(PRWEB) February 17, 2013
On February 19, 2013, "The Global Alliance for Justice: The Ethiopian Cause" is holding public demonstrations in 30 cities throughout the world to demand that the Italian government and the Vatican renounce and dismantle the Graziani monument and to also address fascist war crimes in Ethiopia from 1935-1941, which have been acknowledged by Italy, the Vatican or the United Naitons.
At issue is the contruction of a monument honoring a known fascist war criminal, Rudolf Graziani, as a hero and the attendance of Italian dignitaries and a Vatican representative at the ceremony when they should have publically renounced the event, especially since both governments (Italy and Rome) are well aware of of the fasist war crimes that were committed upon the Ethpoian people; both government are, or should be, aware that this atrocity was also never acknoweldgd by the League of Nations, the World Court and the Untied Nations, such historical omissions make it appear as if this atrocity never took place.
The systematic mass extermination of the people of Ethiopia by Italian fascist from 1935-1941 was carried out upon civilian populations using poison gas sprayed from airplanes as the fascist main weapon of choice which claimed the lives of no less than 1,000,000 Ethiopian men, women and children far removed from the battlefield and included numerous brutal massacres and executions, which were carried out by Graziani.
The Alliance recently filed a Petition with the Europea Parliment to address this issue further, but many wonder if the Parliment will be effective since it did nothing to hold fascist resonsible from 1935 to the present.
Graziani is widely known for carrying out a number of massacres in Ethiopia, one the "Great Massacre of February 19-21, 1937” which took place in the capital city where over 30,000 civilian Ethiopian men, women, and children and 440 priests died in a 3-day massacre from mass exterminations (beheadings, mutilations, decapitations, burned alive and beaten to death unmercifully); the second massacre occurred in May 1937, when raziani gave orders to exterminate the entire monastic community at Debre Libanos, along with Pilgrims who had gathered to worship on Ethiopian religious holiday; this atrocity was never forgotten by the People of Ethiopia because the 800 year old monastery was established by an Ethiopian saint who was said to carryout healings upon the sick.
Many feel that the United Nations is primarily responsible for creating a climate where a fascist war criminal is worshipped as a hero, this is largely due to the fact the United Nations has never acknowledged war crimes in Ethiopia and has never included the details of this atrocity in official UN genocide records, making it appear as if he atrocity never happened—as such, it is widely held that the holding of war crimes trials, such as the post-war Nuremburg trials of German war criminals, which were never held for fascist Italians, are generally considered important, and indeed most valuable, and not merely as acts of retribution, but as deterrents against the repetition of atrocities, but, more essentially, for their educational effects.
At a rally at a demonstration in London in front of the Italian Embassy last year, Rita Pankhurst, wife of world renowned historian Richard Pankhurst asked those in attendance, “Is it too much to demand that the Italian government and the Vatican disassociate themselves publicly from the Mayor of Affile’s preposterous action?
Many others are asking, "Is it too much to ask the United Nations to acknowledge and address the fascist genocide of the Ethiopian people from 1935-1941 and to include this history in official UN genocide records alongside other genocides that occurred within the same time frame:?" It is quite obvious that if the UN had acknowledge the genocide of the Ethiopian people sixty years ago, Graziani would not be honored a war hero today.
By continuously ignoring this issue, isn't the United Nations sending the wrong message when it refuses or fails to acknowledge fascist war crimes in Ethiopia that occurred virtually within the same time frame as he one in Europe? In a time when there is so much trouble in the world with acts of terrorism, wars and rumors of war and with nuclear armaments that could destroy the human race, isn’t the United Nations sending the wrong message to a troubled world when it continues to ignore the genocide of the Ethiopian people, despite the fact that there is a bevy records that provide evidence of its occurrence?
Imani Kali-Nyah is historian and a member of the Global Alliance for Justice; the Ethiopia cause and author of “The Year 2000 Edition of Fascist War Crimes in Ethiopia from 1935-1941, which was edited by Professor Richard Pankhurst, former founder and director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies.