Emperor Menelik II committed crimes not only in Oromia, also against the Eritrean people.
The Annolee Memorial Monument has been an object of contention since the beginning of its existence. This monument represents what had happened to Oromo men and women in the hands of Menelik’s soldiers who invaded and conquered Oromo territories. Antagonism against the monument usually comes from Menelik sympathizers who argue that accusations leveled against Menelik are made up stories and never happened at all. And they also argue no evidence exists to verify the story.
Menelik’s government was accused of atrocities committed against conquered Oromo in Arsi area who suffered loss of their limbs when it comes to men and cutting off women’s breasts. This happened long before the Battle of Adwa when brutalities were the order of the day. Now look at what happened in 1896 to captured Eritrean askaris (soldiers) who served in Italian army during the Battle of Adwa. A picture is worth a thousand words. Menelik sympathizers say the Annolee event was a manufactured story told by those who do not like Menelik. Is what had happened to Eritrean soldiers also a made up story? For heaven sake, look at the pictures. If this does not convince you, I don’t really know what else can convince you of atrocities committed by Menelik’ s soldiers.
Lessons Never to be Forgotten
(Ehrea) — This photos were taken in 1896 in a field hospital in Massawa, Eritrea. It depicts Eritrean askari (soldiers) and some Italian officers. The soldiers were captured in a battle on March 1, 1896, between the invading Italian colonial army and Abyssinia (Ethiopians).
The Ethiopians won the battle and 2000 Eritrean soldiers who were in Italian service were killed and 800 were captured. As punishment for what the Ethiopians regarded as treason, the right hand and left foot of the captured were cut off. According to the Italian subtitle this was done at the monastery of Abba Garima east of Adwa, in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. Many of the captives died from their injuries.
These pictures were adapted from video that was made for the exhibition “The Storage – An Ethnographic Treasure” displayed at the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm, Sweden