The ABYSSINIA CRISIS was a crisis in
At places where there is not a single Italian national, a consul establishes himself in an area known as consular territory with a guard of about ninety men, for whom he claims jurisdictional immunity. This is an obvious abuse of consular privileges. The abuse is all the greater that the consul's duties, apart from the supplying of information of a military character, take the form of assembling stocks of arms, which constitute a threat to the peace of the country, whether from the internal or the international point of view.
* 1 The Walwal incident * 2 International response and subsequent actions * 3 The war and occupation * 4 Aftermath * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 Further reading * 8 External links
THE WALWAL INCIDENT
Italo–Ethiopian Treaty of 1928 stated that the border between
On 29 September 1934, Italy and Abyssinia released a joint statement renouncing any aggression against each other.
On 22 November 1934, a force of 1,000 Ethiopian militia with three fitaurari (Ethiopian military-political commanders) arrived near Walwal and formally asked the Dubats garrison stationed there (comprising about 60 soldiers) to withdraw from the area. The Somali NCO leading the garrison refused to withdraw and alerted Captain Cimmaruta, commander of the garrison of Uarder, 20 kilometres (12 mi) away, to what had happened.
The next day, in the course of surveying the border between British Somaliland and Ethiopia, an Anglo–Ethiopian boundary commission arrived at Walwal. The commission was confronted by a newly arrived Italian force. The British members of the boundary commission protested, but withdrew to avoid an international incident. The Ethiopian members of the boundary commission, however, stayed at Walwal.
Between 5 and 7 December, for reasons which have never been clearly determined, there was a skirmish between the garrison of Somalis, who were in Italian service, and a force of armed Ethiopians. According to the Italians, the Ethiopians attacked the Somalis with rifle and machine-gun fire. According to the Ethiopians, the Italians attacked them, supported by two tanks and three aircraft. In the end, approximately 107 Ethiopians and 50 Italians and Somalis were killed.
Neither side did anything to avoid confrontation; the Ethiopians repeatedly menaced the Italian garrison with the threat of an armed attack, while the Italians sent two planes over the Ethiopian camp. One of them even shot a short machine gun burst, which no one on the ground noticed, after the pilot, seeing Captain Cimmaruta in the midst of the Ethiopians, thought that he had been taken prisoner by them.
INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE AND SUBSEQUENT ACTIONS
\'TREATIES OR SCRAPS OF PAPER?\'
To the Editor of The Daily Telegraph
Last Saturday’s leading article on “Abyssinia: Our Duty” is welcome indeed after the advice liberally offered to the Emperor of Abyssinia by some sections of the English Press, urging him to submit to Italy, not because the Italian blackmail is just, but because it would be so inconvenient for ourselves if he resisted.
We might be called on to do more than lip-service to the League; and how extravagant would that be!
Twenty-one years ago, when the consequences of honouring our obligations were far more menacing, we were indignant enough at the suggestion that treaties were, after all, only “scraps of paper.” But geography plays strange tricks with justice. Italy is breaking at least three solemn pledges in her aggression on a fellow member of the League – the very type of aggression that the League was created to prevent: but many of us do not find it matters very much. The League has not yet called on us; but there are already plenty of voices busy finding pretexts for us to shuffle out of the whole thing.
It is not our duty to defend Abyssinia single-handed – no-one has suggested it; but it is our duty, if covenants mean anything whatsoever, to oppose this piece of brigandage at Geneva, and after. It is our duty to be concerting with whatever Powers retain some decency, particularly the United States, what measures may be needed.
Europe has at its disposal sanctions that Italy could not defy, provided we have the courage to use them. But instead of that the English Press, with a few honourable exceptions, has been taken up with nauseating discussion of our own interests. Later on, one gathers, we shall be very firm with Italy about the water of Lake Tana. Meanwhile, Ethiopian blood is a cheaper commodity.
If this is to be the way of our world, why make treaties at all? Let us at least have the courage of our cynicism. Let us have done with covenants, since they no longer serve to deceive anybody. Let us have done with the League, since “collective security” means simply the security of those strong enough to be secure. And then, if we perish in the chaos for which the world is heading, it will at least be without having canted to our last breath.
This jungle-law may have ruled between nations in the past; the time is rapidly approaching when either it ends or else the world. If the League cannot enforce one law for weak and strong, black and white, sooner or later we are finished. And if we flinch every time a test arises, we shall have deserved it.
On 6 December 1934, Emperor Haile Selassie of
On 3 January 1935,
Shortly after Ethiopia's initial appeal, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Pierre Laval of France and Foreign Secretary Samuel Hoare of the
On 7 January 1935, a meeting between Laval and Mussolini resulted in
Franco–Italian Agreement ". This treaty gave Italy parts of
On 25 January, five Italian askaris were killed by Ethiopian forces near Walwal.
On 10 February 1935, Mussolini mobilized two divisions. On 23
February, Mussolini began to send large numbers of troops to Eritrea
On 8 March,
Between 20 and 21 May, the
League of Nations
From 23 to 24 June, the
On 25 June, Italian and Ethiopian officials met in the Hague to discuss arbitration. By 9 July, these discussions had fallen apart.
On 26 July, the league confirmed that no fifth member of the arbitration panel had been selected. On 3 August, the League limited arbitration talks to matters other than the sovereignty of Walwal.
On 12 August,
On 4 September, the league met again and exonerated both Italy and
On 25 September,
On 27 September, the British Parliament supported the initiative of Konni Zilliacus and unanimously authorized the imposition of sanctions against Italy should it continue its policy towards Ethiopia.
On 28 September,
On November 7th, the Irish Free State passed the "League of Nations Bill", placing sanctions on Italy.
THE WAR AND OCCUPATION
Main article: Second Italo–Abyssinian War
On 3 October 1935, shortly after the league exonerated both parties
in the Walwal incident, Italian armed forces from
On 7 October in what would come to be known as the Riddell Incident ,
League of Nations
In late December 1935, Hoare of the
In March 1936, Hitler marched troops into the
Haile Selassie was forced into exile on 2 May. All the sanctions that
had been put in place by the League were dropped after the Italian
capture of the Ethiopian capital of
The end of the AOI came quickly during World War II. In early 1941, as part of the East African Campaign , Allied forces launched offensive actions against the isolated Italian colony. On 5 May 1941, five years after the Italians had captured his capital , Emperor Haile Selassie entered Addis Ababa.
There were also major impacts on the League of Nations:
* Hoare-Laval showed distrust of Britain and France themselves in
* Hitler began reversing the
Treaty of Versailles
* Italy portal
World War II
* Timeline of the Second Italo–Abyssinian War * Italo–Ethiopian Treaty of 1928 * Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1929 * Munich Crisis of 1938 * Second Italo–Abyssinian War * Freedom of the press in the Kingdom of Italy
* ^ According to Mockler, 107 Ethiopians were killed and 40
* ^ According to