Excerpt from

1960: Lost Sons

source http://www.angelfire.com/ak/sellassie/1960.html

The Green Salon was Empress's waiting room in the palace, and was flooded with blood. All the hostages, the cabinet members, were there till the last hour of the revolt. The army was storming the palace. They say that it was Germame who first fired his machine-gun into the Green Room. It was around five in afternoon...

The revolt was over, but it was the beginning of the revolution. Despite the coup's failure, it succeeded in stripping the monarchy of its claim to universal acceptance and led to a polarization of traditional and modern forces. Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao came into minds of the young. Both Ras Tafari and Haile Sellassie, the prince and the king didn't know the new language. H.I.M. wasn't with the future of Ethiopia. Not anymore.

On the Saturday evening, December 17, when the Crown Prince and others were kissing the emperor's feet at the airport, nobody knew the future. Who could predict that there will be another Mengistu who is destined to kill the Lion of Judah? The year of 1974 was faraway. But the trust and the bond with the new and the young were broken.

You all know how much We trusted and how much authority We reposed in those few who have risen against Us. We educated them. We gave them authority. We did this in order that they might improve the education, the health and the standard of living of Our people. We confided to them the implementation of some of the many plans We have formulated for the advancement of Our nation. And now Our trust has been betrayed...[7]
The emperor should know that they asked for the real power. Power to run the country, to change, to plan -- something he couldn't give to them. They have to take it. They tried. They lost. They ran. They had no chance.

On Friday, they journeyed towards the volcano, Mount Ziqwala. They travelled all night and on into Saturday. At about four in the afternoon, the peasants began to call out the traditional yodelling call of warning, and soon afterwards the weary group found itself surrounded by police. A skirmish ensued... Mengistu disarmed a wounded policeman and made his way to another, at the same time calling to Girmame. But he did not reach him for at that moment Girmame shot his brother and then killed himself. The infuriated police fired into Germame's body smashing a leg, but they found that Mengistu still lived. The Brigadier-general had suffered a severe bullet wound on the low part of his cheek, his right eyeball was exposed and blind, his left eye was also damaged but the bullet which had ploughed across his face had not entered the skull. He was taken unconscious to the hospital of the 1st Division of the army.[8]

The emperor asked to see Girmame's body and it was thrown on the steps of the Jubilee Palace. On the next day it was hanged outside of St. George's Cathedral.



He lost it all. Children and grand children. His own constitutional principle was broken. From father to son... Where was his son? "The youth is a revange," said a poet. God was silent about his sins. He was alone; this and the next generation turned away from him. Who knows when the minds of Ethiopia will remember H.I.M. again?
There were renewed whispers of an old tale concerning the sacrificing of children at Bishaftu crater-lakes, at Debra Zeyt, etc., and one macabre coincidence made a great impression. The car carrying the body of one the machine-gunned dignitaries to be buried, overturned on the road from the capital. The driver was killed and the grisly contents of the coffin were thrown upon the road. Some superstitious folk asked whether this were not a sign that Heaven rejected those who had been slain by the revolutionary. Concern over the trail of Brigadier-general Mengistu and the spate of anti-government pamphlets which, despite arrests, found their way even into the court room, further increased disquiet; and in February the anonymous writers of these tracts turned their attention to the army.[9]
No, this Christmas week was over and they have to wait for a revolution another fourteen years. H.I.M. was sixty eight and he was in charge.


Meantime, one underground group managed to arranged that Brigadier-general Mengistu be abducted from his place of detention but he refused to be freed. There is no doubt that he still believed his dead brother's oft repeated remarks that, successful or not, their *coup* represented the vanguard of inevitable change. This sense of history cause the general to remark that he preferred to die.[10]
The verdict was given on Megabit 19, three months after the coup. The trail was short. There was little to say. Mengistu Neway knew that he was dead.
I shall not appeal, and am quite satisfied... Truly, because some people have died on my account, I feel a certain sorrow, but had God been willing a *coup* would have come about sooner or later... I did all this for the sake of the Ethiopian people and I pray that God [will hold the judgement in His hand]... As to my death, I have been prepared to die since the 4th Tahsas, 1953 [December 13, 1960], and I am quite unmoved that this Court has sentenced me to death.[11]
History loves irony -- the headquarters of the rebels, the Prince's Paradise palace was given to the university. And it was another mistake. There will be more hot heads on those peaceful grounds. You can walk to the second floor of the old building and see the room where "The Sixty" were shot. It's the administration site and there is no name of Haile Sellassie of the brothers Neway are there. History is not just ironic but also brutal.

Mengistu's face at the execution was so calm that later they rumored that he died in prison...

...the troubles weren't over, it was only the beginning...


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Postby ketsela » Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:27 pm

To All:

It is true that the two brothers were social democrats and there movement was the first to question the Haile Selassie government. The action they took at the time was the most radical movement Ethiopia ever had. They failed as result of over-estimating the Ethiopian people that they thought will welcome them with ELELETA. The public responded just the way they expected but it was only the Arat Kilo and Sedist Kilo public.
Any way the result was a failure and those involved inhumanly faced their ultimate penalty. I hope you guys are ready for this:

General Mengistu was hanged after his trail.

Girmame Newaye was shot some where at Gulele area and his body was brought and Hanged the dead body at Giorgis Square.

Same with Workeneh.

General Tsigu's body (the dead body) was drugged around the Arategna Kifle Tore for display until the body was mutulated.

Many of the Royal Body Guard high officers were jailed for life.

Guess what happen as a result of these acts. Haile Selassie lost the Peace Nobel Prize in 1961.

unfortunately I just got a visitor and could not finish. To be continued.


Postby ambassel » Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:28 pm

I wept when I read Greenfield´s account on the coup d' état and how Mengistu Neway was killed. What a cruell man Emperor Haile Selassie was. After the coup Emperor Haile Selassie was hated almost by everybody. The man was very hypocritical and was trying to be a wise and considerate person. I think Haile Selassie was getting old and was not any more in controle of his personality. But the way he murdered Lej Eyasu was very inhuman. What a person with cruel Haile Selassie was! Haile Selassie has modernized the ethiopian state and brought "Eritrea" back to it´s motherland. In foreign policy he was very wise.

From Greenfield´s book I remember a passage about General Mengistu Neway that after the coup he went to talk to students at the Haile Selassie I University at the Arat Kilo Campus. Mengistu Neway told the students to help the people of Ethiopia by showing the audience a piece of bread, which he might have said that some of our people worked very very hard to earn money for such a piece of bread. After the failed coup Mengistu was hanged and his corpse was driven all over Addis Ababa to insinuate fear among the people. It is said Mengistu Neway felt the pain as he was driven for he was still alive. What a cruelty! General Mengistu Neway, the true son of Ethiopia showed diginity and was more majestic than tiny Haile Selassie.

May Mengistu Neway rest in Heaven! Amen!


Postby Z' Arada » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:35 am

Indeed Richard Greenfield gives a good account!
They planned a coup de etat against HAILE SELLSSIE while he was away on a visit outside the country.Colonel Workneh Gebeyehu(The chief officer of security,) was also part of it!
Mengistu was a General of the royal guards,while Germame was a western educated, fair, reasonable,and progressive man who lured his brother to join him.
They failed because the army and the air force who was headed by a Swedish guy and an Ethiopian General called Abiye Abebe(Not so sure of his name) refused to cooperate, communication and mass media were not also regarded as vital too.
Colonel Workneh shot himself and died, while Gen.Mengistu was hanged in public, the rest I don't remember well.
With their failure Ethiopia lost a chance to rid itself from its oppressors.
May all of their souls rest in peace!