Ethiopians gathered in Addis Ababa on Thursday to celebrate the 127th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa, where federal forces defeated the Italian army trying to invade from the north in 1896.
President Sahle-Work Zewde and her entourage joined the masses, where many donned traditional dress.
The victory of Adwa prevented Italy from expanding its empire into the Horn of Africa. European colonial powers had divided up the majority of the African continent by the end of the 19th century.
Ethiopia was the only African country not colonized by a European power as a result of the victory, leaving it as one of the few Nations to remain free of the influences of Western colonization.
The African kingdom annihilated the invading Italian army, killing close to 3,000 soldiers, including two generals. Nearly an equal number of Italian prisoners of war were put to work.
The table was turned this time as Europeans labored under the supervision of Africans.
The victory of Adwa had not been celebrated in the town for the past two years due to the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia. However, following the peace agreement signed in South Africa to end the conflict in the region, the inhabitants of the town were able to mark this year’s celebration peacefully.