Oromo regional state security force continues to swell. Thousands of special forces have graduated as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visit a charity home in Addis Ababa.
December 29, 2019
Oromo regional state of Ethiopia has made tens of thousands of addition to its “security force. A report by State Media, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), on Sunday said the latest additions are the 29th batch trained by the regions police.
The exact number of members of special forces trained in a “new form”, as described by acting president of the regional state – Shimeles Abdissa, is undisclosed. State affiliated and state-owned media seem to have ignored or overlooked that information.
The special forces were trained for six months in Hurso, Alage, Awash Bishola and Senkele training camps, according to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC). Usually a police force is trained for three months. A six months training is for a national army. A proclamation from 1983, requires “all able-bodied Ethiopian men aged eighteen to thirty to undergo six months of military training followed by two years of active duty.”
From a video content shared by state and affiliated media outlets, the special forces are dressed a paratrooper like military fatigues.
“The government has started organizing the security force in a new form to ensure peace and security of people in the region,” said Shimeles Abdissa.
He said “disciplined security force has a bigger share for the implementation of law and order, and to ensure the rule of law is enforced.”
In what seems to be an explanation why a special force has been trained in a new form, the region’s police commissioner Kefyalew Tefera said “it was needed to organize the region’s special police in a new form so as to bring peace and ensure the rule of law at regional and national level.”
Reaction to the news of thousands of special forces addition to the already large number of forces in Oromo region is not just critical but also skeptical.
Many activists in social media are making a reference to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s speech in Dessie in which he condemned the practices of regional state to train additional regional based special forces with finances allocated from the Federal government for other purposes.
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