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Ethiomonarchist

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Recently, the African Union innaugurated a glittering new headquarters building in Addis Ababa.  The building was built and funded by the Chinese in their efforts to court the continent.  As part of the festivities, the assembled Heads of State and Government from around the continent attended the unveiling on the grounds of the AU headquarters, a statue of the founding President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah to honor him for his role in Pan Africanism and the founding of the Organization of African Unity (the predicesor of the AU).  Almost immediately leading political figures in the Ethiopian opposition both in the country and abroad, while aknowledging President Nkrumah's role, began angrily asking why there was no statue of Emperor Haile Selassie, which they argued had played a critical role in the establishment of the Organization and in it's being founded and headquartered in Addis Ababa.  They have accused the Ethiopian government of deliberatly failing to lobby the AU for the Emperor receiving a similar honor because of their long standing dislike of Haile Selassie I and his predicesors. 

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has often refered to the Emperor as a "feudal dictator" and an "oppressor", so it was no suprise that when he spoke to Parliament, he criticised these opposition statements as being somehow against the erecting of the statue of Nkrumah (which they were not) rather than demands that the Emperor also be similarly honored.  It is becoming increasingly a topic of some outrage in Ethiopia even among anti-monarchists that the government will go out of it's way to avoid honoring the late Emperor in any way and would rather honor foriegn figures in his place

A petition has reportedly been sent to the Secretary General of the AU asking that the Emperor be honored similarly.  Below are links to  reporting the controversy, and the last link is an editorial by a prominent exiled opposition figure.  The editorial is a obviously on the leftist side, but it is still champions the Emperor rather strongly as deserving a large share of credit.



http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/us-ethiopia-statue-idUSTRE81911U20120210

http://www.theafricareport.com/index.php/news-analysis/ethiopia-s-conundrum-a-statue-for-nkrumah-or-selassie-50181134.html

http://www.ethiomedia.com/broad/3483.html

[image]
The new African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa


The Statue of President Nkrumah outside the headquarters.

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Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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To provide some background, the Independence era leaders in Africa were divided into two groups. 
The Pan Africanists led by Dr. Nkrumah envisioned a "United States of Africa" modeled on the United States, a single multi-national country and were left leaning politically.  These leaders were known as the Casablanca Group and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea, Mohammed Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria, Jomo Kenyata of Kenya were it's leading lights. 

The Casablanca group was opposed by the Monrovia Group made up of older more conservative Independence leaders who had a more traditionalist political approach.  They envisioned a much looser continental association in which the soveriegnty of each individual African state would be fully maintained.  They resisted bringing their newly independent countries under the control of a new continental ruling body.  This group was lead by such formidable figures as Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal, William V.S. Tubman of Liberia, and Félix Houphouët-Boigny of Ivory Coast.  These were all very conservative politcal figures who held the leftism of Pan Africanists in deep suspicion.  Indeed President Félix Houphouët-Boigny of Ivory Coast once said to Nkrumah that political independence from Colonial rule would be worthless without economic independence and that an overeager rush to break ties with European powers was unwise. (Félix Houphouët-Boigny was a great-nephew of Queen Yamousso of the Baoule people).

Emperor Haile Selassie, his Prime Minister Aklilu Habte Wold, and Foriegn Minister Ketema Yifru were key figures in hammering out the rather difficult compromise that resulted in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity at Addis Ababa in 1963, and the decision to put it's headquarters there.  This was only possible because all the leaders of the two rival groups had a deep respect for the Emperor, and the leaders all agreed that the OAU would not have been established without the key role played by the Emperor and his government.  In gratitude, the OAU agreed to bestow the honorific of "Father of Africa" on Emperor Haile Selassie. 

This should explain why Ethiopians feel disappointed that the Emperor was not given at least the same level of credit as was bestowed on Kwame Nkrumah.

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
KebraNagastParty

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I was very upset to hear about this.  I had discussions with fellow Ethiopian's on this topic.  We all agree that this is and outrage and a disrespect to H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I.  H.I.M contribute a lot to African liberation through out Africa.  I am not saying that Kwame Nkrumah did not, but H.I.M played and major role in the development of the OAU.  I just hope that the petition is successful, and the statue of H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I could be erected in front, of the new AU building.


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Ethiomonarchist

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The following statement was released by H.I.H. Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie, President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia and grandson of the late Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I.

 

Quote:

February 13, 2012

Let us remain true to our history

 

The recent inauguration of the new African Union building in Addis Ababa is one step forward in fulfilling the prophetic words of Emperor Haile-Selassie I, when he said that Africa was looking towards the future, confident in her destiny to achieve unity of pur-pose.

It was Emperor Haile-Selassie who stated in his address to the Conference of Independ-ent African States in Ghana in 1958: “Ethiopia looks with pride to the role which she has played in the history of the development of Africa and looks forward with confidence to the future of this great continent.”

While it is befitting to honor Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a proponent of Pan-Africanism and Ghana’s first President, with a statue in the forecourt of the new African Union edifice, other African giants, such as Emperor Haile-Selassie and Nelson Mandela, will have to wait to have their legacies honored, through additional statues and monuments.

The Emperor’s contributions to the establishment of the forerunner of the African Union (AU), the Organization of African Unity (OAU), cannot be forgotten. History has rightfully recorded that it was Ethiopia’s and the Emperor’s tireless contributions which established the OAU with its headquarters in Addis Ababa in 1963.

In 2002, when African leaders met in South Africa to charter the newborn AU out of the OAU, Ethiopia again had to defend its legacy of service to the Continent to maintain the Headquarters of the newly found Organization in Addis Ababa. The very fact that the African nations voted to keep the headquarters of the Organization in Addis Ababa is a testament to the accomplishment and vision of our Nation and that of the Emperor.

Emperor Haile-Selassie inspired African leaders of his generation to forge a common sense of unity. Today’s new buildings housing the AU, a generous gift by the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China, will hopefully translate the vision of the forefathers of the Organization into greater works of accomplishment by a new generation of leaders for the years ahead.

Let us look forward confidently that the Emperor’s contributions to the Continent will continue to be rightfully recognized and remembered by coming generations of Africans.

There is room at our beautiful new complex for more statues. Let us honor Emperor Haile-Selassie as the great champion of pan-Africanism and as the great inspiration be-hind the OAU, and let us remember Nelson Mandela as a great champion of the OAU’s transition to the African Union.


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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for sharing...



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KebraNagastParty

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Reply with quote  #6 

Very good reponse from the crown council of Ethiopia.


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Ethiomonarchist

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Regardless of the rather polite statement coming from the Crown Council, the political opposition in Addis Ababa has been far less circumspect, and it's criticism is falling on very fertile ground.  The opposition has tapped into something of a groudswell of outrage and deep offense on the part of the Ethiopian public at large at what it sees as ingratitude both on the part of the AU and on the part of the current government of Ethiopia towards the Emperor.  The controversy has continued to grow rather than die down, and the Prime Minister's statement to Parliament has only served to inflame public opinion on the topic. 

It is all quite ironic considering the high regard that Emperor Haile Selassie and Kwame Nkrumah held each other.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/ethiopians-give-lacklustre-welcome-to-kwame-nkrumah-statue-6917350.html

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
KebraNagastParty

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http://www.change.org/petitions/a-statue-for-emporer-haile-selassie?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friends_wall

This is and petition to ask the AU to erect and statue of H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I in front of the AU.

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jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #9 
Link fixed and signed!

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KebraNagastParty

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Reply with quote  #10 

Thank you Jovan66102 for signing this important petition. Please encourage others to do the same.


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gianni

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I did sign it !

KebraNagastParty

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Reply with quote  #12 

Thank you Gianni for signing the petition!


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