8 March 2018

Ethiopia: Honoring Values of Adwa Victory's for a Better Tomorrow

Describing the Victory of Adwa is like telling an open secret. Our forefathers made a grand history at the Battle of Adwa that is tantamount to the mountains of Adwa where they crashed Italian aggression. Thanks to this historic victory, we Ethiopians are blessed enough to celebrate the precious Victory Day while many countries in the world celebrate their Independence Days. The difference is crystal clear and the Victory of Adwa was a remarkable turnaround in many aspects.

It is true Ethiopian forces under the leadership of Emperor Menelik II surprised the world by defeating a well-equipped Italian troop, but what worth telling are the values that led the historic triumph. When a country appears united through difficulties, success is imminent. It is the unity, unimaginable sense of patriotism and determination that ended up as the first ever black people's victory against a colonial power. It was a moment in which Ethiopianism shined and flourished.

The Ethiopian warriors under same flag spoke same words and acted in same swords as one when it comes to common enemies. Though slight disagreements were there among the different rulers of the nation, Adwa served as a conciliatory gesture. Had it not been for the Ethiopian warriors' unity and determination, Ethiopia's historic triumph against the well equipped Italian invading forces would not have been materialized.

Adwa was a huge breakthrough towards ending white supremacy over black people. It is a great victory where not only Ethiopians but other black peoples should amplify and magnify as well. It demonstrated the love for liberty, unity, country as well as human dignity that led to the Victory which the current generation must uphold.

In his book, The Battle of Adwa, Professor Raymond Jonas argues it was the Adwa campaign during Menelik's call for national mobilization that had the greatest contributions in making the victory of the greatest Campaigns of the 19th century.

The scale of the mobilization was central in Menelik's strategic plans, because of the amount of troops he and his wife Empress Taytu were able to lead and gather during the three month march towards Adwa. Not only does this show the leadership strength in mobilizing and maintaining an army for that duration, it also shows how the county was unified as well.

In fact, Ethiopian demonstrates unity and strength till this day against any form of common enemy. At the heart is the Victory of Adwa that still remains as fresh in the memories of Ethiopians. And the people should uphold similar values and triumph over to modern day challenges. The anniversary of the Adwa Victory will serve as morale to reaffirm commitment in solidifying unity and dignity as well as addressing the nation's present day challenges.

Ethiopians should stand together and put aside differences amid internal and external threats to build a strong, prosperous and peaceful nation in what were described as true character and values of forefathers that led to the great victory against Italian colonial power in the battle of Adwa in 1896, said FDRE President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, during the celebration of the Victory at the historic site.

The Victory came while African people were languishing under the yokes of colonialism. It is a vivid triumph brought through solidarity and unimaginable sense of patriotism. Adwa is so grand that it propelled the rise of fierce resistance in other African nations and among black people across.

The Victory besides maintaining sovereignty of the nation, showed a great determination to stand together and campaign against common enemy. Hence, following the footsteps of the patriotic fathers, the current generation must avoid discord and different views to hand over a united and strong nation to the future generation, added the President.

Through the Adwa Victory, Ethiopians were able to embolden similar black resistance movements with the outcome of frustrating the colonialists. Adwa became emblematic valor and resistance in the heart of black struggle, said Minister of Culture and Tourism Dr. Hirut Woldemariam.

Therefore, said Dr. Hirut, the current generation has a historical responsibility to build strong and unified nation and make the future bright for the upcoming generation by prioritizing the interest of the country to that of the individuals. To preserve and promote the victory, various projects and programs with more efforts would be strengthened as well

Tigray State Deputy Chief Administrator, Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, through his representative said the Victory flickered a glimpse of hope among other African nations desperate to get rid of colonialism and win liberty. It is a culmination of series of wars between Ethiopia and various invaders. The great triumph was earned as the people acted as one which the existing generation should uphold.

Multifaceted packages are underway to develop the battleground and promote the historic victory while vowing to provide all the required assistance, she said.

Lij Daniel Jote, for his part said Ethiopian warriors stood in unison regardless of cultural, ethnic and religious differences to maintain unity. Hence this generation should strengthen cooperation and tolerance by following the suits of the ancestors.

While honoring and preserving unity, it is also important to develop and conserve the physical witness of the history. In fact, though things seem better since the last two years, the historical areas where the battle took place and where the Wechale Treaty was signed have not been well developed.

A three-year Adwa Mountains and Victory Tourism Project was launched in Adwa town in a bid to promote the historic Victory and develop touristic sites of the town. The 250 million Birr project initiated by Tigray Tourism and Culture Bureau is also part of the ongoing seven components of the state's tourism project. The project will have various tourism products under the capacity building and development promotion and conservation, burial sites and battle ground conservation.

News innovative tourism products including trekking, mountain climbing, Amphitheater, and hot air balloon, cable car will be part of the projects. Currently the town, which is home to various historical and cultural heritages, is hosting few tourists, he said, adding that the new project, up on completion, will help the town to host large number of visitors from around the world, Project Coordinator Tekelberhan Legesse said.

Similarly, early works have begun to develop the historic site of Yisma Nigus, a place where the Wuchale Treaty was signed between Ethiopia and Italy in 1889, whose repercussion led to the Victory of Adwa in 1896.

The place is considered as important component of Adwa Victory.

However, Yisma Nigus, has not been well promoted and conserved for long. Following persistent public lobby, the designs of a museum and other facilities have been prepared and contract is awarded to Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise to commence construction, said Yisma Nigus Project Designer Samuel Abate. So far, over 25 million Birr has been secured out of the 80 million required for the project, learnt The Ethiopian Herald.

This is a historic area where not only Ethiopians but every black people should visit. Till now, the number of visitors is very few as a result of absence of well organized facilities.

This is a long coming decision and there is hope that the development will also help the surrounding area and town develop, the designer stated. A road connecting the place is constructed as part of the Universal Road Program.

According to Samuel, the construction is expected to take three years. The incident is part of the magnificent Adwa Victory, hence every black people need to make contributions.

The communities living around the historic place have consistently calling for the historic place to be developed and the development package targets to benefit the community in various ways.

In addition to the museum, lodge and others, the statues of Emperor Menelik II, Gerazemach Yosef who served as Italian interpreter and Conte Antoloni who represented Italy will also be erected in remembrance of the true sense of the moment.

To sum up, it requires a grand task to promote the grand history. And for it to happen as emblematic valor and resistance of black people, Ethiopians and other African nations should do everything they can to develop the historic battlegrounds and preserve the values that led to the Victory.

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