Africa

Ethiopia: The Emblem Of African Valor And Resistance

The Battle of Adwa That Shook Africa

ETHIOPIA - CIRCA 2002:  Battle of Adwa, the first and second battalion of riflemen on Mount Rajo, March 1, 1896. War in Abyssinia, Ethiopia, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

ETHIOPIA – CIRCA 2002: Battle of Adwa, the first and second battalion of riflemen on Mount Rajo, March 1, 1896. War in Abyssinia, Ethiopia, 19th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The 1st of March, 2017, was the 121th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa in which the Ethiopian Empire defeated the Kingdom of Italy. Not only did this battle secure Ethiopia’s sovereignty but ensured its unique status of being the only African nation not to be colonized following the ‘Scramble for Africa’. The victory at Adwa which resulted in Ethiopia’s victory in the first Ethiopian-Italian war, would also comprise one of the few but notable battles and wars where a non-European army successfully defeated a more technologically advanced European army.

The significance and impact of the victory was not isolated in Ethiopia but resonated globally as it dented notions of African inferiority against the superiority of white Europeans. However, the victory of Adwa would result in unforeseen consequences for Ethiopia and its neighbors. Nevertheless, Adwa remains a great source of pride for Ethiopians and Africans to this day as African scholar Molefe Asante explains:

’Ethiopia became emblematic of African valor and resistance, the bastion of prestige and hope to thousands of Africans who were experiencing the full shock of European conquest and were beginning to search for an answer to the myth of African inferiority.’’

The events leading to Adwa were the culmination of increased Italian aggression following the signing of the Treaty of Wuchale by both Italy and Ethiopia in 1889. The treaty granted Italy the Northern Ethiopian regions of Bogos, Hamasen and Akale-Guzai which are now part of modern day Eritrea and Tigre. Article XVII of the Amharic version stated that the Emperor of Ethiopia ‘could’ conduct all foreign affairs through Italy. However, in the Italian version, the word ‘must’ was used, thereby officially rendering Ethiopia a protectorate under Italy. Emperor Menelik rejected the treaty in 1893 which was met with a military response as Italy began annexing small territories past the Mareb River, which was demarcated as the border for Eritrea.

The victory at Adwa was primarily due to the sheer size of Menelik’s army but also due to Menelik’s calculated preparations and foresight in stockpiling modern weaponry. Mistakes on the part of the Italian Generals whom used inaccurate maps also contributed to the defeat.

Today in Ethiopia, Adwa is celebrated as a national holiday and signifies the prestige that Ethiopia holds among its own people and in Africa. The Battle of Adwa must be seen in the light of other historical events such as the Haitian Revolution (1804), the Battles of Little Bighorn (1876), Isandlwana (1879) and Khartoum (1885). These were successful cases of colonized and oppressed people, who defeated superior armies in their goal to liberate themselves and assert their independence. 

Read the full story By Omar Z.: The Battle that shook Africa

Source: http://onlineethiopia.net

African-Americans resettle in Africa

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Ghana is the first African country to officially open its doors to people of African descent from all over the world. 

In Prampram, a town just an hour’s drive east of Ghana’s capital Accra, many holiday houses line the shores of the South Atlantic Ocean. One of them belongs to Jerome Thompson. Located only 500 meters from the waterMr. Thompson, a native of Maryland in the United States, retired to Ghana 11 years ago. He first visited the West African country on a tour in 2000. “I fell in love with Ghana and its people,” he recalled, during an interview with Africa Renewal. “It was good seeing black people, my people, in charge of the country (Ghana).” 

“I was so ready to turn my back on the United States,” he says, adding: “We did so much for the US, yet they don’t want to see us as first-class citizens.” 

Currently, there are around 200 million people in the Americas identifying themselves as of African descent, according to the United Nations. Millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent, and in most cases they experience racism and discrimination.

To promote the respect for and protection of their human rights, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015–2024 as the “The International Decade for the People of African Descent”, to be marked annually on 25 March.

Right of Abode

Ghana, from whose shores the majority of 15 million Africans passed into slavery, has invited its descendants in the diaspora to return home.  The country has had a long history, from the days of its first president, Kwame Nkrumah, of encouraging the return of persons of African descent to help with the continent’s development.

Read the full article by:  Efam Dovi From Africa Renewal

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YES, BUT THEY DON’T LIKE US!?

One of the first things many African-Americans will say when confronted with the idea of moving to Africa is, “Africans don’t like us.” Top that with the a third-world images America has bombarded into our psyche of Africa with starving children, grass huts and barren lands with rebels riding shotgun in old dirty jeeps, makes most African-Americans consider every other country before the motherland — but they should be well aware by now of the manipulative trickery and deceit of our government and consider even if Africans don’t like us, it would still be better among them then what we are tolerating here.

One of the most successful tactics of British soldiers to plant fear was to show “images of dead bodies and ruined houses” to threatened the people.  — Virginia Woolf

The American and UK media outlets are going out of their way to covertly insinuate and convince Black people of the impoverished conditions of Africa, a continent 3 times the size of America and the richest land on this planet, would be a detrimental move and that blacks would be far better off staying here or moving to another European country than going back to Africa.

And yes, they are playing both ends against the middle, spreading lies to Africans about us like they spread lies to us about them but as in an old African Proverb, but rather than trying to have that conversation about race with them that they don’t want to hear, we should have a talk with our brothers and sisters in Africa. I urge you to remember that is the “hunter” (white man) speaking when it reads, “Until the Lion tells his story, the Hunter will forever be glorified.”

Witness recently when President Obama visited Kenya, the only footage shown was of Obama visiting the undeveloped rural villages and impoverished back towns (the same conditions can be found in America with the right cameras) but they never showed the luxury accommodations where the president resided during his stay. However as you can see in the photos below, Kenya’s Downtowns and cities are un-paralleled in beauty and modernization to any place in the US.

No you can’t go over there “slapping five’s” any more than you could in any European country, especially Canada, America’s twin, who houses blacks in the same invisibly segregated sections and classes we are far too accustomed to here. –DVB

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Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade or as more recent migrants, they constitute some of the poorest and most marginalized groups. Studies and findings by international and national bodies demonstrate that people of African descent still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security.

In many cases, their situation remains largely invisible, and insufficient recognition and respect has been given to the efforts of people of African descent to seek redress for their present condition. They all too often experience discrimination in their access to justice, and face alarmingly high rates of police violence, together with racial profiling.

Furthermore, their degree of political participation is often low, both in voting and in occupying political positions.

In addition, people of African descent can suffer from multiple, aggravated or intersecting forms of discrimination based on other related grounds, such as age, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, property, disability, birth, or other status.

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The promotion and protection of human rights of people of African descent has been a priority concern for the United Nations. See full UN.org article

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 18 November 2014 – PDF

Women in Real Stories: Colonel Black Diamond – A Jewel of Liberia

Everyone was Afraid of her

You knew she was coming by a summon of gunshots, not the usual wild firing of attacks, but a specific rhythm; three cracks from an AK47, a pause, another three cracks, a pause, and three more cracks. To the looters and troublemakers ahead it was their warning to flee.  The young woman in her red beret, denim jeans, and red top was arriving with her all women team of soldiers and she meant business.

Fourteen years of anarchy and war turned Liberia – a west African country founded in the early 19th century by slaves freed from America – into a vision of apocalypse, its towns and cities reduced to smoking rubble. For years, rebel groups have been fighting to oust President Charles Taylor, whom they accused of atrocities and corruption. His resignation and exile in 2003 secured the arrival of UN peacekeepers to assist with the opposing government forces to adhere to a ceasefire.

Liberian warfare was a bizarre business with its child soldiers – who are often high on marijuana and crack cocaine brought in by covert governments seeking to destabilize the country and seize control -. But Black Diamond, whose first name is Patricia, knew what they were doing. A colonel, she was the head of the women’s auxiliary corps (WAC) and one of the better kept secrets of the main rebel group, the Liberians United For Reconciliation and Democracy (Lurd). Diamonds unit of girls and women was considered one of Lurd’s best and most effective.

Many members of the WAC were orphaned or separated from their parents in the 1990s and grew up in refugee camps in Guinea and Sierra Leone before returning to Liberia three years ago to join the insurgency.

President Taylor has been convicted of crimes including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers in neighboring Sierra Leone, but he wreaked havoc in his own country too. More than 200,000 people were killed in Liberia’s 14-year civil war, countless girls and women were raped and much of the population was displaced.

“This is the man who ruined my future,” Diamond said prior to Taylor’s sentencing. “When I see him sentenced, maybe I will be able to move on. They say he will get 80 years. This will send an important message to the world that you can’t do terrible things and just get away with it.”

Black Diamond was 18 and a promising student when civil war broke out. She enjoyed a peaceful childhood in Voinjama, a town in the north of the country where her father worked as a doctor. During one of Taylor’s troops’ regular raids, in April 2000, her parents were killed and Diamond was gang-raped.

After regaining consciousness after the attack, she found her way to the headquarters of Sekou Conneh, the leader of Liberians United for Reconciliation & Democracy and begged him to take her in. When the compound was attacked soon after she arrived, she simply grabbed an AK-47 and joined in with the fighting.

By all accounts, Diamond struck fear into the hearts of her opponents during the war, boldly wielding her AK-47 and staring death in the face without flinching. Yet in person she is quiet, almost diffident, her dark eyes downcast. In war she had a role: in peace, like many ex-combatants, she struggles to reinvent herself.

“I am suffering today because of what Charles Taylor did. The war took everything from me: my parents, my education and my future. I want to spread the message that we must pursue peace. We must make sure that we never see another war here in Liberia.”

Today she lives in a small, overcrowded place in the middle of the Liberian capital Monrovia, a city still bearing the physical scars of war and teeming with poverty-stricken people struggling to make a living. The water supply is uncertain, rats are a perennial problem and hunger is ever-present.

Black Diamond is one of the 85% of her country’s population living below the poverty line. She is a single parent caring for her two young children and three others who lost family members during the war. The children are plagued by bouts of malaria and her attempts to find a stable job have been unsuccessful.

She supports the work of the country’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who has tried hard to unite the Liberians, despite once supporting Taylor, as well as fellow Nobel prizewinner and peace campaigner Leymah Gbowee. Yet she supports the actions of her “girls”. “Liberian women have always been strong and we are proud to have the first female president in Africa. Before the war, rape was almost unknown in our country. When the rapes started, I and the other girls who fought were determined not to be victims. We wanted to fight back to show our attackers they couldn’t get away with such things and that they, not we, should feel shame for the rapes.”

She welcomes the opportunity to work with anyone who can help her spread the message of peace to try to protect the next generation from the horrors she experienced. “I am doing this for my girls,” she says. “Those who are lost and those who are living presently.”

Source: the Guardian