Africa’s diplomatic capital Addis Ababa pays tribute to veteran struggle Mlangeni

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Africa’s diplomatic capital, Addis Ababa, has been remembering anti-apartheid activist, Andrew Mlangeni, who died at the age of 95. Mlangeni lived in Ethiopia in 1961, where he received military training.

Andrew Mlangeni received military training in Ethiopia alongside the late President Nelson Mandela in the 1960s.

They were trained on guerrilla warfare on how to commit acts of sabotage; on military science; on how to run an army and how to use a gun, among other military tactics.

At that time, Ethiopia was ruled by Emperor Haile Selassie.

The training of the two South African anti-apartheid campaigners paved the way for a strong bilateral relationship between Ethiopia and South Africa in later years.

While they were incarcerated in 1963, Emperor Haile Selassie and other African leaders formed the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa.

The organisation campaigned for the independence of South Africa and other African countries.

African harbours were closed to the South African government, and South African aircrafts were prohibited from flying over the rest of the continent.

Pressure was also put on the World Health Organisation to remove the South African government from its membership.

The independence of South Africa from Apartheid rule in 1992 was considered a victory for the continent.

On Wednesday, the memories of South Africa’s liberation struggle remain alive in Ethiopia.

When he appeared in public for the first time in 2018, after assuming power, Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was wearing a t-shirt with the face of Nelson Mandela.

At the African Union Commission Headquarters, the plenary hall where summits are held is named after Nelson Mandela.

SABC’s Coletta Wanjohi looks at the role Ethiopia has played more broadly in South Africa’s liberation struggle: