Tiglachin Monument

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Tiglachin monument (Addis Ababa).jpg
Tigalchin Monument from Churchill Avenue
General information
LocationAddis Ababa, Ethiopia,
Coordinates9°01′12″N 38°45′08″E / 9.019937°N 38.752265°E / 9.019937; 38.752265
Inaugurated12 September 1984
Tip50 m (160 ft)
Other dimensions50,000 m2 (grounds)

The Tiglachin monument (Amharic: ትግላችን, "our struggle") is a memorial to Ethiopian and Cuban soldiers involved in the Ogaden War. It was built under Mengistu Haile Mariam on Churchill Avenue in Addis Ababa. (It is sometimes called the "Derg Monument".) The monument is composed of various elements: a central statue, a 50 m tall pillar, two wall reliefs on the sides and two squares where the portraits of Cuban soldiers are visible.[1]


Red star on Tiglachin monument

The monument sits in front of the Black Lion Hospital. The monument was inaugurated on 12 September 1984, the tenth anniversary of the overthrow of Haile Selassie. The statuary was donated by North Korea, and was manufactured by the Mansudae Art Studio.[2] Currently, the monument grounds are overgrown and the monument has suffered from neglect (which some say is deliberate) under the EPRDF government, which overthrew the Derg. Some have suggested that it be demolished.[3]


Tiglachin monument Addis Abeba 5.JPG

The central statue depicts three armed people (two men and a woman) and the hammer and sickle flag of Marxism.[1] It sits on a pedestal on which we can read in Amharic:

"ለእናት አገራችንና ለአብዮታችንን ህልውና መከበር
ሲፋለሙ የወደቁ ጀግኖች
ተግባራቸው ህያው ነው"

It is likely that characters are missing for the last line because of an empty space that can be seen, the real version could be: ተግባራቸው ህያው ነው. The inscription would thus read:

"The actions of the heroes who fell in the struggle for life and respect for our homeland and our revolution are immortal."

The main pillar in the back is decorated with a depiction of the Heroes' Medal, the highest honour of Communist Ethiopia, which weighs 700 kilograms and has a diameter of 2.7 m.[1] To the left and to the right of this pillar are wall reliefs. The left wall relief, deeply affected by the Marxist style, represents the revolutionary process with Mengistu Haile Mariam (top left) in military uniform at his head.[1]

Cuban martyrs

On the right, Emperor Haile Selassie I is depicted on horseback, ignoring the people who suffer from hunger, then moving to the left, we see the protests with an English inscription "Down with imperialism" and some demonstrators overthrowing the throne, symbol of the Ethiopian Empire. Finally, on the left, the people seem to be liberated and ready to support his army. The wall to the right of the pillar relief also marked by the Marxist style, is more general way, the Ethiopian people guided by Mengistu Haile Mariam, in the background, you can see various buildings including the National Bank of Ethiopia.[1]

Finally, further to the left and right of the two frescoes are two small squares where you can see portraits of Cuban soldiers present in the conflict because of the alliance between the Ethiopian regime and that of Fidel Castro.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Elleh, Nnamdi (2002). Architecture and Power in Africa. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. pp. 164–167. ISBN 0275976793.
  3. ^ "Scity BBe". Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.

Coordinates: 9°01′12″N 38°45′06″E / 9.02000°N 38.75167°E / 9.02000; 38.75167