Ethiopia: Army retires hundreds in major military shakeup

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle January 3, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Ethiopian military has retired over 300 long serving senior military officers, according to country’s Ministry of Defense. The army has cut-back a total of 316 senior military

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 3, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopian military has retired over 300 long serving senior military officers, according to country’s Ministry of Defense.

The army has cut-back a total of 316 senior military officials, including 13 Generals, as part of the plans set out in the army’s leadership succession plan.

This it the first major restructuring since 1991, a year which saw the brutal communist Derg regime overthrown by a coalition of rebel forces, who now make up the current ruling party, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Speaking to a local newspaper, The Capital, the minister of National Defense, Siraj Fegisa, said that the shake-up was well planned to avoid risking a leadership gap.

“The question that there could be a leadership gap has been long addressed; we are implementing this succession plan after extensive preparation,” he said.

The Ethiopian military is planning to retire a total of 561 senior military posts in three phases during their current financial year.

The minister further stated that his ministry is working on restructuring, succession and the recruitment of personnel, to ensure that all of the country’s nationalities were well represented. In the past the national defense has been dominated by ethnic Tigraians, many of whom were prominent in the revolution against the Derg regime.

ERITREA

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, but soon after this, between 1998 – 2000, they engaged in a bloody border war with their larger neighbour. Addis Ababa accused the Red Sea nation of continuously attempting to destabilise the country and the Horn of Africa region as a whole.

Ethiopia argues that Eritrea is no longer ’on the road to peace’ but also says that military action should be the last option.

According to its defense ministry, Ethiopia has forces on standby at its borders with Eritrea and Somalia to deter any security threats from al-Qaeda linked Somali militant group al-Shabaab, who Eritrea are accused of supporting.

Ethiopian forces are currently estimated to comprise of around 200,000 troops, which is less than half the amount it had when the war with Eritrea ended, but their army is still one of the largest military forces on the continent.

(ST)

aseye.assenna@googlemail.com

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3 COMMENTS
  • Ahadu January 4, 2012

    Ahadu:
    Asssenna seems to miss the core of the news: The reason for the shake is to build an army in accordance with population size of each ethnic groups in Ethiopia,In anutshell the army reflects the real ethiopia on the ground.As you know >90 % of the army that defeted derg was Tegaru.By virtue of that most of the military brass was Tegaru.In the long run the govt recognized that is not sustainable nor fair..hence the currect composition of the army is as follows:
    Comparing the composition of the army in 1996 and 2011, the Defense minister reported that Tigraian members of the army have been slashed by 53 percent now to claim only 18.5 percent of the army. Those from Amhara now take the largest share of 30.3 percent, up from 25 percent in 1996. The Oromo takes 25 percent, a boost from 21.3 percent of 1996 figures

  • Mahta February 18, 2012

    Good job ethiopia. It is on the right truck. Everything should be refreshed and the new generation should take over unlike the regime in eritrea who wants to stay upp to it’s funeral.

  • abel June 16, 2017

    I never knew nor agree, serving in the army is for the privileged.The right to die or kill is not a privilege ,it is a duty .

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