Treaty | Contracts of Assab and Ras Lumah 1869 and 1870

[The contract of Assab was a contract for the sale of lands in the area known as Asab to Mr Joseph Sapeto of the Rubattino Company on November 15, 1869. The sellers, Hassan-ben-Ahmad and Ibrahim-ben-Ahmad, were brothers in charge of the area (Sultans) and agreed not to oppose for Europeans to come to inhabit the land. The contract was signed between the contractors Mr Joseph and his brothers Sapeto Ahmad Hassan-ben-and-ben-Ibrahim Ahmad]

Sales contract of Assab by the Sultans to Joseph Sapeto

November 15, 1869

Gloria to God.

As of Monday, the day of the eleventh month of the year 1286 seconds sciaban the computation of the Islamists and the fifteenth day of November of 1869 seconds was the Europeans, Hassan-ben-Ahmad, Ibrahim-ben-Ahmad, brothers, and Mr Joseph Sapeto which falls on board the Nasser Megido, “Said Auadh boat, and did put in an appearance.

Have agreed as follows in the presence of witnesses:

1/ the aforesaid brothers-Ahmad Hassan-ben-ben-Ahmad and Ibrahim, Sultan of Asiab, sold and sold to Mr Joseph Sapeto mentioned above, the area between the upstream Ganga, the head Lumah and two of its sides; perlocchè the domain of that territory will belong to Mr Joseph Sapeto, tostoche he shall have disbursed the money, avendoglielo they sold voluntarily, willingly and honestly.

2/ The brothers said they swear on the Koran “Dinstinzione,” that neither they nor the people will make their perfidy to the Europeans who will come to inhabit the land owned by Mr Sapeto.

3/ Mr Joseph Sapeto buys that place for six thousand dollars, therefore leaving two hundred and fifty dollars as a deposit to the sellers, forcing them to pay irimanenti cinquemi! Seven hundred fifty dollars in one hundred days from the first of Ramadan up to ten of the month of heggiah. What if Mr Joseph Sapeto not come back, nor altrivenisse in his place in the appointed time, the deposit would be lost. The brothers then nicknamed cannot sell to others that place, having already sold to Mr Joseph and Sapeto and granted to one hundred days to payment of its price.

This is the agreement passed between Mr Joseph and his brothers Sapeto Ahmad Hassan-ben-and-ben-Ibrahim Ahmad, in the presence of witnesses Mahamad-Abdi, Ahmad-Ali, Sa’d-Auadh, clerk, Abd-Allah-ben- Duran. Accepted and signed by the contractors:

Ahmad Hassan ben-
Ahmad Ben-Brahim
Joseph Sapeto


[The contract of Asab and Ras Lumah was an updated contract on the sale of lands in the area known as Asab and Ras Lumah and the payment structure. The sellers, Hassan-ben-Ahmad and Ibrahim-ben-Ahmad, were brothers in charge (Sultans) of the area and agreed to recognize the right of the buyers to assert Italian sovereignty on the area. The contract was prepared in Arabic and Italian, was signed by the sultans Sciahim Abdullah, Hassan and Ibrahim, Mr Joseph and Andrew Sapeto Buzzolino from the Rubattino Company]

Sale of Assab Sapeto and Giuseppe Andrea Buzzolino

March 11, 1870

Glory to God

In the ninth day of the month dell’heggi year 1286 seconds was the Muslim, the eleven month of March 1870 was according to the vulgar, the Sultan and the Sultan Hassan Abdallah Sciahim-ben-Ahmad and Ibrahim Ahmad, a well- hand, and Messrs Joseph and Andrew Sapeto Buzzolino, Captain of the steam in Africa, on the other, who have gathered together on board the steam that came out from the stipulazlone of the following contract:

These sell like sultans sold to Mr Joseph and Andrew Sapeto Buzzolino the stretch of land and sea enclosed in Ras Lumah and throat of the sea and the mountain called Alala Ganga without any burden or dependent on the buyers who take out to the same trader, named above, the agreed price, or shields consisting of Maria Theresa dollars and eight thousand one hundred.

But as the sultans Schialiim, Hassan Ibrahim and those not intended to be paid in pounds sterling, but in actual dollars of Maria Teresa, so they are content to receive the present of Maria Theresa dollars and six hundred rupees tracento ottant’otto, declaring that lie the total payment of one hundred and eight thousand dollars to the vapor return from Aden.

Meanwhile, these and Ibrahim Hassan, the sons of Ahmad, declare and reaffirm that Mr Joseph Sapeto, under the contract of November 15, 1869, came within the prescribed period, the disbursement of the price of Lumah and reconfirm. to wait for full payment of the new territory, together with the Sultan Abdallah Schiahim, selling as sold to Mr Joseph and Andrea Sapeto Buzzolino within the limits described above, and this time PEL which will return the steam that will be sent to Aden to change their pounds in Maria Theresa dollars, and confess that he had received in advance of Maria Theresa dollars, six hundred and three hundred rupees ottant’otto, leaving the new owners bought a large country and the entire faculty there and establish themselves as thought best to fly the s8egno their national flag in the absolute sovereignty on the site.

So much was signed by the sultans Sciahim Abdullah, Hassan and Ibrahim, and Mr Joseph and Andrew Sapeto Buzzolino, as representatives of the lords and Rubattino C.

This contract was being literally translated in Arabic to those sultans they have approved the contents and the sale is made, have affixed their signature and seal, together with buyers and Andrew Joseph Sapeto Buzzolino, the presenzadegli infrascritti witnesses, claiming to have this contract in stipulatoil all good faith, and all darglipercio va’iore ancorchb not redattonelle legal forms used in similar acts.

Finally, Joseph and Andrew Sapeto Buzzolino, as representatives of R. Rubattino C., declare that with this contract do not in any way undermine the agreements that were present before the act passed between Joseph and Mr Raphael Sapeto Rubattino and other assignees or stakeholders.

In approving the reverse sottocrivono, lacking seal.

Ahmad Ben Hassan
Abdallah Sciahim Ibrahim
Joseph Sapeto
A. Buzzolino.

Orazio Antinori was present at the reading and translation and signatures.
Carlo Grondona, id.


Source: Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international.

Related posts in Colonial era Treaties archive

Creation of Colony of Asab – July 5, 1882

Convention of Awsa b/n Italy, Shoa and Sultan of Danakil – March 15, 1883

– Text of Wuchale Treaty | 1889 Ethio-Italian Treaty

– The 1902 Treaty between Ethiopia and Great Britain

Fetsum Berhane is an Ethiopian resident, economist researcher and a blogger on HornAffairs.

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