From Federation to Annexation(Ethiopia)

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  1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Home Services, in English, September 11, 1952, 0845 GMT – L.

(Translation of the Speech of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie, at the Celebration of the Ratification Act of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea)

(Summary with Quotations)

“For generations, the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea have longed for federation. Ethiopia stretched out her hand in brotherhood to the people of Eritrea and welcomed them as one under the Ethiopian flag. Today, throughout the land of Eritrea, the proclamation of federation with Ethiopia has been read.  My loyal subjects of Eritrea will face well under the Ethiopian flag. Their 5 years of struggle and sacrifice will now be amply repaid.”

Eritrea, Selassie pointed out, was one of the first territories to be freed during the last war last war. Since that time, Ethiopia and the Emperor personally have undertaken and directed the claims on behalf of Eritrea for her national aspirations. Today, as a result of 2 years of struggle, – they are entering of their own free will into the federation of the two territories; we are grateful to the United Nations for its efforts to establish a federation.

Since the time 7 years ago when Ethiopia issued her first statement on the Eritrean question, the aggravated situation of world politics excluded participation of all but the largest states at world conferences. Ethiopia was thus not represented at all important conferences, but despite this the just claims of her brothers in Eritrea were not to be denied. To this end, Ethiopian Ministers and representatives undertook many personal missions” to present the claims of Eritrea.

“As regards Eritrea, our 3,000-year history and our knowledge of our subjects in Eritrea have at all times supported us in our conviction of the justice of the claims made on their behalf. It was, therefore, with deep satisfaction that we noted confirmation of our convictions in the report of the Four Power commissions of investigation concerning the overwhelming desire of the inhabitants of Eritrea for federation with Ethiopia.”

The resolution of the United Nations, made in the form of recommendations to the people concerned, was accepted and the inhabitants of Eritrea endorsed the union under federation with Ethiopia.

Equality of Christians and Moslems

Viewing self-determination in a governmental sense, the Eritreans will not only participate in their local Government but, “Christians and Moslems alike will receive the fruit of self-determination and freedom through the fullest participation in all branches and levels of the Imperial Ethiopian Government. Indeed today, and for many years past, Eritreans have held Government posts, a situation which has never been possible elsewhere.”

As from today, every possibility for participation in all activities of the federal Government will be given them, “in order that Eritreans shall be assured of their fullest freedom of choice, we have been pleased to decide that Eritreans shall elect their own Deputies to our Chamber of Deputies.”

It has always been known that the Union of the two territories would involve considerable sacrifices on the part of Ethiopians. Eritrea Will require Ethiopian assistance. Tremendous efforts in the fields of education and health will be needed. We have always been aware of these responsibilities. In this respect, therefore, the recommendation of the United Nations constitutes a tribute to Ethiopia and to the progress she has made in the years following her liberation.

“Our international responsibilities have been increased since Eritrea lies on the most important trade route in the world. Ethiopia, for so many years cut off from the coast, will now resume its position on the Red Sea. Our country will meet its international responsibilities in accordance with the principles of the Charter.

“Today, at this historic moment of our entering upon a new era, we call upon all, Christians and Moslems, foreigners and brothers of the Empire of Ethiopia, in a spirit of charity, good will, and fervent resolve to strive for the welfare of the greater Ethiopia. We thank Almighty God for having blessed our labors and sparing us to see the reunion of the brothers of Ethiopia and Eritrea.”

Eritrean Vote for Provincial Status

Addis Ababa. Ethiopia Domestic Service in Amharic 1100 GMT, November 14, 1962-K/L

(Text) Asmara — The Eritrean Assembly met this morning and passed a historic resolution that Eritrea will no longer be a federal state and will become part of Ethiopia.

The assembly session, which began at 0730 GMT today, was informed that His Excellency Bitwoded Asfaha Wold-Mikael, general administrator of Eritrea, was coining to the session to introduce an important bill. The general administrator, accompanied by the commander in chief of the Eritrean police and other senior government officials, arrived at the assembly at 0740 GMT and was given a warm welcome by the parliamentarians.

All the deputies were present, as well as many government officials and Eritrean dignitaries. Thousands of people waited outside the house to hear the results. The administrator general thanked the deputies for carrying out their duties in the past and told them that the word federal, which was created by enemies, would be cancelled and Eritrea would become part and parcel of Ethiopia, coming under the same and single administration of Ethiopia.

The following resolution was placed before the assembly by the general administrator:

Federal administration is remote from our history and traditions. Understanding that it will not benefit our people but serve as an instrument for our enemies, and considering that our united efforts to develop our country as two separate administrative organizations has proved to be a waste of manpower and wealth, we believe that having some of our people led by an artificial organization introduced by allies will only weaken our unity.

Therefore, speaking on behalf of our people, we have herewith cancelled the name and practice of federation. From this day Eritrea is amalgamated to its motherland, Ethiopia. We ask his Imperial Majesty’s representative in Eritrea to pass this resolution to him for approval.

The assembly listened to the hill and approved it unanimously. The general administrator was interrupted by applause several times while he was reading the bill.

Later, the general administrator and all the deputies marched to the Asmara Royal Palace where they handed the resolution to His Imperial Majesty’s representative in Eritrea, who is also minister of the interior, and asked him to pass it to His Imperial Majesty for approval.

Haile Selassie I this morning summoned the crown prince, members of the royal family, their excellencies the ministers, and leading government officials and informed them of the decision passed by the Asmara assembly.

(Editor’s note; Addis Ababa in Amharic 1700 GMT November 14, 1962 repeated the above report of the abolition of the Ethiopian-Eritrean federation by the Asmara Assembly and preceded the report with the following introduction:

(“Enemies of Ethiopia who envy its way of life, independence, peace, and unity have never hesitated to obstruct Eritrea’s unification with Ethiopia. Good evidence of this is that these enemies introduced new tokens and a new system of administration for Eritrea, while Eritreans wanted nothing but unification with mother Ethiopia. Ethiopia was forced to accept these resolutions against its will to avoid any delay of Eritrean independence. Although Ethiopian Eritreans accepted the resolutions against their will, they set out to remove all obstructions and paved the way to complete amalgamation with Ethiopia. The legal representatives of the people of Eritrea, in addition to working out plans of development and progress for Eritrea, have done a lot to annul the artificial constitutions and administrations introduced into the country by enemies. The Eritrean assembly today unanimously resolved to annul the alien and bastard federation and approved Eritrea’s becoming a province of Ethiopia.)

Ethiopian parliamentary Approval

Addis Ababa Ethiopia Domestic Service in Amharic 1700 GMT November 14, 1962-K/L

(Text) The two houses of the Ethiopian Par

liament held a special joint session today which opened with thanksgiving prayers. Afterwards the president of the senate delivered the following speech:

You know the past conditions which separated Eritrea and Ethiopia. After overcoming the separation of the two countries, the Eritrean Assembly, on behalf of the population of Eritrea, realized the disadvantages of federation and today resolved to annul the word federation and become part of Ethiopia. His Imperial Majesty, who had been informed of the act, has ordered me to inform both houses of this resolution.

The session approved the resolution passed by the Eritrean Assembly with prolonged applause, and six members, three from each house, were elected to recommend what steps should be taken by the two houses on the subject. The six-member committee will announce Its recommendations tomorrow.

Selassie Hails Ethiopian-Eritrean Unity

Addis Ababa Ethiopia Domestic Service in Amharic 1100 GMT November 15, 1962-K/L

(Speech by Haile Selassie at a party given by the Emperor on November 15, 1962 in honor of the. decision adopted by the Eritrean Assembly on November 14, 1962)

(Text) It is a historic fact that Eritrea has been

part and parcel of Ethiopia from the beginning of Ethiopian history, and this needs no further proof. Eritrea is united with Ethiopia not only by history but also by land, language, race, and tradition and, in fact, was one of the homes of Ethiopian civilization.

The 60 years of agonizing colonial rule over Eritrea could not turn Eritreans away from their love and unity with Ethiopia and, apart from old people who knew the history of Eritrean-Ethiopian unity. Those who were born during the alien rule fled to Ethiopia, leaving their parents, and worked hard to liberate Eritrea from foreign rule and restore it to its motherland, Ethiopia.

Thousands of Eritreans fought on battlefields alongside Ethiopia during the last war, while many others continued the fight in exile. Those who sacrificed their lives for the country left their children as their witnesses.

After the restoration of our freedom, we were compelled to struggle 11 years for Eritrea’s independence and reunion with its original brothers.

God blessed our struggle, and although we did not achieve our main aim; we were able to get federal union 10 years ago, which neither Ethiopia nor the people of Eritrea wanted. The federal administration of Eritrea was continued until the present time under the assembly elected by our Eritrean people.

Every Eritrean for the last 10 years realized that this federal union was alien to our country and an obstacle to the needed fast economic and social development, and in various ways they expressed their wish for complete union with the rest of Ethiopia.

Bear in mind that many great powers found the federal system obstructive, while others abolished it, leaving it to exist in name only. We can say that we did our best to work out this federation without bad consequences.

Knowing that this federal system was retarding the required fast economic development of Eritrea and Ethiopia, that it was obstructing Ethiopian unity and advancement, that it could create discord between Eritreans and Ethiopians who have been one for thousands of years, and that it wasted much money assigned for development projects in Eritrea and Ethiopia, it can be said that this federation was annulled by time and not by us.

Anyone who studied and pondered these conditions will not be surprised at the decision of Eritreans to abolish the federal system, which harmed spirits, and to unite completely with Ethiopia.

The only remaining step is to put into practice this decision, which has been necessitated and brought about by the strong desire of our Ethiopian people for unity.

Considering the harm which resulted from the federal system for the past 10 years, we have approved the unanimous resolution passed by our Eritrean Assembly yesterday which called for complete union with Ethiopia. This will accelerate the economic development of Eritrea and bring it to a par with the rest of Ethiopia. When the federal administration ceases, the basic freedoms and human rights provided for by the Eritrean constitution will also be found in the Ethiopian constitution, where they are enjoyed by all Ethiopians. The rights of foreigners and companies will remain untouched and respected.

We said in our last speech from the throne that all regions in Ethiopia will have their own internal laws according to which, each region will be independent to manage its health, education, communications, and similar matters. And we would like to make it clear that the present administrative laws in Eritrea will remain in effect until the proposed regional administrative laws are completed and put into operation.

History witnesses that the people of Ethiopia have retained their freedom and unity by great sacrifices. It should be known, that Ethiopians will henceforth be better united than in the past, progress in their development, and remain brave.

We thank the people of Eritrea who, guided by their love for their country and unity, kept struggling until they brought about the desired good goal. We also promise the Creator that we shall continue, as we said before, to strive to better their economic conditions, protect their lives, and improve their education. Let us thank our generous Creator, who blessed our struggles and efforts to unite Eritrea with the rest of Ethiopia.

Telegram from Northern Somalis

Addis Ababa Ethiopia Domestic Service in Amharic 1700 GMT,  November 15, 1962—K/L

(Text) Haile Selassie I has received the following telegram from the people of Northern Somalia in connection with the dissolution of the federal status of Eritrea which came into effect yesterday:

We the people of the Isaaq tribes have heard that the federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia is dissolved and that the two countries are fully reunited. We greatly rejoiced at the news and express our gratitude to our brother Eritreans for having taken this historic step.

Your Imperial Majesty’s unceasing struggle and efforts, which have enabled the Eritreans to reunite with Ethiopians and to enjoy their rightful Ethiopian nationality with other Ethiopians, shall make Your Majesty’s name live forever in history. Although this act brings tremendous joy to all Ethiopians, it is more so for Your Majesty, since it is the harvest of your unceasing struggle.

We the people of the so-called Northern Somalia pray to God for the same lucky opportunity our brother Eritreans had and look forward to the day when we shall reunite with our motherland, Ethiopia. Long live Your Majesty, our Emperor.

Addis Ababa Claims Called Fantastic

Mogadiscio Somalia Domestic Service, in Amharic, 1100 GMT, October 16, 1962—K/L

(Excerpt) Addis Ababa radio was heard broadcasting a fantastic report yesterday. It said that the Somalis in the Northern Region had appealed to Haile Selassie to free them from Mogadiscio. It added that Haile Selassie had told them that they would be allowed to enjoy equal rights with other Ethiopians so long as they lived in Ethiopia.

Who are these petitioners? Would anybody seek freedom through Haile Selassie? Would they ask Haile Selassie to free them while they can see for themselves how much his Ethiopians suffer from oppression and injustice?

This is what happened: Ethiopian soldiers under Jigjiga Governor Maharana Minda arrested many Somalis who were on the Awareh side of the border and drove them to Maharana Minda, who compelled them to claim Ethiopian nationality.

They were threatened with life imprisonment and death if they failed to claim Ethiopian nationality.

The said petition was drafted by the governor himself and then the Somalis under police escort were forced to hand it to Haile Selassie.

Villages were surrounded by soldiers last week and the people forced to gather and to demonstrate for Ethiopian nationality.

In Somalia all men are equal in the eyes of justice and there are no serfs, lords, and so on. No person living in such a democratic country as Somalia can run to a feudalist country where justice and equality do not exist.


Union Anniversary Sad Day for the Eritreans

Mogadiscio Somalia Domestic Service in Swahili 1500 GMT, September 25, 1962-K/L

(Excerpts) The 11th of September 1962 was the 10th anniversary of Eritrea’s [federal] union with Ethiopia. It should have been a day of rejoicing for the people of Eritrea, but it turned out to be the saddest day.

It reminded them of the day when they were expecting to take the first step toward independence under a democratic government, thinking their children would be protected under a constitution which had been planned by the United Nations and accepted by the Eritreans.

The imperialist he-goat government in Ethiopia accepted this constitution before the United Nations with all the incorporated safeguards for the rights of the Eritreans. But instead of rejoicing, the Eritreans found out for themselves that by joining a federation with Ethiopia they had plunged themselves into a pit and were last.

The Ethiopian he-goat government, which was the first country to be liberated by the United Nations, after taking over the responsibility for Eritrea and agreeing to safeguard the rights of the Eritreans, immediately brought the Eritreans hardships by denying them their rights and disregarding the U.N. charter.

Many political leaders in Eritrea fled their country and are now living in exile in other countries rather than tolerate the oppressive actions of the Ethiopian he-goat government. Political crisis and chaos continue underground in Eritrea because of the presence of many Ethiopian troops who kill and threaten the people so that they may not demand their democratic rights….

When African leaders hear Ethiopia talking sweet words about east African federation, they should always think of what has befallen the Eritreans. Does Ethiopia want to swallow the east African federation as it did Eritrea?