Panel to honor Emperor Haile Selassie cancelled
A panel discussion to explore Emperor Haile Selassie’s role and Ethiopia’s contribution to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), a precursor to the AU, was abruptly cancelled. The panel, planned to quell a controversy over a lack of credit by the ruling party for the Emperor, was to have been held at Old Plenary Hall of the African Union here in Addis Ababa this weekend as part of the 50th anniversary of OAU. The organizer, Hailesellasie I Memorial Foundation, said scheduling conflicts of the panelists had caused the cancellation.
The program had been scheduled to be chaired by Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president and was to be attended by a distinguished list of panelists such as former president of the Addis Abeba University, professor Andreas Eshete, a lawyer and senior official during the Imperial era, Teshome G. Mariam, former mayor during the caretaker administration of Addis Abeba, Brehane Deressa, and former head of Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency, Selome Tadesse.
Many Ethiopians are voicing frustration over the disregard for Emperor Haile Selassie’s role and contribution during the OAU’s establishment as well as supporting the liberation struggles of many African countries.