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Ethiopians referred to it endearingly as Debre Sultan. Most observers of the scene in the latter part of the 19th Century as well as honest spokesmen for some of the sects attest to the fact that from time immemorial the Ethiopian monks had pride of place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Deir Sultan. Despite their meager existence and pressures from fellow monks from other countries, the Ethiopian monks survived through the difficult periods their country was going through such as the period of feudal autarchy Still, in every document or reference since the opening of the Christian era, Ethiopia and Ethiopian monks have been mentioned in connection with Christian holy places in Jerusalem, by all alternating landlords and powers that be in the region.
As surrogates of the weakening Ottomans, the Egyptians were temporarily in control of Jerusalem It was at this time, inthat a plague is said to have occurred in the holy places, which in some mysterious ways of Byzantine proportions, claimed the lives of all Ethiopian monks. The Ethiopians at this time were ensconced in a chapel of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Deir Sultan as well as in other locales nearby.
Immediately thereafter, the Egyptian authorities gave the keys of the Church to the Egyptian Coptic monks. The Egyptian ruler, Ibrahim Pasha, then ordered that all thousands of very precious Ethiopian holy books and documents, including historical and ecclesiastical materials related to property deeds and rights, be burned—alleging conveniently that the plague was spawned by the Ethiopian parchments.
Monasteries are traditionally important hubs of learning and, given its location and its opportunity for interaction with the wider family of Christendom, the Ethiopian monastery in Jerusalem was even more so than others. That is how Ethiopians lost their choice possession in Deir Sultan.
Although efforts on behalf of Ethiopian monks in Jerusalem started in midth Century with Ras Ali and Dejach Wube, it was the rise of Emperor Tewodros in in Ethiopia that put the Jerusalem monastery issue back onto international focus.
When Ethiopian monks numbering a hundred or so congregated in Jerusalem at the time, the Armenians had assumed superiority in the holy places. The Anglican bishop in Jerusalem then, Bishop Samuel Gobat witnessed the unholy attitude and behavior of the Armenians and the Copts towards their fellow Christian Ethiopians who were trying to reclaim their rights to the holy places in Jerusalem.
The key to their convent being in the hands of their oppressors, they were locked up in their convent in the evening until it pleased their Coptic jailer to open it in the morning, so that in any severe attacks of illness, which are frequent there, they had no means of going out to call a physician.
In the event, one of the issues that contributed to the clash with British colonialists that consumed his lifewas the quest for adequate protection of the Ethiopian monks and their monastery in Jerusalem.
Emperor Yohannes IVthe priestly warrior king, used his relatively cordial relations with the British who were holding sway in the region then, to make representations on behalf of the Ethiopian monastery in Jerusalem.
He carried on regular pen-pal communications with the monks even before he became Emperor. By the prayers of the righteous a country is saved. As of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century the numbers of Ethiopian monks and nuns increased and so did overall Ethiopian pilgrimage and presence in Jerusalem.
Land was also purchased at various localities and a number of personalities including Empress Tayitu, and later Empress Menen, built churches there. British authorities supported a study on the history of the issue since at least the time of kalifa Calif Omar and correspondences and firmans and reaffirmations of Ethiopian rights inin an effort to resolve the chronic problems of conflicting claims to the holy sites in Jerusalem.
And, just like some of their compatriots including Church leaders at home, some paid allegiance to the Fascist rulers albeit for the brief interregnum.
Emperor Haile Sellassie was also a notable patron of the monastery cause, and the only monarch to have made several trips to Jerusalem, including en route to his self-exile to London in May, Since at least the s there was an Ethiopian Association for Jerusalem in Addis Ababa that coordinated annual Easter pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Hundreds of Ethiopians and other persons from Ethiopia and the Diaspora took advantage of its good offices to go there for absolution, supplication or felicitation, and the practice continues today.
Against all odds, historical, ecclesiastical and cultural bonding between Ethiopia and Jerusalem waxed over the years. The Ethiopian presence expanded beyond Deir Sultan including also numerous Ethiopian Churches, chapels, convents and properties. This condition required that the Patriarchate of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church designate Jerusalem as a major diocese to be administered under its own Archbishop. Timket epiphany celebration by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on the Jordan River, considered to be the place where Jesus was baptized.
The Biblical Psalm For much of its history, Ethiopian Christianity was largely hemmed in by alternating powers in the region. Likewise, Ethiopia used its own indigenous Ethiopic languages for liturgical and other purposes within its own territorial confines, instead of colonial or other lingua franca used in extended geographical spaces of the globe. For these and other reasons, Ethiopia was not able to communicate effectively with the wider Black world in the past.
Given the fact that until recently, most of the Black world within Africa and in the diaspora was also under colonial tutelage or under slavery, it was not easy to appreciate the significance of Ethiopian presence in Jerusalem. For nearly two millennia now, the Ethiopian Church and its adherent monks and priests have miraculously maintained custodianship of Deir Sultan, suffering through and surviving all the struggles we have glanced at in these pages.
It represents also the affirmation of the fact that Jerusalem is the birthplace of Christianity, just as adherents of Judaism and Islam claim it also.
In several of his poems and speeches, Hassan emphasized that the British "have destroyed our religion and made our children their children" and that the Christian Ethiopians in league with the British were bent upon plundering the political and religious freedom of the Somali nation. In addition, he gave a clarion call for Somali unity and independence, in the process organizing his forces. Hassan's Dervish movement had an essentially military character, and the Dervish state was fashioned on the model of a Salihiya brotherhood.
It was characterized by a rigid hierarchy and centralization. Though Hassan threatened to drive the Christians into the sea, he executed the first attack by launching his first major military offensive with his Dervish equipped with 20 modern rifles on the British soldiers stationed in the region. Taleex was the capital of the Dervish State. He repulsed the British in four expeditions and had relations with the Central Powers of the Ottomans and the Germans.
Inthe Dervish state collapsed after intensive aerial bombardments by Britainand Dervish territories were subsequently turned into a protectorate. The dawn of fascism in the early s heralded a change of strategy for Italyas the north-eastern sultanates were soon to be forced within the boundaries of La Grande Somalia according to the plan of Fascist Italy. Italy had access to these areas under the successive protection treaties, but not direct rule.
The Fascist government had direct rule only over the Benadir territory. Fascist Italyunder Benito Mussoliniattacked Abyssinia Ethiopia inwith an aim to colonize it. The invasion was condemned by the League of Nationsbut little was done to stop it or to liberate occupied Ethiopia. On August 3,Italian troops, including Somali colonial units, crossed from Ethiopia to invade British Somalilandand by August 14, succeeded in taking Berbera from the British.
A British force, including troops from several African countries, launched the campaign in January from Kenya to liberate British Somaliland and Italian-occupied Ethiopia and conquer Italian Somaliland. They were assisted by Somali forces led by Abdulahi Hassan with Somalis of the IsaaqDhulbahanteand Warsangali clans prominently participating.
After World War II, the number of the Italian colonists started to decrease; their numbers had dwindled to less than 10, in These were advantages that British Somaliland, which was to be incorporated into the new Somali state, did not have. Although in the s British colonial officials attempted, through various administrative development efforts, to make up for past neglect, the protectorate stagnated.
The disparity between the two territories in economic development and political experience would cause serious difficulties when it came time to integrate the two parts. Britain included the proviso that the Somali nomads would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over them.
A referendum was held in neighboring Djibouti then known as French Somaliland inon the eve of Somalia's independence into decide whether or not to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, largely due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans.
Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later. On July 20, and through a popular referendumthe people of Somalia ratified a new constitutionwhich was first drafted in Egal would later become the President of the autonomous Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia. On October 15,while paying a visit to the northern town of Las AnodSomalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic  dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.
In addition to a nationalization program of industry and land, the new regime's foreign policy placed an emphasis on Somalia's traditional and religious links with the Arab worldeventually joining the Arab League AL in The SRSP was an attempt to reconcile the official state ideology with the official state religion by adapting Marxist precepts to local circumstances. Emphasis was placed on the Muslim principles of social progress, equality and justice, which the government argued formed the core of scientific socialism and its own accent on self-sufficiency, public participation and popular control, as well as direct ownership of the means of production.
While the SRSP encouraged private investment on a limited scale, the administration's overall direction was essentially communist. The Somali— Soviet Union friendship and later partnership with the United States enabled Somalia to build the largest army on the continent. In the first week of the conflict, Somali armed forces took southern and central Ogaden and for most of the war, the Somali army scored continuous victories on the Ethiopian army and followed them as far as Sidamo.
After the siege of Harara massive unprecedented Soviet intervention consisting of 20, Cuban forces and several thousand Soviet experts came to the aid of Ethiopia's communist Derg regime.
Bythe Somali troops were ultimately pushed out of the Ogaden. This shift in support by the Soviet Union motivated the Barre government to seek allies elsewhere. It eventually settled on the Soviets' Cold War arch-rival, the United Stateswhich had been courting the Somali government for some time. All in all, Somalia's initial friendship with the Soviet Union and later partnership with the United States enabled it to build the largest army in Africa.
Many Somalis had become disillusioned with life under military dictatorship. The regime was weakened further in the s as the Cold War drew to a close and Somalia's strategic importance was diminished. The government became increasingly totalitarianand resistance movementsencouraged by Ethiopia, sprang up across the country, eventually leading to the Somali Civil War.
Duringin the capital city of Mogadishu, the residents were prohibited from gathering publicly in groups greater than three or four. Fuel shortages caused long lines of cars at petrol stations.
Inflation had driven the price of pasta, ordinary dry Italian noodles, a staple at that timeto five U. The price of khatimported daily from Kenyawas also five U.
Paper currency notes were of such low value that several bundles were needed to pay for simple restaurant meals. Coins were scattered on the ground throughout the city being too low in value to be used. A thriving black market existed in the centre of the city as banks experienced shortages of local currency for exchange. At night, the city of Mogadishu lay in darkness. The generators used to provide electricity to the city had been sold off by the government.
Close monitoring of all visiting foreigners was in effect. Harsh exchange control regulations were introduced to prevent export of foreign currency and access to it was restricted to official banks, or one of three government-operated hotels. Although no travel restrictions were placed on foreigners, photographing many locations was banned. During the day in Mogadishu, the appearance of any government military force was extremely rare. Alleged late-night operations by government authorities, however, included "disappearances" of individuals from their homes.
Somali Civil War Main article: The Barre administration was ousted that year by a coalition of clan-based opposition groups, backed by Ethiopia's then-ruling Derg regime and Libya. Although de facto independent and relatively stable compared to the tumultuous south, it has not been recognized by any foreign government. This led to efforts to remove Barre who still claimed to be the legitimate president of Somalia. He and his armed supporters remained in the south of the country until midcausing further escalation in violence, especially in the Gedo, Bay, Bakool, Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba, and Middle Juba regions.
The armed conflict within the USC devastated the Mogadishu area. The civil war disrupted agriculture and food distribution in southern Somalia.