Yaqob appears quite young because he is only in his early 20's. Unlike his father or brother, Yaqob is more interested in African style and tastes; wearing traditional clothing and wearing his hair in a slight afro as is local custom.
Before Becoming EmperorEdit
Born in 1953 in Dessie, Wollo province, Yaqob's father, Yohannes Iyasu, was Aboto-hoy (crown prince) of Ethiopia and Governor of Wollo. His mother, Elani Aman, was a local noble woman. Yaqob was the youngest of three children, with an older sister Taytu, born in 1951, and an older brother Sahle, born in 1946. As a child, Yaqob used to follow his brother around, participating in his antics. In 1959, when Yaqob was 6, Yohannes became Emperor of Ethiopia and the family moved to the Imperial Residence in Addis Ababa.
Yaqob went to school in Austria in 1967 and stayed until graduation in 1971. Returning home early, it was decided Yaqob was going to go to military school in China and receive a Chinese officers training.
Yaqob spent his first few years in China studying in the Chinese officers program. During the time, unrest erupted in Ethiopia and his father, Yohannes Iyasu, was assassinated. His brother Sahle took control of the nation, but became unpopular as he courted European support. Sahle cut off national ties in China, causing some concern about what
would happen to Yaqob. During this time, Chinese authorities began to heavily monitor Yaqob, who by then had graduated and moved into a house in Hunan where he lived in exile with the ex-ambassador of China, Themba Akanni. Yaqob took this opportunity to study politics, weighing the traditional world he was born in, the old European ways in which he went to school around, and the Marxist and Houist values that he had been exposed to in China. These areas of study, combined with the political conflict playing out in his homeland, inspired Yaqob to develop a political philosophy based on the maintainance of peace and socialist principles regarding economic distribution.
As the war in Ethiopia continued, a movement to replace Sahle with Yaqob started to form under direction of the rebellious Ethiopian military leader Ras Hassan. Yaqob, afraid his brother was tearing the country apart, was accepting of this movement. When Hassan finally managed to depose Sahle in 1976, Yaqob was made Emperor
Emperor Yohannes II IyasuEdit
Coronation and Early ReignEdit
Yaqob was coronated as Emperor of Ethiopia in mid September of 1976, bringing his political beliefs regarding socialism and peace with him. His first act as Emperor was to reconcile with democracy proponents in Ethiopia by calling a Constitutional Convention.
On April 25, 1971 Spanish agents made an attempt on the life of Emperor Yaqob Yohannes. Though their attempt technically failed, it succedded to put the young emperor into the hospital where he lays now in a coma.