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Obituary for Negasso Gidada

negaso gidadaObituary to the death of Negasso Gidada (1943-2019), former president of Ethiopia (1995-2001) and doctoral student at the Frobenius Institute under Eike Haberland.


Negasso Gidada Solon was born as the son of one of the first local clergymen of a Protestant church in the Dembidolo area of Western Ethiopia. With the beginning of the socialist regime in Ethiopia in 1974, he went into exile to Germany and joined the Frobenius Institute as a doctoral student of Eike Haberlands. In 1984 he received his doctorate with the dissertation History of the Sayyoo Oromo of South Western Wallaga.

During his exile in Germany he became an active member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). After the fall of the socialist regime in 1990, he returned to Ethiopia. He became information minister in the transitional government, helped draft the new constitution, and was subsequently the country's first president. He resigned from office in 2001 and later joined the opposition.

With Negasso Gidada, Ethiopia has lost an intrepid politician. We mourn with his family in Frankfurt and Ethiopia.