|Accepting Eritrean Assembly Decision|
For Administrative Union
Nov. 16, 1962
|When the name of Ethiopia first appeared in the pages of history, Eritrea formed an integral part of |
Our nation. Our ties do not consisst merely in having lived together as one country. Ethiopia and
Eritrea shared a common heritage of territorial contiguity, race and language, and Eritrea has
served as one of the main fountains of Ethiopian civilization and culture.
In the latter part of the 19th Century, when the colonial powers speartated Eritrea from the rest of
Ethiopia and established in Eritrea a rule which lasted for about 60 years, it was their aim to
establish a separate Eritrean identity and to dissociate Eritrea from the motherland. In this, the
colonialists failed completely. There is no greater evidence of the bankruptcy of this cruel policy
than the fact that not only those elderly Eritreans who had happily experienced the value of
freedom in unity, but even those who were born during colonialist occupation of their country,
voluntarily separated themselves from their parents and relative and, emigrating to the
motherland, shed their blood for the cause of reunion or Eritrea with Ethiopia and, during the
Fascist invasion for the liberation of the entire nation.
|Those Eritreans who so gallantly sacrificed themselves on the battlefield did not die in vain. Their |
children stand today as living reminders of the determination of the people of Eritrea to maintain
the unity of Ethiopia in freedom. When the invader was driven from Our nation by the combined
efforts of Eritreans and Ethiopians alike, the international political situation was such that,
unfortunately, no measure of Eritrean unity with Ethiopia could be immediately attained. Thus We
were compelled to continue Our struggle for an additional decade before Eritrea was returned to
its motherland. With the blessing of Almighty God, Our just efforts and struggles came to fruition,
just 10 years ago, in Eritrea's federation with the rest of Ethiopia -- although this particular form of
association was not that for which We had struggled, and it had been requested by no one.
Nonetheless, because of the world political situation then prevailing, the people of Eritrea, through
their elected representatives, acceded to the Federation, and upon Our approval the federal system
was put into operation and has continued to this day.
|In the last decade, the people of Eritrea have increasingly come to realize that the Federation, alien |
to their tradition and experience, was superfluous and unnecessary among people whose unity had
stood the test of time. Moreover, the operation of this system was necessarily beset by serious
difficulties which, among other consequences, tended to retard the pace of economic and social
development. As the years passed, the people of Eritrea repeatedly requested Us to abolish the
federal system and to re-establish the age-old integrity of Eritrea with the rest of Ethiopia We are
aware that many modern nations, including a number of major powers, do not accept the concept
of federalism for their own people and prefer instead a unitary form of government. We also know
that among those nations which have subscribed to the principle of federalism, many have been
compelled by the demands of the fast-moving modern age to adopt measures designed to mitigate
the adverse effects of this system upon the rate of progress of their people. But, nonetheless, We
have, in good faith, allowed this system, foreign to our history and experience, to function without
let or hinderance.
|The consequences of the past decade are known to all. The Federation instituted between the |
people of Eritrea and the rest of Ethiopia has tended to slow the speed of the economic and social
progress of the entire nation, including Eritrea.
The Federation has increasingly been manipulated as a ready-made tool through which the
enemies of Ethiopian and Eritrean progress and solidarity have endeavoured to further their evil
The Federation contains the inherent danger of creating misunderstandings among people who
have, for centuries past, experienced no problems in living together.
The Federation, by duplicating administrative apparatuses, has occasioned waste of both human
and material resources which could have been otherwise utilized for development purposes.
One is accordingly fully justified in concluding that the unfortunate consequences of this particular
form of federation and the needs of the age, and not any conscious effort on the part of the people
concerned, have brought abut its demise.
Any responsible person who has deliberated upon and examined carefully the unfortunate
consequences flowing from the federal system under consideration will feel no surprise that the
people of Eritrea, who have had the misfortune of being directly subjected to its adverse
consequences, have urged and pleaded that it be eliminated and replaced by a unitary form of
administration. The steps We are now about to take, therefore, merely confirm and implement the
result which the natural solidarity of the Ethiopian peopole and their wise desire for closer
collaboration hs already brought about.
The people of Eritrea, through their representatives gathered together in the Eritrean Assembly,
recognizing the harmful consequences of the operation of the federal system through the
experience of the past decade, desirous of living together with their other Ethiopian brothers
without hinderance or obstacle, have formally requested, by their resolution voluntarily and
unanimously adopted on November 14, 1962, that the federation be dissolved. In its place, they
have asked for the complete administrative integration of Eritrea with the rest of Ethiopia in order
to facilitate and speed the economic growth and development of the nation. We have accepted this
resolution and have consented to its being placed into effect.
The human rights and fundamental freedoms contained in the former Constitutions of Eritrea are,
equally, important provisions existing in the Constitution which We promulgated for Ethiopia in
1955. The people of Ethiopia have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy these basic freedoms, and
they shall continue to be protected zealously. All rights, privileges, concessions and exemptions of
whatever nature granted to persons or companies within Eritrea, whether foreign or national, are
sacred obligations which will not be impaired or affected in any manner.
|In Our Throne Speech of November 2, 1962, We spoke of measures under consideration whereby |
administrative authority will be delegated to local administrations to direct their own activities in
such designated fields as education, health, transport, communications and so on. Until such time
as these measures have entered into force and are fully implemented and until the laws and
regulations now in force in Eritrea are revised and replaced, existing Eritrean legislation will
Throughout Our nation's history, the Ethiopian people have spared no sacrifice to maintain their
unity and independence. Today, closer and more united than ever, they stand ready to guard,
jealously and gallantly, this unity and independence in their peaceful and determined march
towards progress and prosperity. We thank Our people of Eritrea who, guided by a deep sense of
patriotism and unity, have laboured without cease to bring about this advancement. We vow
before God tha, as We have repeatedly stated, We shall spare no effort to secure the happiness and
advancement of Our people.
We are thankful to Almighty God Who, through His Grace, has spared Us to see this day.
|Haile Selassie the First - November 16, 1962|