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The 65th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War will be commemorated in Addis from June 4-7th 2018 by bringing together both Ethiopian and French patriots who fought in support of South Korea during the Korean war.
Thirteen French veterans of this multinational operation will be welcomed in Addis Ababa and will meet with their Ethiopian brothers in arms, members of the Kagnew Battalion, which was sent to Korea in 1951 by the Emperor Haile Selassie said Col S. Richou, Defense Attaché at the French Embassy.
The French Embassy in Addis Ababa in collaboration with the Ethiopian section of the Legion d’Honneur society and the associations of Korean War Veterans of both France and Ethiopia will commemorate the French and Ethiopian joint involvement in the first United Nations peacekeeping operation in Korea.
Next Tuesday both patriots will visit the Korean Patriot Memorial near Afencho Ber.
A military ceremony at the Peace-Keeping Main Department, a conference at the Alliance ethio-francaise to share experiences and to talk with students and researchers are scheduled as part of the commemoration.
The Korean War started in 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. A multinational force was deployed with a United Nations Security Council mandate to provide assistance to the Republic of Korea to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security to the area. Due to the alphabetic order of their country name, French and Ethiopian battalions often replaced each other on the battlefield, as during the famous battle of Crèvecoeur (summer 1951).
The division of Korea occurred at the end of World War II in 1945, and tensions erupted into the Korean War in 1950. During the Cold War, North Korea was backed by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist states, and South Korea was backed by the United States and its allies.
“Many French and Ethiopian companies have partnered to strengthen the memory of our heroes engaged for peace and freedom in Korea. They have joined their effort with the French Ministry of National Defence, the Ethiopian Section of Legion d’Honneur Society and both war veteran associations. This event must be seen as another building block in the fantastic work done by Seongchan Do for many years to pay tribute to the Ethiopian War veterans,” said Col S. Richou, at a press conference held on Tuesday May 29.
“This commemoration also underlines the significant commitment of Ethiopia in peacekeeping operations together with other countries all around the world; Ethiopia is indeed one of the first countries in the world to provide peacekeepers,” he noted.
Today, the 188 veterans of the Kagnew Battalion are grouped in an association, headed by Colonel Melesse Tessema.