Ethiopian patriot and war hero General Jagama Kello passed away

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The great patriot and war-hero General Jagama Kello passed away at the age of 96, his daughter Yetmwork Jagema kello announced. He has died in Addis Ababa’s Armed Forces hospital this morning after suffering a severe infection.
One of the last surviving Ethiopians who fought against the fascists took to the bush as a 15-year-old and emerged as famed guerrilla leader. After the defeat of the fascist army, Jagama continued his service in the military, becoming the highest-ranking in the Ethiopian army, in a career spanning three decades. He had taken part in several battles, including the Ogaden War in the 1960s, wounded multiple times, and survived a helicopter crash. Jagama was also put in charge of a determined effort to defeat the Bale insurgency in the 1960’s.During the 1960 Mengistu Neway’s attempted coup d’état against the throne, Jagama remained loyal to the Emperor and he was one of the military chiefs who gathered force to foil the coup. In an interview few years ago, he described Mengistu Neway as a blood thirsty fanatic who was not serious about bringing a meaningful change.
General Jagama was also among the small party of respected people who had formed the Ethiopian Unity Party (EUP) in the summer of 1991, soon after the fall of the Derg, in opposition to the current regime’s stress on ethnicity.
Former Ethiopian president Girma Wolde-ghoris described him as a man deeply committed to his country and had deep love for people. Ambassador Imru Zeleke described the war veteran as “a dedicated patriot and soldier of excellence.” “He served Ethiopia well as a patriot from his early age to the highest of military rank with honor. A genuine Ethiopian Hero admired and liked by all has past. May God his soul. My most sincere condolences to his family and friends,” he wrote on his Facebook page. Jagama was the recipient of many awards, including the Order of the Star of Ethiopia, Emperor Menelik II Adwa Medal, Ethiopian Patriots Medal.
Jagama and his wife, Aster Asfaw had a son and five daughters, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Ethiopian general who fought fascism: Jagama Kelo

Arefayné Fantahun
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