The Foreign Policy of the Negus Menelik, 1896-1898

This paper examined the contention that between 1896 and 1898 the main object of Menelik’s foreign policy was expansion westwards in collaboration with the French. It concluded, from both European and African evidence, that on the contrary Menelik subordinated his territorial aspirations in the Nile Valley to the promotion of good relations with the Khalifa; and that he frustrated rather than assisted the French missions to the Nile. The overriding anxiety of the Negus was that Abdakkahi should not be disteacted from his struggle with Kitche ner by fears for security of his eastern frontier. Menelik saw in a Mahdist victory the best insurance against a renewal of European aggression in Ethiopia, fearing as he did that the subjugation of Ethiopia was the ultimate objective of British action in north-east Africa.

Title: The Foreign Policy of the Negus Menelik, 1896-1898
Author: Sanderson, George N.
Year: 1964
Periodical: The Journal of African History
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
Pages: 87-97
Language: English
Geographic term: Ethiopia
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/179770
Abstract: This paper examined the contention that between 1896 and 1898 the main object of Menelik’s foreign policy was expansion westwards in collaboration with the French. It concluded, from both European and African evidence, that on the contrary Menelik subordinated his territorial aspirations in the Nile Valley to the promotion of good relations with the Khalifa; and that he frustrated rather than assisted the French missions to the Nile. The overriding anxiety of the Negus was that Abdakkahi should not be disteacted from his struggle with Kitche ner by fears for security of his eastern frontier. Menelik saw in a Mahdist victory the best insurance against a renewal of European aggression in Ethiopia, fearing as he did that the subjugation of Ethiopia was the ultimate objective of British action in north-east Africa.