Lij Eyasu’s daughter Alem Tsehai Eyasu, the only legitimate great-granddaughter of Menelik II was given the title of Emebet-hoi by Emperor Haile Selassie, married a nobleman, and remains in Ethiopia, largely unharrased through the governments of Emperor Haile Selassie, the Derg, and the current Federal Republic of the EPRDF, the elderly matriarch of the Eyasuist house. She has never claimed the Imperial throne for herself or her heirs. The same cannot be said of all her half brothers and nephews. Lij Yohannis Eyasu, son of Lij Eyasu by the daughter of the Sultan of Jimma was closely watched by Emperor Haile Selassie. Upon the facist invasion, he led a guerilla band of soldiers against the Italians, and corresponded regularly with the exiled Emperor. This won him a degree of favour from the Emperor, and when Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa in triumph on May 5th 1941, Lij Yohannis Eyasu was riding in an open car, alone, immediately behind the Emperor. Given the title of Dejazmatch, he fell back out of favor, suspected in being involved in a host of anti-government plots, and ended his days banished from court in Jimma, quietly. Another son, Lij Menelik Eyasu was the son of Eyasu by the daughter of the Afar Sultan. He lived most of his early life in exile in the French territory of Afars and Issas (French Somaliland) which is the Republic of Djibouti today. Upon the news of the death of his father, the Italians had approached him about him accepting the Ethiopian throne as a puppet monarch when their defeat of Haile Sellassie at Maichew made victory probable for them. Lij Menelik refused saying that Ethiopia had only one Emperor. Emperor Haile Selassie was greatful and he recieved Menelik in audience when Lij Menelik returned to Ethiopia after the restoration. He lived quietly also, acting as an occasional emmisary of the Emperor to the Afars. Two other sons and a grandson have been much more agressive with their claims. Lij Meleke Tsehai Eyasu was a boy of 16 when in 1936, Balambaras Abebe Aregai, and other notable guerilla leaders assembled on Amba Aradam and crowned him “Emperor of Ethiopia” as a symbol to rally the people against the Italians. In return “Emperor” Meleke Tsehai bestowed the title of Ras on Abebe Aregai. The Italians mobilized a huge force to hunt down this “Emperor” or the “little Nigus” as the Italians called him, and pitched battles were fought all over northern Shewa to find the pretender. Emperor Haile Selassie was furious at this afront to his title as well. However it was not the exiled Emperor or the Italian occupiers that did Meleke Tsehai in, but malaria, which killed Lij Eyasu’s son later that same year. Emperor Haile Selassie resented Abebe Aregai for this action for a long time, and it was only under the strong urging of his British allies that he desided to recognize and confirm the title of Ras for him in order to co-opt his soldiers into the liberation forces in 1941. Ras Abebe knew the Emperor was resentful and angry over this episode, but won him over with a spontaneous gesture. Shortly before the Emperor was about to board his car to re-enter his liberated capital from Mt. Entoto, Ras Abebe arrived with a huge guard of honor for the Emperor, rushed up to him and with tears streaming down his face, said in very simple language, without using words like Emperor or majesty, “I never thought I would live to see your face again!” and fell to his knees and embraced the Emperor’s shoes, moving Haile Selassie deeply. All was forgiven, but not forgotten. Eyasuist pretenders and their supporters did not generate much sympathy from Emperor Haile Selassie. Another Eyasuist claimant was Lij Mesfin Eyasu. Unknown before the 1974 revolution, he claimed that he had been confined to a monastery by Emperor Haile Selassie, and had only been able to leave because of the revolution. His arrival in Addis at the hieght of the Red Terror was interesting in that he would attend mass at Holy Trinity Cathedral and cry out the full titles of the Emperor of Ethiopia in the places where the Emperor’s name had now been omitted from the service. Even Lij Eyasu’s known decendants voiced doubts as to the truth of whether or not he was a true son of Eyasu, and in fact never aknowledged him as such. Although he started out poor in Addis Ababa in the mid seventies, he ended up quite wealthy by the time the Derg fell. When a demonstration was held to ask the new transitional government to demolish the statue of Emperor Menelik II in Addis Ababa by revisionists, Lij Mesfin conspicuously paid for the statue of his great grandfather be guilded with silver (much to the chagrin of many who thought this ruined a beautiful statue). Lij Mesfin also personaly wrote a letter to then Transitional-President (now Prime Minister) Meles Zenawi requesting that the wall built accross the main entrance to Holy Trinity Cathedral by the Derg be removed. The government printed his letter in the newspapers, and then dismantled the wall the following week much to the jubilation of Addis Ababa’s Christian population. When the Emperor-in-Exile, Amha Selassie (former Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen) announced from Washington D.C. the formation of the Moa Anbessa monarchist movement, and gave some interviews to the press, Lij Mesfin made his own pretentions official by giving an interview to the Ethiopian Review Magazine and stating that “Prince Asfaw Wossen is welcome to return to Ethiopia” but that “I (Lij Mesfin) am the legitimate and true Emperor of Ethiopia.” His public behavior was reduced to theatrics as he insisted people bow to him, kiss his hand and refer to him as “majesty”. He ran afoul of the EPRDF government and rumors spreat that he was to be arrested although he remained free. He died in 1999 and was buried at the Bale Wold Church (Church of the Feast of God the Son, also known as the Church of the Four Heavenly Creatures) which is part of the complex of Holy Trinity Cathedral. The current Eyasuist pretender to the imperial throne of Ethiopia is Dr. Girma Yohannis Eyasu, known also as Lij Girma Yohannis Eyasu. Lij Girma is listed in the Almanach de Bruxelle as the Eyasuist claimant, with the claimed title of Crown Prince of Ethiopia, and his German wife Claudia Bertram with the claimed title of Princess Claudia Iyasu Menelik. Like Lij Mesfin, Lij Girma also claims to have been confined to a monastery (in his case Asebot Monastery) during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. He insists on carrying the style and titles Abeto Lij Girma Eyasu Menelik, Crown Prince of Ethiopia (both the name and titles other than the title of Lij are not legitimate, as they imply he is the son of Eyasu and that Eyasu is the son of Menelik, when in fact they are the grandson of each). Lij Girma Yohannis claims that all the post 1917 governments in Ethiopia are illegitimate. Eyasuist claimants have seen much of their support dwindle from broad support in the mid-twenties to virtually nothing today. They are outside of the mainstream monarchist movement in Ethiopia.