This is a fascinating piece of history that I have come across in Britain’s National Archive, In Kew.

It has to do with the Ethiopian prince known as Lij Iyasu – or Iyasu V.

He is a controversial figure, who was overthrown in September 1916, before he could be sworn in as Emperor, apparently because of his pro-Muslim views. But there is another side to all this, which has to do with the intrigues surrounding the First World War.

This telegram is from Wilfred Gilbert Thesiger (from 1909-1919 Britain’s Consul-General and Minister Plenipotentiary in Addis Ababa) to the Foreign Office in London.

In it he says that the “…German Minister is urging the Abyssinians to seize Eritrea promising that, if they will attack the Italians now, Germany will allow them to hold the colony as part of Abyssinia but if, on the other hand, they  do not take immediate offensive measures, then they must be prepared to see the Italian colony pass eventually under German control.”

This is an area I am beginning to work on.

Martin


Thesiger Ethiopia National Archive FO 371/2593

Thesiger Ethiopia National Archive FO 371/2593

Thesiger Ethiopia National Archive FO 371/2593