Region: East Africa
Group: Italian Colonies in East Africa
Prior Regime: British East Africa
1924, Jul 15 – Anglo-Italian Juba River Agreement
1925, Jun 29 – Jubaland ceded to Italy from the British to become Oltre Giuba
1926, Jun 30 – Oltre Giuba incorporated into greater Italian Somaliland
Following Regime: Italian Somaliland
Scott Catalogue: (Oltre Giuba) #1-35, B1-B6, E1-E2, J1-J10, Q1-Q13
Pick Catalogue: none
Oltre Giuba (Trans-Juba) was a short lived Italian colony in the south-western part of what is now Somalia. The territory was located on the far side of the Juba River from the existing borders of Italian Somaliland, hence the name “Trans Juba” or Oltre Giuba in Italian. The formation of the colony had its origins at the start of World War I, when Italy was allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary. In a secret pact signed with Great Britain, France and Russia in Sept. of 1914, the Kingdom of Italy agreed to join the “Triple Entente” and declare war on Austro-Hungary and Germany within a month (this happened against Austria-Hungary but not until 1916 against Germany), for a share of agreed territorial gains after the war. This treaty included the agreement that in the event that France and Great Britain increased their colonial territories in Africa at the expense of Germany, Italy would be able to share in that claim. After the war, this pact was nullified by the Treaty of Versailles, primarily because President Woodrow Wilson did not support the Italian claims in many of the territorial expansions in the 1914 agreement. Only being awarded small tracts of Austrian territories, (but not Dalmatia as previously agreed), caused great political upheavals in Italy which ultimately resulted in a coup led by Mussolini’s Fascist Party.
One outcome, however, was the Anglo-Italian treaty of July 15, 1924, under which a northern portion of the Kenya territory, commonly called Jubaland or Trans-Juba, would be ceded to Italy. On June 29th, 1925, the treaty took effect, the British flag was lowered and Oltre Giuba, the newest Italian colony was born. The new colony didn’t last long, however, as one year later it was incorporated into greater Italian Somaliland.
On July 29th, 1925, the day of the transfer to Italy, contemporary Italian stamps overprinted “OLTRE GIUBA” in black were issued and consisted of a set of 15 definitives, 10 postage dues and 13 parcel post stamps. Five additional Italian definitive overprints were issued in different denomination over the following few months as well as two special delivery stamps.
As was the usual procedure for many Italian colonies, specific commemorative sets from Italy were issued with overprints from the various colonies. For Oltre, Giuba, two such sets were issued. The first was the 1925 King Victor Emmanuel’s Jubilee celebrating the 25th year of reign. This set of 3 stamps was issued with two perf varieties (11 and 13½) and was also overprinted and issued Cirenaica, Tripolitania, Eritrea, and Somalia. The second was a set commemorating 700 years since the death of St. Francis of Assisi. Issued on 12 April, 1925, this set of 5 stamps was also issued in other colonies.
On 21 April, 1925, Oltre Giuba printed a set of 7 stamps specifically issued for the colony featuring a map of the territory which was inscribed “COMMISSARIATO GENLE / DELL’ OLTRE GIUBA”. Finally, on 1 June, 1925, Oltre Giuba was included in the Italian Colonial omnibus issues, a set of 6 semi-postal stamps with a common design issued across the Italian colonies in Africa. These stamps were only used until the end of June, 1925, when Oltre Giuba became a part of Italian Somaliland.
None, Italian currency was used throughout Italian Somilia area.