France, Ethiopia to commemorate Korean War veterans on 65th anniversary


In 1951 Emperor Haile Sellassie sent the famous Kagnew Battalion to fight along with 16 other nations from around the world in support of the United Nations’ peace keeping operation. Ten years earlier Ethiopia became the first African country to participate in a peacekeeping mission abroad contributing 6,000 soldiers. Today, 188 remain alive, grouped into a very active association under the authority of Colonel Melesse Tessema.
Now, in honour of the 65th anniversary of the Panmunjeom Armistice in Korea, the Defence attaché office of the French Embassy in Addis Ababa in collaboration with the Ethiopian section of the Legion d’Honneur society and the associations of Korean War Veterans of both France and Ethiopia will commemorate the pride of the Ethiopians for their accomplishments in the Korean battalion from June 4th to 7th.
Thanks to Ethiopia, this involvement has been a symbol of a proud Africa engaged to defend liberty and freedom all over the world. On this special occasion, French veterans will be welcomed in Addis Ababa and will have the opportunity to reconnect with their Ethiopian brothers in arms. Because they coincidently follow each other in the alphabet, the two nations often fought together, especially during the famous battle of Crèvecoeur in the summer of 1951. Currently, Ethiopia is in the forefront of peacekeeping missions.
The event will consist celebrating the reunion of French and Ethiopian veterans at the Korean War Memorial in Addis Ababa, a military ceremony at the Peace-Keeping Main Department of Addis Ababa where the torch will be passed between veterans and the new generation of peacekeepers. It will also feature a conference at the Addis Ababa University where the Korean war veterans will share their experiences with students and researchers.
This commemoration is an unprecedented opportunity to remind Ethiopian and French peoples their common history and to strengthen their future relationship. On a wider scale, it’s also a way to underline the significant commitment of Ethiopia in peace keeping operations together with all other countries around the world.
This event is made possible thanks to the support of the French Ministry of Armed Forces along with French and Ethiopian companies.