Lij Iyasu, designated but uncrowned Emperor of Ethiopia (1913-1916)
Lij Iyassou was the grandson of Emperor Menelik II and heir to the throne when the emperor died in 1913.
Lij Iyassou’s short period of rule was marked with tension with Menelik’s old guard. He primarily challenged the efficiency of the members of Menelik’s administration, while forming what seemed to be a break with Orthodoxy when he married daughters of Muslim chiefs. Yet, his construction of Kechene Medhanealem among other activities were played down in an attempt to criminalize him for having abandoned the Orthodox Church. In an almost progressive motion, Lij Iyassou’s actions seem to have been taken to allow Ethiopian Muslims a chance to feel at home. All the more challenging was his foreign policy which seemed to undermine Ethiopia’s relationship with France, England and Italy. A sum of all these events and the problem of being rivals to power with a cunning, diplomatic mastermind that was Ras Teferi, Lij Iyassou’s legitimacy was eroded and he was finally removed from the prospect of Emperorship.