Italy invades Ethiopia

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Emperor Haile Selassie, commander of the Ethiopian army Image source

Wednesday, 5 December 1934

Benito Mussolini determined to establish an Italian empire and to avenge Italy's defeat in 1896 at Adwa by the Eritreans invades Eritrea. A border clash at Wewel (also referred to as Ualual) in Southern Ethiopia along the border of Somaliland increased the tension. The League of Nations, which Ethiopia had joined in 1923 called for economic sanctions against Italy, but they had little effect, and an attempt by the British and French governments to arrange settlement by giving Italy much of Ethiopia, failed. The Italians quickly defeated the Ethiopians and the capital, Addis Ababa was captured and Haile Selassie fled the country. The King of Italy was also made Emperor of Ethiopia. The country was combined with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to form Italian East Africa.

• ICRC Italy's conquest of Abyssinia (1935-1936) [online] Available at: [Accessed on 28 November 2013]
• ABC Clio Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II [online] Available at: [Accessed on 28 November 2013]

Last updated : 01-Dec-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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