- Sun, 08/19/2012 - 14:35
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The Global Alliance for Justice: The Ethiopian Cause condemns in the strongest terms the Italian governments construction of an official memorial to the convicted war criminal Field Marshal Rodolfo Graziani. During the Italian war on Ethiopia 1936-1941, Italy carried out a systematic mass extermination campaign in Ethiopia with poison gas sprayed from airplanes and other horrific atrocities that claimed the lives of no less than 1,000,000 Ethiopian men, women and children, including 30,000 massacred in only three days in Addis Ababa as well as the reprisal killings of the entire monastic community at the historic Debre Libanos Monastery. In addition, 2,000 churches and 525,000 homes were destroyed by the Italian Fascists. These atrocities were carried out under the direct command of Graziani known as the Butcher of Ethiopia.
Graziani remained loyal to Mussolini until 1945 and served as the Minister of Defense of the puppet Italian Republic in Northern Italy and committed additional war crimes in North Africa. In 1948, a military tribunal sentenced Graziani to 19 years jail, as punishment for his collaboration with the Nazis; but he was released after serving only a few months of the sentence. Now the Italian government has honored him with a mausoleum and memorial park, built at taxpayers' expense, in a village south of Rome. A Vatican representative attended the recent open ceremony of the Graziani memorial.
The Global Alliance for Justice The Ethiopian Cause advocates for the recognition of the Ethiopian genocide and is chaired by His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile Selassie, the grandson of Emperor Haile-Selassie I who along with Ethiopian patriots liberated the country from the Italians.
The Alliance is also campaigning for a Vatican apology to the Ethiopian people for its complicity with the Italian Fascists, restitution of looted Ethiopian properties, the payment of adequate reparations by the Italian government to Ethiopia as well as the inclusion of the Italian war crimes in Ethiopia in the historic annals of the United Nations.
According to Alliance officials they are calling for condemnation of the Graziani memorial by the United Nations General Assembly, European Union Parliament, and African Union as well as contemplating legal action.