The Victory of Adwa: Shining Testimony for Unity’s Landmark
Ethiopians have already finalized the preparations to mark the 121st anniversary of the Adwa victory, which is the pride of Africans and black people. The Victory of Adwa, the great victory that was won by the Ethiopian army over the colonial forces of Italy on March 2nd 1896, will be celebrated this year colourfully.
Adwa is the first major victory of non-white peoples over European colonizers. The victory of Adwa has turned up and down an age old belief on the white supremacy over the black people. It has reversed the falsely fabricated story on the differences between Africans and the European colonizers.
The victory of Adwa has attracted the attention of several writers and it has became the pride of Africans in general and Ethiopians in particular. Several writers have agreed that the victory of Adwa is one of the turning points not only to Ethiopians but also African history. They substantiated their arguments by saying “Economically undeveloped Ethiopians who were armed with traditional weapons gained a glorious victory over economically developed Italians who were armed with modern weapons.”
The defeat at Adwa was not only to the Italian army but also to the entire European countries that had rushing to colonize African countries. In the same token, the victory was not only the pride of Ethiopians but also all Africans and other black people living all over the world who were considered as inferior and incapable of withstanding the white supremacy. The victory of Adwa compelled the European colonialists to stop and reconsider their actions.
Many political analysts argued that the major reason for Ethiopian victory over the Italian army was the unreserved efforts exerted against the well armed European soldiers by all nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia.
Adwa was a victory that brought all Ethiopians together against the colonizing force. For that reason, it was an alarm for European countries to change their wrong perception towards Africans.
In one way Adwa has compelled Europeans to realize and reconsider their attitudes towards Africans. On the other hand, it became a catalyst for further struggle to other people against their white colonizers. Besides, the victory obliged the conqueror and other European colonizers to reconsider their activities. It has also forced them to accept Ethiopia’s sovereignty and freedom. They even opened their Embassies in Addis Ababa and took various measures to strengthen their bilateral relations with Ethiopia.
The victory of Adwa is different from other victories. The first and the most important thing is that it has saved Ethiopia from colonization and avoid its shameful historical scar on the people. The other and the most important thing is that, Adwa has brought all Ethiopians to fight their common enemy.
Despite their cultural, language or political differences Ethiopians were ready to sacrifice their blood to stop the advancement of colonizers. Consequently, they maintained the sovereignty of their country while many other African countries were colonized by the Europeans.
Several scholars have wrote a lot about the Ethio-Italian battle at Adwa. In their writing, the scholars described the courage of Ethiopians who bravely fought against the Italian army. One of these celebrated scholars was Donald Levin.
Levin argued that the victory of Adwa has indicated the extent of Ethiopians love to their motherland. He added, the cooperation of Ethiopians and their strong courage to defend their country from foreign invaders is something inherited in them.
It ensured the love of the people to their country and the tolerance as well as it really shows the way our forefathers handle their differences and gave priority to their country’s sovereignty. That is what our forefathers did. They managed to protect their country from foreign invaders. They sacrificed their lives to realize free and sovereign Ethiopia. Unlike other African countries that had been colonized for many years Ethiopia managed to maintain its freedom.
It is appropriate for the new generation to protect and keep the country from its enemies. The youth has to take a lessons from the victory of Adwa. In one hand, every Ethiopian has contributed to the victory either through supplying logistics or directly participating in the battle. On the other hand, all Ethiopians put aside their differences and cooperate to defend enemies. As a result, the divide and rule colonizing system of European colonialists didn’t work in the country.
Despite the efforts made by the Italian conquerors to divide the Ethiopian people, no one allied with them. All Ethiopians became unwilling to negotiate about their country’s sovereignty. This is what the current generation should comprehend well. It was due the strong enthusiasm of our forefathers that Ethiopia’s sovereignty was maintained while other Africa countries fall under colony. This is one of the significant lessons that the youth need to consider at present. The victory of Adwa is not the only battle where Ethiopians showed their unity. There were also other victories that Ethiopians showed their love to their motherland and repulsed the invaders. In all these incidents Ethiopians have witnessed their culture unity and fight their common enemies.
One of the recent incidents that we could considered as a typical example is the Ethio-Eritrean conflict. At the time when the Eritrean government had controlled Badme, part of Ethiopia, the state in Asmara had a wrong assumption about the unity of Ethiopians. It has misconception about Ethiopians. The Asmara government had considered Ethiopia as a divided country where nations, nationalities and peoples are disharmonized.
The Eritrean government had failed to comprehend the very nature of the Ethiopian people. It missed to realize the sameness of Ethiopians in connection to their country’s sovereignty. It didn’t consider the fact that Ethiopians are usually one and the same in time of difficulty that erode their national interests.
Our forefathers had courageously fought with the armed Italian force. In the battlefield Ethiopians performed bravely so that they forced the Italian conqueror to turn back shamefully with a considerable loss of life. As a result, Ethiopia is one of the two African countries that wasn’t colonized by the European colonialists, which was not only the pride of Ethiopians but also all Africans and other black people around the globe.
It is so vivid that the current generation has shouldered the responsibility of fighting poverty and backwardness. This responsibility could be discharged effectively if they should work industriously.
The present responsibility the youth have shouldered doesn’t demand sacrificing one’s life. It rather demands working hard to alleviate poverty and maintain the fast sustainable economic growth to realize the efforts exerted to realize the renaissance of the country. This commitment doesn’t require severe sacrifice as what our forefathers faced in those old days.
Another important lesson that the current generation should take from the victory of Adwa could be the need to work together regardless of differences when the country is subjected to foreign conquerors.
There was no need to have differences in national issues. Every citizen, regardless of their ages, gender, religion and ethnics, should stand together for national interests. Despite internal differences, all nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia should stand in unison against internal or external forces who have been attempting to jeopardize the economic development and the peace of the country.
However, the recent happenings were contradicting with the very togetherness of Ethiopians at time of difficulties. As it was seen recently some individuals and groups have been working hard to accomplish the hidden agenda of Egypt and Eritrea. These groups forgot and failed to respect the sacrifice of their forefathers in keeping their country’s sovereignty.
Having taken ample lessons from their forefathers, the Ethiopian youth should carry out their responsibility rallying behind the country’s efforts to defeat poverty and backwardness.
Source: Ethiopian Herald