Thousands of Ethiopians flocked into the streets of Addis Ababa on Sunday (2 March) to celebrate the 79th anniversary of their country's defeat of an invading Italian army.
TGV PAN Procession along road
GV Warriors with spears in procession
SV Warrior dragging chained man
TGV PAN Procession arrives at theatre
TGV PAN Procession outside theatre
LV Leaders waving to crowd from front of theatre
LV Leaders entering theatre PAN TO crowd
GV Warriors waving to crowd from balcony of theatre (2 shots)
Initials ET/1645 ET/1649
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Background: Thousands of Ethiopians flocked into the streets of Addis Ababa on Sunday (2 March) to celebrate the 79th anniversary of their country's defeat of an invading Italian army.
Officials said that the anniversary was observed with unprecedented fervour, as the Government press emphasised the links between the nineteenth century battle and the present battle for the norther province of Eritrea.
More than 15,000 people turned out in the capital to watch tribesmen in traditional costumes and folklore groups re-enact the 1896 Battle of Adowa.
In that year the Ethiopian monarch, Menelik II, led his army to victory over an Italian force which had invaded from strongholds in Eritrea.
According to official sources, Adowa celebrations in previous years were low-key because deposed Emperor Haile Selassie felt the 1896 victory reflected on his own position in 1936, when Italy invaded again and he went into axile in Britain.
This year, the celebrations were used as a rallying point for public support for the Government's current battle to regain control of Eritrea form secessionist forces.
In Eritrea itself, there has been speculation what both sides are preparing for another battle over the strategic town of Keren.