|Speech To The Harar Military Academy|
Oct. 03, 1960
|... Educated for war, you must struve to preserve peace ...|
|We have been blessed, during Our lifetime, in having been spared to see the fruits of the labours |
which We have expended on behalf of the advancement and progress of Our beloved country
bloom and ripen before Our very eyes. In the decades which have passed since, by the Grace of
Almighty God, We were called to the throne of this, Our Empire, We have seen Our country grow
and flourish, We have seen Ethiopia emerge free and victorious from the trials and oppressions of
the period of invasion, We have witnessed succeeding generations of the youth of Our Empire
come of age and rededicated themselves to the cause of their Motherland. And each year, We have
been fortunate indeed in that We have seen the fulfilment of old dreams, the attainment of goals
established long ago.
One such event We celebrate today, when the first class of officer cadets, educated at the Haile
Selassie I Academy graduate from this institution to take their place in the Officer Corps of the
Imperial Ethiopian Armed Forces. This is a proud day indeed, and grateful thanks are due to all
who have in any way contributed to this achievement; those who assisted Us in the planning of the
project; the Officiers of Our Army who have co-operated in the operation of the Academy; Brigadier
Rawlley and the officers of the Indian Army and the Indian civilians who have toiled so selflessly in
the education of these cadets; the Indian Government, which so generously placed these
instructors at the Academy's disposal.
When We first decided to staff this Academy with Indian Officers, it was Our sincere belief that they
would do their utmost to meet Our desire. We thank General Thimayya for his kind remarks and
for the advice he has given to the Cadets.
In the midst of these celebrations, We would only add some words concerning the significance of
this day for the graduates who are filed here before Us. To you new officers now falls a high
measure of responsibility for the protection of your country, which has made such great sacrifices
on your behalf, against any enemy, coming from whatever quarter, who would harm her or rob her
people of the precious gift of freedom in defence of which your forefathers sacrificailly shed their
blood. Just as life is characterized by pleasure and pain, in the fulfilment of your high mission you
will inevitably encounter both of these attributes.
To discharge this duty, you must at all times maintain yourselves at the peak of metnal and
physical standard. You must be loyal, of high moral character and cultivate the habit of eternal
vigilance. You must be courageous in the face of danger and tireless on the field of battle. You
must inspire confidence in those you lead and show them, by your example, that the defence of
their Motherland is paramount and must be placed above all else.
But another, equally important, responsibility will be yours in the years to come. For, although
you have been trained for warfare and battle, you must strive, by all honourable means at your
disposal, to assure that these circumstances which will call into action the very skills and
techniques in which you have been trained never come into existence. Educated for war, you must
strive to preserve peace. Warfare never had made and can never make an affirmative contribution
to the welfare of mankind; good cannot grow out of evil. Ethiopia has, during the lifetime of almost
all here present, been visited by the horrors of modern warfare, and the memories and scars which
it left upon Our country are vivid and visible for all to see.
But, as terrible as the war was, many hundredfold worse would be warfare at this time; indeed
warfare today would threaten the very existence of mankind. Were it possible effectively to outlaw
war, no right-thinking person would hesitate even for a moment in doing so. If it is not possible to
do so today, it is only because mankind, despite the lessons of history, has not yet learned to settle
disputes among peoples and nations by peaceful means. This also, must be your task and your
goal in your future careers.
|The power to wage war, then, is a dreadful one. As you advance in years, in rank and We trust, in |
wisdom, do not be corrupted by this power. At the present time the representatives of 98 nations
are meeting in the United Nations General Assembly to find an answer to one of the most cherished
dreams of mankind, that of peaceful disarmament, and to remedy the many causes that have so far
divided the nations of the world. Because of the divergence among the big powers on
disarmament and other world issues, however, our planet is torn between conflicting interests.
Were the wishes of the smaller nations given their rightful consideration, this state of affairs would
have yielded to the necessary solution. Since these smaller nations do not possess the power to
implement their recommendations, their advice has thus far gone unheeded. Nevertheless,
because mankind cannot abandon hope the struggle must continue. In the present session of the
General Assembly We understand that a group of leaders such as Prime Minister Nehru are trying
to find a compromise to bring the two opposing blocs together. Since We subscribe in principle to
the same vein of though, We hope that something fruitful will result from their endeavours.
It is in support of the principle of collective security that We have dispatched Our troops to the
Congo under the auspices of the United Nations to maintain law and order and to preserve the
integrity of the new Republic, without interference in the internal affairs of that country. The fact is
that these troops have encountered certain obstacles in the execution of their duties.
The Congo problem has not as yet been resolved not only because of the East-West conflict but as
well because of the lack of solidarity among the Independent African States. This absence of
solidarity and the East-West divergence on the issue has created a regrettable and painful
situation. In this the Congolese people in particular must suffer the consequences, but, in the final
analysis, it is detrimental to the whole of Africa.
While We do not anticipate that these observations and circumstances would encompass you or
future generations, We have cited them so that in the execution of your future duties which will not
be limited only to the military field, if they occur, you will be able to evaluate them and be in a
better position to undertake your responsibilities. You should continue without fail to broaden
and develop your knowledge. For a person who claims to know everything, as the Scriptures say,
is like "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal."
Use your knowledge for good, to preserve peace among men. Your prayers today should be
two-fold. First, that never, during your lifetime will you ever be called upon to fire a shot in battle;
secondly, if you are required to do so, that you will acquit yourselves well in the hoary Ethiopian
We extend warm greetings to the Military Representatives of friendly countries who, in response
to Our invitation, have come here today to partake with Us in the joy of this event.
|Haile Selassie the First - October 3, 1960|