Hundreds of thousands of people gathered at Menelik Square in central Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, in the annual celebration of the country’s national Adwa victory day.
Over a century ago, Ethiopian Emperor Menelik and his wife Empress Taytu led a successful campaign against invading Italian forces, emerging victorious from the Battle at Adwa in the northern part of the country.
In addition to dashing the hopes of fascist Italy to capture and colonize the entire Horn of Africa region, the Adwa victory inspired a continent-wide movement of pan-Africanism.
It also paved the way to the birth of the Organization of African Unity, later to become the African Union.
In his message to the nation in connection with Adwa victory day, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said it was a source of pride for Africa.
“With the same spirit of victory, Ethiopia will rise and prosper,” he said.
President Sahle-work Zewde and other dignitaries and people coming from various areas in the Tigray regional state and elsewhere in the country also attended the ceremony at the battle site in Adwa.
African Union Economic Affairs Commissioner Harrison Victor on the occasion said the victory was the pride of all African people.
Other participants waving the Ethiopian flag and chanting nationalist hymns were present at the celebration.