By Alex Last
In 1951, the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, decided to send thousands of troops to fight as part of the American-led UN force supporting South Korea against the communist North and its ally, China.
They were called the Kagnew battalions and were drawn from Haile Selassie’s Imperial Bodyguard – Ethiopia’s elite troops.
Capt Mamo Habtewold, now 81 years old, was then a young lieutenant in the 3rd Kagnew Battalion. He clearly remembers a send-off from the Emperor himself, as he was about to leave for the other side of the world.