765.84/4559: Telegram

The Chargé in Italy (Kirk) to the Secretary of State53

189. My 171, May 18, 4 p.m. Lieutenant Colonel del Valle, Assistant Naval Attaché to this Embassy, has just returned from East Africa and submits the following information based on his observations there:

Colonel del Valle was with Graziani’s army from April 4 to May 15, 1936, and visited the following localities: Mogadiscio, Merca, Obbia, Villa Gioabruzzi, Afgoi, Beletven, Gorrahei, Galredare, Hamanlei, Sassbaneh, Jijiga, Harrar and Diredawa, proceeding by rail to Djibouti from the latter place. At the time of his departure effective opposition had ceased and the Italian forces were in complete control of the areas visited. Bands of Ethiopian soldiery were being gradually persuaded to turn in their arms; the Italians pursuing a most conciliatory policy even paying for their arms and arranging for their repatriation to their homes. General Graziani was planning the occupation of the region south and southeast of Addis Ababa by advancing from Neghelli along the main trail between Magola and Addis Ababa. It is estimated that no opposition of a serious nature will be encountered. Undoubtedly small armed bands will continue to exercise brigandage in the more remote section for some time to come but the suppression of these movements will be in the nature of police measures.

While military commanders exercised supreme authority in the area visited, civil officials were already beginning to function at the time of Colonel del Valle’s departure and law and order were being restored. Contact with the natives was almost entirely through the civilian officials. People were returning to the towns and some modicum of commerce was beginning.

Colonel del Valle is now preparing and will submit a complete report.

  1. Substance of this telegram transmitted to the Minister Resident in Ethiopia as Department’s No. 265, June 4, 5 p.m.