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Ras Makonnen (May 8, 1852–March 21, 1906) was a General and the governor of Harar in Ethiopia, and the father to Tafari Makonnen, later known as the Emperor Haile Selassie. He was a a grandson of King Sahle Selassie of Shoa through his mother, Tenagnework Sahle Selassie. As such, he was a first cousin of Emperor Menelik II, and a member of the Solomonic Dynasty .
He married a woman of mixed Oromo and Gurage ethnicity, Yashimabet Ali. Following her death, he was briefly married to a neice of Empress Taitu Bitul, but the marriage was never consumated, and was annulled. He was given the governorship of Harar after it was re-incorporated into the Ethiopian Empire by Menelik II. He served his cousin the Emperor as governor of Harar, temporary governor of Tigray upon the removal of the rebellious Ras Mengesha Yohannis , as a general during various military campaigns including during the First Italo-Abyssinian War, and as a diplomat and de facto foreign minister. Ras Makonnen also had a son out of wedlock previous to his marriage to Wayzero Yeshimabet, Dejazmatch Yilma Makonnen, who succeeded him as governor of Harar in 1906, and who was in turn succeeded by the future Emperor Haile Selassie.
In 1902, Ras Makonnen attended the coronation of King Edward VII in England, and paid visits to Italy, France, Turkey, and Germany. He received the following decorations: Badge & Star of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (Knight Commander), Star of the Russian Order of St. Anne, Star of the French Legion d'Honneur (Third Republic), Star of the Order of the Crown of Italy, Star of the Ottoman Order of Osmania.
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