Dienstag, 26. Mai 2015



The first conference of the independent African states was held in Accra, Ghana, on April 15, 1958. It was decided then to celebrate this historic day as African Freedom Day. Until recently, April 15 was celebrated throughout our continent as African Freedom Day.
However, two years ago today in May the Summit Conference of the Independent African States, which was convened in Our Capital City of Addis Ababa, decreed that May 25, the day on which the historic Charter of the Organization of African Unity was signed, be celebrated every year as African Liberation Day. Accordingly today is celebrated as African Liberation Day.
The African Unity Charter was signed two years ago today. Within this brief period much has been accomplished that augurs well for African Unity. In accordance with the resolution of the first Assembly of African Heads of State and Government held in Cairo last year, the headquarters of the Organization of African Unity has been established here in Addis Ababa. Under its Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Diallo Telli, of Guinea, the Organization is successfully discharging its responsibilities and commitments.
The Ethiopian people, who have struggled and made untold sacrifices for their independence and freedom for thousands of years – an independence that has been a beacon for all of Africa – today celebrate this day together with all Africans by consolidating their freedom and independence with the freedom and independence of their African brothers in the spirit of Modern Ethiopianism.
This year, two sister African states – Zambia and Gambia – have won independence and they have joined the family of independent African states. We share their joy and We extend again, as We did on the occasion when they won their independence, Our sincere felicitations. We are anxiously awaiting the day when those Africans in the dependent territories break the shackles of foreign tutelage and become masters of their own fate.
On this solemn day, all of us must pause and remember the plight of Our African brothers who are under foreign rule and who are desperately struggling to win their freedom, their basic fundamental human rights.
Instead of granting their rightful freedom and independence to the indigenous Africans in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea, the Portuguese Government has intensified even more its campaign of ruthless suppression of African freedom fighters in these territories, under the outmoded, illogical pretext that these territories are part of Portugal. In concert with the other African members of the United Nations Organization, Ethiopia has never ceased advocating at United Nations and other international conferences that the Portuguese Government should grant independence to each and every territory under its rule.


The recent events in Southern Rhodesia are cause for alarm – not only is the fate of the people in the territory in jeopardy but international peace is also threatened. A white minority Government in the territory is daily arresting, and arbitrarily persecuting African freedom fighters, particularly their leaders, to suppress the national freedom movements. This minority government has even taken drastic steps to declare a colonial government. Each and every government and the peoples of the world who value fundamental human rights, and particularly We Africans, must oppose, with one voice, this dangerous and unprecedented scheme of the white minority government in the territory. The United Nations Anti-Colonial Committee of which Ethiopia is a member, is presently visiting Africa to follow closely the dangerous situation in Southern Rhodesia.
In South Africa and in South-West Africa, the policies of apartheid and oppression are becoming increasingly unbearable. The South African Government is accelerating its ruthless campaign: a methodological campaign of arresting daily, detaining without trial and torturing the Africans and their leaders who are struggling for their fundamental human rights and freedom. All the peace-loving countries of the world must act together to force the colonial governments of South Africa and Portugal to desist from these policies – policies which are inhuman, policies which deny basic human rights, policies which are detrimental to the peace and security of the entire world – and grant independence and freedom to these oppressed people.

To the U.N.
The Assembly of the African Heads of State and Government has authorized the Foreign Ministers of Senegal and Algeria to bring the cases of racial discrimination and oppression in South Africa, the inhuman colonial rule of the Portuguese Government and the dangerous situation in Southern Rhodesia, before the Security Council of the United Nations to find permanent solutions to the unrelenting struggles of the African governments and people. As a result the entire world is today more conscious of these pressing problems.
From discussions in the United Nations in recent years, We have cause to believe that some friendly nations fully support the efforts to impose an economic boycott on South Africa and Portugal; it is unfortunate that some great powers who have been entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security have not co-operated in these worthy efforts. These powers are the main obstacles to an effective economic boycott of South Africa and Portugal.
The establishment of the Organization of African Unity, the concerted action of the member-states and the pooling of the aid to Our brethren African freedom fighters, have helped to revive and strengthen as well as intensify the liberation movements throughout Africa. For this We are grateful to the Liberation Committee of the nine African States, of which Ethiopia is a member. On this day, we should all recollect with gratitude the support of all those friendly nations in Our endeavour in the United Nations and other international conferences to free Africa of all the colonial vestiges.

Next Assembly

It will be recalled that the Cairo Assembly of the Heads of State and Government decided to convene the Second Assembly of the Heads of State and Government in Accra, Ghana, in September this year.
Because of misunderstandings among certain member states of the Organization of African Unity, voices have been occasionally raised recently against the convocation of the Assembly in Accra. Nonetheless, the regular Assembly of the Heads of State and Government was, in the first place, designed to find peaceful solutions, through deliberations and frank exchange of views to such misunderstandings among member-states. We believe, therefore, that any change in the venue of the next Assembly will make no major dif-ference. Consequently We have despatched Our Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to West Africa, with personal messages from Us, to mediate with the leaders of the West African states concerned.
We earnestly hope that the member-states of the Organization of African Unity will meet in Accra in September in accordance with the decision of the first Assembly of the Heads of State and Government.
On this day, We extend Our fraternal greetings to all Our brethren Africans who are still suffering under foreign colonial rule. We reiterate that Ethiopia, in co-operation with the member-states of the Organization of African Unity, will always continue to give her full support for their just struggles to win their inalienable rights to freedom and independence and to be masters of their own destiny.
May Almighty God assist us in endeavours.

May 26, 1965.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 276 –   

Donnerstag, 14. Mai 2015

14.05. - 2 - Speech Of The Day - OPENS HAILE SELASSIE I PRIZE TRUST


We take great pleasure in witnessing the fulfilment of Our desire to establish an organization which will award prizes to scholars who make outstanding contributions to the material and intellectual growth of Ethiopia, Africa and the world at large.
We have established this chartered and completely independent organization by donating Our personal estates and appointing distinguished officials as Trustees to ensure the promotion and encouragement of activities and proficiencies of the Ethiopian people in the diversified fields of Amharic Literature, Fine Arts, Agriculture, Industry, and Humanitarian Activities.
Our desire to encourage outstanding contributions transcends the boundaries of Our Empire. The advancement of Ethiopia is not Our sole interest. The African Research Award and the Empress Menen Award are therefore intended to provide strong incentives throughout the Continent of Africa and the world at large.
The recognition of achievements of the highest calibre will not only reward those deserving of awards but will also generate further creativity and contributions.
Since the responsibilities assigned to this organization are of both national and international interest and import, it is gratifying to hear that the Prize Trust, new as it is, shows a promising future and that many nominations and entries from the five continents have been received.
We express Our strong desire that Ethiopians, permanent residents in Ethiopia, Africans throughout the continent, and scholars concerned with Ethiopian studies and African research will increasingly avail themselves of the opportunities We have offered by the establishment of the Prize Trust.
We look forward to the successful completion of your work this year and the announcements of the award-winners for 1964.
We declare the office building open as of this date.
May 14, 1964.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 619 –   

14.05. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - WOOLEN FACTORY

Important Utterances of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I - page 63 -

Dienstag, 12. Mai 2015

12.05. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - TO KING HUSSEIN


It is for Us a great pleasure to welcome Your Majesty to Our Court and in this way to manifest to the great and friendly nations of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Our sentiments of sincere friendship.
For countless centuries, as the annals of history so well attest, the people of Jordan have occupied a central and important position in the Middle East. Faced with the manifold challenges which that situation has so constantly presented, the people of Jordan have always produced leaders worthy of those trials and of the responsibilities which their central geographical position entails.
This reflection is no less appropriate in the present and troubled hours of world history than it was during the earlier years of this century. It is significant that the people of Jordan have always been found on the side of freedom and independence for all peoples of the area and have, at the same time, under their leaders, never relaxed their efforts in the defence of their own freedom and independence. Today, the Armed Forces under the command of Your Majesty and whose military traditions and prowess have gained renown throughout the Middle East, stand as sentinel of order and as a powerful influence for the maintenance of peace as well as for the defence of national independence and territorial integrity. Ethiopia who has shared a similar military tradition, applauds the resolute and distinguished role played by the Armed Forces of Jordan in the defence of the latter’s independence, territory and national heritage.
Your Majesty’s role as a courageous leader of a courageous people who, at the same time, have extended their hospitality to countless refugees, evokes Our admiration and that of Our people.
All of these distinguished national traditions and achievements find themselves exemplified in the person of Your Majesty whose intelligence, courage, statesmanship and leadership have earned universal esteem for the nation of Jordan and its Sovereign.
We are, consequently, most gratified that Your Majesty’s State visit to Ethiopia and to Our Court has thus served and will serve further to strengthen the already firm friendship and understanding existing between Jordan and Ethiopia.
We shall always remember with gratitude the visit that His late Majesty, Your illustrious grandfather paid to Us at Our Legation in London during Our exile, which was a consolation to Us.
This sympathy during the dark days of trial has descended to the Illustrious Heir and successor of His late Majesty. We therefore raise Our glass in a toast to His Majesty, Hussein I, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and to a long-lasting friendship between Our two nations and peoples.

May 12, 1960.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 123 –   

His Majesty King Hussein with HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I in a motorcade in Addis Ababa during the King's visit to Ethiopia.

Sonntag, 10. Mai 2015

10.05. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - CORNERSTONE OF THE ASSAB PORT


We have chosen to come here today for the ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the construction of Our Port of Assab, not only in order to inspect the beginning of what is to be a great technical achievement, but also to commemorate a significant moment in the history of Modern Ethiopia, combining as it does progress in modernity with antiquity of tradition.
No Ethiopian of this or of future generations, can afford to forget the disadvantages under which Our country suffered in the days when we had no access to the sea. It has, therefore, long been the desire of Ethiopia to see her ports restored to the Motherland. In order to secure an outlet to the sea on these shores, We entered in 1928 into an agreement with the Government of Italy, but the agreement remained unhonoured, with no default on Our part.
God has ordained that this desire of Ethiopia be fulfilled during Our reign, and has crowned with success Our efforts to secure the re-integration of Eritrea and Ethiopia, which We undertook as soon as We, by the help of the Almighty, had returned to Our homeland and had completed the work of re-establishing and reorganizing Our Government under Our personal guidance and direction. For this Our gratitude to God is unbounded.
The trials and hardships to which Ethiopia had been subject in the days when she had no free outlet to the sea, qualify her in a special sense to appreciate the great importance of having a seaport of her own.
In laying the foundation stone of the Port of Assab, this historic gateway to the sea, connecting Our land with the oceans of the world, We are today opening for all the peoples of Our Empire a door to prosperity and good fortune of which they can be justly proud.
This port, connecting Ethiopia with the pulsating artery of world commerce, joins her in ties of trade with the shores of her friends and neighbours, and also brings her into free contact with the continents of the world. We stand on the renowned Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, through which pass, perhaps more ships than through any other stretch of water on our globe. Ethiopia, here in Assab, stands sentinel to aid and assist the vast number of vessels which carry the life-blood of world commerce. She must therefore be fully conscious of her responsibility to work hard for the development of her ports.
This uniquely strategic port of Ethiopia, after the trials and vicissitudes of nearly a century when it languished unattended and cut off from its motherland, has now been restored to her, and Ethiopia, in full realization of her high responsibility, has undertaken the great task of transforming Assab, into that outlet for Ethiopia’s sea-born products, which, by virtue of its unparalleled position on the trade routes of the world, it has so long deserved, and indeed demanded.
At the very instant of the long awaited return of Assab and Massawa, now five years ago, We declared:

In order to utilize to the maximum the resources of the two ports of Massawa and Assab, We have given orders that an ambitious programme of rehabilitation and improvement of the installations at Massawa and Assab should be undertaken. Moreover – and this has taken place well ahead of the date of the Federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia – We have already commenced important works for the repair and improvement of the roads linking these two ports with Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The first part of the ambitious programme has already been, under Our own direction, largely accomplished. Although the challenge of the work that is yet to be undertaken demands immense effort, We must not forget that much has already been achieved here, all of which may not be apparent to the casual visitor.
The more than 26 millions of Ethiopian Dollars which We are expending for the high engineering and technical exploits involved in the development programme of the Port of Assab, constitute already a direct and permanent investment in the future of the Port for which We today lay the foundation stone. This in itself is sufficient guarantee for the unhindered development of the port to meet the rapid expansion of Ethiopia’s economy which has characterized Our reign.
The expenditure of large sums of money and thousands of hours of engineering skill and re-examination by experts in engineering, in marine construction, in finance, in commerce, and, finally, many weeks of careful study and re-assesment by Ourselves of all the work that has been undertaken at Our command, have taken place in order to make possible this historic moment.
Following these careful studies, and after mature reflection on all aspects made by Our ends, the great and noble people of Yugoslavia, most advantageous to us in comparison with other similar proposals, both in terms of engineering genius and of financial facilities, We have accordingly, chosen to entrust this vastly significant task of constructing the port of Assab, to the Yugoslav people.
We would not let this auspicious occasion pass without Our expressing to His Excellency Marshal Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia, Our thanks for the assistance he has rendered in bringing to fruition this co-operative venture, which shall always remain a symbol of our mutual friendship.
We are fully confident that the Port of Assab will respond fully to its high destiny and that a great future awaits to bless this undertaking.
It is essential, as We stated five years ago, that Massawa also be fully developed. The resources of Ethiopia, both present and potential, are manifestly adequate to permit the three ports of Massawa, Assab and Djibouti, to thrive together without rivalry in a spirit of collaboration and co-operation.
In thus providing the means for the continued growth of Ethiopia’s foreign trade, We have looked not only to the benefit of one particular region, but also to the welfare and prosperity of Ethiopia as a whole.
At the moment of the return to Ethiopia of Our loyal subjects along the Red Sea coast, We declared: “We will provide, by all possible means, for the welfare of the population of Eritrea.”
This promise We have always maintained and fulfilled in various practical ways.
Since God gives us to enjoy only those fruits which we cultivate with toil and sacrifice, We call upon all Our beloved subjects, in a spirit of national dedication, by their labours and devotion, to ensure that this Port, now to spring into existence, will prove worthy of its heritage and of its challenge.
May 10, 1958

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 555 –   

Freitag, 8. Mai 2015

08.05. - 2 - Speech Of The Day - AT AIR FORCE DISPLAY


Religion has long taught to have no grudges against others. We have no grudges against past enemies. And yet, we cannot forget the injustices perpetrated against the Ethiopian people. In the celebration of the last couple of days – marking the 25th anniversary of Ethiopia’s liberation – we have observed with satisfaction the display by our Armed Forces. And We praise the Lord Almighty for the presence amongst us of the patriots and exiles who survived the enemy’s ruthless man-hunt and victimization.
As it has been correctly stated earlier, Ethiopia fell an easy victim to external aggression because she lacked air power. Today We have witness that Ethiopia has an air power to reckon with. What took place today and what the Air Force is heading to accomplish, indeed furnishes a confidence in the future of the Ethiopian people.
Nevertheless the establishment of an air force is not sufficient in itself. We have assigned men to various positions of responsibility in the Ethiopian Air Force and it is up to these men to apply themselves diligently to the task of self- improvement. The rank and file and the Officers of the Ethiopian Air Force must work with the dedication their fathers and forefathers had shown in the past – the past in which all Ethiopians can take pride.
Through diligence, wisdom and labour, our forefathers have preserved the sovereignty of Our nation and the integrity of our country. The present as well as the future generation bears responsibility to follow the examples set in the past and to dedicate themselves for stability, progress and betterment of the Ethiopia of tomorrow. No arms, however big or however mighty, can provide solace to a nation. A nation finds comfort and the freedom of that nation is best protected through the sacrifice and patriotism of its people. We must put to the best use the rich heritage of our past for in that way, and in that way alone can We live to the highest standard set by our forefathers for the Ethiopian people.
Today, as We come to the close of the three-day celebrations, We thank God for all He has done for the Ethiopian people. We have witnessed the emergence of Ethiopia’s air power, the growth of her Navy, the strength of her land forces and above all, the will of her people to overcome all difficulties. We praise God for the progress We have already made and for the progress that is bound to be Ours tomorrow. The all-round development of Ethiopia and particularly the development of her Armed Forces and her economic resources unmistakably show the greatness of the Ethiopian people in going beyond and above individual gains and labour to the common good of all. We are the more happy to witness the progress and development that is taking place for through it the rights of all the people of Ethiopia are better protected and their future happiness is better assured. Join Us today in praying to God to give Us further strength to proceed along this useful course.
Some jested that Ethiopia fell victim to Fascist aggression in the short period of seven to eight months. But history has mocked the jesters by showing that those who laughed in mockery lost their battle for freedom in a matter of days only. The vital resources of a nation are, as we have already said, the people’s selfless dedication and vigilance to overcome difficulties – it is not the heavy armoury but the quality of the citizens that man it that matters. The Ethiopian people are now more assured than ever before of a brighter future. What gives form and substance to this assurance is the ever-existing vigilance of our people, the strength of Our Armed Forces, the progress achieved in the various fields of national endeavour and above all the unity of our people. This is not only a source of satisfaction but a source of honour too. This furnishes the living with hope for a better future. And the dead shall rest in peace for their sacrifice in defence of their country has been honoured.
Those that have fallen in the battle-field have sacrificed themselves so that Our future would be more secure. And we the living have the responsibility of living up to the sacrifice that they have made, and to this all Ethiopians must dedicate themselves. In all your undertakings through your career, base yourselves on greater knowledge, courage and determination. For, if you base yourselves upon these values, you shall not fail but you shall forever go from one victory to another. I thank all the hard-working members of the Air Force. May God bless you.
May 8, 1966

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 610 –   

08.05. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - ASSAB REFINERY


We have come here today to lay the cornerstone of an essential component in Ethiopia’s development structure. The construction of the Assab Oil Refinery marks the commencement of a bright new era in the history of Ethiopian economic development, an era which will surely witness Ethiopia’s full advent into the modern industrial age.
This great oil refinery may properly be termed Ethiopia’s first major heavy industrial project. Its importance to the further growth and expansion of Ethiopian industry in all its aspects cannot be over-estimated. Within a short time, Ethiopia will be entirely self-sufficient in the supply of refined petroleum products. The petroleum products are essential to the future growth and expansion of all sectors of the Ethiopian economy. Roads and road transport to the important agricultural centres of the nation can be expected to improve both in scope and efficiency as a result of this new project. Its success will lend further encouragement to the development of innumerable new and related industrial projects.
Here at Assab, the Refinery has already shown itself an important element in the burgeoning local economy. Thousands of workers have been employed and have learned vital new skills in the course of its construction. Increased shipping will utilize Assab’s modern port facilities, ensuring that Assab will continue its remarkable growth and prosperity of recent years. We hope that someday, God willing, we will strike oil in our country and will not be required to buy crude oil from other countries. Heavy drains on Ethiopia’s foreign exchange will be eliminated, as these requirements are reduced to those needed to provide the essential supply of crude oil and to maintain this refinery in proper working order. Although there are some technicians trained we need many trained personnel. As experience is obtained, Ethiopians will increasingly assume larger responsibilities for the administration and technical operation of this installation. The impact of the establishment of this installation is thus not single but multiple in its effects.
It was long argued that smaller nations such as Ethiopia could not support or justify the construction of complex and costly facilities such as that which rises before us. The contention, already disproved in theory, will soon be even more effectively rebutted in practice. The success which We are confident will mark the Assab refinery’s operations will spur Ethiopia to follow this example in other areas vital to the growth and self-sufficiency of the nation’s economy.
For the support and guidance which have led to the achievement of this important new industrial asset, We and Our people are deeply grateful. The U. S. S. R. Government, through the credit advanced for the financing of this project, have reaffirmed their sympathy in the deepest aspirations of Our people. The bonds between us have been strengthened as a result of our co-operation in this endeavour and we look forward to the successful broadening of this co-operation into many other areas of economic and technical advance. The magnificent accomplishments of the Soviet people in the development of heavy industry throughout the recent past provide a stirring example to Our people. A fine example of which is the Polytechnical Institute which is a source of knowledge presented to us by the Soviet Government.
We thank the Soviet engineers and technicians for the fine co-operation they have shown with Our people in building up this refinery.
It is our firm determination, and that of Our Government, that the full impact of modern industrial progress will be felt to the farthest corners of the Empire. All Ethiopians welcome the promise of this new industrial era. We and Our Government shall do all within our power to hasten the day when its full benefits are enjoyed by every Ethiopian.
We wish to thank His Excellency the Soviet Ambassador, Mr. A. Boudakov, for his sincere co-operation and great effort to bring about the conclusion of the construction Agreement of this petroleum refinery.
This refinery is but one of the significant steps in Ethiopia’s drive for a rapid industrialization, within the frame-work of modern Ethiopianism, for it answers in a convincing manner the aspirations of the nation to press forward in constructing on the foundations already laid an edifice worthy of its striving.
May 8, 1965

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 572 –    &
Important Utterances of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I - page 60 -


Assab Oil Refinery

Dienstag, 5. Mai 2015

05.05. - 6 - Speech Of The Day - 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIBERATION, 5TH MAY, 1966

5TH MAY, 1966

We thank Almighty God that We have been spared to witness the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the victory over Fascism. In the words of David: “The Lord heard my voice; He sent his angel from on high, and He delivered me from my enemies.”
We thank Almighty God that We are reunited today with so many of the noble and courageous men who fought at Our side in that glorious campaign.
We thank Almighty God for the triumph of right and justice and liberty over aggression and oppression.
Today, twenty-five years are but a brief moment in the span of history. The memories come crowding upon Us, as we re-live those hours of unbounded rejoicing, as We are buffeted again by the profound emotions which swept Our mind and spirit then. Surrounded today by familiar faces, by old friends and comrades, Our heart is full.
May 5th, 1941 will live as one of the greatest days in the long annals of Ethiopian history. It was, at the same time, a great turning point in world history. For a brief period, Ethiopia alone had carried on the struggle against fascist tyranny. Our appeals were unheeded. Our warnings ignored. But at last those who had turned their backs on Us at the League of Nations were themselves driven into turmoil and suffering and to the very brink of destruction. At last they came to recognize their common responsibility to oppose the inhuman and degrading doctrine which had brought devastation and destruction to Our innocent nation. The victory over fascism in Ethiopia and for Africa was but the first inspiring landmark for the allied nations on the long road back to the re-establishment of liberty and justice for themselves.
A century ago, Ethiopia possessed virtually no modern weapons, no defence against the power of technology. Swords and spears and raw courage were her weapons. She had no standing army, no trained and disciplined officers and ranks. She depended for her safety upon the patriotic instincts in the heart of every Ethiopian and upon the inspiration of her leaders.
But these resources, even then, were not lightly to be dismissed. Just seventy years ago, Ethiopian armies formed almost as if by magic and hurled themselves upon a grasping invader to gain the immortal triumph of Adowa.
The victory of Adowa has long been hailed as one of the major events of the nineteenth century in Africa. Its effects upon Ethiopia and her relations with the colonial powers were far-reaching. Certainly it preserved the nation’s age-old independence from the greedy incursions then being made elsewhere against our brethren on this continent. Thus, although denied her rightful access to the sea and isolated from the influences of modern technological learning, Ethiopia nonetheless maintained her independence and stood as a source of inspiration and hope to her fellow Africans.
But the legacy of Adowa was perhaps misleading, for soon, courage and valour would not be enough. The industrialized nations applied the weight of modern science to the development of ever more fearful engines of war. Recognizing the danger, We early attempted to alter the nature of the nation’s military base. At our insistence, a small modern military unit was in fact, organized and trained by experienced soldiers. Airplanes were purchased and young men were sent abroad for advanced instruction.
First of all, however, We placed Our faith in the principle of collective security and the seemingly indisputable might of the League of Nations. The story of the betrayal of that faith is one of the acknowledged tragedies of our times. The arms and supplies which Ethiopia could not produce herself were denied her, while the enemy continued to build and fuel with its own resources its great war machine. The most futile sanctions were half-heartedly called for, and less than half-heartedly enforced. Ethiopia’s warriors and patriots fought with all the valour and desperation for which they and their ancestors had so often been called upon before, but they were powerless against the bombs and poison gas which the enemy so mercilessly and savagely employed against soldiers and innocent civilians alike. The brutality of those infamous days will forever haunt the memory of those who lived through them.
The lessons of experience are rarely easy. It was through bloodshed and sorrow that Ethiopia learned the awesome power of modern arms and organized military might. From the ashes of the war Ethiopians began to reconstruct a new and more powerful nation. We vowed in sorrow that Ethiopia would never again through weakness suffer such outrages as had been wrought upon her.
In the years since 1941, Ethiopia’s military power has grown far beyond the meager and ill-equipped forces which struggled through the mountains to Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is ready today, as in the past, to defend her integrity to the last limit of her resources. But she disposes now of the trained military forces, the modern equipment which will protect her rights and interests against the onslaughts of any misguided aggressor. Never again will she be taken unaware.
From the day of Our return We set about building a military apparatus which would be equal to the task of guarding Our homeland and people against attack from any source. Over the years the quality and strength of the nation’s forces have grown rapidly. Today Ethiopia possesses compact and well equipped ground, naval and air forces. She has trained substantial numbers of soldiers, sailors and airmen in the modern techniques of engineering and weaponry. These have long since proved in battle their capacity to stand man for man against the soldiery of any nation in the world. Acting with the help and guidance of other friendly nations we have established on Ethiopian soil the most modern army, navy and air training institutions. Skilled officers possessing the highest technical qualifications now comprise the imposing cadres of Ethiopia’s military leaders. Other African nations have sent the finest of their young men to study in our military institutions both in recognition of the quality of education provided there and in open expression of the trust and confidence which we repose in one another.
Yet even beyond the vast improvements in the Ethiopian military machine, there stands in defence of peace the great bulwark of the United Nations, erected with willing and eager hands out of the torment, destruction and misery of the last war. Even as the guns were falling silent the representatives of millions of men and women, Ethiopians among them, pledged themselves to uphold the Charter of the United Nations so that no such holocaust would ever again ravage and darken the earth. The United Nations was conceived as a means of real and positive action in the face of aggression. Ethiopia evinced her continuing faith in collective security as she enrolled herself among the charter members of the organization. In accordance with decisions of the United Nations, Ethiopia has shown her willingness to give substance to principle, to fight and sacrifice for others as for herself – in Korea, in the Congo, and elsewhere – in order to uphold and defend the rule of justice and reason in human affairs.
We have gathered today to pay tribute to the noble fighting men of Ethiopia and of many other nations who struggled here and gave their blood to this land. We salute the heroes, both living and dead, men like the late General Wingate, Ethiopian and foreigner alike, who enabled Our people once again to walk freely with heads unbowed upon the soil of their fathers.
Present on this occasion are a few of the valiant British officers who twenty-five years ago travelled the long and arduous path to victory. We recall with deep pride the magnificent accomplishments of the many brave men like Brigadier Sandford who joined in that glorious and triumphant march.
We are also honoured today with the presence of military representatives of many of the other nations whose troops fought on our soil in the common cause. Their names recall an honour roll of bravery and selfless sacrifice. We are proud that our friendship with them continues strong.
We are proud too that in testimony to the unity and present readiness of this entire continent, military representatives of the member states of the Organization of African Unity are present at these commemorative ceremonies. High among the principles enshrined in the Charter of that Organization is the commitment of its member states to co-ordinate and harmonize their policies with respect to co-operation for mutual defence and security. The growing might of this continent’s military forces must make any aggressor wary indeed.
Finally, representatives of the armed forces of both the United States and the Soviet Union have joined this assemblage at Our invitation. These two immensely powerful nations dispose today of destructive power which defies the comprehension of ordinary men. Both are here represented as friends of Our nation; both refused to extend recognition of the Fascists in Ethiopia; both have contributed to the building of the modern Ethiopian state. The American and Soviet governments have been entrusted by fate with awesome responsibilities for the maintenance of world peace. We are hopeful that in consultation with Ethiopia and all other nations of the world they will both continue to devote their utmost efforts to the search for effective means to halt the arms race and bring about meaningful disarmament.
For twenty-five years now, Ethiopia has lived quietly and her people have enjoyed the blessings of peace. Our country’s economy has flourished, and foreigners, in collaboration with Ethiopians, have been encouraged to invest in this stable African state.
But throughout all this time the flames of war have not for a moment ceased to flicker from point to point across the world. It is important that this assembly, gathered in recognition of a great triumph of arms, should recall that the victory which was won in Ethiopia was a victory for peace. The military might of which the nations here represented today dispose can be justified only to preserve peace and freedom. There is enough hunger and misery in the world without further war and suffering. The vast sums swallowed by modern arsenals capable of infinite destruction could be employed in providing food for hungry mouths, in eradicating poverty, illiteracy and disease, in building for a united world the better way of life which man’s genius has made possible.
Let us vow to be strong today only that we may in our strength advance the time when it will be possible to beat our swords into plowshares and when nation shall not make war upon nation. Let us pledge together that this time will not be long. Let us work for trust among men, for disarmament, for peace.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 347 –