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Nebil Mahdi (2nd-Left) and Barnaba Marial Benjamin (Middle) Minister of Presidential Affairs cut cake during celebration of the Adwa victory in Juba.

Ethiopians in Juba celebrate 127th anniversary of Adwa victory

The Ethiopian Embassy in Juba on Friday marked the 127th anniversary of Adwa in a colorful ceremony attended by various dignitaries.

The day is celebrated in memory of the “Battle of Adwa” in which the federal forces defeated the Italian Army trying to invade from the north in 1896.

The event marked under the theme “Adwa: Unity, Bravery and Perseverance” was attended by dozens of Ethiopian and South Sudanese, among them top dignitaries from various sectors.

Nebil Mahdi, the Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan said Adwa is a unique and historic victory against colonial rule by the Ethiopian people.

“It is also considered a victory of Africa, as it paved the way to the birth of Pan-Africanism, a spirit of unity and solidarity by the people of Africa and its descents elsewhere in the world in their struggle to liberate Africa from colonialism and the apartheid system,”  Mahdi said.

Dr. Bernaba Marial Benjamin, Minister of Presidential Affairs hailed the determination of Ethiopians to defend their sovereignty through the victory of Adwa.

“The victory of the Ethiopian Army, under Emperor Minilik II, is a significant moment in the history of Ethiopia. It is a source of great national pride because it represented successful resistance against colonization,” Marial said.

The battle of Adwa on March 2, 1896, which is also referred to as the first Ethiopian-Italian war marked the first black victory against invading colonial forces of Italy in the African continent.

The war was largely fought in the Adwa Mountains some 977 km north of Addis Ababa; the capital is believed to have initiated other freedom fighters across the African continent to struggle toward independence and freedom against colonialism.

Ethiopia is the only African country not colonized by European powers as a result of the victory, leaving it as one of the few nations to remain free of the influences of Western colonization.

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