ETHIOPIA AND O.A.U.
…..No one who witnessed the leaders of Africa gathered together in a single hall to assert their common identity and brotherhood and to lay the foundation for Africa’s future will soon forget the experience…..
….. Long after more temporary achievements have been forgotten, the Conference of Heads of State and Government of African nations held in Addis Ababa last May will remain as the single event having the farthest reaching implications for the future of the African continent. Every Ethiopian can be proud of the role which his nation played in this historic meeting when Africans rose above local regional interests and proclaimed their unity and oneness. There were many who felt that the holding of the Conference was in itself a sufficient achievement and that nothing more could be expected. These failed to reckon with the spirit and determination which had brought the leaders of Africa together, and in the end the impetus which had so swiftly carried Africa from a dependent to a free continent gave birth to the Charter of African Unity which will take its rightful place with the great documents of history. No one who witnessed the leaders of Africa gathered together in a single hall to assert their common identity and brother-hood and to lay the foundation for Africa’s future will soon forget the experience.
The unity to which we all pledged our devotion at the Addis Ababa Conference was tested – and proved – but a short time ago when the unfortunate border conflict which had erupted between Algeria and Morocco imperilled for a time the edifice of which the foundation had only just been laid. That the leaders of these two states agreed to come together and, having met, to order a cease-fire, demonstrated once again that Africa and African unity are more than mere words, that they have content and substance. When We found Ourself, in the course of the series of State Visits of which We shall speak in a moment, in the territory of the two combatant states immediately after hostilities had broken out, it was Our duty to offer Our services in an attempt to end the bloodshed. We sought no victory of prestige, no personal triumph in so doing. We acted out of humanity and out of the conviction that unless the conflict was speedily halted, a severe blow would be dealt to the principles which had been established only five months earlier in Ethiopia’s capital. That the efforts which We and other African leaders exerted have culminated in success is a source of satisfaction for all Africans, and We must address a special word of appreciation to Our good friend, President Modibo Keita, who offered his capital, Bamako, as the meeting place for the parties. We have repeatedly stated that Africans are now prepared and able to settle African quarrels, that Africa has come to full maturity, that we can and must now assume responsibility for assuring the tranquillity of our continent. The cease-fire agreement reached at Bamako and the successful meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity held in Addis Ababa but a few days ago testify to the truth of these declarations.
The decisions taken at the Addis Ababa Conference are fast being implemented. Final decisions have been taken on the establishment of the African Development Bank which We have long urged. The Defence Commission which met a short time ago in Accra has laid the basis for closer co-operation in the military sphere. Dates have been fixed for the meetings of the other Commissions created by the Charter of African Unity. Economic sanctions have been placed in force against the Portuguese and South African regimes as a result of agreements reached in May. The nine- nation Liberation Committee set up to administer the Freedom Fund has been organized, and Ethiopia is proud to serve as a member, just as we are proud that the financial contribution which Ethiopia pledged to the Fund was promptly paid. As time passes, We confidently anticipate that the Organization of African Unity will become an ever stronger force for the cause of freedom and progress for all Africa and all Africans …..
….. We must express Our keen regret that the Government of the Republic of Somalia, a neighbour whom Ethiopia aided along the path to independence, continues to flout and ignore these principles. Not only have the authorities in Somalia persisted in their violently anti-Ethiopian propaganda campaign in the press, radio and in public utterances, but Government-instigated and supported violations of Ethiopia’s frontier have continued throughout the past year. Armed bands have infiltrated Ethiopia’s territory and committed acts of aggression and sabotage. By these methods, the leaders of Somalia hope to realize their declared policy of territorial aggrandizement.
Ethiopia’s policy is to respect the territorial limits of other nations. We respect Somalia’s frontiers. We do not inject ourselves or otherwise interfere in Somalia’s internal affairs. But there must be an end to provocation. Patience is not limitless, and the responsibility for the continued deterioration of relations between Ethiopia and Somalia and for any untoward consequences which may ensue will rest squarely in Mogadiscio …..
Nov. 9, 1964.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 273 -