Italian Colonisation of Somalia, by Leone Fideli Iraci

Italian Colonisation of Somalia, by Leone Fideli Iraci
Reprinted from Africa Quarterly, April - June 1968, Vol VIII, No. 1

Pamphlet, 8 pages (pagination continued from journal). (S8295BKWSO)

From the first page: The Italian conquest did not rapidly bring about great changes in the traditi nal Somali society. Though, from the beginning, grandiose plans peculiar to the colonial age had been propagated in Italy, the real forces which led to the conquest of Somalia were greatly opposed to the object of a real capitalist colonization. Actually, the Government of the Kingdom of Italy wanted to get control of the Somali coast mainly as an outlet for the empire Crispi thought he had acquired in Ethiopia by means of the Uccialli treaty. 

There figured as both the instrument and the beneficiary of the occupation a pre-industrial Mediterranean capitalist concern that was an organism which still belonged to pre-industrial Italy. Moreover, only in a certain sense can we speak of the Italian conquest of Somalia at the end of the 19th century'. The Italian State was mainly anxious to secure a mortgage on the Somaliland coast in order to preclude its occupation by any other European country rather than to carry out a real occupation. Certainly, the fact that the treaties made with the existing local powers do not mention any alienation of sovereign rights over the territory is not a determinant because such was the use-or abuse-then considered proper. 

A real military occupation had not even been attempted at that time. Both the assignment of the Benadir ports by the Sultanate of Zanzibar and the promotion to Protectorate-for a long time purely nominal-of the Sultanates of northern Somalia should serve to forestall the occupation of those territories by other European States and to ensure control of their trade to some extent. "What the Italian Govern­ment had in view," it has been said, "and what determined its line of action was peacefully to subject the Somaliland territory to Italian influ­ence by granting the civil administration (under Government protection and control) to a private company, thus relieving the nation of any direct responsibility." I n this way the danger that other nations might take possession of the Somali coast and thereby force a passage to Ethiopia was averted; at the same time, possession of a large, exceptionally fertile territory was secured for Italy....

Condition of the booklet is generally ok. The cover has some minor scuffs, and light wear, creasing and yellowing along the edges and corners, but the staple spine is intact and all pages are intact, unblemished and bound. There is further yellowing and small blemishing to the rear side cover.