Created: 7/25/1947

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HISTORICAL IIEVTCV? Central XoUUlgaocano. 46


The conflict of inWreeta'ln' Libya, Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland rakes the ultinate disposition of those colonies one of the most complex of the problems on which agreement Is being sought by the USSR, the UK, the US, and France. The possible repercussions of this conflict will be of long-range Importance.

Each of the Big Four has broad political and economic objectives ln Mediterranean Africa and the Near East. The capabilities of the Big Four for attaining their respective objectives depend Importantly on what ultimateis made of the Italian African colonics. Important as is this aspect of the matter, the Italian colonial issue Is also partore Importantthe future political orientation of the Italian State. (An attendingissue, which, will lino affect the tactics of concerned states ln striving for preferred positions in tho Italian colonies, is the outcome of Big Four efforts to implement the Italian Treaty provisions for the adminis -trotlon of Trieste.)

The relative urgency of the over-all Italian issue relegates the specific issue of the disposition of the Italian colonies to subsidiary status, not because the latter is unimportant, but because the sequence of future developments ln Italy will In part govern the stand taken by the Big Four Powers ln their efforts to dispone of the colonies. Because the nature of future developments ln Italy is presently obscure. Big Pour tacticsto further respective broad objectives by capitalizing on the Italian colonial issue are still in part unformulated. Therefore, while it is Doe-Bible to consider significant aspects attending the disposition of theAfrican colonies, their interdependence with developments in Italy must constantly be kept in mind.

Tho lmroediatc significance of the Italian African colonies to the security of the US lies in the fact that their disposition has Importantaffecting the present critical relations between thc Soviet Union and the Western Powers. ong-range point of view,heare important to US security because of their proximity to theNear East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean areas, where theof US objectives requires administrations which are stable and favorably disposed toward the US.

Politically, the attainment of these conditions depends on the cs-tabliahment or continuance in power of politics in the Near East which will support the Western Powers now represented in this area, while providing for the orderly recognition of the legitimate aspirations of native elements.

A corollary or thla la lhe exclusion fron the Near East and contiguousof any power which desires Instability or seeks to alienate elements presently neutral or favorably disposed to thc Western Powcre. The only rajor power with present Intentions to exploit potential threats to the security of the Western Power* is the USSR; and Soviet capabilities forInstability ln the Middle Eaat dependonsiderable extent on thc opportunities arising from the disposition of the Italian African colonics.

The security of the US can be threatened by the adverse reactionor groups who feel that their legitimate interests have not beensafeguarded ln any agreement to dispose of the colonies. Arabof British and French efforts toolicy of Imperialismby the US stand on thc Palestine problcnjituationexplosive characteristics, which could result in localthe Western Powers. The Arab League could be expected lo giveto such local uprisings, and non-aelf-governing territories,those predominantly Moslem, could be expected to respond to Arabby intensifying already existing efforts by local nationalistthrow off foreign

A disposition of the colonies which would reinforce the British and French positions wouldeaken the United Nations to the extent that, subsequent to thc peace settlement, thc colonies were not brought under the International Trusteeship System as clearly contemplated by the UN Charter,e construed, by non-colonial powers and non-self-governing groups,reach of international coaxnitmenla regarding the welfare of native On the other hand, an agreement providing fcr Innedlate or near-future independence for the colonies would jeopardize US objectives byweakening the position of the UK and Prance. isposition of the colonics in which Italy would have no participation would wealem theanti-Cociriunisi Italian Governmentime when the US seeks to strengthen it by political and economic assistance.


Economically, the Italian African colonies per se have nowith respect to US security. Indirectly, byinor outlet for Italian emigrantsimited opportunity for foreign trade, Libya be used as an instrument to advance US economic objectives in Italy.

Militarily, the Italian African colonies are of Importance to US security by reason of their location,ondition of the use of thefor military purposes is thc protection of lines of communication to these areasilitary power capable of aggressive warfare. Occupying central position ln North Africa, Libya has an extensive, irregular coastli or. the Mediterranean (with one major and two minor portsj, and vast desert stretches which separate Egypt from Northwest Africa and make Libya difficult of access from thc south. The establishment of land, sea, and air bases in Libyaower capable of aggressive warfare would eitherhreat to French interests in Algeria and Tunisia, to British interests in trie Mediterranean, to Italy, to Egypt and the Suer Canal, to Greece, and to


am ruacue Bast areas and theli

remote location precludes attaching to then any importance In possibleoperations in Northwest Africa. However, Italian Somnliland and Eritrea, as well as Libya, flank the lines of conrnunieatlon by sea or air between Southeast Asia and the countries of Western Europe. In addition, Somali land and Eritrea would. In the handsilitary power capable of aggressivethreaten the security of Ethiopia, the British and Trench Somalilands, the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and Kenya (theocal point in British plans for an African defense system subsequent to British withdrawal from Egypt).

British and French objectives in thc North Africa-Near East area are not dissimilar, and, except for traditional tendencies to take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the status quo, the aims of these governments arc

not contrary to US aims. The UK and France now realise that their respective positions with regard to non-self-governing territories can be materiallyby mutual support. The UK seeks to offset loss of influence andin Egypl and Palestine by strengthening its position in East Africa and in Libya. France seeks to avert any uprising in French North Africa, and also resists any attempts to weaken its colonial position relative to that of the UK; hence French opposition lo any disposition of Libya favoringindependence, and French reluctance tolan providing for paramount British participation in administration of the Italian colonies. In any case the French chiefly fear any radical change in status of theAfrican coloniesrecedent damaging to France; hence the strong French support of Italy's claim to its pre-war colonies.

To bar


Italian aims are based on the need of the present administration to use all possible means of achieving political stability and economicwithin Italy. The contributions toward these objectives resultingeturn of the Italian colonies to Italy, either outright orN trusteeship, are envisaged by the Italian Government to beise in the national prestige, strengthening Italy's position in Its foreignisie in popular morale, which was broughtow ebb by what Italiansnrsh peace: and (jj an increase in opportunities, how-verfor strengthening the nation's economy. eturn of the colonies to Italy (or the designation of Italy as administering authorityrust territory under the UN) wouldefinite contribution to Italian morale and political stability, this consideration will probably not be decisive in maintaining the present antl-Coimunist administration in Italy. To ba Italy from participation would, however, nullify to some extent theuiting Iron US assistance by other means.

including Libya. While the ArabUndCr fore"!n

toposit.on or theToZ,^


opportunity toub rosa campaign among non-self-governing peoples against the "bourgeois imperialists of the West".

In view of the above considerations, it is estimatede USSR Is now in an apparently strong position to achieve political gains, no matter what ultimate disposition la made of the Italian colonies. But the USSR can not presently profitably espouse either the Italian Corrrnunlst or the Arab states to join an issue which isinor one when compared to the major issue: the future political complexion of the Italian state. interdependent factors In this major issue ore the ratification of tne Italian Peace Treaty and the Marshall aid program for Europe, the latter of which has Increased Soviet reluctance to ratify any of the peace treatiesSoviet control of satellite countries has been firmly established.

If il is assumed that the fate of Italy can be settled underwhich will permit an eventual implementation of theontinuation of active participation by the USSR in UNUSSR will seek to resolve the Italian colonial issue by compromiseCouncil of Foreign Ministers, thus avoiding any prolonged debate inGeneral Assembly subsequent to the referral of the issue to that bodvBig

If it cannot be assumed thai the Italian Treaty will be ratified and that Soviet participation in UN activities will continue, the Italian African colonies in terms or their effect on US security will be relaiivel unimportant, and their disposition determined without reference to Soviet demands, but in the light of the then existing positions of the Western Powtrs.

Additional information concerning the Italian African colonies is contained in the following Enclosures hereto:

resent Status of the Italian African Coloniesroposals Tor Dispositionackground in Briefelective Bibliography




The Italian colonies of Libya, Eritrea, and Somali land are atadministered by the British forces in occupation. ortion of Libya (the Fezzanl la administerede facto French military administration.

Provisions for their ultimate disposal are contained in the Treaty of Peace with Italy Idated, in which Italy renounces all right and title to the colonies. The USER, the UK, the US, and France are committed Jointly to determine the final disposal of the colonies within one year from the coming into force of the Treaty (imnedlatcly upon the deposit of thc instruments of ratification by the Big Four). Disposal is to be radethe light of the wishes and welfare of the inhabitants and the interests of peace and security, taking into consideration the views of the interested governments". If the Four Powers are unable to agree within the specified line, "the matter shall be referred to the General Assembly of the United Nationsccommendnticn, and iht Four Powers agree to accept theand to take appropriate measures for giving effect to if.

To date the US, the UK, and France have ratified the Treaty, but have not deposited the ratifying instruments. Onuly, the Constituent Assembly voted approval of ratification by the Italian Government, provided such action followed ratification by all the Big Four Powers. The USSR has not ratified the Treaty, and favors delaying the deposit of the instruments of ratification until all signatories are ready to deposit ratifications of the peace treaties for Ru.iar.ia, Hungary, Bulgaria, androcedure which might delay entry into force of the Italian treaty for an Indefinite period.




Libya's importance in world strategy was clearly demonstrated, and in any future operationsimilar scale the major powers would realize the importance of the control of Libya and the need of denying it to hostile powers. Since Libya Is of small importance economically, the strategicis the main motive in present negotiations.

The powers must also keep in mind the effect the ultimate disposition of the colonies will have on public opinion in Italy, the Arab States, thethemselves, and in other non-self-governing areas, notably French North Africa. Although Italy profited strategically, it never really profitedby its possession of Eritrea and Italian Somoliland; hence the loss of these territories would provoke but limited resentment inibyc. however, "as of some actual importance to the Italians, and its loss would occasion intense general resentment. Should the USSR support Italian clairfi and ihey should be denied, the USSR could be counted on to exploit this Any gesture of support for the Arab States would help build up Arab good will. The aspirations of natives and European residents,in Libya,must be taken into consideration in view of the presentof the populations and the efforts of Communists to exploit discontent.

Though Italy, by signing the peace treaty onenounced its right to itshe Italian Government has requested aover them, basing the case on the fact that Italy was subsequentlyco-belligerent status by the Allies: that all three colonies were acquired before the rise of Fascism: that Libya before the war had become an integral part of Italian economy; that the colonies were developed through Italian effort: and that many Italians have migrated there.

The French support the Italian claim as the best solution from their own point of view. The French are keenly aware that any settlement in Libya will affect the situation in French North Africa, where there is attrong independence movement promoted in part, but not consistently, by Cor.-munist agents. If Libya were granted independence as the British at one time proposed, the agitationimilar status in French North Africa would be dangerously aggravated. Even the provision in the US trusteeship proposal that allows for independence in ten years would give an encouragement toatives in French North Africa.

Equally unpalatable lo the French would be any of the various Arab prc:.os-als such as an Egyptian or an Arab League protectorate- Any such solution

See Articlef Italian Peace Treaty.

would encourage the Arabs in French North Africa to end French control.

In general, the French would prefer controluropean colonialhe Italians rather than the British because the French oppose any greator British power in Africa. The French intention is to get somein thc Fezzan area of Libya, in addition to the clear recognition that the boundaries of French West Arrlca and French Equatorial Africa with Libya land or French Soirnliland withre those preceding the5 agree-irciit between Laval and Mussolini.

British interest In Libya centers in Cyrenaica, which would make aBritish base for those about lo be abandoned in Egypt and Palestine. Britain's first proposal wasivision of the colony lnio its component parts, Cyrenaica and Tripolltania, each toeparate trusteeship. Then the British supported the US proposalollective UN trusteeship over Libya. But ln6 the British abandoned this position and recommended immediate independencenited Libya, The next month, however, lheagreedossible Italian trusteeship for Trlpolitania, if the UK wererusteeship over Cyrenaica. Recently itreported that lhe UK general staff is demanding bases in Cyrenaica as vital to current British mil-ilary plans for Africa. It la expected therefore that ihe British may againivided Libya. The British have steadily opposed Italianin part because of their warilme pledges to the Senussi in Cyrenaica that the Italians would never again return to control.

The USSR would favor any plan thai would mean an immediate or an eventual Soviel share in the control of Libya. With this in view, they haveivided Libya with an individual trusteeship for themselves over Trlpolitania. They have alsooint trusteeship with Italy over Trlpolitania, while one of the other powersoint trusteeship with Italy over Cyrenaica. Later the USSR supported the French proposal for Italian trusteeship over Libya.

Egypt has presented territorial claims to parts of Libya and haslebiscite to ascertain whether thc people of Libya would prefer to become independent, or to become .an integral or an autonomous pari of Egypt. Egypt also proposed that. If independence were impossible, Egypt or the Arabbe designated the administering authority, but full independence for Libya ray be assumed aa Egypt's first choice. The Arab League supports Egypt.

The US lias consistentlyroposal which is essentially the sore for all three colonics, involving multiple trusteeships, ln the cas- of Libya, tho Administrator of the trusteeship would be appointed by and be responsible to the Trusteeship Council of the UK and would be advisedommitteeof members rrom the US, USSR, UK. France, and Ilaly, as well asuropean inhabitant. After ten years, Libya would become indeper.


Economically, Eritreaiability to Italy before the war, and there is no prospect that it will ever become any more valuableolonial powerlace of settlement, as much of it is virtually unfit for white men. Its position on the Red Sea and in proximity to the Near East, however, must be given careful consideration.

The USSR and US have put forward multiple trusteeship plans for Eritrea that of the US being identical with its proposal for Libya with the exceptionerritorial cession would be made giving Ethiopia access to the sea through the port of As sab. The original Soviet plan was alsoultiple trusteeship, but the administrator would be appointed by "one of the fournd his deputy by the Italian Government. The Soviets now back the French plan for an individual Italian trusteeship. The first of the Soviet plans would obviously put the Soviets in position to exercise some, andconsiderable, control of the management of Eritrea; and the latter, If Soviet designs succeeded In Italy, would mean full control of the colony for the USSR. (The Soviets have shown an increased tendency to back Italian trusteeship for all the colonics.J

The British have generally supported the US trusteeship proposal and hove been particularly strong in opposition to the French stand favoring Italian trusteeship. Specifically, however, the British support the Ethiopian claimgreater part" of Eritrea.

The Kr it re an situation has been further complicated by the territorial claims of Egypt and Ethiopia. The Egyptians advance historical claims to hassawa and Eritrean territory contiguous to the Sudan, on the basis of which they believe it should be placed under the Jurisdiction of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. More important ore thc claims of Ethiopia, baaed on past possession of the territory, ethnic similarities, and the righting of an old wrong done Ethiopia by the Italians. At the Paris Peace Conference, Ethiopia had the support of Canada, Yugoslavia, China, and India in its claims. It isthat the addition of this territory would strengthen Ethiopia as aof the UN.


Strategic and economic considerations in respect to Italian Somali lane ao not differ materially from those affecting Eritrea.

In general, thc US has consistently supported multiple trusteeship though for Italian Somaliland there is no time lima or guarantee of eventual independence.

itv.i British- whJlcat supporting the US plan, later brought forward

* UnilCd Soml,land' including the Italian and British -ection and the Ethiopian Ogaden, allK trusteeship.

Falling to gain support for this plan, the British apparently abandoned their plan for Greater Somalia. British plans in East Africa depend on the future status of Cyrennlca. If the disposition of Cyrenalca makes it possible for the British to retain their position in the Mediterranean, then thefor developing their interests in Italian East Africa will be mitigated. However, If the disposition of Cyrenalca does not make It possible to retain their Mediterranean linehift to East Africa becomes necessary, the British may seriously consider reviving the Greater Somalia scheme or assuming trusteeship over Italian Somaliland.

France and the USSR have favored return to Italian trusteeship.

Ethiopia objects lo any trusteeship, including thai under the British plan, and has advanced territorial claims to the colony.



1. Physical Characteristics.

Libya, located on thc south coast of the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Tunisia on the Mediterranean-Far East supply route, has an areaquare Miles (six limes that of Italy). Its value is In its strategic position and relatively good harbor facilities, since economically it has only very limited agricultural resources, with no known important mineral deposits. Libya is divided Into three regions, Trlpolitanla, Cyrenaica and the Libyan desert, including Kufra. f the total area is non-productive,for settlement are limited. Of0 square miles0 square miles is arid grazing land unsuitable for any other0 square miles used for grazing and uncertain crops of barley in scattered patclics';quare miles suitable for static farming. Such farming is limited to the coastal strips of Tripoll-Misurata, and the plateau of Cyrenaica, which are separated byile wide strip of desert south of the Gulf of Sirte. Owing to the scant rainfall and the geologicalof the country, water supplies are poor; surface water is almostand there are no rivers. Hence development of irrigation is limited.

2. Population Characteristics.

The total population of Libya, concentrated almost entirel (BOX) in Lhe productive coastal areas, and decreasing from north to south into the desert. The coastal Gtrlp includes the five largest towns, Tripoli, Horns, Misurata, Benghasl and Derna, and most of the foreign population. About one-third of the total population is urban and two-thirds rural. ery small proportion is nomadic. (Even in the southern district of Fczian there are ap0 settled itihabitants asosed.) The Jewish pop ulation has been established for generations. The Italian population reached its)


and Berber


Jews Italians


Libyan Desert


Prior to Italian acquisitionibya, fromh century on was under Ottoman administration.

In theh Century scramble for African territory, Italy narked Libya for lis own, as the only North African area not already preempted by Prance or Britain, and by extensive bilateral bargaining secured quit claims from all thc major powers. Fearing that Turkish rule there might be rendered effective at long last, in consequence of the Turkish revolutiontaly made unprovoked war on Turkey1 in order to seize theit was too late. The outbreak of the Balkan) compelled Turkey to sue for peace, ceding the territory, but it took the Italians twenty years to complete the subjugation of the natives. 9 Italian control was limitedew coastal areas. The resistance of the Senussi, whose capital was at Kufra, was not subdued

8 onwards the Italian government made particular efforts to attract Italian settlers to Libya, with indifferent success, although small Italian ccciaunlties were by this means established in the more fertile coastal areas. Under Italian administration the territory was divided into twoTripolitania and Cyrenaica,eunited Libyarovince of metropolitan Italy.

Italian expansion before and under the Fascists was basedoncern for the balance of power in the Mediterranean. It was also hoped that Libya might help meet the need for raw materials and serve as an outlet for surplus population. Libya failed toource for raw materials and only byfiidnclal and moral support gave limited relief in thes toopulation pressure. Libya can absorb settlersimited scale but the annual Italian increase of population far exceeds Libya's total capac-

The nationalist spirit in Libya, evidenced by the continued Arabto Italian expansion efforts, appeared during World War II in several forms. Libyans in Cairo formed committees to work for the liberation and in-

LTribyan Arab Force, ra.sed

to fight with the British Arry in the western Desert.

After the defeat of the Axis forces inritish Militarywas set up in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania; the French continued to administer the Fezzan in the south of Libya, on area which they had earlier occupied. Libyan complainiB have been loud against British occupation forces centering at present around famine conditions which have resulted from coo' '

m aCCUSPd of "scrimi-vation treatingas

RoT* regarded as an ex-enem, country

L^ifZ*l Z the Italian penal ccde^s

SiH Tnet" Gained rU!Bh derendontne ground that they aret>

determirJ""final dispositionTSL

Arab feeling against, the Italians personally is not great, butof then as an administering force Is very extensive, especially in Cyrenaica. Although the entire Italian population of Cyrenaica wason the evacuation of enemy0 stayed on in Tripolitania during and after the war, 6ome in administrative positions, most of themin agriculture.

Arab-Jewish relations have been peaceful since the arrival of some Jews early in thc Christian era, and of others over the past several hundred years from other parts of the Mediterranean. Anti-Jewish riots tookrlpolitaniaut consisted largely of looting by unemployed and criminal elements against Jews as an economic ratheracial group.

Politically, conditions differ in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. The strongest political force in Cyrenaica, andertain extent inis that of the Senussl sect headed by El Sayyld Idris, grandson of its founder. But the ability of this group to provide some kind of governmental administration ln the area appears to be questionable, for the type ofcontrol which the Senussi might be able lo exercise would hardly amount to full governmental functions in the Western sense. Sayyid Idris, who is himself heavily subsidized by the British, apparently realizes that the material resources at his disposal would noi suffice for the country's needs as lo an effective administration. Unlens the country were permitted to relapse into some kind of primitive government incompatible with modern requirements,enussi administration for Cyrenaica alone would need some foreign support and, if reluctant to accept it at once, would be obligedhile to depend on it.

There is no other native stabilizing force in Libya aside from the Senussi movement. In Tripolitania, the Nationalist Party, headed by Salem Munlasscr, is Hie oldest, but is of little importance now. Ils aim is the independence of Libya under the Emirship of El Sayyid Idris. The United Front Party claim to representrabsith aims similar to those of lhe Nationalists. The Kutln Party separated from the Nationalists in protest at the formation of thc United Front Party. While ils main objectives parallel closely those of the other two parlies, there are these exceptions: (II Advocation of closer lies wlih the Arab League;ejection of the planemtvsi Emirate. Tie Egypt-Trlpolitanian Union, reported to be backed by Azzara Pasha. Secretary-General of ihe Arab League, has bul little support.

A real problem in any plan to place the function of government in the hands of indigenous elements is the almost complete lackrofessional class (although lo no greater extent than in Iraq and Trans-Jordan. The Nationalists distinguish between administrative officials, which they feel Ihey can supply, and professional and technical men, who can be hired from abroad until belter educational facilities have trained indigenous students to fill these posts.

It must be kept in mind that there are no indications of desire among the Libyan population toon-Moslem power take over the administration

of the country.


1 - Physical CMrecteriwticg.

Eritrea's area0 square miles falls into four naturalthe western plains and hill country: the central and northern mountain chain including an extension of thc Ethiopian plateau; the southern highlands, and the Red Sea coastal plain or desert. The countryiles ofalong the Red Sea, one of the world's most important traffic routes. Eritrea's port of Massawa is the best harbor between Port Sudan and Kcabassa. Only the central plateau around Asmara is fit for European habitation, the climate elsewhere being featured almost all of the year by intense heat and excessive humidity.

Because arable land is limited and rainfall uncertain, Eritrea can count on very little agricultural production. Thus populations of thc western, central, and Red Sea areas are nomadic or semi-nomadic; and the people of the southern highlands, who can raise food,resently import part of their requirement. No oil or workable deposits of iron, lead, manganese or copper have been found, and reports of pitchblende deposits are as yet unconfirmed. Gold, salt, sulphur, feldspar, and china clay are produced but not lnquantities. There is little likelihood that the country will ever be industrialized or that the prevailing unfavorable pre-war trade balance will change.

2. Population Characteristics.

The native populations heterogeneous. Based on religion the division is about equal between Moslems and Christian Copts. In addition there0 Italians who live mainly in Asmara. The Christian Copts are found largely on the south central plateau, which once formed the northern half of the Ethiopian province of Tigrai. and arc related ethnically, culturally and religiously to the inhabitants or that province. To the north and west of this plateau area liveern Amer tribe t, related to the Sudanese across the frontier. The rest of the Moslems live south of Massawa along the Red Sea coast, and are, for the most part, Danakils, related to the Somali tribes or Ethiopia and French Somaliland.

3. Recent Developments.

Afterh Century Eritrea was first under the shadowy suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire and then under that of Egypt, except for the southern

fiSieaU; WhlCn Starting with the annexation of Assam in

fter its purchaseative Sultan by an Italian steamship company

Italy,cries of treaties with native polentateo and other European powers, extended her rule to the port of Massawa and then occupied thc area between these two ports. 0 the Red Sea colonies were united by royal decree Into one province, under military administration, named the colony of Eritrea.

ivil administration was introduced into Eritrea and the colony made steady but rather slow progress. ettlers had arrived After the conquest of Ethiopiaritrea was made an integral part of the Italian East African Empire, and settlement The Italians0 "settlers'

British Imperial troops occupied Eritrea1 and large numbers of Italians were evacuated and repatriated. The Allies repaired the harbor of Massawa, wrecked by the Italians, and used it for supplying forces in Egypt. In addition,irfields were developed, most of which are now in poor condition, but could again be made serviceable. The colony has been under British Military Administration since the occupation.

Native feeling is anti-European. Most of tho Copts and Moslemsthe Italians because of the Fascist doctrine of racial superiority, and the conquest of Ethiopia. The majority of Moslems oppose rule by Coptic Christians and union with Ethiopia. The Eritrean Moslem League, containing some collaborationists who naturallyndependence, has been organized to place the Moslemsargaining position when the final disposition of the colony is mode. The Copts are divided into two main groups. Probably the most active of these groups is the Unionists, young Asmara intelligentsia who want outright Incorporation into Ethiopia, and are spreading propaganda to this effect, backed financially by the Ethiopian Government. The(orery recent bloc separated from the Unionists,ore liberal and educated mir.orily of Copts,ew Moslems who desire the incorporation of thento thc Ethiopian Empire as a ederated state.


1 Physical Characteristics.

Italian Somaliland extends frw- the Gulf of Aden southwest along the shore of the Indian Ocean0 "lies to the frontier of Kenya The territory runs inland from the coastepthiles,oundary, for tie most part entirely artificial, with British Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Kenya Colony. Almost all this boundary is on the edges of the Ethiopian plateau. Except on the pH.eau. the country has torridand little rainfall.

The territory is exceptionally deficient in natural resources of any valueolonizing nation. Most ofountry is hot. flat desert covered



with thorn Bcrub. Agricultureonfined to the two river valleys of the Juba and Web Shibeli. Nomadic tribes raise some cattle, but even this industry is limited by the prevalence of the tsetse fly in the south. Mineral deposits with the exception of salt, have been found too insignificant to merit There is one natural harbor in Kismayu and an artificial harbor constructed by the Italians, at Mogadishu, the capital.

The inhabitants hive always carriedrade in dressed skins, cattle, frankincense, myrhh, and gum arabic. In addition, the Italians,ried energetically torofitable agriculture, cotton being the principal crop cultivated. This was done, however, only through government subsidies, and the colony was always operated by tlx; Italiansonsiderable


The majority of thereranch of the Hani tic race. The same race inhabits the whole Somaliland area as well as southeast Ethiopia. There aretalians (almost all of themat MogadishuJcattering of Indians and Arabs.

Thc Somalis are Moslems, are divided into complex nomadic tribes, and arc constantly engaged In bloody feuds over thc water rights on which their nomadic existence depends. Little unity exists among them, nor is any likely to be achieved by them in the future.


outhern Somalia was leased to Italy by the Sultan ofand northern Somalia was put under Italian protection by treaties with native sultans. ubaland (the area between the present border of Kenya and the Juba River) was ceded to Italy by the British in settlement of tailor, claims in Africa arising from the Treaty of London. Italianwas incorporated into Italian East Africa6 and administered as one of the 3ix provinces of that Empire.

The area was occupied by British Imperial forces1 and has since been under British Military Administration. Italians have been perml-

Sn And .ndustnal production has ocen stimulated by British loans.

la. llve! Wwrally ant.-European and specificallyVrZf ,S hC IUUMPolicy" l'TWhalomal, women and

In any case, the natives do not have and arc inconable nf



Department of Stale

a. DRN InforBntion Holeated7ocuments pertaining t0 proposals for the Disposition of Formerfrica,

b.. OIR Reportated7roposals for the Disposition of the Italian Colonies In Africa.

Research Reporturvey of National Minorities In foreign Countries.

ated6talian Colonies

in Africa: Negotiations over the Future of Libya, Eritrea, and

*. Interim Research and Intelligence Service Research and Analysis Branch, dated5roblems Involved in the Italian Settlement.


Military Intelligence Service, WDOS, Intelligence Research Projectated7urvey of Itallnn East Africa.

on Foreign Relations

American Interests In the War end Peace Series: The Future of the Italian Colonial Empire, dated4 (CONFIDENTIALI.

Foreign Policy Association

Foreign PolicycKay: The Future of (Includes additional

Original document.

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