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The Marks of Aannolee, Azulee, And Chalanqoo/Calanqoo Cannot Be Erased from the Memory of Oromo Generations January 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Slavery, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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The marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo/Calanqoo cannot be erased from the memory of Oromo generations The marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo/Calanqoo cannot be erased from the memory of Oromo generations.
By Leenjiso Horo

The marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo Cannot be erased from the memory of successive Oromo generations and from the history of the Oromo people. These marks are incorporated into our collective memory. For this, centuries may pass, generations may come and go but the crimes of Abyssinia-the mutilation of breasts of women and girls and of the right hands of men and boys at Aannolee and the mass massacres at Azulee and Chalanqoo will not be erased, will never be diminished, and never be forgotten.
Menelik II’s mutilation of breasts of women and girls and of hands of men and boys is the first one in warfare throughout written history-from antiquity to modern times, unless proven to the contray. Those who support Menelik’s genocide at Aannolee, Azulee, and Calanqoo as a “holy war” or as a war of “reunification of Ethiopia” should hold full entitlement to it.
During the campaign of colonization of the south in the late nineteenth-century king Menelik II of Abyssinia exterminated the Oromo population by 50%, Kaficho by 75%, Gimira by 80% and Madii by over 90% (Radio Simbirtu interview with Prof. Mekuria Bulcha, 19 December 2013, part 2). These are genocides of highest proportion. The basic argument of the Abyssinian genocide denials has, however, remained the same as always—it never happened, the term “genocide” does not apply-it is a “reunification of Ethiopia.” Recently, the tactics of denial of genocide has been shifted from “reunification of Ethiopia” to “holy war.”
Abyssinians always avoid public discourse of the genocide at Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo believing that sooner or later in the course of time that generation would pass from the scene and their children would become acculturated and assimilated in the Abyssinian way of life and Abyssinian political thought and then the issue of genocide dies out and will be forgotten. However, what the Abyssinians forgot or failed to understand is that the genocide at Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo shapes not only the outlook of the immediate victims of the generation of the time but also of subsequent generations of the future. It is very important for the descendents of the perpetrators- the deniers of Oromo genocide to engage introspection to face and learn from their own history. It is time for the Nafxanyaas-the deniers of genocide to ask themselves question as to how that gross mass genocide could have occurred, instead of denying it and trying to maintain a false righteous self-image.
The Abyssinians are unable or unwilling to deal with the truth. They have always refused to recognize the crimes committed against the peoples of the south, Oromo included as genocide. Instead they elevated it to the level of a “holy war/qidus xorrinnat”; then took pride in it; identified with it, enthusiastically embraced it, glorified and glamorized it. This campaign is in support of their political and religious elites, scholars, governments, institutions, and individuals those who have been preaching genocide committed against Oromo and the south as a “reunification of Ethiopia.”
The Oromo Genocide and Tigrayans’ attempt to deny it
Today, the Tigrayan regime is behind the discussion of the past genocide to divert attention from itself, while it is committing genocide itself more dangerous than that of the past ones. It has undertaken open and total war campaign against the Oromo people. It is vitally important, therefore, that we should focus our attention on current genocide the Tigrayan regime is committing, while at the same time reminding ourselves the genocide that the Amhara regime of Menelik II committed a century ago. The Amharas have been denying the genocide against the Oromo and other southern peoples that their regime of Menelik II committed and now the Tigrayans are also denying the genocide that their regime is committing.
The Amharas are simply dancing and singing to the ghost of Menelik II but they do not possess the means and capabilities to commit anther genocide. Today, it is the Tigrayan regime led by TPLF that is committing genocidal mass murder against the Oromo people; it is this regime that possesses the means and capabilities to commit genocide. Its means are the army, paramilitary unit, the police force, special police or Liyyuu police, secret state agents, Death Squads, the bureaucratic and judicial system. All of these are already fully utilized for this purpose.
The sudden descend of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) upon Oromiyaa in 1991, set in a rapid motion a process to eliminate any opposition to its rule that culminate in the arrests, tortures and killings. Then since 1992, it has been carrying out a systematic, methodical, pre-planned, and centrally-organized genocidal mass murder against the Oromo people. Meles Zenawi was the notorious architect and organizer of policy of the Oromo genocide with his culprits and other thousands of perpetrators of genocide who are still implementing his policy after his death. His brutality against Oromo people has surpassed that of all his predecessors combined. His regime has erected concentration camps across Oromiyaa, camps such as Hursoo, Bilaattee, Dhidheessaa, Zuwaay, and Qalittii are the well known ones. But numerous other clandestine prison cells where the victims are eliminated have been established across the empire. The regime has openly undertaken a major Oromiyaa-wide persecution of Oromo. Hence Ordinary people, for the first time, being rounded up and sent to these clandestine centers for interrogation through torture. In the torture, few survived and many perished.
The pattern of destruction has been repeated over and over in different parts of Oromiyaa. Many of these repetitive destructions are far from the major cities; such repetition are a centrally design one. Further, reward structure set in place. That reward is geared towards those who implement the policy. The regional governors and officials who refuses to carry out orders to annihilate the Oromo are summarily replaced as disloyal and OLF agent. Community leaders are arrested and persecuted. Many of women, children, and elderly run into forests and deserts to escape slaughter. Today, the Oromo people are in violent historical moment. They are the target of Tigrayan regime for physical extermination and forcible removal from their lands. Hundreds of thousands have been killed; millions have been forced out from their lands and their lands haven been sold or leased to local and multination land-grabbers.
The Tigrayan regime has fully undertaken the implementation of the policy of Oromo extermination since 1992. The Amhara genocidal denialists are fully subscribed to this policy. In the Tigrayan regime’s jails millions of Oromo perished as the result of starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical extermination.
We are the nation of heroes, heroines and victims. We were the victims of genocide yesterday and we are the victims of genocide today. Yesterday, we were victims of genocide under Amhara successive regimes and today, we are victims of genocide under the Tigrayan regime. Indeed, we are a wounded and bled nation in our country by another nation- the Abyssinian nation.
We oftentimes say, never again to genocide in Oromiyaa. We say, the seeds of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo must not be allowed to sprout again in Oromiyaa. And yet it has already sprout; violence is again around us; violence of genocide is still consuming our people. Menelik’s genocide at Aannolee, Azulee and Chalanqoo is reconstructed and renewed by Meles Zenawi and implemented Oromiyaa wide. Hence, the past genocide has now become the present new genocide. Hence, the dead Oromo are still dead; more are still dying; expropriated Oromoland is still expropriated; The pillaging of Oromiyaa is at its height and the colonized Oromiyaa is still colonized.
The way forward
The way forward is Oromo nationalists’ unity and the fight against occupation. For this, it is important to rebuild the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) as superior mighty force both in quantity and quality to protect the population and secure liberation. This enables the nation to drive out the Tigrayan regime and establish independent Democratic Republic of Oromiyaa. Again, it is vitally important to remove Menelik’s statue from Oromiyaa; establish National Genocide Memorial Day for the victims of Aannolee, Azulee and Chalanqoo. This Oromo Genocide Memorial Day should be established and observed annually while we are still fighting for independence. The date and the month must be different from Oromo Martyrs Day/Guyyaa Gootoota Oromoo.
No one escapes from the history of one’s people. For this, we should and must not allow the past to rest and to be forgotten. Every generation must teach the succeeding generation about the past history, their heroes and heroines. The past, the present as well as the future belong to the succeeding generations. Each new generation hold the entitlement of the past and the present. For this, the establishment of the Oromo Genocide Memorial Day is the order of the day that the marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo Cannot be erased from the memory of successive Oromo generations.
Oromiyaa Shall Be Free!

Read further from its original post @:http://oromiafreevoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-marks-of-aannolee-azulee-and.html?spref=fb

Further references
Ethiopia: land of slavery & brutality – League of Nations, Geneva 1935


Oromia Speaks:The Ethiopian Empire State and International Human Rights Laws January 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Nelson Mandela, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Theory of Development, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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The Empire States of Ethiopia is a product of colonial conquest. Ethiopia is formed during the 19the century colonial scramble for Africa after the Abyssinian State, the only Black colonial power that took part in the colonial partition of Africa, conquered the Oromos, Sidamas, Ogadenese and other present day Southern Ethiopian peoples. Because of the conquest, the Oromos and other subject peoples were forcefully incorporated into Abyssinia, which was later on renamed Ethiopia.

As an outcome of a colonial conquest, the essence of the Ethiopian Empire State is the deprivation, oppression, subjugation and exploitation of the conquered peoples’ national, political, civic, cultural, social and economic rights. Stated differently, the defining characteristics of the Ethiopian Empire state, since its formation up to present, are the denial of national rights, human rights, and freedoms to the Oromo and other subject peoples. Furthermore, as the old adage goes, “a nation that oppresses others it not itself a free nation,” the successive Ethiopian regimes did not also respect the human rights and freedoms of its citizens, the Abyssinians.

The successive Ethiopian regimes’ stance on ratification of or accession to International Instruments designed for the promotion and protection of human rights corroborates the Ethiopian Empire State’s long-standing anti-human rights policies. It is a fact of history that the Ethiopian regime led by the late Emperor Haile Sillassie was among few states that did not sign/ratify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The Emperor Haile Sillassie regime, which was laboring in consolidation of the colonial conquests and Amharization of the conquered peoples, was engaged in gross violation of human rights, including practice of slavery and servitude failed to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that, among others, abolished slavery and servitude and set standard for human rights protection.

It is instructive to note that, the Emperor Haile Sillassie regime declined from signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with, among others, the then minority apartheid regime of South Africa, the other notorious regime for being anti-human rights. The Ethiopian regime led by Emperor Haile Sillassie became Member of the United Nations on 13 November 1945, but it did not become a party to any Intentional Human Rights Conventions.

A military regime, known as Dergue, led by Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam overthrew Emperor Haile Sillaasie’s regime in 1974. As far as respect for human rights and accession to Intentional Human Rights Conventions is concerned, the Dergue regime continued its predecessor’s anti-human rights policy and practice. The Military regime did not become a party to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that have entered into force in 1976.

However, apparently following its patron the now defunct Soviet Union, the Ethiopian Military regime became a party to International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 23 June 1976, Convention on the Elimination of All Form of Discrimination against Women, 10 September 1981, and Convention on the Rights of the Child, 14 May 1991.

It is a mockery that the Ethiopian Military regime that failed to be a party to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, became a party to International Conventions that prohibit racial discrimination, discrimination against women and the Conventions on the Rights of the Child. Unlike the incumbent Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front, (TPLF) led Ethiopian regime, the two preceding Ethiopian regimes did not pretend to be champions of human rights and stayed out of the International Instruments and Mechanisms made and established for ensuring the protections of Human Rights and freedoms.

As a result of the proposal and strong push made in 1991-92 by Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) group who were then a member of Ethiopian Transitional Government, the current Ethiopian regime of TPLF was forced to depart from the positions held by its predecessors and has acceded to the following international human rights treaties: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 11 June 1993, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 11 June 1993, and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment, 13 March 1994,

Apparently, accession to International Human Rights Treaties were one of the decisions the TPLF regime made as soon as it came to power as a consequence of two significant factors: (1) the proposal and the push the OLF group made to accept ICCPR and ICESCR and (2) the attempt the TPLF Regime made to please its foreign donors. However, the regime’s gross and appalling human rights violation records in the last fourteen years prove a contrary intention. Stated differently, the TPLF regime’s human rights record proves that the TPLF regime’s position on human rights is not any better, if not worse, than its predecessors that were not parties to the International Human Rights Covenants.

The TPLF regime’s engagement in a gross human rights violation of Oromos and other people is being recognized not only by reputable international non-governmental organizations that monitor states’ compliance with international human rights laws, but also by State Members of the United Nations, including the Untied States of America.
Read more from original source@ http://www.oromoliberationfront.org/Publications/OSvol11Art1003.htm
Oromia Speaks Vol. 11 Issue 1

Further References:

‘Article 2, paragraph 2 of the ICESCR obliges each State Party to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the Covenant are exercised without discrimination as to, inter alia, ethnic origin. In practice, however, the Government of Ethiopia directly and indirectly discriminates against several disadvantaged ethnic groups, including but  not limited to the Oromo and the Anuak.’ –http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/docs/ngos/AHR_Ethiopia_CESCR48.pdf









Source: Genocide Watch


“Ethiopia history” even as a term continues to be controversial for what has been written so far is based on the idealized views of the leaders and covers only the positive deeds. Many argue history making is a societal issue and involves both positive and negative deeds. The lessons learnt from past history is the single most important benefit of having history. Since  Ethiopian history does not acknowledge the negative deeds in the past  and does not serve this important benefit  many fail to acknowledge it as their history. It is largely based on “what is good for me by choice should be good for you by force and if you don’t obey you don’t belong”. It is based on systematic exclusion and pushing faraway deviant groups as a strategy to pull them in.
This strategy has been designed in a way that it imposes the culture and identity of one group putting in charge generation from the same group to defend it. The assignment of assimilating the others far deep inside and very fast is high on their agenda. However as the history that is systematically constructed to keep the supremacy of one group, it is dressed with myths and far reaching legends which are closely connected to supernatural power and symbolized places. The legend queen Sheba and her mythological relation with King Solomon signifies the same and leaders of the Solomonic dynasty  systematically traced their decadency from this legend to load unshakable leadership on the society. The general population in the country, regardless of their ethnicity and religion, obeyed the rules in the chain for violation of their leadership is considered violation of the supernatural power. Societal and individual development in the country has also been stacked in theological stage as the result of this leadership techniques and many issues received their analysis from creationist and supernatural relation perspective even till today.
The radical lefts group that emerged in the 1960s questioned the validity of this connections, between leaders and the supernatural power and whether their leadership is really sacred, however not many extended the question to the sacred history of the country till very recently. Although, the history of the country is more of sacred and holly as some described and describing it, it has caused many dangers that deserve attentions. Over 80 ethnic groups in the country had pain in relation to Ethiopian state formation, Minlik II and subsequent leaders and not few grew up hearing  those mind shaking pains. Now wonder that this generation can extend questioning the relationship between leaders and supernatural power to the meanings attached to  the entire Ethiopian history and that already happened. This questioning nudes the false statues of Ethiopian history.
There is no doubt that this same act can cause a strong pain on those who nurtured that Ethiopian history has been crafted in a way that serves their personal interest and they should die to defend and maintain their supremacy in the country. As a response to this socialization call, the right wingers are now wagging a movement which can be equated to naked politics, not body based but evidence dressing. The couple of writings I am reading in the news paper, on blogs and social medias reflect this and they are all naked from evidence. They most often try to attack individuals, they publicly discuss how to physically attack people who nudes the history they were socialized to defend and die for, they misname institutions and personalities and assassinate characters, they try to divide and rule over members of movements based on their religion and place of origin and even aiming to oppose people and place name changes and removing monuments constructed to signify the injustice done on ethnic groups by Minilk II. For me this is doing nothing butter and different from their fathers and forefathers and by this techniques all they can achieve and some already achieved is losing their readers and followers. This is also equivalent to trying to attract attention by standing naked.I would like to argue evidence is the best weapon to win public opinion and attentions in this globalized world and standing, jumping and running naked may not help much and there is no much place for them as the son of the 19th century king in Ethiopia now because few (themselves) recalls that and if other do, that brings bad memory. So they better get dressed well with evidence to attract at least their own attentions.


The Human Right Issues and Violations in the Horn of Africa,Ethiopia-Oromia

 The modern concept of human rights is rooted in the experiences of ‘legal lawlessness’ when crimes were committed with the authorization of the law, and when some human beings were denied their status as such. An answer to these experiences was the emergence of the international human rights law. The main aim of this branch of international law is to prevent broad violations of fundamental rights from recurring in the future. Appreciating the worth of every human being, the international community decided to eliminate elements that could destroy the individual person, but also to create the conditions that would enable him or her to develop and flourish. Accordingly, the Preambles to the International Bill of Rights  provide that the “foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” is the “inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”. (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966). However, the dictator government of Ethiopia otherwise known TPLF is unable in the enforcement of these rights and remain a headache,mainly due to technical blockades; lack of effective institutions or the existence of weak institutions only; and lack of political will to implement human rights with differing degrees. Therefore asking your rights in Ethiopia will either lead you to be imprisoned or counted you as anti-government.
Instability in  Horn of Africa and TPLF
The current crisis in the Horn of Africa is, on the one hand, a struggle between oppressed people who are fighting for self-determination and, on the other hand, the regime of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that is trying to impose its rule by force.
The regime has set loose war, hunger, poverty, and disease to ransack the country. In particular, the regime has been and is systematically violating human rights of the Oromo and other peoples of in the country as well and the neighborings too.
The OLF also believes in peace, democracy and development . As the main organ that is championing the right of self-determination of the Oromo people, it fully realizes the present day global reality. It affirms that the international community does have legitimate concern and interest in political stability and economic development of the Horn of Africa. Moreover, the OLF is cognizant of the fact that the day of carving spheres of influence and promoting clients in superpower rivalry has given way to globalization. Further, the OLF firmly believes in the immediate termination of the vicious cycle of political conflicts, economic backwardness, environmental degradation, natural and man-made disasters that today ravage the peoples of the Horn of Africa.
Human Right Issue in Ethiopia
Allegations of arbitrary detention, torture, and other ill-treatment at the hands of Ethiopianpolice and other security forces are not new. But since the disputed 2005 elections, the Ethiopian government has intensified restrictions on freedom of expression, association,and assembly, deploying a range of measures to clamp down on dissent. These include arresting and detaining political opposition figures, journalists, and other independent voices, and implementing laws that severely restrict independent human rights monitoring and press freedom.
Since 2009 a new law, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, has become a particularly potent instrument to restrict free speech. The law’s provision undermine basic legal safeguards against prolonged pre-charge detention and unfair trials. In this context, Maekelawi has become an important site for the detention and investigation of some of the most politically sensitive cases.
Many detainees accused of offenses under the law—including some of Ethiopia’s most prominent political prisoners—have been detained in the Maekelawi facility as their cases were investigated or prepared for trial (Human Rights Watch, 2013). As a result of enforcement of the FDRE Proclamation 621/2009 that has been intended to impose superior regulation of charities, the party leaders decide who should receive and who should not receive the emergency support at grassroots level in the respective community.
Older Oormo people are usually victims of this type of abuse because of their allegiances to the values of the Oromo Gadaa system, that promotes respect and dignity to people in difficult situation. In so doing, technically, the authorities decide who should die from and who should survive the hunger.
Endless focus on Oromos by TPLF, why?
The Oromo people constitute the single largest national groups in the Ethiopia empire and the horn of Africa with the total of over 40 million people. The number of the oromo people and the geographical location of their country Oromia make the oromo country ( Oromia) the heart of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian empire mainly survives on the economic resources of Oromia. Although the Oromo people are one of the most impoverished and terrorized indigenous people .Recognizing that Oromia is the richest and largest populous state, the Tigrayan led Ethiopia government has been using collective violence to dominate, control and exploit Oromia which the key in controlling the Ethiopia government has been using political economy. Understanding the situation in Oromia helps in generalizing what is going through the country (Hassen,2011).
The Oromo people are just arrested and accused of being a member or supporter or sympathiser of the Oromo liberation struggle. To the Ethiopian government authorities, every Oromo appears to be a member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a political organisation struggling for the socio-economic, cultural and political rights of the Oromo people. One has to prove he/she is not a member or supporter of the OLF in order to live in relative peace. The safest proof is one and only one – to become a member of the EPRDF, the ruling party;failure to proove non-affiliation with OLF or any attempt to remain politically indifferent has come to be dangerous in Ethiopia for every ordinary Oromo. Business persons are systematically eliminated from investment and small scale business if they fail to be members of the ruling party in any case. Every student in college or university is required to secure membership of the ruling party at the campus in order for her/him to get job in public institutions or to run private business after completion of the study. The situation is worse for the rural people whereby farmers are required to be members of and demonstrate allegiance to the EPRDF in order to get agricultural inputs and/or have their children learn in school without assault by the government security.
It always seems impossible until it is done – Nelson Mandela



Ethiopia: land of slavery & brutality – the League of Nations, Geneva 1935

An old Abyssinian was shooting with the sight adjusted at more than a thousand
metres. I said to the Dedjiajmatch [dejazmach] that the bullets might fall on the mountain
and kill someone. He burst out laughing and said, “What does it matter if they
do? There is nobody here but Shangalla [shankilla]”.’

Friends at ER:

The above quote was an extract from a document or a memorandum presented by the Italian Government delineating the reasons for the expulsion of Ethiopia from the League of Nations, the forerunner of today’s United Nations Organisation. The main point of their argument was the condition of slavery and gebbar (a slave-like system) to which Abyssinia/Ethiopia had reduced its subject populations in the southern half of its empire, while pillaging their lands.

The change of political masters in Addis Ababa has so far been a mere case of taking turns at abusing the populations of these same southern provinces of Ethiopia to benefit the gun-toting invaders from the “Habesha highlands” of northern Ethiopia (Tigre-Woyane at the moment).

In this light, you may find the following document of great historical significance. It also provides an insight into the unchanged modus operandi of all Ethiopian regimes before or since.

Here is the complete document….

“Geneva, September 11th , 1935. Official No. C.340.M.171.1935.VII.


As regards the condition required by Article I of the Covenant [accord]
regarding effective guarantees of a sincere intention to observe international
obligations, the Sub-committee pointed out that, in the past, Ethiopia had not
fully observed her international engagements. During the discussion it was
stressed how difficult it was to reconcile Ethiopia’s demand with the
circumstance that Ethiopia, once admitted to the league, might sit in judgement
on countries under mandate, more civilised than Ethiopia herself and not
stained with the disgrace of slavery…

THE COVENANT [of the League of Nations].


Clear distinction between the Abyssinian State and the territories conquered by
it. Difference of religion, language, history, race, and political and social
structure. Negus’s domination over non-Abyssinian populations. The gebbar
system (a form of slavery) applied to subject populations. The Ethiopian
Government’s responsibility for the decimation of the subject populations.
Ethiopia’s incapacity to possess a colony.


On this subject it is first of all necessary to obtain a fundamental idea of
the position. It is commonly said that Ethiopia is a national State in Africa
which forms a single unit. Nothing could be further from the facts. The
Ethiopian State, in its present form, is composed of two regions which are
clearly distinct both geographically and politically.

(i) The old Abyssinian State, consisting of the regions inhabited mainly by
Abyssinian populations speaking kindred languages derived from Southern Arabic.
But the old Abyssinian State itself could not be called a national State,
because even in those regions there are considerable non-Abyssinian minorities,
such as the Agau in the Tsana and Nile regions, the Falasha of Semien,
professing the Jewish religion …and others. Nevertheless, their common
allegiance to the dynasty of the House of Solomon, and the fact that for ages
they [peoples of the northern half of Ethiopia] had belonged to the same group
of States, have to a certain extent welded all these regions into a political
unit which, though rough and shapeless in structure, might have a position of
its own in the composition of present-day Ethiopia.

This Abyssinian State has well-defined and exact historical, geographical and ethnical boundaries. On the west, towards the Nile basin, and on the east, towards Danakil, the frontier of
the Abyssinian State coincided with the edge of the plateau. The Abyssinians, a
mountain people, are clearly distinguished by race, language and religion from
the populations which inhabit the torrid Danakil plain and the valleys sloping
down towards the Sudan.

To the south, the boundary of the Abyssinian State was marked by the course of
the Blue Nile as far as its confluence with the Adabai, by the watershed
between the Blue Nile and the Awash, and by the course of the river Awash as
far as its entry into the Danakil plain. The territories beyond these
boundaries, in the south, are inhabited by non-Abyssinian populations which,
throughout the centuries of their history, have been traditional enemies of the
Abyssinian State.

(ii) The non-Abyssinian areas recently conquered by the arms of the Negus
Menelik.-Beyond the confines of this nucleus of the Abyssinian State there
were, until forty years ago, other native States, some of which have a long
historical tradition of independence. Among the principal may be mentioned the
Emirate of Harrar, which comprised the regions between the river Awash, the
Webi Shebeli, and the south-eastern edge of the plateau, having the inhabitants
of Ogaden as tributaries.

The Emirate of Harrar is a Moslem State which was
ruled for centuries by the dynasty of its Emirs, and was the cultural and
religious centre of Islam in South-East Africa. The continuous relations
maintained by the Emirate with the Arab countries of the Levant had brought
that state up to a level of civilisation far superior to that of Abyssinia. We
need only mention the fact that, even to-day, Harrar is the only town in the
territory of the present Ethiopian State which is built of masonry and is not
composed of huts hovels made of branches, apart from few buildings in Addis

In the south-west, the kingdom of kafa was founded by the western Sidama
peoples. The political and social constitution of this kingdom and its history
(which comprises at least 600 years of independence, from the fourteenth
century to the Abyssinian conquest) form the subject of various well-known
works published only recently; and, not to quote Italian writers, we need only
refer to the voluminous work of the Austrian traveller Franz Bieber.
In the south, there is the kingdom of Wollamo, founded by the Sidama
populations of the Omo. How this peaceful little agricultural State was
devastated and destroyed by the Abyssinians is described in a work by a
Frenchman, M Vanderheym, which is nothing les than an indictment of the
Abyssinian State.

In the west, there is the Sultanate of Jimma, a Moslem State that became a
centre in Westrn Ethiopia towards which Moslem currents flowed from Harrar and
Egypt. Under the patriarchal administration of its sultans of the local
dynasty, Jimma had reached a high degree of economic prosperity, which it
retained, being the only Moslem State remaining independent of the Abyssinians
until the Negus annexed it to Ethiopia a few months ago.

The Abyssinian State is completely different in every respect from these vast
“colonies” which it has recently acquired:

(a) In religion, because the Abyssinians are Monophysite Christians, whereas
the Somali, Harrari, [deleted] [Oromo], Sidama are largely Moslem, and in part
still pagan;

(b) In language, because the Abyssinians speak Amharic and Tigrai (Semitic
languages), whereas in the conquered regions the languages spoken are totally
different from the Abyssinian languages, but are interrelated among
themselves-e.g.-Galla [Oromo], Somali, Kafi, Wolamo, etc.;

(c) In political and social structure, because the Abyssinian State is based on
the feudal system, whereas the Emirate of Harrar was organised on the model of
the States of the Arabian peninsula, and the Sidama States have a highly
centralised organisation of their own;

(d) In race, because the Abyssinians are Semiticised people, whereas the [deleted],
Sidama, Somali, Tishana, Yambo and the rest are Cushitic and Nilotic peoples;

(e) In history, because the Emirate of Harrar, for instance, has for centuries
waged relentless warfare against the Abyssinian State. Indeed, this warfare
might be said to constitute the whole history of Abyssinia itself; records of
it existed from at least the fourteenth century onwards. The Abyssinian
domination constitutes, in fact, the subjugation of a conquered people by its
age-long enemy.


The Abyssinian domination in the conquered countries takes concrete form in the
slave trade and the so-called gebbar system. The slave trade will be considered
below. It should be pointed out here, however, that the slave trade is due not
only to a desire for gain, but also to the idea, deep-rooted in the
Abyssinians’ mind, that their victories have left them absolute masters of
populations which, in their eyes, are no more than human cattle.

This conception of the Abyssinians is confirmed b a typical incident narrated by Sir
Arnold Hodson in his work Where the Lion Reigns (page 41): ‘An old Abyssinian
was shooting with the sight adjusted at more than a thousand metres. I said to
the Dedjiajmatch [dejazmach] that the bullets might fall on the mountain and kill someone.
He burst out laughing and said, “What does it matter if they do? There is
nobody here but Shangalla [shankilla]”‘ (Shangalla is the name given by the Abyssinians to
the Nilotic peoples).

The gebbar system is a form of slavery, and is regarded as such by European
writers and travellers. In each of the countries conquered and annexed by
Abyssinia, a body of Abyssinian troops is stationed, comprising the soldiers
themselves and their families. The inhabitants of the conquered country are
registered in families by the Abyssinian chiefs, and to every family of
Abyssinians settled in the country there is assigned one or more families of
the conquered as gebbar. The gebbar family is obliged to support the Abyssinian
family; it gives that family its own lands, builds and maintains the huts in
which it lives, cultivate the fields, grazes the cattle, and carries out every
kind of work and performs all possible services for the Abyssinian family. All
this is done without any remuneration, merely in token of the perpetual
servitude resulting from the defeat sustained thirty years ago. It amounts to
what Anglo-Indians are accustomed to call “the law of the jungle”.

The gebbar can never obtain freedom from their chains, even by ransom. They must not leave
the land assigned for their work, and, if they run away, they themselves are
subject to the terrible punishment which are inflicted in Ethiopia, and to
which we shall refer shortly, while their village is bound to supply the
Abyssinians with another family to be reduced to the condition of gebbar, in
place of the fugitive family.

As to the effects of slavery and the gebbar system, all who know the facts are
agreed: the non-Abyssinian regions of Ethiopia are becoming a vast desert.
Every Abyssinian chief sent to those parts finds it necessary on his arrival to
provide himself with slaves and his soldiers’ families with gebbar. And when he
leaves the conquered countries to be transferred elsewhere, he takes away with
him, and allow his soldiers to take away with them, the greatest possible
number of slaves and gebbar to be employed at his new residence. This constant
draining of the population of the subject territories is particularly terrible,
because the slaves and gabbar are decimated, during the long journeys, by
hunger, thirst and ill-treatment from their Abyssinian masters. We quote
evidence from non-Italian sources.

Sir Arnold Hodson (Seven Years in Southern Abyssinia, London, 1927, page 146)
writes of Kafa: ‘There has recently been a change of Governors in Kafa, and, as
usual, the outgoing official was taking away as much as he could in goods and
slaves’. … Thus the population of Kafa, which Cardinal Gugliemo Massaja
estimated at a million and a half before the Abyssinian conquest, is now
reduced to 20,000. Again, whereas Vittorio Bottego estimated the population of
the Burji in 1895 at 200,000, there are now no more than 15,000 people in the
region. And Sir Arnold Hodson, who was Consul at Gardulla, not far from Burji,
writes as follows (Seven Years in Southern Abyssinia, page 102): ‘Burji had
been sadly devastated quite recently, and very few natives were left there. The
responsibility for this rests with a former Governor of Sidamo, named Ato
Finkabo, who appears to have carried on a very flourishing business in slaves
from these parts. In fact, he became so enterprising that most of the natives
who were left fled to Conso and Boran to escape falling into his clutches’.
George Montandon calculates (Au pays des Ghimirra, page 223) that the
population of Ghimirra has declined in a few years from 110,000 to 10,000.

The responsibility of the Addis Ababa Government for this incredible state of
affairs in the non-Abyssinian areas of the south is particularly great, because
it has compelled some of the more warlike non-Abyssinian peoples to arm
themselves in defence of their lives and liberty; and theses foreign peoples,
having acquired arms and ammunition, have in their turn become slave-raiders,
preying upon the unarmed neighbouring tribes, and so have increased the
destruction and the scourge of slavery.

In conclusion we need only quote …Major M Darley, who has had a very long
experience of Ethiopian affairs, and who wrote in 1926, three years after
Abyssinia’s entry into the League (Slaves and Ivory, page 34): ‘Abyssinia
should be the heart of North-East Africa, but all the veins or roads, which
should supply the rest of the starving body with nourishment, are blocked by
the Abyssinian policy, abysmal and suicidal, of depopulation, retrogression and
racial extermination’.

It will thus be seen that the Ethiopian State, administratively and politically
disorganised as It is, carries the dire effects of its domination (slavery and
gebbar) into vast regions of East Africa which were conquered by the arms of
the Negus only a few years ago. It is surely in the interests of civilisation
that the Harrari, [deleted] [Oromo], Somali, Sidama, and other peoples which have
for centuries formed separate national entities, should be removed from
Abyssinian oppression. To effect an immediate settlement of this grave problem
is, indeed, to act in conformity with the spirit of the covenant, which
requires that colonisation should be carried out only by advanced States which
are in a position to ensure the development and welfare of the native

The documents show:

(a) That Ethiopia recognises slavery as a legal condition;

(b) That raids for the capture of individuals for purposes of slavery are
continuing on a large scale, especially in the southern and western regions of

(c) That the slave trade is still practiced;

(d) that the Ethiopian Government participates directly in the slave trade by
accepting slaves in payment of taxes and allowing detachments of regular troops
to capture new slaves;

(e) That, in addition to slavery proper, there exists the institution known as
“gebbar”, to which the population of non-Ethiopian [sic] regions are subject,
and which is a form of servitude akin to slavery;

(f) That the Ethiopian Government has taken no account of the recommendations
made to it by the committee of Experts on slavery, more particularly as regards
the abolition o the legal status of slave, as appears further from the report
submitted to the League of Nations in May 1935…

By her conduct, Ethiopia has openly placed herself outside the covenant of the
League and has rendered herself unworthy of the trust placed in her when she
was admitted to membership. Italy, rising up against such an intolerable
situation, is defending her security, her rights and her dignity. She is also
defending the prestige and good name of the League of Nations.”



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