Black Lions

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If you are looking for something else referred to as "Black Lions", see the disambiguation.

The Black Lions was a resistance movement[1] formed to fight against Italian occupation of the Ethiopian Empire.[2][3]


The Black Lions dominated the early resistance movement in Ethiopia. Members of the Black Lions included students from the Oletta Military Academy and foreign-educated Ethiopians. The military academy was founded in 1935 and is located in Holeta Genet.

The Black Lions convinced Ras[nb 1] Imru Haile Selassie to join them. Ras Imru was appointed by Emperor Haile Selassie as Prince Regent in his absence. Ras Imru was to reorganize and continue to resist the Italians. To do this, he fell back to Gore in southern Ethiopia. On 19 December 1936, after the Italians pinned him down on the north bank of the Gojeb River, Ras Imru surrendered. The Black Lions organization then collapsed and many of its members were liquidated.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roughly equivalent to Duke.
  1. ^ Zewde, A History of Modern Ethiopia 1855-1991, p. 168
  2. ^ Shinn, Historical dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 75
  3. ^ Haile Selassie, p. 80
  4. ^ Shinn, Historical dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 75


  • Haile Selassie I, Edited by Harold Marcus with others and Translated by Ezekiel Gebions with others (1999). My Life and Ethiopia's Progress: The Autobiography of Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Volume II. Chicago: Research Associates School Times Publications. p. 190. ISBN 0-948390-40-9. 
  • Shinn, David Hamilton, Ofcansky, Thomas P., and Prouty, Chris (2004). Historical dictionary of Ethiopia. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 633. ISBN 0-8108-4910-0. 
  • Zewde, Bahru (2001). A History of Modern Ethiopia 1855-1991. Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University Press. p. 300. ISBN 0-8214-1440-2.