Abba Jiffar II

abba jiffar ii portrait

Abba Jiffar II



The Oromo people are known to have had established the Gada system, which is a democratic form of government.

Although, by the 1830's, certain actions and happenings arose to create very powerful men who became rulers.


Abba Jiffar

image credit: wikipedia.org


The Jimma kingdom ruled by Abba Jifar II was at this time the biggest and most powerful of the 5 (Jimma, Ennarya, Gera, Guma, Gomma) Gibe monarchies created by the Oromo people of southwestern Ethiopia.


abba jiffar ii with family


The son of Aba Jifar I who ruled for a quarter of a century, Abba Jiffar II a Muslim, ran the country from 1878 through till 1932.



Aba Jiffar II, who was also known as Abba Jifar Abba Gomal or by his Arabic name Sultan Muhammad Dawud Ibn Ibrahim was considered to be a wise and powerful ruler that helped create a kingdom that was both influential and dominant.


abba jiffar ii painting


His kingdom had the largest market place in the region which attracted traders and established a popular trade route.

The currency at the time was silver Maria Theressa dollars and "Amole Tchew" or salt bars and the economy grew leading to a robust and powerful army.


abba jiffar ii palace residence


Abba Jiffar II also built a palace through which he could exert his authority and administration in a place called Jiren.

The palace was said to be quite expensive at the time with a price of 65,000 Maria Theresa Silver thalers and 400 kilograms of gold.


abba jiffar ii palace jimma


The historically and architecturally significant palace still exists to this day. Within the compound there are another 4 buildings, namely, Abba Jiffar's residence, Abba Jiffar's grandson Abba Jobir Abba Dula's residence, a public mosque, and the private mosque of Aba Jifar II.


abba jiffar ii among people

Moti Aba Jiffar II (Moti Tulu), 8th Moti of Jimma, in the 1880's he took over parts of Janjero State and annexed it to his kingdom.

In 1884 he submitted to Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia and gave tribute from 1886 onwards, ensuring the autonomy of Jimma till his death.

By 1930 Abba Jiffar was removed from power but was allowed to hold the title of Negus or king.



Among his many wives were Queen Limmiti of Limmu, Queen Minjiti of Kaffa, and Queen Sapertiti of the Sapera family of Limmu.


abba jiffar ii with wife


Abba Jiffar II passed away in 1932.