Ras Wubineh Tesema

Ras Wubineh Tessema

Popularly known as "Amoraw Wubineh" or "Wubineh the Eagle", Ras Wubineh Tessema was a prominent

leader of the anti-facsist resistance in western Beghemidir province during the Italian occupation of

Ethiopia between 1936 and 1941. A native of Armachoho district in the lowlands bordering the Sudan,

Wubineh Tessema started out as one of many bandit/brigand leaders out to make their fortune in the

rough and tumble frontier regions. Upon the invasion of Ethiopia by the Italians, Wubineh Tessema turned

his mission from brigandage to attacking the invader wherever he found them. He and his growing band

of patriot fighters (including his wife) traveled freely between the eastern Sudan and western Ethiopia,

establishing close ties with prominent local figures on both sides of the border, and making it impossible

for the Italians to pacify Beghemidir. Ras Wubineh also stood out in his steadfast personal loyalty to

Emperor Haile Selassie, refusing to entertain any possibility of setting up a rival claimant on the Ethiopian

throne to lead the resistance as had been suggested by other patriot leaders at various times.

Although he had unilaterally adopted the title of Ras while fighting the Italians, Emperor Haile Selassie

only confirmed the title of Dejazmatch on him upon his restoration in 1941. However, he was elevated to

Ras shortly thereafter. Ras Wubineh was famous for being extremely outspoken and fearless about

contradicting anyone and everyone if he believed it was called for, including the Emperor himself. This

lead to the Ras spending some periods under house arrest. In spite this character, Emperor Haile

Selassie had a very strong affection for Ras Wubineh and valued his advise.

Following the fall of the monarchy in 1974, the Derg member Melaku Tefera (later known as the Butcher

of Gondar) who was appointed governor of Gondar province, ordered Ras Wubineh and his wife to vacate

their home in that city taking it over for himself, complete with all it's contents. It was a scandalous

diservice to a man who had proven himself a hero and patriot of Ethiopia in her darkest times. Ras

Wubineh died in Addis Ababa a few years later and was buried at Holy Trinity Cathedral in the capital

among the great leaders of the resistance against Italy.