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16 Foreign Aff. 80 (1937-1938)
The Organization of Italy's East African Empire

handle is hein.journals/fora16 and id is 90 raw text is: THE ORGANIZATION OF ITALY'S
By Corrado Zoli
ADDIS ABABA was entered by the Italian Army on May 9,
1936, thus putting an effective end to the government of
A       the Negus, who had fled abroad. Since that date Italian
occupation has gradually been extended to the rest of Ethiopian
territory. The time has therefore come when we can sketch at
least the broad lines of the political, administrative and economic
organization which Italy is giving her new East African Empire.
First of all, let us take the designation empire. It was not
chosen accidentally or arbitrarily. A country that for thirty cen-
turies had been governed in one way or another as an independent
state could not be considered as of the usual type of colonial
territory inhabited by primitive tribes in a semi-savage state.
Rather it had to be regarded, like the vast British domain in
India, as a geographic, historical and political unity of which the
sovereignty had been transferred by right of conquest, a right re-
enforced by the conqueror's superior civilization. Hence it was
logical that the term empire should be applied and that the
King of Italy should assume the title, Emperor of Ethiopia.
The basic lines to be followed in the political organization of
the new Empire were laid down by Mussolini in his speech of
May S, 1936: With the population of Ethiopia peace is already
an established fact. The defeated and fugitive chiefs and rasses no
longer count and no force in the world can ever make them
count again. This statement was a solemn promise to the peoples
of Ethiopia whom the Italian victory had liberated not only from
slavery but from all sorts of servitudes and barbarous tyrannies.
In making it, Mussolini reaffirmed the ethical reasons for Italy's
African enterprise. A year later, Signor Lessona, Minister for
Italian Africa, restated the concept in a speech before the Senate:
No continuation and no resurrection, either open or covert, of
what was Ethiopian feudalism.
From these declarations it was plain that the Empire would be
organized under a form of direct rule similar to that already
to be found in Italy's other colonial possessions, either in East
Africa or along the Mediterranean. No other form of government
was really practicable. Had Italy wished to rule the country

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