YEKATIT 12th : Remembrance of the 81th Anniversary of the Massacre of Over 30,000 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by General Rodolfo Graziani


Washington DC ( Little Ethiopia ) - When Italy invaded Ethiopia in October 1935 in her 2nd futile attempt to colonize the country, the Ethiopian army led by the iconic Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I fought valiantly at the Battle of Maichew until ihis army was overwhelmed by the usage of chemical war fare.The fascist Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini ordered General Emilio De Bono and later Pietro Badoglio to invade Ethiopia and as here below posted from information gathered from WIKI that highlights the Addis Abab Massacre of Yekatit 12 ( February 19, 1937)

" At precisely 5:00 am on 3 October 1935, General Emilio De Bono crossed the Mareb River and advanced into Ethiopia from Eritrea without a Declaration of War.[2] In response to the Italian invasion, Ethiopia declared war on Italy.[3] At this point in the campaign, roadways represented a serious drawback for the Italians as they crossed into Ethiopia. On the Italian side, roads had been constructed right up to the border. On the Ethiopian side, these roads often transitioned into vaguely defined paths.[2]

General Emilio De Bono was the Commander-in-Chief of all Italian armed forces in East Africa. In addition, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the forces invading from Eritrea, the "northern front." De Bono had under his direct command a force of nine divisions in three Army Corps: The Italian I Corps, the Italian II Corps, and the Eritrean Corps.

General Rodolfo Graziani was De Bono's subordinate. He was the Commander-in-Chief of forces invading from Italian Somaliland, the "southern front." Initially he had two divisions and a variety of smaller units under his command. Soon after De Bono advanced from Eritrea, Graziani would advance into Ethiopia from Somaliland with a force of Italians, Somalis, Eritreans, and Libyans. " as narated on WIKI

Adigrat and Adwa

On 5 October, the I Corps took Adigrat and, by 6 October 1935, Adwa[4] was captured by the II Corps. In 1896, Adwa was the site of a humiliating Italian defeat during the First Italo–Ethiopian War and now that historic defeat was "avenged." But, in 1935, the Italian capture of Adwa was accomplished with almost no Ethiopian resistance. Haile Selassie had ordered Ras[nb 1] Seyum Mangasha, the Commander of the Ethiopian Army of Tigre, to withdraw a day's march away from the Mareb River. Later, he ordered Ras Seyum and Dejazmach[nb 2] Haile Selassie Gugsa, also in the area, to move back fifty-five and thirty-five miles from the border.[2] by WIKI

Italy declared aggressor

On 7 October, the League of Nations declared Italy the aggressor and started the slow process of imposing sanctions. However, these sanctions did not extend to several vital materials, such as oil. The British and French argued that if they refused to sell oil to the Italians, the Italians would then simply get it from the United States, which was not a member of the League (the British and French wanted to keep Mussolini on side in the event of war with Germany, which by 1935 was looking like a distinct possibility). In an effort to find compromise, the Hoare-Laval Plan was drafted (which essentially handed 3/5ths of Ethiopia to the Italians without Ethiopia's consent on the condition the war ended immediately), but when news of the deal was leaked public outrage was such that the British and French governments were forced to wash their hands of the whole WIKI 

The Emperor left Ethiopia with few of his senior advisers in May 1936 to garner international support from the League of Nations. He appeared infront of the League in June 1936. Part of Emperor's speech was :

" Ravage and Terror : The very refinement of barbarism consisted in carrying ravage and terror into the most densely populated parts of the territory, the points farthest removed from the scene of hostilities. The object was to scatter fear and death over a great part of the Ethiopian territory. These fearful tactics succeeded. Men and animals succumbed. The deadly rain that fell from the aircraft made all those whom it touched fly shrieking with pain. All those who drank the poisoned water or ate the infected food also succumbed in dreadful suffering. In tens of thousands, the victims of the Italian mustard gas fell. It is in order to denounce to the civilized world the tortures inflicted upon the Ethiopian people that I resolved to come to Geneva. None other than myself and my brave companions in arms could bring the League of Nations the undeniable proof. The appeals of my delegates addressed to the League of Nations had remained without any answer; my delegates had not been witnesses. That is why I decided to come myself to bear witness against the crime perpetrated against my people and give Europe a warning of the doom that awaits it, if it should bow before the accomplished fact. "

" Is it necessary to remind the Assembly of the various stages of the Ethiopian drama? For 20 years past, either as Heir Apparent, Regent of the Empire, or as Emperor, I have never ceased to use all my efforts to bring my country the benefits of civilization, and in particular to establish relations of good neighbourliness with adjacent powers. In particular I succeeded in concluding with Italy the Treaty of Friendship of 1928, which absolutely prohibited the resort, under any pretext whatsoever, to force of arms, substituting for force and pressure the conciliation and arbitration on which civilized nations have based international order." from the League of Nations

The Date February 19th is always remembered by the people of Ethiopia

"  Yekatit 12 is a date in the Ethiopian calendar, equivalent to 19 February in the Gregorian calendar, which is commonly used to refer to the indiscriminate massacre and imprisonment of Ethiopians by elements of the Italian occupation forces following an attempted assassination of Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, Marchese di NeghelliViceroy of Italian East Africa, on 19 February 1937. Marshal The Marchese di Neghelli had led the Italian forces to victory over their Ethiopian opponents in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and was supreme governor of Italian East Africa. This was one of the worst atrocities committed by the Italian occupation forces.

Estimates of the number of people killed in the three days that followed the attempt on the Marchese di Neghelli's life vary. Ethiopian sources afterwards estimated as many as 30,000 people were killed by the Italians, while Italian sources claimed only a few hundred were killed. Over the following week, numerous Ethiopians suspected or accused of opposing Italian rule were rounded up and executed, including members of the Black Lions, and other members of the aristocracy; most of the 125 young men whom Emperor Haile Selassie had sent abroad to receive college education, and were still resident in Ethiopia, were killed.[1] " by WIKI 

The Memorial Panel Discussion will be held in conjunction with the 13th Anniversary " Black History Month " Celebration by Little Ethiopia

Venue : Fraser Mansion , 1701 20th St., N.W. Washington D.C.

Time :    Monday, February 19, 2018  6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.


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