Amba Aradam

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Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam is located in Ethiopia
Amba Aradam
Amba Aradam
Location in Ethiopia
Highest point
Elevation 2,756 m (9,042 ft)
Coordinates 13°20′N 39°31′E / 13.333°N 39.517°E / 13.333; 39.517Coordinates: 13°20′N 39°31′E / 13.333°N 39.517°E / 13.333; 39.517
Location Debub Misraqawi Zone, Tigray Region, Ethiopia

Amba Aradam is a mountain in northern Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Misraqawi (Southeastern) Zone of the Tigray Region, between Mek'ele and Addis Abeba, it has a latitude and longitude of 13°20′N 39°31′E / 13.333°N 39.517°E / 13.333; 39.517 and an elevation of 2,756 metres (9,042 ft). The mount is famous for the Battle of Enderta that the Italians fought in order to capture Amba Aradam on 15 February 1936, and for the massacre three years later, as an action against the Arbegnoch, or Ethiopian partisans.


Between 9–11 April 1939, a group of Arbegnoch, led by Abebe Aregai, had taken refuge in the Amezena Washa (Cavern of the Rebels), which was in Amba Aradam. The party included members of the Arbegnoch, but also their relatives, wounded, and other refugee non-combatants.

On 9 April 1939, the chemical platoon of the Granatieri di Savoia Division attacked the Arbegnoch using bombs with poison gas, killing most of those inside. Only fifteen persons succeeded in escaping from the cave. Those who continued the resistance inside the cave were killed with flamethrowers. The extent of the cave made it difficult to explore for the remaining members of the resistance who were still within, so the Italian military command gave the order to seal it with explosives:[1]

Si prevede che fetore cadaveri et carogne impediscano portare at termine esplorazione caverna che in questo sarà ostruita facendo brillare mine

— Telegramma del Governo Generale


  1. ^ (in Italian) Paolo Rumiz, "Etiopia: quella strage fascista mai raccontata"La Repubblica, 22 Maggio 2006.