Melese Tessema, 92, president of the Ethiopian Korean War Veterans' Association, passed away on Aug. 8 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, from complications of the COVID-19.
In line with this, a wave of condolences is rising in Chilgok-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do that has maintained a relationship with the deceased.
According to Chilgok-gun, the late President Melese, who was a member of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard, participated in the Korean War with 6037 comrades in the midst of the war in 1951.
At that time, the Ethiopian army suffered 658 casualties, including dead and wounded, but won all 253 battles.
Even after being discharged from the army as a colonel, Melese contributed to the improvement of the welfare of the veterans.
In particular, in 2018, he visited Chilgok-gun and participated in the Nakdong River World Peace Culture Festival, making efforts to promote exchanges between Korea and Ethiopia.
When the news of President Melese's death became known, banners were hung on the streets of Chilgok-gun to commemorate him, saying, “We will never forget your sacrifice 70 years ago and your friendship with Chilgok-gun.”
Baek Seon-ki, the mayor of Chilgok-gun, said, “National defense and veterans have no borders. We will never forget the hero who protected Korea’s freedom.”
Chuncheon Mayor Lee Jae-soo sent a condolence message to the late President Melese. In Chuncheon, there is the Ethiopian Korean War Veterans Memorial.