Ethiopia–Italy relations

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Ethiopian-Italian relations
Map indicating locations of Ethiopia and Italy



Ethiopia–Italy relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Ethiopia and Italy.

Modern Italian colonial ambitions into Ethiopia began in the 1880s.[1] This was eventually followed by the First Italo-Ethiopian War between 1894 and 1896, where the Ethiopians successfully fought off European expansion. Following World War I and the rise of Italian Fascism, the Abyssinia Crisis began, and eventually culminated in the 1935–1936 Second Italo-Ethiopian War.[2] It was a brutal conflict, with ample Italian war crimes and the use of chemical warfare.[3] Due to the efforts of indigenous resistance, much of the country was never lost to the invading forces of Mussolini, but formally Ethiopia lost its independence and became Italian Ethiopia, part of Italian East Africa.[4]

Italy eventually lost its colonies in the region. Following years of local resistance and the intervention of British troops during the East African Campaign of World War II, Ethiopia regained its formal independence from Italy in 1941.[5] Scattered Italian forces continued to fight in a guerrilla war, until the final surrender in 1943.[6]


  1. ^ Tekeste Negash (January 1997). Eritrea and Ethiopia: The Federal Experience. Nordic Africa Institute. p. 13. ISBN 978-91-7106-406-6. 
  2. ^ Melvin E. Page; Penny M. Sonnenburg (2003). Colonialism: an international, social, cultural, and political encyclopedia. A-M. Vol. 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 291. ISBN 978-1-57607-335-3. 
  3. ^ David H. Shinn; Thomas P. Ofcansky (11 April 2013). Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. Scarecrow Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-8108-7457-2. 
  4. ^ Patrizia Palumbo (17 November 2003). A Place in the Sun: Africa in Italian Colonial Culture from Post-Unification to the Present. University of California Press. p. 279. ISBN 978-0-520-93626-3. 
  5. ^ David T. Zabecki (1 May 2015). World War II in Europe: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 1478. ISBN 978-1-135-81249-2. 
  6. ^ Cernuschi, Enrico. La resistenza sconosciuta in Africa Orientale. pag. 74 (in Italian)

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