Ethiopia to celebrate Defense Force Day this Saturday

The Defense Force is celebrating this year as TPLF is organizing military parade in north Ethiopia to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the latter

Ethiopia _ Defense Force
Photo File / credit : EBC

February 11, 2020

Ethiopia is celebrating National Defense Force day this Saturday, state media Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporate (EBC) reported on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Defense has disclosed this year it will be celebrated with the motto “We will defend the sovereignty of our country and our people’s peace.”  

Apart from community consultation and charity works, the celebration will feature a military parade, although it is unclear if the Ministry of defense is televising it live.

The Ministry said that this year’s celebration is one during which all members of the defense force pledge to defend Ethiopia’s sovereignty and peace.

Ethiopia’s political problem led to widespread instability in the country to the point that members of the defense forces are regularly deployed to different parts of the country – especially in Western and Southern Ethiopia, among other areas.

In the Wollega region of Ethiopia, there has been fighting between the Ethiopian Defense Force and the militant wing of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – a radical Oromo ethnic nationalist organization.  The main OLF party based in Addis Ababa distanced itself from the entity that claims to be the military wing. But it accused Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government over what it called “human rights violation” in the region where several government officials were shot dead by the militant group.

In northern Ethiopia, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – a political entity that is running regional administration is increasingly challenging the authority of the Federal government.  Weeks after Debretsion Gebremichael (chairman of TPLF) disclosed about the growing difference with the Federal government,his party organized a military parade in Mekelle this past weekend, which is politically interpreted among politicized Ethiopians.  

In the parade, the region’s special forces displayed group weapons apart and individual assault rifles. The military show of power came with the pretext of celebrating the organization’s 45th anniversary. The celebration is still underway, and the final day of celebration is on February 19 (a day on which the organization is believed to be established) – and an even bigger military parade is expected.

TPLF has been undertaking intensive propaganda in the region, painting a picture that Tigray is under siege from a different direction, and the people in the area have to be ready to defend themselves.  

In an interview with his country’s state-owned TV last week, Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki said that TPLF is creating an image of Eritrea that is ready to attack the Tigray region.

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