Turn out for 124th Adwa victory celebration in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa said to be a record high in the last thirty years.
March 2, 2020
The 124 anniversary of the battle of Adwa is celebrated on Monday, March 2, 2020, across the country. It was 124 years ago that Ethiopians under the leadership of Emperor Menelik II achieved victory over the highly armed Italian Colonial army in Adwa.
The celebration in Addis Ababa near Emperor Menelik II square in the center of the city was especially colorful. It attracted hundreds of thousands of people.
It is also celebrated in Adwa, in the Tigray region, north Ethiopia, where the battle took place. Ethiopian President Sahlework Zewdie, Ethiopian Minister for culture and tourism Hirut Kassaw, Speaker of House of Federation, Keriya Ibrahim, and Tigray region’s deputy head Debretsion Gebremichael have attended the ceremony in Adwa.
“our forefathers achieved victory at Adwa because they were able to tolerate and listen to each other; because they focused on the big picture rather than petty issues,” president Sahle-Work Zewde said in her speech at Adwa as reported by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).
Ambassador Alemayehu Abebe, a representative of the Ethiopian Patriots Association, was also in Adwa. He said: “It is not deniable that Adwa victory was achieved because our fathers and mothers held tight chains of unity.”
Emperor Menelik’s military leadership capability is hailed during the event. “The entire world gave testimony that Atse Menelik was a military leader who made it possible for Africans to liberate themselves from the Yoke of Colonialism,” he added.
Tigray regional state deputy president, Debretsion Gebremichael, had something to say about Adwa victory. “The shining victory at Adwa is the source of many lessons and has continental and global significance,” he said.
He also said that “when people that are considered to be meek stand in unity, they can achieve unimaginable victory and Adwa victory is a lasting witness to it.”
The celebration in Addis Ababa attracted people from all walks of life. It was not, however, without a problem as the security authorities manifested interest to cling on practices from the immediate pre-Abiy Ahmed government.
Police stopped residents who were flocking to Emperor Menelik II square near Piazza in Addis Ababa and wrested traditional Ethiopian flag that is without a pentagram in blue color background. Eighty-eight years old women who went to Menelik square to celebrate the victory experienced it. She said “I want to know why they did that. What’s the case?”
Despite that, people in Addis Ababa displayed a phenomenal celebration. Many people were dressed in traditional Ethiopian attire. They chanted classic Ethiopian war songs.
Turnout appeared to be a record high, according to local source, in about thirty years since the EPRDF (now rebranded itself as Prosperity Party) in 1991. It has, in fact, shown remarkable increase since last year.
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