Asked by NourHistory ๐Ÿ•Œ

How did the WalWal incident lead to or impact the severity of the Abyssinian Crisis?

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Felicia Jones

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In 1930 the Italians built a fort at Wal Wal, inside the Abyssinian border. Despite this breaking agreements of friendship with the Abyssinian government both sides maintained that there was no aggression between the nations. Over the coming years the Italians built up their military presence in the area. On November 22nd 1934 an Ethiopian force of some 1000 men arrived at the fort at Wal Wal and demanded that the fort be handed over to them. On December the 5th/6th there was a skirmish between the Abyssinian and Italian forces, both sides blaming the other for the fighting. On October 3rd 1935 Italian troops invaded Abyssinia from Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. The League of Nations stated that Italy were the agressors and imposed limited sanctions - they failed to place sanctions on Oil which was needed to enable the continuation of war. Sanctions were not increased or universally applied, even after it emerged that Italian forces were making use of Chemical weapons against civilians. Instead of imposing sanctions the British and French foreign ministers came up with the Hoare-Laval Pact. This pact would end the war but would grant Italy large areas of Abyssinia. When news of the plan was leaked to the press there was a public outcry and both men resigned and it was not implemented. The war continued until May 1936, when Abyssinia became part of the Italian Empire.

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