Brigadier-General Mengistu Neway (1919–30 March 1961)

Brigadier-General Mengistu Neway (1919 – 30 March 1961) was the commander of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. He is noted for being one of the early dissidents of the Emperor’s regime and for organizing the 1960 coup attempt with his younger brother Germame Neway.

Mengistu and his brother were members of a well-established noble lineage called Moja, which had supplied the Ethiopian government a number of soldiers and governors for a century, but at the time of the 1960 coup had fallen out of favor. Ethiopian observers, noting that the Moja had a tradition for favoring reforms, later speculated that their coup could be explained in terms of Ethiopian lineage politics. Christopher Clapham rejects this interpretation, noting “this is at best an oversimplification, in that some Mojas remained loyal to the Emperor, while several non-Mojas were actively involved; and there has been no evidence that Mengestu and Germame took the lead because of their Moja ancestry.” [wiki]

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