Haileselassie I statue to be unveiled at African Union Headquarter

In recognition of his contribution for the Unity of Africa to struggle for freedom from colonialism and for the formation of African Union, Emperor Haileselassie I statue is erecting in the Union’s Headquarter in Addis Ababa.

Haileselassie I statue
Source : ENA

February 1,2019

The African Union is unveiling a commemorative statue of Emperor Haileselassie I in the premises of African Union, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed earlier today.

Mr. Nebiat said “The Commemorative Statue of Emperor Haile Selassie which is set to be unveiled at the AU Headquarters on 10th February reflects the history of African liberation, integration, and Emperor Haile Selassie’s unquestionable role in the evolution of Africa’s development agenda,” as quoted in the social media pages of the ministry.

Explaining the importance of the commemorative statue, AU Deputy Chairperson, Amb. Kwesi Quartey, noted “the commemorative statue of Emperor Haile Selassie is an important recognition of the Emperor’s contribution to Africa’s liberation and unity leading up to the founding of the Organization of African Unity in 1963,” as reported by the African Union.

Emperor Haileselasie had played a pivotal leadership role in the establishment of what was then the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in May 1963, now renamed as The African Union.

The Statue is carved by Ale Felege Selam Art school sculptures in Addis Ababa University. And it will be unveiled on the occasion of the opening ceremony 32nd African union summit on February 10 in the presence of African leaders and members of the diplomatic community in Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed among will attend the ceremony.

Emperor Haileselsassie’s lasting contribution to the freedom and unity of Africa was overshadowed, if not totally buried, due to the political developments in the country in the past 45 years.

He is believed to have been killed in prison following the 1974 socialist revolution in Ethiopia and his remains were unearthed in the years after Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) took over power in Addis Ababa. A video of what is believed to be his last appearance before he was taken prisoner is available HERE.

Yet, the late Meles Zenawi was reportedly opposed to the idea of statue for emperor Haileselassie at the African Union – an idea which was raised by some other African leaders. A number of African countries have named streets and avenues in the capital after emperor Haileselassie.

The current administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is believed to have played a positive role for the erection of Emperor Haileselassie’s statue at the AU head quarter and even paid for it.
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