Opinion

Ethiopia’s Adwa Victory is a Pan-African Victory

By MalekArolDhieu

Imagine, a fraction of Africa defeated European fascists, what would’ve happened if Africa as a whole had unanimously united against the various colonialists? In Ethiopia, today marks the 125th anniversary of the Adwa’s victory over the Italian fascism invasion effort. On the first day of March, 1896, traditional warriors, farmers and pastoralists, as well as women defeated a well-armed Italian fascist army in Ethiopia’s northern town of Adwa. The outcome of this battle fought by the Emperor Menelik II, alongside other sub-kings, ensured Ethiopia’s sustained sovereignty, making it the only African country was not colonized. The battle of Adwa was the climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian war that thwarted the campaign of the kingdom of Italy to expand its colonial empire in the Horn of Africa.

Despite European powers after the Berlin Conference, Ethiopiaand Liberia maintained their independence. Adwa became a pre-eminent symbol of Pan-Africanism and secured Ethiopia’s sovereignty. After4o years, the then malignant Italian fascist declared theSecond Italo-Ethiopian War (war of aggression),but defeated again by Ethiopians.The aggressionwas seen as an example of the expansionist policy that characterized the Axis Powers and the ineffectiveness of the then League of Nations before the outbreak of the World War II.

The victory of Adwa is a public holiday in all regional states and charter cities across Ethiopia in which all schools, banks, post offices and government offices are closed, in commemoration of the Victory, with the exceptions of health facilities. Some taxi services and public transports choose not to operate on this day and shops are normally open but most close earlier than usual. In Addis Ababa, the Adwa’s victory is being celebrated at Menelik Square with the presence of government officials, patriots, foreign diplomats and the general public.

Ethiopians’ Adwa victory over the European colonialist had awoken and inspired other African countries in colonial yoke to rise up and form resistance movements to expel colonialists out of Africa, though their expulsion didn’t happen at once, each country then got independence after another until the whole Africa was free from colonialism. For the reason,Ethiopia got rid of colonialism infatuation and persisted its sovereignty, its capital Addis Ababa is chosen for the seat of AU Head Quarterand most, if not all, of the African peace negotiations are being held in the capital to make sure these processes are negotiated without being interfered with by colonial masters and remnants as they can be in colonized countries.

That’s why it’s common to witness that Ethiopian elites in various arenas are seen while propounding and echoing ‘for African problems, African Solutions first by Africans’, which is of course sovereignty issue of Africa.

Not only that, Ethiopia has been a well-established nation, with its system of governance operating effectively and independently for more than three thousand years and because of that, Ethiopia is one of the major champions in global peace keeping having its well professional and prominentpeace keeping forces in Darfur, Somalia, South Sudan, among others.

If the recent war between government forces and TPLF cliques in Ethiopia was fought in another country, it would have interminably continued for years, but because it was fought under unity of Ethiopian People, the able leadership of the champion of peace, H.E Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and invulnerable Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the war was curbed within two weeks.

The importance of the victory of Adwa lies in the fact that it wasn’t for Ethiopians alone, but for Africans and black people all over the world. The word “exception” used to describe Ethiopia and Liberia in the history of colonialism gives Africa strength and makes it weightier to be considered in agendas of the world.

Congratulations the Mighty Ethiopia for blackspotting the legacy of the colonialists posed on Africa by laying down the foundations of landslide victory over the European fascist, which really showed that any African country could have defeated its colonialist if it were not the reason that they approached smiling. The news of the Adwa victory spread all over Africa, contributing positively to lessening of the slave trade where African ancestors were taken to America to exploit their labor in industries, infrastructures, agricultural fields, etc., therefore an African isn’t wrong at all to say that the whole Europe and America were built by African slaves and a significant number of their population is descendants of Africa.  

Ethiopia has contributed enormously in the liberation struggles of many African countries, there’re many countries to mentionbut permit me to take South Sudan as an example. Besides accommodating Southern Sudanese fighters for equality and then freedom, Ethiopia offered them training grounds, military logistics and ideological supports andit has also helped in connecting Southern Sudanese equality and freedom fighters’ leaders with many countries in and outside Africa for both financial and weaponry supports.

When the war of Anyanya 1 was already fought and it was time for peace negotiations, Ethiopia tirelessly contributed in bringing the two warring parties on board for peace agreement, which led to the signing of Addis Ababa Peace Agreement in 1972. When that agreement was dishonored, Ethiopia didn’t fade up accommodating and offering more training grounds for Southern Sudanese rebels, it continued supporting them until the signing of the CPA in 2005. During the independence Ethiopia’s contribution was prominent in facilitation of acceptable separation of Southern Sudan by the two sides.

This deeply rooted relationship between Ethiopia and South Sudan is like an old marriage that can’t be shaken. Sharing a border with a historical country like Ethiopia is a privilege to South Sudan to adopt her system of governance and unchanged cultures, which I think is the very reason why South Sudan has been maintaining the core parts of her cultures. There are a lot to say about Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Long live Ethiopia and South Sudan! Long live Africa!And Peace to our Globe!

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.He can be reached at malengaroldit@gmail.com or +211922332811.

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