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Mohammed Hassen Ali

Ethiopian military officer of Oromo origin, was born in Salale, Shewa province, to a deeply religious family. He received Ethiopian Orthodox Church education. His father, Birru, was killed by poison gas while fighting against the invading Italian forces in 1935. Heartbroken, Taddese’s mother died just three months after her husband’s death.

Taddese joined his uncle, Beka, who was one of the resistance leaders in Shewa province. Taddese was captured together with many others by the Italian forces and was sentenced for the first time to life imprisonment with hard labor in Mogadisho. The outbreak of World War II shortened Taddese’s misery and changed the course of his life. When the British captured Mogadisho in 1940, Taddese was freed and recruited into the British forces. He was given military training in Kenya and returned to Ethiopia in 1941. In 1942 Taddese was promoted to the rank of ...