Indigenous Views on the Italian Occupation in Southern Ethiopia A Post-Colonial Approach
Keywords:Italian Occupation, Colonialism, Southern Ethiopia, Military, Collaboration
The present focus on “postcolonial studies” in cultural anthropology is attributing a growing interest to the Italian occupation in Ethiopia (1935–1941). Whereas a considerable amount of “mainstream” information has been collected about the war of conquest and colonial rule by Fascist Italy, the indigenous views and attitudes at the grassroots of Ethiopian people have largely remained outside consideration. Because of the harsh exploitation by the ruling elites of the empire, large parts of the inhabitants in the south readily collaborated with the foreign occupants. Resistance against the Italians could most efficiently be counteracted by a policy of “divide and rule”. Although the effects of Italian occupation are a sensitive issue of research involving highly controversial views and emotions, it seems to be due time now to approach it in an unbiased scholarly discourse.