STEPPING BACK ON ETHIOPIAN
SOIL AFTER FIVE YEARS OF EXILE
SPEECH DELIVERED AT OMEDLA ON HIS
RETURN AND ENTRY INTO ETHIOPIA
When We step upon Our soil this day, We would like you to convey Our thanks to the commander of the Sudanese army, Major General Platt, for the good wishes he expressed to Us, through you, on behalf of himself, his officers and his men.
Our happiness is great to be reunited with Our beloved people, who, while waiting for Our assistance for the last five years and longing to see Us, have been fighting in defence of their independence with their bare hands and muscles against the invader.
We would like you to convey to General Platt the full confidence We have in Our people to liberate Our country completely with the assistance of Great Britain which, by paying great sacrifices, has raised its powerful arms to liberate all those who have fallen under the domination of Fascism and Nazism.
We would also like you to confirm to him the great confidence which We and Our people have in the assistance We get from Our ally, Great Britain, in order to dislodge Our common enemy.
The success obtained out of a trying and difficult task gives great satisfaction to those engaged in it.
At this moment when the peoples of Our two countries are being tried, We would therefore like you to convey to General Platt, how much We are longing to see the day of Our mutual happiness when exploits of the army under his capable and enlightened leadership and those of the entire British force combined with Ours would be crowned with victory.
We also wish the same to those of you who have been selected to play a great role in the military force of Ethiopia and who are present at this place where Ethio-Great Britain’s close ties will be always remembered.
We also remember the British military commander and his officers who were the first to strike the victorious blow and who are now amidst Our fighting forces.
On this occasion of Our entry into Our territory and Our reunion with Our people, We also do not forget the great people of Great Britain who accorded Us such a warm and cordial reception. We will never forget Our indebtedness to those people for their deep understanding of Our suffering and that of Our people and for the encouragement they gave Us at the time of Our distress.
We also do not forget the friendly and good reception We were accorded by the Sudanese authorities, the government and the people, during Our stay in Khartoum.
And finally We thank you for the good wishes you have expressed to Us on your own behalf.
Jan. 22, 1940.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 328 –