Friday, June 21, 2019

June 21, 2019

First Italo-Ethiopian War - Italian embarrassing defeat in Africa Italo-Ethiopian War - Italian embarrassing defeat in Africa
The first Italo- Ethiopian war was fought between Italy and Ethiopia from 1894 - 1896, after the scramble and partition of Africa in the Berlin Conference of 1884/1885, Ethiopia remained independent and the Italian saw it as an opportunity to acquire more possession in the Horn of Africa by conquering Ethiopia. Italy had focused on the Red Sea areas around East Africa and have troops in the port city of Massawa in Eritrea which was then part of the Ethiopian Empire. Italo-Ethiopian War - Italian embarrassing defeat in Africa
The Italian government failed to evaluate closely the situation of Ethiopia due to the crisis they had with who would succeed the throne as the next emperor which caused disunity among Ethiopian noblemen.
On March 25 1889, the Shewa ruler Menelik II having acquired Tigray and Amhara declared himself the Emperor of Ethiopia with little support of Italian government so on May 2, he signed a treaty( Treaty of Wuchale) as part of their influence in his ascension which gave the Italian the administrative control of Eritrea and some portion of Red Sea Coast in return for Italian recognition of his rule. 
The treaty was bilingual in the sense that it was written in both Italian and Amharic(a language of Ethiopia), the Italian version of the treaty established Ethiopia as an Italian protectorate while the Amharic version stated that Emperor Menelik II can conduct foreign affairs through Italy if he wants to do so. 
Emperor Menelik II fought for a diplomatic solution but he was unable to achieve it so on February 12 1893, he terminated the Wuchale treaty, before that Menelik took the opportunity to make friendly relations with Russia and France(Djoubioti) while he sought for peaceful solutions. 
The Italian never expected the war to as long as it did,  they expected an overwhelming victory over the Ethiopian army thinking that they were small, poorly armed and disunity among noblemen after the tussle for the throne but they were wrong,  the entire tribes saw the Italian as their common enemy and they forgot their differences and forged together to fight off the colonialist. 
Emperor Menelik II assembled an army of 196,000 to partake in the conflict while the Italian were only able to gather 25,000 men including Eritrean fighters, it even got worse when the Italian found out at the battlefield that the Ethiopian armies were armed with modern rifle, rode on horseback and had rapid fire mountain guns. Italo-Ethiopian War - Italian embarrassing defeat in Africa
Emperor Menelik II
After much defeat from the Ethiopian forces,  the Italian army retreated to Mekele and Ethiopian army lay siege on the city for 45 days, the Ethiopian forces later occupied Adwa which was one of the important battles among many. The lost of Adwa by the Italian brought the war to a stalemate till early 1896. The Italians tried again to change the cost of the war with an offensive against the Ethiopian army but words got to the Emperor on time to strike first before the Italian were even prepared to attack. 
The casualties at the Battle of Adwa was so high on both side but it was an Ethiopian victory which gave the Emperor a higher bargaining chance, which he utilized by demanding the abolition of the Treaty of Wuchale and full recognition of Ethiopia as a Sovereign Independent Country by Italy and other European colonialist. 

Ethiopia became the only African country that fought off colonialist from their soil to avoid colonization and one of the two countries in Africa that wasn't colonized. 

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

June 12, 2019

Mau Mau Uprising 1952 - 1960 Mau Uprising 1952 - 1960
The Mau Mau  uprising also called Kenya emergency, it was a resistance against the British colonial  in Kenya which is believes to have started in 1952 to 1960. White colonialist maltreatment of the blacks by expulsion of Kikuyu tenants from their farmlands, hardship, corruption, poverty, improper and unequal representation of Kenyans interest gave the people a reason to revolt.
The uprising involved the prominent ethnic group in Kenya, the Kikuyu tribe among other are very vibrant in fighting against the colonialist, they joined the KAU (Kenya African Union) and quickly dominated the politics of the KAU, they replaced the moderate constitutional agenda with a militant one. The nationalist KAU which was also called Muhimu began giving Kikuyu oathing, most through intimidation and forceful threats.
Also read: Soweto Uprising 1976 - Black School Children Protest Mau Uprising 1952 - 1960

To the British, the traditional oathing ceremonies were believe to bind the people to a cause against them,  they felt the ceremonies was used to forcefully recruit fighter for their rebellion so the British government in Kenya retaliated by organising de-oathing ceremonies. The Muhimu started attacking Kenyans who are loyal to the British and white settle. 
The actual date the rebellion started is still disputed by historian but it is recognized by some on October 1952 when the British government declared emergency in Kenya and troops were sent in to curb the rebellion. The troops carried out massive killings of the rebels and those believed to be habouring or sympathizing with the Mau Mau rebels were sent to detention camp. (fig. 150,000). Mau Uprising 1952 - 1960

Most Mau Mau rebels based in the forest of Mt. Kenya and Aberdares, but some Mau Mau supporters in the city placed a significant role in the rebellion in Nairobi and other major cities in British Kenya. The largest single massacre by the Mau Mau rebel was on March 26, 1953 in Lari where loyalist of the Home Guard families were murdered and set ablaze by the rebel. The Home Guard and British troops retaliated and killed close to 400 people or more. The Lari massacre was a turning point in the rebellion because of it disastrous effect on the people. Mau Uprising 1952 - 1960
By 1957, the uprising has almost been subdued with Mau Mau forest army largely broken and in 1960 the emergency was declared over. The British government made some reform and in 1963, Kenya was declared an independent sovereign country from the British Empire and Jomo Kenyatta became the nation's first President. 

Though the uprising may have been subdued by the British government but it played a major role in Kenya's struggle for independence and made the British government enact some laws that was favorable to the Kenyan people before independence. 

Leave your comments below, thanks. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

June 03, 2019

Soweto Uprising 1976 - Black School Children Protest Uprising 1976 - Black School Children Protest
History will never forget the demonstrations and protest by black South African school children and youths on June 16 1976. Uprising 1976 - Black School Children Protest

A law was enacted on South Africa that forced all black schools in the country to adopt the use of Afrikaans (language of the Boers) and English in a 50-50 mix for instructions,  the Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974". Afrikaans had to be used for mathematics, social studies and arithmetic from standard five while English would be used for general science and practical subject but indigenous languages could only be used for religious instructions, music and physical culture. Uprising 1976 - Black School Children Protest
Also read: Horn of Africa : Fact, Geography, Religion and Economy
On 16 June 1976, an estimate of about 20,000 black students from different high schools all over the country march round in critism of the Decree after it implementation on January 1, 1976 and the idea of learning through Afrikaans in school, the first stage of the protest started in Orlando Stadium which the students from different schools gathered for the rally both those that were aware of it before that day and those that got the information on the spot but still follow with the movement. 
When the march started,  the students sang and displayed placard showing slogans like "Down with Afrikaans", "Viva Azania" and "if we must do Afrikaans, Vorster must do Zulu". The protest was intended to be peaceful which it was until the police blocked their route and they had to change direction in other not to create any violence but the Police started releasing dogs on the students who killed it to avoid getting bitten by the dog, the police opened fire directly on the innocent black school children protesting peacefully against an imposition by the apathieth government of South Africa. 
Among the first school children shot was Hasting Ndlovo who was just 15 years old and Hector Pieterson who was 13, it was reported that the total number of black school children killed on the protest was around 176 but the government denied the claims and published their own report of 23 students killed during the protest by the Police. Uprising 1976 - Black School Children Protest
Also read: Samori Toure's Mandinka resistance against the French
Follow Up
The uprising and killings resulted to a violence retaliation against white population in South Africa and pressure was places on the government for it's role in the killing by African National Congress and other pro-Black movements in the country, black workers went on strike and more than 250 white students from the University of Witwatersrand marched on Johannesburg's city centre in protest of the government atrocities against school children.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said "those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them".