May 05, 2014

On this day May 5th

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On this day

The Conquering Lion hath returned


5th of May 1941, exactly five years to the day of when it was occupied by Italy His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Sellassie 1st re-enters Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. Triumphantly recapturing his Throne in a most rejoicing welcome by the Ethiopian people and the African diaspora who were in support, the Conquering lion solidified his title.

This map, dated 31 August 1935

Benito Mussolini had been red-eyeing Ethiopia (also known as Abyssinia) as a colony for more than economic reasons. Mussolini wanted to avenge his predecessors failure to conquer Ethiopia. The Battle of Adwa was one of the famous battles that was like an unhealed wound to the Fascist Italian Regime. Mussolini also wanted Ethiopia be added to Italian Somaliland, in East Africa, since the 1920s. Hoping to resettle 10 million Italians in a unified East Africa Benito Mussolini broke moral and international laws in attempts to accomplish.

Ethiopia and Italy were both valid members of the League of Nations, which was design to uphold international order and provide recourse in conflicts. In despite of this, Italy proceeded their attack on October 3, 1935. Mussolini's army gained the edge by using banned weapons of mass destruction. In this case, the use of mustard gas was deployed from aircrafts indiscriminately. Only mild sanctions was applied to Italy due to political reasons.

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Sellassie the 1st mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against his defenseless nation, by the Fascist invader. He spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. His words however, unfortunately went unheeded. Under-the-table negotiations from allied nations were leaked, they were humiliated publicly for selling out a weaker League partner. His poignant statement summed up was  "It is us today, it will be you tomorrow." 

Below is an excerpt from His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie's discourse to the United Nations in 1963. "When I spoke at Geneva in 1936, there was no precedent for a head of state addressing the League of Nations. I am neither the first, nor will I be the last head of state to address the United Nations, but only I have addressed both the League and this Organization in this capacity. The problems, which confront us today, are, equally, unprecedented. They have no counterparts in human experience. Men search the pages of history for solutions, for precedents, but there are none. This, then, is the ultimate challenge. Where are we to look for our survival, for the answers to the questions, which have never before been posed? We must look, first, to Almighty God, Who has raised man above the animals and endowed him with intelligence and reason. We must put our faith in Him, that He will not desert us or permit us to destroy humanity, which He created in His image. And we must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community."

Oct. 6, 1963

More can be found here:


The guerrilla war continued through May 1941, when Haile Selassie returned from exile to Ethiopia in triumph.

Ethiopian troops returning to Ethiopia as World War Two breaks out


  Emperor Haile Selassie salutes the welcome committee

Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia addresses his subjects in July, 1935.

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