The Treaty of Addis Ababa
, signed 23 October 1896, formally ended the First Italo–Ethiopian War
on terms mostly favorable to Ethiopia
. This treaty superseded a secret agreement between Ethiopia and Italy
negotiated days after the decisive Battle of Adowa
in March of the same year, in which Ethiopian forces commanded by Menelek II
defeated the Italians.Harold Marcus, The Life and Times of Menelik II: Ethiopia 1844-1913
(Lawrenceville: Red Sea Press, 1995), pp. 174-177 The most important concession the Italians made was the abrogation of the Treaty of Wuchale
and recognizing Ethiopia as an independent country.
Following the conclusion of this treaty and before the end of the next calendar year, the United Kingdom
, which had colonial possessions bordering Ethiopia, also concluded treaties with Ethiopia which treated her as an equal. The treaty with France was signed in late January 1897, while the treaty with England
was signed 14 May 1897.
Negotiating the treaty
In the Italian
text of the Treaty of Wuchale, Ethiopia was obliged to conduct all foreign affairs through Italy, which effectively made Ethiopia an Italian protectorate, while the Amharic version merely gave Ethiopia the option of communicating with third powers through the Italian government. Learning of this divergence from the Amharic
text, Emperor Menelik believed he had been deceived by the Italians; this had led to the war between the two countries. Moreover, the Italians... Read More