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Berhanu Nega, The Professor who became an Ethiopian Rebel Army Commander


Berhanu Nega was one of the most popular professors at Bucknell. He was exiled Ethiopian with a doctorate from the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, and taught one of the most popular elective in economics: the development of the African economy. When off seminars or passed the time pleasantly at his home in quiet neighborhood surrounded by forests, five-minute drive from campus Bucknell Bloaisborg rural Pennsylvania, was Venus travels abroad, academic conferences and lectures on human rights in the European Parliament in Brussels.

“He was very interested in the relationship between democracy and development”, he said John Ricard, a professor of English who became one of his closest friends. “he claimed that can not maintain sustainable economic development without democratization, and vice versa.”


Venus, sociable and active person on campus, a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Kooalirs, visited people door to door as part of the campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 and became known as one of the best squash players faculty of Bucknell. He and his wife, optometrist, who was born in Ethiopia, raised two sons and sent them leading learning institutions, the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon.

On weekends he often value other dinners at Bucknell professors and their families, delighting them with stories of Abyssinian culture and history and serves Ethiopian food prepared by himself; He imported the spices in Addis Ababa and preparing injera himself.

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Nega left the hazy past. But the students were sort of wondering Dame found the man standing before them in Google and sketched development policies in sub-Saharan Africa, was actually involved with all his might the long hostility between neighboring Ethiopia and Eritrea, a dispute has been dragged half a century.

At the beginning of the millennium, the new incarnation – War borders on a piece of worthless land, 650 square kilometers area – the conflict has become a tense standoff between the two nations, each center thousands of troops along the border, both in their army official and unofficial armies.

One third parties who fought on the side, an Eritrean, Ethiopian opposition organization named Ginbot 7, was aided in establishing power glowed when he founded the movement in 2008, in Washington, along with more Ethiopian expatriate named Andrgtz’io Tzgh. the Ethiopian government, previously held Berhanu Nega as a political prisoner for two years in Addis Ababa, sentenced it is now in absentia, sentenced to death. Bucknell students heard about their professor’s been enthusiastic. “it became his lessons-hum,”