Testimony of Makonnen Ayele

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December 12, 2012 by neverforgetcampaign

Nationality: Ethiopian

Gender: male

Date of imprisonment: May 1937

Camps of imprisonment:

Maktiwa, Ethiopia, June 1937

Source: Command of his Imperial Majesty (Ed.), 1950, Documents on Italian War Crimes submitted to the United Nations War Crimes Commission by the Imperial Ethiopian Government, Vol. 2: Affidavits and published documents, Addis Abeba: Ministry of Justice, p. 14-15: Extract from Affidavit No. 33.

Note: The affidavits were collected after the war from many parts of Ethiopia and each was sworn before a judge or magistrate or public official. In cases where the witness was illiterate his deposition was written down in Amharic and then read over to him before the Judge or official appointed for the purpose. English translations were prepared for submission to the United Nations War Crimes Commission, and these have since been revised and checked with the originals for publication.

I, the undersigned, name: Makonnen Ayele, age: 33 years, profession: Farmer, address: Ibnat district in the province of Debra-Tabor, do hereby take oath and say as follows :-

(1) I took part in the fighting which took place in Tigré in 1928 (E.C.), with Dejazmach Wondewossen, under the command of Kagnazmach Kabede Baleou. From there, in the month of Miyazia I returned to my home at Ibnat. After I had stayed a year there an Italian column came and camped at Maktiwa in the month of Miyazia, 1929 (E.C.), (April 1937). In the same year, in the month of Sane (June 1937), my commander, Kagnazmach Kabede Baleou, was summoned by the Italians, and I also went with him to Maktiwa. When we arrived there we were put in prison with many others, who came with us. l saw when Fitaurari Shibashi Kokobe, Kagnazmach Kabede Baleou, Grazmach Makonen Zalclou, Grazmach Assafa Fanta, Gazmu Akale, Basha Tagaye, Balambaras Guangul Balcou, Damalash Lakeou, Blatta Zamanle, Ayele Worke, Malkamy Ayele, Bitaou Ayele, and many others, in all about eighty persons, were tortured by flogging and all of them shot, under the pretence that they were hiding arms. Not only on such pretexts were persons shot, but also I witnessed on many occasions soldiers being sent out suddenly to arrest peaceful peasant farmers and aged persons. After being arrested their hands were tied together and they were shot, their property such as cattle, etc., was plundered, their houses were burnt down, and also many other atrocities were perpetrated against the people.

Courtesy of www.campifascisti.it


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