The document was first published in 1910 and deals with the Schimezana and Akele Guzai natives irregular war troops (bande di guerra). It is one of the most interesting Italian colonial documents in the Commissariat of Adi Caièh’s archives, now housed in Mendefera (Eritrea). The value of this report lies in the fact that information about the "bande", given their nonconformity, is often inaccurate or unforthcoming. Here, instead, new light is shed on the deployment of these irregular troops both as military units and as a public order vehicle. The most interesting conclusion is that the choice between these irregular troops and colonial battalions reflected two substantially diverse methods of maintaining Italy’s military presence in the colony, especially in its early phases, in order to ensure an effective defense of the territory.
Keywords: Eritrea, Italian colonialism, Army, Askaris, natives irregular "bande", new archival sources