BBC on Capt Mamo Habtewold : An Ethiopian Hero of the Korean War

Sixty years ago, Ethiopia was at war. Not in Africa, but thousands of miles away in Korea. This is the story of [Capt Mamo Habtewold] one Ethiopian officer who won a US gallantry award. (BBC)

BBC News Magazine

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.

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