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HomeEthiopian News87th Year Yekatit 12 Commemoration

87th Year Yekatit 12 Commemoration

 Yekatit 12 Commemoration
“Yekatit the Twelfth”  by Gabre Kristos Desta 1963 0il on Canvas Board. 

Global Alliance for Justice the Ethiopian Cause (GAJEC)
Press Release

This press release is issued in observance of the 87th anniversary of the Massacre of 30,000 Ethiopians in Addis Ababa by Fascist Italy. Three days that should indelibly remain in infamy February 19th, 20th and 21st 1937.

The Global Alliance for Justice the Ethiopian Cause (GAJEC) once again invokes a most heinous Crime against humanity committed on February 19th, 20th and 21st, 1937 or otherwise known in (Amharic: የካቲት ፲፪, የሰማዕታት ፡ ቀን – Romanized: Yekatīt 12 the Dy of Martyrs) in Memoriam to the victims of little known war Crime that is neglected, covered up and ignored by the Allied Powers  and abandoned by the UN War Crime Commission, UNWCC.

    The “yekatit 12” Memorial in Addis Ababa

A modern war crime for which justice is yet to be rendered. A War Crime that no fake diplomatic mask or no armistice deal with war criminals should hide. A modern war Crime so cruel and barbaric Committed Fascist Italy whose massacre of innocent civilians who were burned alive, shot, stabbed, or blown up with grenades.  Following an assassination attempt on Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, who was at the time Marquis of Negligee, and Viceroy of the Italian East Africa for three days and three nights an an unprecedented systematic terror was unleashed where by 30, 000 innocent men, women, children and elders were murdered in the most cruel methods known to man.  The so called Italian Black Shirts, a paramilitary group belonging to the National Italian Fascist Party along with resident Italian civilians and laborers were armed and given a cart Blanche order to kill Ethiopians indiscriminately.

All attempts to get justice was discouraged, from the start by seeing to it that Ethiopia although a member of the League of Nation and later the UN from having representation on the UN War Crime Commission. The exclusion of Ethiopia to the UN War Crime Commission was spearheaded by the British deprived justice and allowed a collective amnesia. A letter was addressed and submitted to the Secretary-General of the UNWCC, anticipating that the Ethiopian Government would tender information about war crimes committed by the Italians during the Italo-Abyssinian war. According to this letter, the Italians had been charged with: ordering the use of poison-gas, the burning of hospitals and ambulances, and the bombing of towns between October 1935 and March 1936; resorting to systematic terrorism against civilians, ending in the widespread attacks approved by the Viceroy of Italian East Africa and Governor-General of Addis Abeba, General Rodolfo Graziani, in 1937; burning villages and massacring inhabitants, including women and children, as reprisals; murdering prisoners of war and hostages; deporting and subjecting the civilian population to forced labour. In particular, General Graziani was accused by the Ethiopians of having ordered, in reprisal to the attempted assassination on his life on 19 February 1937, the two massacres of “Yekatit 12”, the date in the Ethiopian calendar indicating the day when indiscriminate killing and imprisonment of Ethiopians by Italian occupation forces started, and Debre Libanos, where (according to Graziani himself) between 19 and 21 May 1937, 297 monks and 129 deacons were killed by Italian colonialists. The numbers massacred in Debre Libanos are as high as 2000 while the Addis Ababa massacre is reported by the Ethiopian Government to be 30,000 non combatant civilian Ethiopians. Italy under Benito Mussolini invaded Ethiopia on October 1935 defying all arbitration and from 1935 to 1941 the Italian fascist army massacred one million people, including the destruction of 2,000 churches, 525,000 homes, 14 million animals and the looting of Art works, paintings and vast quantities of cultural properties of which over 500 books, icons other Ethiopian church paraphernalia presently in the custody of the Vatican library.

The Global Alliance for Justice – The Ethiopian Cause is focused on the following main objectives:

  1. An adequate remuneration by Fascist Italy for the war crimes committed against Ethiopia;
  2. The restitution of looted properties by Italy and the Vatican to Ethiopia;
  3. An apology by the Vatican to Ethiopia for its complicity with Fascist Italy;
  4. The UN recognition of the Fascist Italian war crime against Ethiopia; and
  5. The removal of the mausoleum established for the Fascist criminal, Rodolfo Graziani.

The Global Alliance for Justice the Ethiopian Cause (GAJEC) finds that the history of the missed prosecution of Italian war criminals is for sure the history of a failure of the international community, but also a shining example of victors’ justice. In fact we believe that it was the result of a cold-blooded decision to grant impunity to all of the Italian military commanders that a UN-backed organ, the UN War Crimes Commission UNWCC, had identified as the most responsible for the heinous crimes committed by the Italians between 1935 and September 1943, allowing a patent violation of international treaties (in particular, the Instrument of Surrender and the Treaty of Peace) and of the principles which would be set out in Nuremberg and Tokyo, justified by the opportunity to gain a political advantage – the Italian government’s loyalty to the new order. 

Ethiopia shall rise again


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