African leaders unveil statue of Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa

0
1243

African leaders unveil statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA A statue of Ethiopia’s Emperor Haileselassie has been unveiled at the headquarters of the African Union on 10 February, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The statue is the second to be erected inside the continental body’s offices in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, after one of Ghana’s first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, who championed pan-Africanism.

Several African leaders at the current African Union summit and relatives of the emperor attended the statue unveiling ceremony.

Ethiopians have cheered the statue’s erection, the first on Ethiopian soil since Haileselassie was mysteriously killed at the age of 83 in 1975 when a military junta called the Derg overthrew the imperial dynasty.

Emperor Haileselassie is among the key African leaders who founded the Organization of African Unity, which became the African Union. He oversaw the maiden meeting of the continental body in 1963.

Ethiopia was never colonized and Haileselassie is credited for helping a number of African countries to gain independence.

Opinion is still split over whether Haile Selassie was good for Ethiopia or not.

A Human Rights Watch report accuses him of acting with “official indifference” to famines in various regions of the country and attempting to conceal the famine of 1972-72, in which an estimated 200,000 people died.

He is also known to have violently cracked down on people who opposed him during his reign.

Opinion is still split over whether Haile Selassie was good for Ethiopia or not.

A Human Rights Watch report accuses him of acting with “official indifference” to famines in various regions of the country and attempting to conceal the famine of 1972-72, in which an estimated 200,000 people died.

He is also known to have violently cracked down on people who opposed him during his reign.