By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) –The decision made by the Federal Government to dissolve Regional Special Forces has raised dust and skepticism in the country. People are saying that the decision is untimely and will lead the country into chaos. It has not taken into account the current situation of the country, according to sources. People are saying that the uncaring decision would rather expose the people defenseless.
Though establishing this special force has no constitutional bases, all regions have long been given green lights to have their own Special Forces. Few regions have gone to the extent of challenging the power of the Federal Defense Force. Tigray is a case in point. However, these Special Forces have also been a great asset for the country in times of crisis. The recent incident that occurred in the northern part of the country can be mentioned as an example. The Prime Minister himself testified to the role the Amhara Special Force has played in deterring the invading TPLF Force at a key battleground, Keraker. However, the incumbent is trampling on such favors.
What is the significance of the decision at this time when Oromo Liberation Army, otherwise known as shene, is inflicting suffering and injuries on unarmed innocent people, committing harassment, and force displacing civilians from their areas? How can this be the right decision in a situation in which TPLF neither has disarmed as per the Pretoria agreement nor has shown any desire to implement the peace agreement?
Regarding the Pretoria agreement, things have not been considered well. Under the provision of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the agreement, there stipulated, “Tigrayan rebel forces should demobilize and reintegrate… and that the TPLF must completely disarm within 30 days of signing”. However, the signing was inked in November 2022 and TPLF has not yet demobilized, reintegrated and disarmed. Even worse is that the government has not given clarification for this. Last time Members of the House expressed concern about the unclear implementation of the Pretoria agreement.
Besides, the agreement compels the Federal Government to deploy the National Defense Force in Tigray. “The agreement stipulates that the Ethiopian Federal Government must be allowed to reestablish authority in the Tigray Region.” This has not been implemented. The surprising thing is that the Federal Ministry of Defense pulled out its force from Tigray. How can this happen? What is going on here?
Sources indicate that TPLF is recruiting new entrants and conducting military training in various camps situated adjacent to the neighboring Amhara Region. Moreover, the newly elected President of the Tigray Interim Government, Getachew Reda, said recently on the wake of his appointment that one of his priorities in his terms would be to re annex Welkait and Raya to Tigray. How can the issue of dissolving the Special Force be rationalized in such a situation at this very time when the Oromia Region is recruiting new military entrants of its own?
Neamin Zeleke, a veteran politician, jotted down his comments that the decision may be correct on principle. However, why was it needed to be implemented when TPLF is still armed with heavy weapons and carrying out military training and remaining to be a clear threat to Amhara and Afar? “What is in store for Welkait and Raya?” he enquired.
People are asking…what is the hurry to dissolve the Special Forces while the Oromia Region has been engaged in intensifying its Special Force? In such bleak situation where the Federal Defense Force has shrunk in its shell and retreated in the territories of central part of the country, who will be there to protect the peaceful innocent civilians, in Afar, Amhara, Somali, Benishangul, that have been exposed to any possible attack that can erupt anytime?
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