Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsAdwa Victory Celebration marred as government forces attack Addis Ababa residents 

Adwa Victory Celebration marred as government forces attack Addis Ababa residents 

  • Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government blames unspecified entities for things that gone wrong during Adwa Victory Celebration in Addis Ababa.
  • It was celebrated across the country including in Adwa, Tigray, where the battle was fought
Menelik Square where Emperor Menelik Statue stands majestically. To the north is St. George Church (Photo source : EOTC media)


The 127th anniversary of Adwa Victory is celebrated across Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government organized a celebration at Meskel Square, for the first time in the history of Adwa victory celebration amid resistance to it by residents in Addis Ababa who rather wanted the celebration in the historical place in the capital – Menelik Square. 

Not even hours after president Sahle-Work Zewde put a wreath of flowers under the Statue of Emperor Menelik II in front of St. George church, the celebration vibe degenerated to that of confrontation between security forces and residents of the city that crowded Menelik II Square for the celebration. 

Initially, roads leading to the Square were closed by Addis Ababa police as part of the security arrangement for the celebration. But it was opened around 8:00 a.m. after President Sahle-Work left the area following the brief ceremony. The measure was unprecedented and has reportedly caused grievance among residents of the city who were at Menelik Square – where the victory has always been celebrated in the city. 

What followed was a clash between police and residents who wanted to continue to celebrate at Menelik Square.  Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd. Many were beaten. Some sustained serious and life-threatening injuries. 

A monk who was attacked inside St. George Church

It is confirmed that one person was killed. The victim is identified as Mekuanent Wodaj who was said to be a physics teacher at Menelik II preparatory school. 

Tear gas was also thrown at the premises of St. George where many faithful followers of the Ethiopian Church were attending liturgy on the occasion of St. George’s monthly commemoration.  EOTC media reported, on Thursday, that service was discontinued after tear gas was thrown. The report said government security forces threw tear gas at the church premise after the Ark procession ceremony was completed and the holiday was being celebrated. This particular Ark has a strong link to the victory of Adwa in that priests carried it to Adwa in 1896. 

Adwa Victory Attack
shoes of clothes of those who were celebrating Adwa and the religious holiday at St. George as seen after police launched attack. Government blamed unspecified entities for the tragic incident.

Ethiopian government narrative 

The Ministry of Government Communications Service released a statement regarding the victory celebration and the incident at Menelik Square and St. George church. 

State media said the celebration is organized under the theme of “unity, bravery and perseverance.” 

It started by explaining why the Defense Force was made in charge of Adwa Victory and why the celebration moved to Meskel Square.  

It said that the government put directions for the 127th celebration to take place in a way that commemorates “our history, perpetuates multi-ethnic unity and fosters nation building.” Noticeably, the consent of Ethiopian Unity is changed with ethnic politics flavored wordings of “multi-ethnic unity.”  

What it pojected is an image of Adwa victory that is a product of popular participation in a way muting the role of the leadership. It is like projecting the 1949 Chinese revolution without the leadership of Mao or the Cuban revolution without Fidel Castro.  

The statement highlighted that Ethiopan did not have a regular army at the time and that victory was the result of popular participation.  Now the defense force is the inheritor of that history and that is why it is given the responsibility to organize the Adwa celebration, it said. 

Regarding the incident at Menelik Square where many were left injured, the government blames unspecified mysterious “entities.” 

“Security forces had information that entities who do not want the celebration of such a national event to be a success had plans to make it a failure.”

They attempted, it went on to say,  to disrupt the ceremony at Menelik Square. When they failed to do that, they attempted to disrupt religious services at St. George Church. 

However, coverage from the Ethiopian Church media clearly indicates that security forces threw tear gas to the Church compound and religoius celebration was disrupted. 

Video footage and images circulating on social media also indicate that government security forces were brutally attacking residents as they tried to celebrate the victory day. 

Also, government security forces were closing down printing presses that were printing T-shirts featuring the image of Emperor Menelik II. 

On why the government took the celebration to Meskel Square, it said it is out of  consideration of convenience to celebate it on a scale that matches the prestige of the victory. Conducting military parades and airshows are also given as an example. 

The Meskel Square Celebration

It was attended by president Sahle-Work Zewde, Defense Chief of Staff and his deputy and regional state presidents and members of the diplomatic community. 

The Prime Minister was not seen at the Meskel Square celebration.  There were military parade and airshows performances. 

President Sahle-Work Zewde and Defense Chief of Staff Marshal Berhanu Jula made speeches.  

Borkena reporter cited the Defense Chief as saying “ “War is a communal struggle. It is not the act of limited group members or individuals. Groups and individuals may take the credit for playing the major roles and thereby becoming a model to nurture the new generation. However, it is the broad mass that makes history of victory.”

The question that Ethiopians are asking is why the Ethiopian government appeared to be determined to delete the leadership role and contribution of Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taytu Betul in the war only because radical ethnic Oromo nationalist forces have a distorted understanding of the period of our history and the leadership of Emperor Menelik. 

From sabotaging the printing press not to print t-shirts with the image of emperor Menelik to banning T-shirts with Ethiopia’s tricolor are all begging questions. 


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  1. The end to their lies is near.

    The Victory of ADWA lives in the hearts of many generations of Ethiopian children, and it is permanently engraved in the history of both Ethiopia and Italy, and the the history books all around the world.

    But, our home-grown-imbeciles attempt to minimize ADWA’s Glory (in their little minds), only reflects their own littleness and self acknowledged feelings-of-inherent-insignificancies.

    All we can say at this moment is:

    “Lies sound like facts to those who’ve been conditioned to mis-recognize the TRUTH.”

    “We live in a time when INTELLIGENT people are being SILENCED so that STUPID people won’t be offended.”, Anonymous

    ጤዛ ይቀናጣ፤ ፀሐይ እስክትወጣ፡፡

    አይዞን ኢትዮጵያ!!!

    Be well

    • In addition:

      There wouldn’t have been an Ethiopian “ADWA Victory”, without the very “Architect” and Lead Conductor of the war: HM Emperor Menelik II.
      Period. (“፡፡”).

      For those who come from a small border-village in Kenya, to avoid tribal conflict & the British colonizers, know of only about their village & about villages, the term & concept of “Nation Hood”, even an ancient & Independent Nation like Ethiopia, is a very HARD-concept for them to put their head around and comprehend; the very source of their “hatred” towards (the nation builder), HM Emperor Menelik II.

      They were village minded then 1800’s, and still are back-ward and village-mined-people today in the 21st century (2023 or 2015).

      But they seem to understand “numbers”, and they say “we are many”.
      Perhaps true, in “leg counts”, but at the bottom of the class, where it matters most; that why you see them struggling in this newly acquired (“alien”) role.

      Be patient, their new-role is taking-a-toll on them, soon enough they will bow-out!!!

      Be well.

      • Missing Credit:

        First paragraph, 3rd line: Period. (“፡፡”), must read as below.

        “፡፡” , Legendary historian & Journalist Tadios Tantu.

        Be well.

  2. to the so-called field marshall jula – are you the leader of the Ethiopian army or not? Can the soldiers prefer not to obey your orders? That is what the Great Emperor Menelik did – and you pretend to follow his example?? what a shame?
    as for the oromo security and police in day, truth will come out and you will be put on trial.

  3. ያልተማርኩትን ሁሉ ተምርያለሁ ብዬ:
    እራሴን አስጠራሁ በስም ዶክተርዬ:
    ህዝብንም አታለልኩ ቅን መሪ መስዬ:
    ዙፋን ላይ ስወዘፍ ታየ ገመናዬ::
    በአሉባልታ ወሬ ህዝቡን ሳደነቁር:
    አመታት አለፉ ሳልሰራ ቁም ነገር::
    በሬ ሆይ ሳርሳሩን ብዬ ስዘላብድ:
    በድንገት ታከተኝ ዝም ብሎ ማወናበድ::
    በሃሰት ሰሰርቅ በከንቱ ደም ሳፈስ:
    ሂሊናዬን ሸጥኩኝ ለወንበሬ ሱስ::
    እጆቼም ጨቀዪ በኑፅሃኖች ደም:
    በእናቶች ሰቆቃ በአዛውንቱ አፅም::
    በዘር ስካር ሰከርኩ ናላዬን አዙሬ:
    ማስታወል አቃተኝ መሆኔን ተራ አውሬ::
    ህፃናት አሳደድኩ እርጉዝ አመጫት:
    የሚያሳድግ መስሎኝ የኔን ማንነት::
    በሃይማኖትም መጣሁ: እኔው: ሃፈረት:ስንቄ:
    የበግ ለምድ ያጠለኩ:ተኩላ: ነውር አያውቄ::
    ይህም አልበቃ አለኝ: ጭራሽ አላጠግብ:
    ጭስ አስተኮሰኝ ወደቤተክርስቲያን ግንብ::
    ግን በአለም መድረክ አረገኝ ወራዳ:
    ሰብዐዊነትንለሁሌ ፈፅሞ የማይረዳ::
    የተሰጠኝማ ሃላፊነት አገር እንድመራ:
    ነበር ለእኩልነት :ፍትህ የቤት ስራ::
    ግን በኦሮሙማ ርዕዮት ዓለም:
    ስለናወዝኩ በፅንፈኞች ህልም:
    ምርጫዬ ሆነብኝ ለሃሰት መቆም:
    የፍርድን ሚዛን ማጣመም::
    ለብሄርተኞች : ማዳላት:ማጎብደድ:
    በሃሰት ትርክት ህዝብ ማወናበድ::
    ማታለል ማጭበርበር የህዝብ ሃብት መስረቅ:
    ምነው? ተብሎ ሲጠየቅ መልሶ ልብ ማድረቅ::
    ከዚያም አልፎ ልትጠይቁኝ አትችሉም ብሎ: መገገም:
    ግን ዲሞክራሲ አውቃለሁ አክብሩኝ ብሎ: መራገም::
    አይ እይደለህም ሌባ ነህ ከሚሉት: መጣላት:
    ስህተተን እንደማረም የባሰ እነርሱን ማጉላላት:
    በየስር ቤቱ ማጎር መግረፍ:ማንገላታት::
    አምስት አመት ሆነኝ ወንበሬን ሳሞቅ:
    ግን እንጃልኝ አሁን አወቅሁ እንደምወድቅ::

  4. I am so glad that the murderous deranged psychopath has been exposed for what he really is. It took 5 long years, but no more. He is a spent force with zero political capital. He will continue to lie and cheat. Not even a two year old will believe him. Everyone knows how he operates፡ by manufacturing a crisis and pretending to be the white knight who will solve it. He will continue to brutalize the people and make Stalin look like an angel by comparison. Real civil disobedience will begin to take shape. So called prosperity party (should be properly renamed poverty party) is beginning to crack under the weight of its’ lies, inconsistencies, corruption and utter lack of a governing principle. It won’t be long before they begin cannibalizing each other. It’s a defining moment for the direction of the country and I pray a kind of very leadership we saw from the church a few weeks ago – firm and principled – that can rally all of Ethiopia will emerge.

  5. Abiy and the Orommuma Amhara haters tried to steal Emperor Menelik II and Etege Taitu’s victory of the Adwa battle and give it to Oromo. Yet Adwa is not celebrated in Oromia while it is widely celebrated among many Ethiopians and Amharas who are proud of their history and gallant and genius Kings and leaders.

    So the the legalized lawlessness and violence of Abiy Ahmed, Shimeles Abdissa and Adanech Abebeai against the Orthodox worshippers at St George Church and celebrators is stems from hate for Amhara history and people.

    Everything is documented and the Oromo Amhara Genociders shall not scape the real rule of law not that like Abiy Ahmed Oromo legalized lawlessness and violence against peaceful Amharas and Ethiopians. The whole world is watching and it is a matter of time.

  6. Prior to the arrival of TPLF/EPRDF, the Adwa Victory Day celebration was never ever a bone of contention among Ethiopians. The current buffoons in office and their predecessor masters against whom they fought are the ones who got the history of Adwa wrong. No Amhara group ever claimed Adwa is a victory of only so called Amhara. Never! That’s is the biggest lie ever told by these fools and mendacious imbeciles.

    People can dig and find the video of Dr. Alula Pankhurst’s famous poem about one of the heroes of Adwa, Ras Alula, composed in Amharic, by none other than Dr. Alula (son of the famous historian and friend of Ethiopia, Dr. Richard Pankhurst) himself broadcasted on national television during the Derg era of Mengistu Haile Mariam. Fitawrari Habte Gyorgis Diangde, was an other famous war hero from Emperor Menilik’s era. The bridge Habte Gyorgis Dildeye was named in his honor. Dejazemach Balcha Safo, with the beloved nick name, Balcha Aba Nefso was yer another famous hero of Emperor Menilik’s time. Dejazmach Balcha Hospital commonly referred to as Balcha Hospital was named in his commemoration.

    Here is a quote from Emperor Haile Selassie from 65 years ago during his visit of Dejazmach Balcha Hospiatl on October 26, 1957: ““It has given Us great pleasure to be present here at this hospital named after one of Our National heroes Dejazmatch Balcha, on the occasion of the Commemoration of its first decade devoted to the fruitful cause of helping the sick and preserving the health of Our people.”

    Just because the likes of abiy, shimeles, adanech and similar elk are too stupid to know the details of Ethiopian history and too insecure to acknowledge the wisdom, breadth of experience, governing skills and humility of those who came before them, the whole of Ethiopia has to suffer endlessly? If these goons masquerading as leaders had cared about Ethiopia and Ethiopians, they would have studied real history in depth and shut their pie holes once and for good. Just because prosperity party is divided by ethnicity, the EOTC, the Holy Synod, the Vicory of Adwa, Easter, Christmas or Eid al-Fitr or a national soccer team like Buna etc need not be divided along ethnic subdivisions just to soothe the egos of ethno fanatic goons.

    Bottomline, pp party led by abiy needs to create chaos and drama 24-7 in order to steal,embezzle, loot and waste the public resources of Ethiopians. The bulk of the statistics generated by TPLF and the Abiy pp in the last 32 years must be investigated and will be investigated to be shown to be nothing BUT LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES!!!!!!!!!

  7. If it is in the government’s own admission that the assault was carried out by rogue elements, then they should be held accountable in a transparent court of law. Such hideous individuals should never be tolerated. If such elements are allowed to go scot-free they will keep multiplying and one day will turn their guns on their own leaders too. Meanwhile I call upon all parties to exercise restraints and let this criminal act be solved peacefully. Citizens should not be assaulted for wearing t-shirts. Is so, who would be next? Those wearing Bob Marley’s t-shirt? If this story of rogue elements assaulted the peaceful worshippers by the government is true, then that proves me right that government security forces from regional to federal levels have been infiltrated by bigoted individuals. That could end up being so deadly threatening the very existence of the nation itself.
    Peace y’all!!!!

  8. When I grew up in Addis, there was no such thing as flooding Menelik Square on Adowa Day [AD]. TPLF & EPLF politicized it to suit their divide-and-loot/kill/etc. since 1991.

    Menelik was no bigot! Isn’t it ironic when Bigots in Menelik/Taitu T-shirts, wearing Orthodox Amara Hats, and wrapped in the Ethiopian flag ruin AD? Why did these Petty Bigots refuse to celebrate AD the ENDF way – -?

    How can one hate Oromos and love the Adowa Victory? Menelik’s Cavalry was entirely Shewa Oromos and they also doubled as Menelik’s shield at Adowa. Menelik sent them in to the war last & most Italian officers shot themselves rather than be chopped by them.

    Most of Ethiopia’s History was written by Whites or Amaras or translated by Amaras. Hence, Whites and ‘Amara Historians’ decided what to tell/omit/exclude/downplay/etc.

    This skewed Ethiopian History is at the heart of today’s inter-ethnic disharmony. Among other things, it portrays Amaras as the ‘Custodians of Ethiopia.’ It is as though the 85 other ethnics never ever existed and never ever played any role in Ethiopia’s History.

    The detractors at Menelik Square advance the ‘Amaras Are the Custodians of Ethiopia’ who brought the Adowa Victory and nobody deters them from doing it their way. It’s in their Bigots’ Bible: “First, God created Amaras! Second, Ethiopia! Last, the 85 Ethnics.”

    PS: What a shame that there is no Memorial Day for Abunè Petros [Ethiopia’s Icon of Defiance]. He is a hero who took a shower of bullets for Ethiopia! Hats off to him!!


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