ABOUT THE BOOK:
An early work (perhaps one of the earliest works) to deal with the administration of Italian Somaliland. Ex-Italian Somaliland describes the struggle of Somaliland under the Italian government, who encouraged traffic of slaves, evicted people from their land, and eventually used the colony as a base of aggression against Ethiopia, as the author explains.
Some of the main themes the author unpacks is;
- initial European colonialism at the coast of Somalia,
- The dealing and treaties by the colonials in asserting authority,
- The Sayyid and his movement in hampering above colonial dreams,
- Italian allowance or 'legalisation of slavery'
- The Wal Wal incident
- The Italian defeat of WWII and its consequence,
- The origin and aspirations of the SYL,
- The return of the Italians under the UN Trusteeship,
- European (and Italian) acceptance of Ethiopian authority as a buffer for future conflicts in the Horn,
and much more.....
It is noteworthy mentioning that the work although anti Italian—and by extension at least friendly towards British interest—is definitely propagator for Ethiopian interest of the day, and definitely in hindsight one can see the result today. Noteworthy is though her stance towards the Sayyid and his Darawish, an account she could have easily known first hand or at least from eye witness account.
Definitely good read and even better reference work on a crucial Somali period of Pan-Somalism and anti colonial aspirations, for Somalis as well as for Eastern Africans.
ABOUT THE AUTHER:
Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst (5 May 1882 – 27 September 1960) was an English campaigner for the suffragette movement in the United Kingdom. She was for a time a prominent left communist who then devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism, in which the above title is homage to.
She was from elite family of politicians who wielded prominently great amount of influence. But she deviated from that path and had views contrary to her Victorian upbringing and as such she was imprisoned several times for her protests and publications.
She was an staunch supporter of the Ethiopian cause, campaigning and arguing for union between the Somali and Ethiopian territories, under Ethiopian administration. Seems that British acquisition of the Hawd and reserved area might have been (at least a lesson) influenced.
She responded to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia by publishing The New Times and Ethiopia News from 1936, and became a supporter of Haile Selassie. She raised funds for Ethiopia's first teaching hospital, and wrote extensively on Ethiopian art and culture; her research was published as Ethiopia, a Cultural History (London: Lalibela House, 1955). From 1936, MI5 kept a watch on Pankhurst's correspondence. In 1940, she wrote to Viscount Swinton as the chairman of a committee investigating Fifth Columnists, sending him a list of active Fascists still at large and of anti-Fascists who had been interned. A copy of this letter on MI5's file carries a note in Swinton's hand reading "I should think a most doubtful source of information."
She later moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1956 at the request of Emperor Haile Selassie wherein she died in 1960, at the age of 78 receiving a full state funeral. She is the only foreigner known to be buried in front of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, apparently for a section reserved for Ethiopian patriots of the Italian-Ethiopian wars. Much of what she wrote in defence of Ethiopia was against the Italians and not necessarily the British not the French!