February 19, 2021
On February 19, 1937, two Ethiopians, Abraham Deboch and Moges Asgedom, attempted to assassinate the viceroy of the Italian occupying forces, Marshal Rodolfo Graziani.
What happened in the hours and the days following the attempt are tragic, but it turned out to be one commemorated rather as one of the symbols of Ethiopian Martyrdom paid in defense of the independence and freedom of Ethiopia.
More than 30,000 people were massacred in the capital Addis Ababa in a span of three days and tens of thousands of people were arrested. Children, women and elders were among the victims.
Outside the capital, Italian fascist forces massacred more than 500 monks at the Debre Libanos monastery.
Martyr’s day is celebrated every year at the Yekatit 12 statue, which is close to the main campus of Addis Ababa University and Yekatit 12 Hospital.
Ethiopian Patriots who took part during the resistance war, residents of Addis Ababa city and government officials celebrated the day in the early hours of Friday in the capital Addis Ababa.
The number of Ethiopians killed during five years of Italian occupation across the country is believed to be nearly one million, according to some historians.