ITALY’S EXCELLENT NEWS FOR ETHIOPIA – By Kidane Alemayehu

September 2nd, 2008 Print Print Email Email

It has been reported in various news media that Italy has signed an agreement with Libya to pay a compensation of $5 billion for the use of Libyans who fought as part of the Fascist army during the Second World War. This should be an excellent news as the Fascist army which included some Libyans had committed genocide for which Ethiopia should be compensated a minimum of $50 billion.

The Libyan government should be given due credit for its valiant effort in getting a redress through the substantial compensation by the European government i.e. Italy that colonized it for several years and utilized its citizens in its quest for suppression as well as committing atrocities in other nations such as Ethiopia.

The current Italian government also deserves appreciation for its principled stand on the issue by owning up to its past historic injustices. The important remaining issue now is whether the Italian government would be consistent with this fundamental principle and apply it to Ethiopia which had suffered the most from the Fascist atrocities. (more…)

It has been reported in various news media that Italy has signed an agreement with Libya to pay a compensation of $5 billion for the use of Libyans who fought as part of the Fascist army during the Second World War. This should be an excellent news as the Fascist army which included some Libyans had committed genocide for which Ethiopia should be compensated a minimum of $50 billion.

The Libyan government should be given due credit for its valiant effort in getting a redress through the substantial compensation by the European government i.e. Italy that colonized it for several years and utilized its citizens in its quest for suppression as well as committing atrocities in other nations such as Ethiopia.

The current Italian government also deserves appreciation for its principled stand on the issue by owning up to its past historic injustices. The important remaining issue now is whether the Italian government would be consistent with this fundamental principle and apply it to Ethiopia which had suffered the most from the Fascist atrocities. This will depend not only on the Italian government’s new-found sense of justice but also on whether the people and government of Ethiopia will make a justified demand for an equitable compensation.

Various well known scholars and authors including Avro Manhattan, Richard Pankhurst, Anthony Mockler, Emperor Haile Selassie I, Paulos Gnogno, etc.have provided an indisputable evidence for the fact that during the 1935-41 Italian occupation of Ethiopia, the following devastating losses were perpetrated by the Fascists:

1. Numerous Ethiopians (later estimated at 1 million) were killed of whom 30,000 were murdered in a few hours in Addis Ababa alone; 350 monks and nuns were massacred in the famous Debre Libanos monastery; and two bishops, namely, Abune Petros and Abune Michael were martyred. (1)
2. 525,000 homes and 2000 churches were destroyed.
3. 14 million animals were killed.
4. As the Fascists sprayed mustard poison gas in various parts of Ethiopia using numerous airplanes, the Ethiopian environment was devastated in addition to the above genocide and substantial destruction.

(1)There are numerous personal tragedies involving the Fascists. Mine concerns my grandfather, Grazmach Gessesse Fanta and his son, Merid Gessesse, who died fighting against the Fascists in the Ogaden, the eastern region of Ethiopia. The Fascist army that invaded Ethiopia from the Somali front included Libyan and Somali soldiers. My father, Alemayehu Gebremichael, (God bless his soul) had related to me that he also fought against the Fascists in the same area but was able to escape only to be caught later by the Libyan soldiers who beat him so much that his blood was flowing from his nose.

As a so-called compensation, Italy agreed to pay the tiny amount of only 6 million sterling pounds in 1947 and, as a result, the issue has remained a festering open wound for generations. The main reason for the inappropriate and ridiculously low amount of compensation for such a huge crime against humanity was due to the fact that Ethiopia was the only independent African country at the time and the western countries sided with one of their own.

Now that the Italian government has finally seen fit to pay a more appropriate compensation for its past crimes in the African country of Libya, there is good reason to hope and believe that it will also meet its obligation for the Fascists genocide and destruction in Ethiopia.

The above issue has been taken up by the Global Alliance for Justice – the Ethiopia Cause (www.globalallianceforethiopia.org) which has launched an international campaign for a Vatican apology to the Ethiopian people for its complicity with the Fascists. An international petition is being signed in the above website and, so far, nearly 800 people from over 30 countries have already complied. It is intended that once enough signatures have been obtained, a formal appeal will be submitted to the international community including the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, Amnesty International, and other such institutions as well as certain appropriate governments to put pressure on the Vatican to do its Christian duty by apologizing to the Ethiopian people.

A number of letters have also been submitted to Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Vatican, directly calling for his apology similar to the ones that he and previous Popes have offered to the Jewish people for the mere fact that the Vatican remained silent when the Nazis committed the infamous holocaust. The apology to Ethiopia should be even stronger because of the fact that the Fascist army occupied Ethiopia with the prior blessing and, therefore, direct complicity of the Vatican
A Vatican clergy blessing the Fascist army at the start of its journey to commit its genocide in Ethiopia.

It should be noted that the Alliance’s strategy comprises three inter-related strands: firstly, to obtain an apology by the Vatican to the Ethiopian people; secondly, to ensure that the United Nations to include the Fascist genocide against Ethiopia in the annals of its historic records; and finally, thirdly, to obtain an adequate compensation by the Italian government to the Ethiopian people.

The above huge effort needs the support of all people and governments who believe in justice and human rights. All who are interested in contributing to the success of this endeavor are requested:

1. To sign the petition in www.globalallianceforethiopia.org calling upon the Vatican to apologize to the Ethiopian people for its complicity with the Fascists;
2. To demand from the Italian government an adequate compensation for the genocide and the immense destruction perpetrated by the Fascists in Ethiopia;
3. To call upon the United Nations to include the Fascist genocide against Ethiopia in its historic records for the accurate information of future generations of humanity.

“Ethiopia shall raise its hands unto God.” (Psalm: 68:31)

  1. Belay Zeleke
    | #1

    Healing The Old Wound

    This is by far great news that could help heal old wound between Ethiopians and Italians as a people. Though any large amount of financial compensation can’t bring back the lives of millions bring back the damage done to our country, it is about time that the Italians took a complete responsibility for their past actions, denounce the invasion and compensate Ethiopia.

    WORD OF CAUTION!

    Though, I am a supporter of the entire process recommended on the article thus: apology, denouncing the invasion and financial compensation for destroying millions of lives and historical places in Ethiopia, I question the timing of such proposal. As we all know since the TPLF regime came to power, any cash value donated by foreign countries to assist the poor citizens is NOT directly applied as intended instead any the donation is used as a personal gain for the ruling party members. Therefore, until Ethiopia has a democratically elected government that can insure the financial compensation is directly handed to the direct decedents of the family member who were massacred during the Italian invasion for now we should only sign the petition for the following acts:
    a) The Vatican and Italian government should issue a letter of apology publicly.
    b) Return all stolen artifacts of Ethiopia during the invasion.
    c) Issue a letter with a promise indicating the willingness of the Italian government to pay a financial compensation to Ethiopia once the country has democratically elected government is in power thereby ensuring financial compensation is directly handed directly to the decedents of the suffering family during the invasion

    Italians were a white colonizers but TPLF if a homegrown invader who aim is the destruction of our identity as Ethiopians.

  2. waleligni
    | #2

    “It has been reported in various news media that Italy has signed an agreement with Libya to pay a compensation of $5 billion for the use of Libyans who fought as part of the Fascist army during the Second World War”. according to the above information ERITREANS are more beneficiaries than ETHIOPIANS. Because if you look back to histry, there were no significant number Ethiopians of being used as part of Italian army during world war. As the matter of the fact,there were significant number of Eritreans being used as part of ITALIAN army during that time. The Italian colonizers use eitreans not only for local need, their draft was extended to libya. Histry tells us there were a significant number of Eritreans stationed in Lybia as part of Italian colonization. My question is,inorder to help our Ethiopian Heroes(jegg-noch)get benefit as we make our historical case more valid regardless the making of our ever pride notions that our fathers never been BANDAS, never been colonized? On what basis we do need compenstions?
    thank you!

  3. zheim
    | #3

    Waleligni,
    if you knew the history of Ethipia, particularly articles from R. Pankhurst, there were a lot of Erithreans who left the italian army to fight along with ethiopians, gave crucial information to ethiopians, and betray the fascist. The first patriot to launch the ethiopian resistance was erythrean, and the major event of the resistance which could have killed Grazziani was made by two young erythreans. It is clear that Ethiopia and Erythrea was united at this timle against the occupying army. The bombing of small village, the use of poison gaz against civilian made everyone army of the evil intentions of the italians then. What I want to say, is that people should be united on this question. When someone wants to get the power on others, do you know what he does ? Divide people to control them ! Then they fight against theit own own neighbour, instead of aiming at the major responsible and claiming justice for themselves.

    To the author of the article,
    just one question: do you think that giving 50b$ will help anyone in a country run by Afeworki where the major part of the budget goes in …MILITARY SPENDING ? Do you think that the poor farmers of Ethiopia will see the color of this money in a country run by Zenawi ? I doubt they will !

    Yes, we shall ask for justice for the horrors of WW2, that so few people know.
    But
    No, I don’t think that this kind of help wull help anyone. Isn’t it more important to denounce the role of the debt which have no legitimacy, the rôle of the IMF and world bank who control the economy of the country, and the rôle of the United State who totally control the policy of this country ?!? I mean not the issues of yesterday, but those of today. How can opu think it could be beneficial to help them ? I am sure that when all these finacial institution and military power will left the country free, then we will have the hand free to build the country by ourselves witout this.
    By the way, do you know that most of the money given by the western world in Africa or Ethiopia, goes back to them and help finance their own companies ?!!
    Anyway, I repeat that I think however that the crimes against humanity commited by Italia in Ethiopia should be recognized..

  4. Tamirat
    | #4

    Dear Kidane Alemayehu,

    Thank you so much for speaking for Ethiopia.

    Ethiopia doesn’t have a government that speak for her and you took the intiatives, God bless you for your outstanding actions.

    Abugidawoch, job well done for posting it here.

    Thanks

  5. gemoraw
    | #5

    woyane at hoem is begging the west by the name of our familly.the other fugitive people who left the country in early are trying to compenaste them selves in the name of our country.
    If this is achieved how you guys can distribute the money.all ehipians need a money.behind this if we are compensated we have to give the money back to the sumalians that alre hallocusted by our hero AGAZIS.the sumalins are now the victim of our evil actions.If you say woyne doesn’t represent us,this generation of the Nazis donot represent the Mosolonis.
    let compensate the sumalians by the money that we will restitution.

  6. atuba dolla
    | #6

    Fascists of all sorts be it as a group disguising as domestic leaders or foreign anti-Ethiopia aggressors have one unique commonality: namely, sucking blood and resources to quench their trhist of murder and accumelation of wealth.

    In today’s Meles Naziawi’s fascist regime citizens are killed and the country’s resources are exploited, looted, and wasted, too.

    In 2005, Ethiopians defeated the fascist regime of Meles Naziawi, crimeboss and blood winner in the house of the crimefamily;but then,having known it would be the end of the criminal regime, tplfagazi robbers murdered innocent children and citizens from all walks of life just to hold onto the ugly power.

    On a scale one to ten, if the measurement is done, the tplfagaziwoyanae fascists have committed equal crime to what Fascist Italian did to Ethiopians.

    Well, Fascist Italians, one way the other have paid the price as the tplfwoyanae would in the very near future. The shame-ridden woyanaeagazitplf murderers have legalized begging and have made a trademark unique to their habit and characterstics; they continue to beg in the name of Ethiopians while staching away the money obtained and the profit they made on the citizens they mass-prisioned for the last seventeen or so years.

    AS these criminals are very secretive and cold-hearted, it is no doubt that they might have negotiated with Italians government to pocket the greatest portion of the compensation and toos away the remaining tiny portion to the imprioned-citizens.

    One thing Ethiopians must do is that this fascist gorvernment of Meles Naziawi has never been the legitimate or the choice of Ethiopians therefore, it won’t represent either the past, the present, or the future of Ethipia and Ethiopians;besides, Ethiopians must establish a committee to negotiate with Italian government on how the compensation must be delivered to the victimes of Italian Fascists.

  7. elyas
    | #7

    Hey guys I loved this compensation stuff.weather the Etalians compansate us or not in the time to come we have to be compensated by the arogant Tigreans.

    we need a compensation after the TPLF is toppled by any means.

  8. Hibret Selamu
    | #8

    It’s wonderful that there are so many comments on the important issue raised by Ato Kidane, a cause that is of concern to all people who believe in justice and human rights.

    As to the concern that Woyane will get the funds, this line of thought is simply overoptimistic. The struggle for a Vatican apology as well as for an adequate compensation is likely to take years. By the time it’s achieved, Melles Zenawi and company will have departed this earth! Therefore, what is needed now is to fight hard for the dignity of our country. This means that all those who are serious about the Ethiopian Cause should sign the international petition provided in http://www.globalallianceforethiopia.org.

    Unlike the Libyan government which obtained such an outstanding result, Woyane does not care about Ethiopia and its people. Therefore, please don’t worry your heads about it getting any money. Do your part and not follow the Woyane example by doing nothing!

    Wase.

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