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A Call for the Funeral of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I to be the Beginning of a New Unity for Ethiopia

The Crown Council of Ethiopia, the Constitutional body and traditional Ethiopian institution which represents the Crown of Ethiopia during an interregnum and which advises ruling Ethiopian Monarchs, calls upon all Ethiopians to support the proposed final interment of His Late Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I in such a way that the event will not only reflect the glory and dignity of Ethiopia’s traditions but will also create a new climate of national pride and unity to begin the nation’s re-birth.

The solemn occasion of His Majesty’s interment beside his Beloved Empress, and in his chosen resting place at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, should serve notice that the Ethiopian People, conscious and rejoicing of their rights to political and communal differences, reaffirm the unique strength and value of their unified society under God.

The Crown Council further calls upon all World Leaders to take the opportunity of the proposed interment to recall the commitment to the collective security of the world made by Ethiopia under Emperor Haile Selassie. His Imperial Majesty and the Ethiopian People dedicated themselves to regional and international stability, for decades fighting fascism and international aggression alongside the leaders of the United Nations, and striving to ensure the stability and freedom of the vital trade routes of the Red Sea.

Africa and the free world had no greater friend in history, nor more loyal symbol of inspiration, than Emperor Haile Selassie, and the time has now come for the world community to pay tribute to him and his People.

However, it is fitting that the Funeral of His Majesty should also be the re-birth of the social, strategic and economic momentum which Emperor Haile Selassie began for Ethiopia, for the region and for Africa. The Funeral marks not the end of the era of Emperor Haile Selassie, but the start of a new age, building upon the positive legacy which he began.

Ethiopia today faces threats to its unity of a type which even the Italian invasions of 1896 and 1935 did not bring forth. Ethiopia today needs the unity which was rejuvenated by Emperor Tewodros following the mayhem of the Age of Princes — the Zemene Mesafint — and which was maintained by Emperor Yohannes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country’s integrity. It was under Emperor Menelik II that Ethiopia was introduced to modern education, a policy which Emperor Haile Selassie pursued as one of the prime objectives of his reign. Thanks to this remarkable journey of enlightenment, our diverse society is now be able to entertain a broad spectrum of debate which in turn makes feasible a vibrant democracy and a potentially thriving economy. All which we now require is the faith in each other and the overall unity of purpose — to which ends the Emperor dedicated his entire life — which will demonstrate our resolve to maintain Ethiopia’s sovereign integrity and thereby provide the stability and durability to encourage the restoration of international faith and investment in our uniquely valuable country.

By restructuring the Ethiopian State along modern lines, His Majesty ensured the survival of the world’s oldest living institution, the Solomonic Crown. By ensuring Ethiopia’s integrity and pride, His Majesty also ensured that Africa would have a beacon of African culture shining against foreign colonialism.

It is for these reasons and many others that the Crown Council urges the Ethiopian and World communities to think deeply upon the impending Funeral of His Imperial Majesty; to prepare for it as an opportunity to pay tribute to his towering rôle as a leader; and to begin, 26 years after his death, to re-commence the march of Ethiopia toward its rightful place as a prosperous, united community, bringing peace to the region.