African leaders unveil last emperor’s statue
ADDIS ABABA (AP):
A statue of Ethiopia’s former Emperor Haile Selassie was unveiled at the headquarters of the African Union yesterday.
The statue is the second to be erected inside the continental body’s offices in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, after one of Ghana’s first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, who championed pan-Africanism.
Several African leaders at the current African Union summit and relatives of the emperor attended the unveiling ceremony.
Ethiopians have cheered the statue’s erection, the first on Ethiopian soil since Haile Selassie was mysteriously killed at the age of 83 in 1975, when a military junta called the Derg overthrew the imperial dynasty that existed in Ethiopia for 3,000 years.
Emperor Haile Selassie is among the key African leaders who founded the Organisation of African Unity, which became the African Union. He oversaw the maiden meeting of the continental body in 1963.
Ethiopia was never colonised and Haile Selassie is credited for helping a number of African countries to gain independence.