingent of her forces in her Sabbean Garrisons which expanded out to project power over colonies in Yemen and to protect Caravans or trade routes....

 of the Ethiopian Empire
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

. Along with his brother Wasane, historian Bahru Zewde groups Nasibu "among the most colourful of the first-generation intellectuals" of Twentieth-century Ethiopia. His maternal grandfather, Azaz Emmanual Wolde Malakot, whose name both brothers came to adopt, was a notable courtier of Emperor


Nasibu Emmanual was educated at the Menelik II School (Ecole Imperiale Menelik II) in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 with his brother Wasane, where they received a Western-style
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 education. Nasibu's early career "closely replicated his brother's", as Bahru Zewde points out. Like Wasane he was successively Consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

 in Asmara
Asmara is the capital city and largest settlement in Eritrea, home to a population of around 579,000 people...

 then mayor of Addis Ababa, but unlike Wasane his tenure as mayor was much longer (1922-1932). Bahru agrees with Eshetu Assen that Nasibu was a reforming mayor, pointing out his reforms included "the registration and categorization of urban land, the institution of traffic police and sanitation guards, a ban on the custom of firing shots during festivities, the proscription of the capricious system of leba shay, the burying of the bodies of dead animals, road-building, granting loans to people building houses along the main roads so that the construction would add to the beauty of the city, the institution of night guards to curb mugging and the municipal certification of contracts." After visiting Berlin in 1929, Nasibu made investigations into introducing a modern water supply system to Addis Ababa.

Being in command of the municipal police, which he organized along modern lines, Nasibu played a key role in the political power struggle of 1928, supporting Ras Tafari (the later Emperor Haile Selassie) against first Dejazmach Balcha Safo
Balcha Safo
Balcha Safo , also known by his title as Dejazmach Balcha, was an accomplished Ethiopian general, who served in both the First and Second Italo-Ethiopian Wars. He came from a non-aristocratic background...

 then against Dejazmach Abba Weqaw. In 1930, Nasibu Emmanual was appointed as the Director of the Ministry of War by Emperor Haile Selassie. He was considered by many to be un-Ethiopian because he was a mission educated Roman Catholic. He was also considered un-Ethiopian because he spoke Italian and French and because he dressed in modern European clothing and uniforms. In 1931, Nasibu Emmanual was named Dejazmach and Shum
Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles
Until the end of the monarchy in 1974, there were two categories of nobility in Ethiopia: the Mesafint or princes, hereditary nobles, formed the upper echelon of the ruling class; while the Mekwanint were the appointed nobles, often of humble birth, who formed the bulk of the nobility...

of Gurage Province and Soddo Province. In 1932, he became Shum of Bale Province.

Ras Nasibu fought on the "southern front" during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. He became the Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the Ethiopian forces on this front upon the death of Grazmach
Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles
Until the end of the monarchy in 1974, there were two categories of nobility in Ethiopia: the Mesafint or princes, hereditary nobles, formed the upper echelon of the ruling class; while the Mekwanint were the appointed nobles, often of humble birth, who formed the bulk of the nobility...

Afawarq Walda Samayat
Afawarq Walda Samayat
Afawarq Walda Samayat, or Afework Woldesemait, was an Ethiopian administrator, and commander.-Biography:In 1935, at the outbreak of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, Grazmach and Balambaras Afawarq Walda Samayat was the acting Shum of Jijiga...

. Nasibu's headquarters was initially at Degehabur
Degehabur is a town in the eastern part of Ethiopia known as the Ogaden. Located in the Degehabur Zone of the Somali Region on the Jerer River, it sits at 1044 meters above sea level. The town is the administrative center of Degehabur woreda....

, but later he moved to Jijiga
Jijiga is a city in eastern Ethiopia and the capital of the Somali Region of that country. Located in the Jijiga Zone approximately 80 km east of Harar and 60 km west of the border with Somalia, this city has a latitude and longitude of with an elevation of 1,609 meters above sea...

. Nasibu specifically commanded the Ethiopian forces fighting against the forces of Italian General Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani
Rodolfo Graziani, 1st Marquis of Neghelli , was an officer in the Italian Regio Esercito who led military expeditions in Africa before and during World War II.-Rise to prominence:...

 during the Battle of the Ogaden
Battle of the Ogaden
The Battle of the Ogaden was battle fought in 1936 in the southern front of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted of attacks by the Italian forces of General Rodolfo Graziani, the Commander-in-Chief of the forces on the "southern front," against Ethiopian defensive positions...

. When Graziani started the large scale use of Mustard gas on Nasibu's men, Nasibu responded:
"The League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

! We fight and die while the League talks. ... If only we could fight men in the manner of men! But we are facing an invader who uses the most fiendish methods known to warfare all because he is angered that we protect our homes and land. Our lands are being laid barren by gas; our mules, sheep, and cattle are dying in the fields."

In May 1936, Nasibu accompanied the Emperor and the Royal Court into exile. He briefly served as the leader of the Ethiopian delegation to the League of Nations in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. He delivered two draft resolutions to the General Secretary
Secretary General of the League of Nations
During its existence, the League of Nations had three Secretaries General:#Eric Drummond, 7th Earl of Perth, of the United Kingdom served from 1920 to 3 July 1933.#Joseph Louis Anne Avenol of France served from 3 July 1933 to 31 August 1940....

. But, due to illness, he soon left the Royal Party. On 16 October, Nasibu Emmanual died of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 in Davos
Davos is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 11,248 . Davos is located on the Landwasser River, in the Swiss Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Range...

, Switzerland.

See also

  • Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles
    Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles
    Until the end of the monarchy in 1974, there were two categories of nobility in Ethiopia: the Mesafint or princes, hereditary nobles, formed the upper echelon of the ruling class; while the Mekwanint were the appointed nobles, often of humble birth, who formed the bulk of the nobility...

  • List of field marshals
  • Desta Damtew
    Desta Damtew
    Ras Desta Damtew was an Ethiopian noble, an army commander, and a son-in-law of Emperor Haile Selassie I.-Biography:...

  • Wehib Pasha
    Mehmet Vehib Kaçi
    Vehib Pasha also known as Wehib Pasha, Vehip Pasha, Mehmed Wehib Pasha, Mehmet Vehip Pasha , was a general in the Ottoman Army. He fought in the Balkan Wars and in several theatres of World War I...

External references

  • Time Magazine, Monday, 21 October 1935, Between Rounds
  • Nasibu of the Ogaden, poem by Marcus Garvey
    Marcus Garvey
    Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH was a Jamaican publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League...

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