Shalleqa Alula Promoted to Ras to Govern Mereb Mellash

9 Oct, 1876


Shalleqa Alula of Abyssinia is promoted to Ras by Emperor Yohannes IV and assigned governorship of Mereb Mellash to tame the rebel Ras Woldemichael of Mereb Mellash

Ras Alula Engida Ras Alula Engida

As Raesi Woldemichael was in revolt in the central highlands of Eritrea against Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia, the monarch promoted Shalleqa Alula to Ras (equivalent to Duke) and sent him to deal with the rebelling aristocrat, who fled to Bogos. Alula had demonstrated his military skills in the Battles of Gundet and Gura’e which were fought in November 1875 and March 1876 respectively, where he routed the Egyptian forces.

On 9 October 1876, the Emperor Yohannes IV made Alula governor of Mereb Mellash (today part of Eritrea) with the title of Ras, Duke. That same year the new Ras moved his family to Adi Teklay, 20km west of Asmara. Later on he moved his headquarters to Asmara, where he built a palace at the top of a hill in the middle of that town. From Asmara, he devoted himself to defending the northern borders of Ethiopia against the Italians, the Anglo-Egyptian forces, and later the Mahdists.

Ras Alula Engida headquarters in Asmara Ras Alula Engida headquarters in Asmara Alula's camp in Asmara Alula’s camp in Asmara

  • Every day we are making Eritrean history. Let’s tell them. Soon they may be forgotten.