Battle of Adowa (Ethiopia) As you have already learned, Ethiopia along with Liberia, were the only African countries that were not colonized by Europeans. It was not that European powers were not interested in colonizing Ethiopia-they were! Ethiopia was able to resist attempts of colonization by the British and particularly by the Italians. Indeed, Italy was able to colonize a part of ancient Ethiopia, the area along the Red Sea. This was the colony, and now independent country, of Eritrea. Under the leadership of Emperor Menelik, Ethiopia resisted European attempts to colonize all of Ethiopia. Ethiopia won a decisive victory over Italy at the Battle of Adowa, December 1895. During the battle, approximately 4,000 Italian soldiers were killed.