Ethiopia peacekeepers serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), on Thursday celebrated the 127th victory anniversary of the battle of Adwa, during which Ethiopia was commended for triggering the quest for independence by African countries and setting the stage for Pan-Africanism.
In March 1896, at the battle of Adwa, the Ethiopian army emerged victorious after successfully resisting an onslaught by the Italian army.
ATMIS Ethiopia forces celebrated with events in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Beletweyne and Kismayo where they are engaged in combat operations against the Al-Shabaab.
Somalia’s Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abshir Omar Jama, who presided over the celebrations in Mogadishu, saluted the people of Ethiopia for their bravery and contribution to the freedom movement on the continent.
“This wonderful and historic victory of Adwa symbolizes the resilience, bravery, unity and dedication of Ethiopia to Africa as a continent,” said the Minister at the event attended by senior officials from the Federal Government of Somalia, ATMIS and accredited diplomats.
“At the time of the hostility and conflict, most of African countries were facing the same fate, however, there did not have the capability, unity, and preparedness of our Ethiopian brothers. That victory was perceived as a victory for all,” He explained.
He hailed the cordial relations between Somalia and Ethiopia.
The Charge’ d Affairs at the Ethiopian Embassy in Somalia, Ketema Haile, traced the history of the battle of Adwa and its significance to the liberation struggle on the African continent.
“In the decades that followed, the black community drew lessons and inspiration from this historic victory in the struggle against colonialism, racism, and apartheid. Adwa is considered as a turning point in modern African history. This came true when several African countries gained their independence in the early 1960’s,” said Haile.
He noted that holding the event in Somalia is testimony of the progress made to restoring security and stability to the country following the intervention by the AU and international partners.
Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador to Somalia, Nathan Mugisha, who spoke on behalf of other accredited diplomats, congratulated Ethiopians on their victory day, which he said is an embodiment of unity, discipline and dedication.
The ATMIS military Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Kindu Gezu, highlighted the lessons to be drawn from the battle of Adwa, regarding unity, commitment, sacrifice and the capacity of Africans to find solutions to their own problems.