ETHIOPIANS STILL EXPECT APOLOGIES FROM ITALY
The Vatican's history revising action of bestowing sainthood on the Pope who backed Fascist Italia's brutal invasion of Ethiopia and the repeated attempt by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to whitewash the horrible Italian invasion of Ethiopia by the troops of Mussolini makes it imperative for Ethiopians to restate the truth and to demand a formal apology from the Vatican and the Italian government for crimes against humanity committed against the people of Ethiopia.
The invasion of Ethiopia, blessed and financially helped by the Pope, was backed as a civilizing mission by quite a few western powers of the time. Mussolini's invading hordes laid waste to Ethiopia, decimated one budding generation of intellectuals, hanged and chopped off people's head with axes, spread terror, committed massacres in Addis Abeba and elsewhere, raped thousands of women, burnt churches and killed priests (hundreds of monks in Debre Libanos and Abune Petros too), committed untold cruelties over the population. Worst of all, the Italian invaders used mustard gas (poison gas) on the people killing thousands and injuring very many more. This was one of the earliest massive use of poison gas, a crime against humanity. Close to a million Ethiopians were killed by the invaders.
The Vatican has yet to apologize for giving full support to the fascist invaders and blessing the illegal war against Ethiopia. The Italian government has not apologized adequately nor has it paid adequate compensation to the victims of its invasion and poison gas attack. For years, the EPRP has demanded a redress, an admission of guilt at least, and a clear and formal apology and it is doing so again now. Honouring the Pope who praised a brutal fascist invasion or attempting to present the crime against humanity as a "civilizing mission" cannot be allowed to pass in silence.
The people of Ethiopia demand and expect an apology from the Vatican and Italy.
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