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Embassy inaugurated the renovated tomb of Czechoslovak Army Pilot Col. Rosík

On Monday, 12 March 2018, at the occasion of the 19th anniversary of the Czech Republic joining the NATO alliance, the Embassy of the Czech Republic inaugurated the renovated grave of Czechoslovak Army Pilot Colonel Vítězslav Rosík, who is buried in the Gulele Cemetery in Addis Ababa since 1955. During the ceremony, Ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United Kingdom laid wreaths at the tomb, which was also blessed by Cardinal of Addis Ababa Archdiocese Berhane Eyesus Surafel. Defence Attachés of the Czech Republic and United Kingdom held the guard of honor at the grave.   

Colonel Rosík fought to defend Czechoslovakia and contributed to prestige and good name of his country abroad, therefore, his lifelong service deserves commemoration even 63 years after his death. “The exceptional example of Col. Rosík reminds us that people willing to defend freedom and democracy have always been living among us in the Czech Republic. Thanks to such patriots, not only Czech Republic enjoys the lasting peace in Europe secured among others by the NATO alliance,” remarked the Ambassador of the Czech Republic H.E. Karel Hejč during the ceremony.

Colonel Vítězslav Rosík indeed belongs among important personalities of Czechoslovakia in the middle of the 20th century: Having fought in the battles of the First World War, he joined the newly established Czechoslovak Air Forces. After the outbreak of WW2, Rosík flew from occupied Czechoslovakia, first to France and later to the United Kingdom where he joined the Royal Air Force and engaged in the Battle for Britain. In 1945, Rosík joined again the Czechoslovak Army, however, was ousted after the Comunist putsch in 1948 and forced to retire. In 1949, Rosík accepted the invitation of the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and together with Colonel Tobyška worked as advisors for both civil and military aviation until his death in 1955. He is buried in the Gulele Cemetery in Addis Ababa.

Unfortunately, the state of the grave deteriorated over the years and despite the continuous efforts by the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Defence Attachés a complete renovation became inevitable. In December 2017, the government of the Czech Republic decided to donate 50 000 Czech crowns to the Addis Ababa Parish Priests Council in order to cover the necessary costs. The renovation itself was then supervised by the Embassy in Addis Ababa.


Inauguration of the renovated grave of Colonel Vítězslav Rosík