ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has inaugurated the Adwa Victory Memorial at the heart of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in commemoration of the country’s victory against Italian invaders in 1896.
The inauguration of the memorial Sunday came days before the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the 128th anniversary of the Adwa victory.
The Adwa Victory Memorial commemorates the historic Battle of Adwa, which took place on March 1, 1896. The battle marked Ethiopia’s victory over Italian forces and ensured the country’s independence and sovereignty during the so-called scramble for Africa, setting a historic example for the independence movement of African countries in the 1960s.
In his remarks at the inauguration of the memorial, Abiy Ahmed called on all Ethiopians to maintain the values and wisdom of their forefathers to preserve the national unity and prosperity of the country. The prime minister also urged the current generation to inherit the wisdom of forefathers to deal with differences, preserve unity and defend the sovereignty of the nation.
“Being sons and daughters of heroes and heroines who bravely fought the battle of Adwa is a reward uniquely bestowed upon Ethiopians,” he said.
President Sahle-Work Zewde, speaking at the ceremony, said the Adwa Victory Memorial serves as a tribute to the bravery, resilience, and heroism of Ethiopian soldiers and leaders who defended their homeland against colonial aggression.
She noted that Emperor Menelik II, who led the war against Italian invaders, Empress Taytu Betul and other patriots are well honored through statues, artifacts and works of art at the memorial.
The memorial also houses a collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs, among other things, that depict Ethiopian historical events like the battle of Adwa and the struggle against colonialism.
The drum by which the war was heralded, armaments and costumes patriots used during the war are among the items showcased on the premises of the memorial building.
Tsehay, the first aircraft built in Ethiopia in 1935, which was recently returned to Ethiopia by Italy, is also on display at the memorial. ■