Raesi Woldemichael Solomon consolidated power in the highlands of Eritrea by defeating Degiat Hailu who was favored by Emperor Yohaness IV of Abyssinia at the Battle of Wekidiba
Raesi Woldemichael Solomon (Aba Gomida) of Hazegga (Eritrea) became the Governor of Mereb Melash and Hamasien after the Battle of Wekidiba in 1876 where his army defeated the army of Degiat Hailu Tewoldemedhin (Aba Gala or Aba Habal) of Tsazegga (Eritrea) ending the conflict of the two powerful noble houses who have been vying to gain power to rule Mereb Melash. The territory mainly constitutes the central highlands of Eritrea. Degiat Hailu Tewoldemedhin was wounded and killed in the battle.
Raesi Woldemichael Solomon, being at odds with the Ethiopian monarchy under Emperor Yohaness IV, would continue to defend his territory from the Abyssinian invaders. He was initially loyal to Emperor Yohannes and even fought with bravery at the Battle of Gundet against the Egyptians. But before the Battle of Gura’e, he sensed that Yohannes would appoint Degiat Hailu as governor of Mereb Mellash and he thus turned against Yohannes and sided with the Egyptians at Gura’e. With the defeat of the Egyptians at the Battle of Gura’e, he would lead the life of a rebel against the Ethiopian Monarch.
His alliance with the Egyptians under the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which controlled most of the Red Sea coast of Eritrea at the time, gained him the title of “Raesi” (Duke) from the Turks.