Ethiopia marks victory over Italian forces that kept it free [By Associated Press]

minilik-11-and-taytu-bitulADWA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia is celebrating Adwa Victory Day, marking a battle that helped to ensure that the country was never colonized. Just two African nations can make that claim.

The government is using the anniversary of the 1896 win over Italian forces to rally support from youth who protested last year in several parts of the East African nation demanding wider political freedoms.

“The Adwa victory is a symbol of courage for all Africans and black people around the world,” government spokesman Negeri Lencho told The Associated Press.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is among the invited guests. He says the victory at Adwa “made a statement that it was possible for Africans to win.”

Ethiopia remains under a state of emergency because of the months of sometimes deadly protests.

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