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Haile Selassie, ‘Lion of Judah’, lives on as the African Union unveils his statue for the first time on Ethiopian soil

The statue of former Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie at the AU headquarters.
  • A statue of the ‘Lion of Judah’ was unveiled on Sunday at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Haile Selassie was the last Solomonic monarch to rule Ethiopia.
  • Emperor Haile Selassie is among the key African leaders who founded the Organisation of African Unity, which later became the African Union.

For the first on Ethiopian soil since he was mysteriously killed at the age of 83, a statue of the ‘Lion of Judah’ was unveiled on Sunday at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Haile Selassie was the last Solomonic monarch to rule Ethiopia. He was deposed by a military junta called the Derg, the committee of lower-ranking military and police officials on September 12, 1974, bringing to an end the imperial dynasty that existed in the country for 3,000 years.

Several African leaders at the current African Union summit and relatives of the emperor attended the statue unveiling ceremony.

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This is only second statue of a legendary African leader to be raised, after Kwame Nkrumah.

Emperor Haile Selassie is among the key African leaders who founded the Organisation of African Unity, which later became the African Union.

He was more than 30 years into his reign when he helped establish the OAU and chaired its first meeting, in May 1963, which was held in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia was never colonised although it was subjected to a five-year military occupation by Mussolini's Italy and Haile Selassie is credited for helping a number of African countries to gain independence.

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The country served as a symbol of African independence throughout the colonial period.

Meanwhile, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has handed over the chairmanship of the African Union to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt.

The handing over ceremony took place at the on-going 32nd African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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