Son of Liqa Makas Abebe Atnaf Seggad, Abye was born 1918 in Addis Ababa as a Lij. He attended the Holeta Military Academy. In the 1940s and 1950s he was Minister of War, and later served as Minister of Justice and Minister of the Interior. He chaired the High National Security Commission during the Ethiopian Revolution until his arrest by the Derg 16 July 1974.
According to John Spencer, when Prime Minister Aklilu Habte-Wold sought to resign his post in 1973, he suggested to the Emperor that he be replaced by General Abiye. However Abiye consented to becoming Prime Minister only if his nomination, and those of his cabinet, were approved by the Ethiopian parliament, a condition Emperor Haile Selassie found unacceptable. As a result, Haile Selassie decided to appoint Endelkachew Makonnen Prime Minister instead. Abiye was one of 60 former government officials executed the night of 22-23 November at Akaki Central Prison by the Derg.
- Brigadier-General (26/04/1942).
- Governor General of Wollega (1942-1943).
- Minister for War 1949-1955 (Acting 1943-1947).
- Minister of Justice (1958-1961).
- Minister of Interior (1961-1974).
- Ambassador to France (1955-1958).
- Viceroy of Eritrea (1959-1961).
- President of the Senate (1964-1974).
- Minister for Defence and Chief of Staff (28/02/1974-22/07/1974).
- Grand Cross of the Order of Menelik II.
- St George Medal of War.
- Haile Selassie Gold Medal 1st class.
- Patriot Medal & three torches (1944).
- Refugee Medal (1944).
- Jubilee Medal (1955).
- Jubilee Medal (1966).
- Knight Gran Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav (Kingdom of Norway, January 1956).
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Legion of Honour (French Republic).
- Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sahametrei (Kingdom of Cambodia, 4 January 1968).
- British Star (United Kingdom, 1939-1945).
- Africa Star (United Kingdom, 1940-1943).
- British War Medal (United Kingdom, 1939-1945).
- Royal Ark
- Royal Ark
- Shinn, David H. (2004). Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (2 ed.). Scarecrow Press. pp. 3–. ISBN 9780810865662.
- Bahru Zewde, A History of Modern Ethiopia, second edition (London: James Currey, 2003), p. 205
- Andargachew Tiruneh, The Ethiopian revolution, 1974-1987 (Cambridge: University Press, 1993), p. 68
- Spencer, Ethiopia at Bay: A personal account of the Haile Selassie years (Algonac: Reference Publications, 1984), p. 337
- Marina and David Ottaway, Ethiopia: Empire in Revolution (New York: Africana, 1978), p. 61
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