|Status||Colony of Italy|
|Common languages||Amharic, Afan Oromo, Somali, Tigrinya|
|Victor Emmanuel III of Italy|
|1,221,900 km2 (471,800 sq mi)|
|Currency||Italian East African lira|
Italian Ethiopia (in Italian: Etiopia italiana), also known as the Italian Empire of Ethiopia,is the shorthand English name given to the Italian possession in the territory of modern-day Ethiopia, obtained by expanding the existing Somali and Eritrean colonies in East Africa of the Kingdom of Italy.
After the second Italo-Ethiopian War, in which the Ethiopian Empire was occupied by the Fascist Italy of Benito Mussolini, the Ethiopian territories were proclaimed part of Africa Orientale Italiana (AOI) in 1936, with the capital of AOI moved to Addis Ababaand Victor Emmanuel III proclaiming himself Emperor of Ethiopia.
During the Italian rule, infrastructure to connect major cities, railways, public and private companies, and dams providing power and water were built; this along with the influx of Italian settlers and labourers, was the major cause of rapid urbanization growth. Also, the Italian government abolished slavery, a practice that existed in the country for centuries.
In 1941, during World War II, Ethiopia was occupied by Allied forces, mainly from the British Empire, in the East African Campaign, but an Italian guerrilla war continued until 1943. Despite the return of Emperor Haile Selassie from his exile and the recognition of Ethiopian sovereignty with the signing of an Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty in December 1944, some regions still remained under British occupation for several more years.Under the peace treaty of 1947, Italy recognized the sovereignty and independence of Ethiopia and renounced all claims to special interests or influence in that country. Many Italian settlers remained for decades after receiving full pardon by Emperor Selassie, as he saw an opportunity to continue the modernization efforts of the country.
Since May 1936 Italian Ethiopia was part of the newly created Africa Orientale Italiana (AOI), or Italian East Africa, and administratively was made of four governorates: Governorate of Amara, Governorate of Harrar, Governorate of Galla-Sidamo and Governorate of Shewa. Each Governorate was under the authority of an Italian governor, answerable to the Italian viceroy, who represented the Emperor Victor Emmanuel. The territory around the capital was renamed in 1939 Governorate of Scioa: originally it was called "Governorato di Addis Abeba", but in 1939 the name was changed to show the region of Scioa around the area of Addis Ababa. This was done because areas of the nearby governorates of Harrar, Gallo-Sidamo and Amhara were included in it. Italian Ethiopia had an area of 790,000 square kilometres (305,000 sq mi) and a population of 9,450,000 inhabitants, resulting in a density of 12 inhabitants per square kilometre (31/sq mi)
|Governorate||Italian name||Capital||Total population||Italians||Car Tag||Coat of Arms|
|Galla-Sidamo Governorate||Galla e Sidama||Jimma/Gimma||4,000,000||11,823||GS|
|Shewa Governorate||Scioa||Addis Ababa||1,850,000||40,698||SC|
Some territories of the defeated Kingdom of Ethiopia were added to Italian Eritrea and Italian Somalia inside the AOI. This was not just since they were mainly populated by Eritreans and Somalis respectively, but also as a reward for their colonial soldiers who fought in the Italian Army against the Negus troops).[ citation needed ]
The currency used was the Italian East African lira: the Lira AOI were special banknotes of 50 lire and 100 lire circulating in AOI between 1938and 1941:
Emperor Haile Selassie's reign was interrupted on 3 October 1935when Italian forces, under the direction of dictator Benito Mussolini, invaded and occupied Ethiopia.
They occupied the capital, Addis Ababa, on 5 May 1936. Emperor Haile Selassie pleaded to the League of Nations for aid in resisting the Italians. Nevertheless, the country was formally occupied on 9 May 1936 and the Emperor went into exile.
The war was full of cruelty: the Ethiopians used Dum-dum bullets (prohibited by the Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration IV, 3) and the Italians used gas (prohibited under the Geneva Protocol of 1922).Many Ethiopians died in the invasion. The Negus claimed that more than 5000 Ethiopian fighters were killed compared to only 1,537 Italians, while the Italian authorities estimated that 16,000 Ethiopians and 2,700 Italians (including Italian colonial troops) died in battle.
Marshal Graziani, who replaced Marshal Badoglio as viceroy of Italian East Africa in May 1936 was short-tempered and inclined to violence and atrocities multiplied under his administration. Following a failed attack against Addis Ababa by rebels on 28 July 1936, he had the archbishop of Dessie, whom he suspected of being behind the attack shot the same afternoon. All resisting Ethiopians were declared "bandits" and he ordered that they be shot on capture. Mussolini approved the decision but requested that the order be kept secret. Following the defeat of rebels led by Ras Desta in the western part of the country in late December 1936, he had 1600 rebel troops who surrendered summarily executed by firing squads. Villages that had been friendly to Desta were burned to the ground and women and children shot. Desta and other captured rebel leaders were executed in February 1937. The Italians undertook many other terrorist actions during this period. Following a bloody attempt on the life of Graziani and other Italian officials by two Eritreans during a ceremony to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Naples on 19 February 1937, the police and soldiers, fearing a general uprising, fired indiscriminately into the crowd. Innocent bystanders were shot. For the next three days, the Italians, led by the Blackshirts, went on a rampage of murder and destruction throughout Addis Ababa. By the end of 1937 more than 5000 people had been executed for alleged crimes related to the attempt against Graziani. Among them were virtually all the young educated Ethiopians the Italians could lay their hands on and all the officiers and cadets of the Holeta Military Academy. The Italian viceroy had hermits, soothsayers and travelling minstrels rounded up and executed. Convinced that the high clergy had known about the plot, he had many executed. In May 1937, he ordered 297 monks of the monastery of Debre Libanos and 23 other individuals suspected of complicity shot. Over 100 deacons and students were also executed. Several hundred monks were sent to concentration camps. Viceroy Graziani was finally replaced in November 1938 by the more humane Duke of Aosta, who put an end to wanton atrocities which had had the effect of increasing resistance to Italian domination.
While some countries recognized the Italian conquest, Great Britain, France and the League of Nations refused to formally recognize it and consequently it remained illegitimate in international law.
The King of Italy (Victor Emmanuel III) was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia and the Italians created an Italian empire in Africa (Italian East Africa) with Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italian Somalia. In 1937 Mussolini boasted that, with his conquest of Ethiopia, "finally Adua was avenged".
We will never be the masters if we are not conscious of our preordained superiority. We do not fraternize with the Negroes. We can not, we must not. At least not until they have been civilized.— Well-known Italian reporter Indro Montanelli
Some Ethiopians welcomed the Italians and collaborated with them in the government of the newly created Impero italiano, like Ras Sejum Mangascià, Ras Ghetacciù Abaté and Ras Kebbedé Guebret. In 1937 the friendship of Sejum Mangascia with the Italian Viceroy Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta enabled this Ras to play an influential role in securing the release of 3,000 Ethiopian POWs being held in Italian Somaliland.
The Italians invested substantively in Ethiopian infrastructure development. They created the "imperial road" between Addis Ababa and Massaua, the Addis Ababa - Mogadishu and the Addis Ababa - Assab. km of roads linking the country beyond 900 km of railways were reconstructed or initiated (like the railway between Addis Ababa and Assab), dams and hydroelectric plants were built, and many public and private companies were established in the underdeveloped country. The most important were: "Compagnie per il cotone d'Etiopia" (Cotton industry); "Cementerie d'Etiopia" (Cement industry); "Compagnia etiopica mineraria" (Minerals industry); "Imprese elettriche d'Etiopia" (Electricity industry); "Compagnia etiopica degli esplosivi" (Armament industry); "Trasporti automobilistici (Citao)" (Mechanic & Transport industry).the Italians built more than 4,500
Italians even created new airports and in 1936 started the worldwide famous Linea dell'Impero, a flight connecting Addis Ababa to Rome. The line was opened after the Italian conquest of Ethiopia and was followed by the first air links with the Italian colonies in Italian East Africa, which began in a pioneering way since 1934. The route was enlarged to 6,379 km and initially joined Rome with Addis Ababa via Syracuse, Benghazi, Cairo, Wadi Halfa, Khartoum, Kassala, Asmara, Dire Dawa. There was a change of aircraft in Benghazi (or sometimes in Tripoli). The route was carried out in three and a half days of daytime flight and the frequency was four flights per week in both directions. Later from Addis Ababa there were three flights a week that continued to Mogadishu, capital of Italian Somalia.
The most important railway line in the African colonies of the Kingdom of Italy, the 784 km long Franco-Ethiopian Railway, was seized following the conquest of Ethiopia in 1936. The route was served until 1935 by steam trains that took about 36 hours to do the total trip between the capital of Ethiopia and the port of Djibouti. Following the Italian conquest was obtained in 1938 the increase of speed for the trains with the introduction of four railcars high capacity "type 038" derived from the model Fiat ALn56.
These diesel trains were able to reach 70 km/h and cutting time travel in half to just 18 hours: they were used until the mid 1960s. At the main stations there were some bus connections to the other cities of Italian Ethiopia not served by the railway. Additionally, near the Addis Ababa station was created a special unit against fire, that was the only one in all Africa.
In 1936, during the occupation of Ethiopia, the Italians considered the construction of new railway routes from Addis-Ababa running as follows: Addis-Ababa, Dessie, Adigrat, Massawa: covering 1000 km; Addis-Ababa, Dessie, Assab - Dessie, Gondar, Om, Ager; Addis-Ababa, Megheli, Dollo, Mogadishu. All these projects had to be abandoned due to war operations.— Jean Pierre Crozet
Projects of connecting to the Eritrean railway network did not found practical realization in 1939. In the same year was studied the possibility of connecting the Ethiopian station of Dire-Dawa to the port of Assab in southern Eritrea, in order to bypass the French Somaliland. Until 1938 there was a protective military unit in the trains, because of the Ethiopian guerrilla in the area (that by the beginning of World War II faded away).
The Italians not only made new roads & other structural improvements, but they also greatly improved the socio-economical conditions of the native population, as the same emperor Haile Selassie recognized when back in power after 1941. [ citation needed ]
Indeed, much of these improvements were part of a plan to bring half a million Italians to colonize the Ethiopian plateaus. In October 1939 the Italian colonists in Ethiopia were 35,441, of whom 30,232 male (85.3%) and 5,209 female (14.7%), most of them living in urban areas.Only 3,200 Italian farmers moved to colonize farm areas, mostly around the capital and in the Scioa Governorate, where they were under sporadic attack by pro-Haile Selassie guerrillas until 1939.
However, the Ethiopian guerrillas - that in late 1939 were still controlling nearly a quarter of the Ethiopian highlands (but had never been active in the areas of Ethiopia united to Eritrea and Somalia in 1936 [ citation needed ] )- were present at the beginning of World War II only in the Harar and Galla-Sidamo Governorate. According to the viceroy Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta the guerrillas were going to disappear in another two years (as had happened in Cyrenaica in the early 1930s). Indeed, Abebe Aregai, the last leader of the "Arbegnocks" (as the guerrilla fighters were called in Ethiopia) after the 1939 surrender of Ethiopian leaders Zaudiè Asfau and Olonà Dinkel, made a surrender proposal to the Italians in spring 1940 .
In early 1940, also as a consequence of the guerrilla nearly disappearance, Italian Ethiopia was enjoying a small "boom" of economic & social development with the commerce and industrial sector greatly improving in the capital and in the main cities. [ citation needed ]
A remarkable effort was made to improve healthcare in Ethiopia: beside the doctors belonging to the Italian Africa Health Corps, flanked by 450 military doctors, there were about 500 civilian doctors (232 specialists, among whom 30 pediatricians, and 262 general practitioners). Special maternity wards were built in the hospitals situated in the main locations. The new Italian hospital in Addis Ababa had a delivery room and a pediatric clinic, with a capacity of over 100 beds in its various sections: expectant mothers, postpartum mothers, babies’ room, gynecological ward, infectious diseases, visitors’ room, etc. The children’s hospital was subdivided into separate wards for babies and older children, for infectious, gastro-intestinal or pulmonary diseases, etc. Moreover, a university-type faculty was founded in 1941 in Asmara to train nurses....Social life in Addis Ababa (and Asmara) was pulsating just like that of any other European town. At the heart of the city were the markets: in the capital (Addis Ababa) in 1939 over 75,000 heads of cattle had been slaughtered and thousands of tons of foodstuffs had been sold. Dozens of shops and even department stores were opened in both cities. Leisure activities also boomed: in Addis Ababa four cinemas had been built...New dancehalls, restaurants and bars were being opened everywhere. The working men’s clubs and numerous sports and recreational societies, supported by local government and by the PNF, organised the colonists’ (and native Etiopians) free time.
During the five years of Italian occupation, Catholicism also grew in importance, thanks mainly to the efforts of missionaries like Elisa Angela Meneguzzi. She became known as the "Ecumenical Fire" due to her strong efforts at ecumenism with Coptic Christians and Muslims while also catering to relations with the Catholics of Dire Dawa.)
During World War II, in the summer of 1940 Italian armed forces successfully invaded all of British Somaliland.But, by spring of 1941, the British had counter-attacked and pushed deep into Italian East Africa. By 5 May, Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia had returned to Addis Ababa to reclaim his throne. In November, the last organised Italian resistance in Ethiopia ended with the fall of Gondar. However, following the surrender of East Africa, some Italians conducted a guerrilla war which lasted for two more years.
This guerrilla was done primarily by military units with Italian officers (like Captain Paolo Aloisi, Captain Leopoldo Rizzo, Blackshirt officer De Varda and Major Lucchetti) but also by civilians like Rosa Dainelli. She was a doctor who in August 1942 succeeded in entering the main ammunition depot of the British army in Addis Ababa, and blowing it up, miraculously survived the huge explosion. Her sabotage destroyed the ammunition for the new British Sten sub machine gun, delaying the use of this "state of the art" armament for many months.Her true name was Danielli Rosa and the date of attack was September 15, 1941.
The recognition by the United Kingdom of the full sovereignty of Ethiopia occurred with the signing on 19 December 1944 of the Anglo-Ethiopian agreement which acknowledged Ethiopia to be "a free and independent state"although various regions remained under British occupation for some years.
In the peace treaty of February 1947, Italy renounced sovereignty over its African colonies of Libya, Eritrea and Somalia (art. 23) and recognised the independence of Ethiopia (art. 33), by then a sovereign member of the United Nations.
Italy further agreed to:
After the war, the Italian Ethiopians were given a full pardon by the newly returned Emperor Haile Selassie, as he saw the opportunity to continue the modernization efforts of the country.He declared that no reprisals would be taken against the Italians, and many remained for decades, until the overthrow of the Emperor in the Ethiopian Civil War in 1974. Nearly 22,000 Italo-Ethiopians took refuge in Italy during the 1970s. Their main organization in Italy is the Associazione Italiana Profughi dall'Etiopia ed Eritrea (A.I.P.E.E.).
In recent years, some Italian companies have returned to operate in Ethiopia, and a large number of Italian technicians and managers arrived with their families, residing mainly in the metropolitan area of the capital.
In the mid-1990s despite a previous arrangement with the Dergue regime under Menghistu in the 1970s to cede the Obelisk of Axum to Italy in exchange for medical facilities and forgiving an accumulated debt to the Italian government, a populist movement made up of Italians and Ethiopians (both in country and expatriates around the world) began to petition the then current Italian government to return the obelisk,an event which eventually culminated in its repatriation in 2008 to Axum, the city of its creation.
The Italian firm Salini Costruttori was chosen by the Ethiopian government to design and build the Millennium or Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile river, which when completed will be the largest dam and hydroelectric plant in Africa.As the Italian engineers had helped to build the first railway from Addis to Djibouti in the past, the Ethiopian government has contracted them again to expand the railroad network along with India and China. For the last 20 years, Italy has continued to be among the top 5 trading partners with Ethiopia and a major investor in the Ethiopian economy.
Ethiopian languages such as Amharic and Tigrinya have many words borrowed from the Italian language, for example "gettone" (token), "bigli" from Italian "biglie" (glass marbles), "borsa" (bag), "machìna" from Italian "macchina" (car), "carburatore" (carburetor) and others.Ethiopia has the largest concentration of Italian schools and cultural institutes in Africa (such as the Scuola Statale Italiana of Addis Ababa), which foster and promote Italian and Ethiopian culture and are free to the public.
|Frontal Image||Back Image||Amount||Color||Frontal Description||Back Description|
|50 Lire||Green||LIRE CINQVANTA - BANCA D'ITALIA||50 LIRE - Lupa romana|
|100 Lire||Green/gray||LIRE CENTO - BANCA D'ITALIA - Dea Roma||LIRE CENTO - BANCA D'ITALIA - Aquila|
On 5 May 1936 the capital Addis Ababa was captured by the Italians: on 22 May three new stamps showing the King of Italy were issued. Four further values inscribed "ETIOPIA" were issued on 5 December 1936. After that date, the stamps were issued with the name "Africa Orientale Italiana" on it. [ citation needed ]
Italian East Africa was an Italian colony in the Horn of Africa. It was formed in 1936 through the merger of Italian Somaliland, Italian Eritrea, and the newly occupied Ethiopian Empire which became Italian Ethiopia.
The Second Italo-Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a colonial war which was fought between October 1935 and February 1937. It is seen as a sample of the expansionist policy that characterized the Powers of the Axis and the inefficiency of the League of Nations before the outbreak of World War II.
The Battle of Maychew was the last major battle fought on the northern front during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The battle consisted of a failed counterattack by the Ethiopian forces under Emperor Haile Selassie making frontal assaults against prepared Italian defensive positions under the command of Marshal Pietro Badoglio. The battle was fought near Maychew, Ethiopia, in the modern region of Tigray.
The following is a timeline relating to the Second Italo–Abyssinian War to the end of 1936. A number of related political and military events followed until 1942, but these have been omitted.
Articles related to Ethiopia include:
Articles related to Eritrea include:
The Ethiopian Navy, known as the Imperial Ethiopian Navy until 1974, was a branch of the Ethiopian National Defense Force founded in 1955. It was disestablished in 1996 after the independence of Eritrea in 1991 left Ethiopia landlocked.
The Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia was a conflict fought from the summer of 1941 to the autumn of 1943 by remnants of Italian troops in Ethiopia, in what had been the short-lived attempt to incorporate Ethiopia as part of Italian East Africa. The guerrilla campaign was fought following the Italian defeat during the East African Campaign of World War II, while the war was still on in Northern Africa and Europe.
The March of the Iron Will, or the Iron-Will Column, was a Fascist propaganda event staged during the final days of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The goal of the march was to capture the Ethiopian capital in a show of force.
De Bono's invasion of Abyssinia took place during the opening stages of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. Italian General Emilio De Bono invaded northern Abyssinia from staging areas in the Italian colony of Eritrea on what was known as the "northern front."
The article covers the prehistory and history of Ethiopia from its emergence as an empire under the Aksumites to its current form as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as well as the history of other areas in what is now Ethiopia such as the Afar Triangle. The Ethiopian Empire (Abyssinia) was first founded by Ethiopian people in the Ethiopian Highlands. Due to migration and imperial expansion, it grew to include many other primarily Afro-Asiatic-speaking communities, including Oromos, Amhara, Somalis, Tigray, Afars, Sidama, Gurage, Agaw and Harari, among others.
Haile Selassie Gugsa (1907–1985) was an army commander and a member of the Imperial family of the Ethiopian Empire from Tigray.
Zerai Deres was an Eritrean translator and patriot. In 1938, he engaged in an act of public devotion to an important symbol of his native country, the Monument to the Lion of Judah, at the time kept in Rome. When interrupted, he violently protested against Italian colonialism while brandishing a scimitar, which led to his arrest and internment in a psychiatric hospital for seven years, until his death. However, contemporary Italian historians doubt the claim that he was mentally unstable. Zerai's protest, lionized after the end of the Second World War, is considered by Eritrean and Ethiopian historiography as part of the movement against Italian occupation. To this day, Zerai is considered a legend and a folk hero of anticolonialism and antifascism both in Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Amhara Governorate was one of the six governorates of Italian East Africa. Its capital was at Gondar.
Somalia Governorate was one of the six governorates of Italian East Africa.
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, known as the Addis Ababa massacre, and imprisonment of Ethiopians by elements of the Italian occupation forces following an attempted assassination of Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, Marchese di Neghelli, Viceroy of Italian East Africa, on 19 February 1937. Marshal Graziani had led the Italian forces to victory over their Ethiopian opponents in the Second Italian invasion of Ethiopia and was supreme governor of Italian East Africa. This was one of the worst atrocities committed by the Italian occupation forces and has been described as the worst massacre in Ethiopian history.
Italians of Ethiopia are the immigrants from Italy who moved to live in Ethiopia as far back as the 19th century, and their descendants. King Menelik II did not allow the sale of lands belonging to Ethiopia to Italians (Eritrea) and probably allowed France (Djibouti) to solidify his centralized power and have external trading partners. Most of the Italians moved to Ethiopia after the Italian conquest of Abyssinia in 1936. Italian Ethiopia was made of Harrar, Galla-Sidamo, Amhara and Scioa Governorates in summer 1936 and became a part of the Italian colony Italian East Africa, with capital Addis Abeba and with Victor Emmanuel III proclaiming himself Emperor of Ethiopia.
The Arbegnoch were Ethiopian resistance fighters in Italian East Africa from 1936 until 1941. They were known to the Italians as shifta.
The Italian colonial railways started with the opening in 1888 of a short section of line in Italian Eritrea, and ended in 1943 with the loss of Italian Libya after the Allied offensive in North Africa and the destruction of the railways around Italian Tripoli. The colonial railways of the Kingdom of Italy reached 1,561 kilometres (970 mi) before WWII.
The monument to the Lion of Judah is a statue of the Lion of Judah, symbol of Ethiopian Emperors and Ethiopia is located to Addis Ababa.