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HomeNewsCommission to start work on demobilizing ex-combatants

Commission to start work on demobilizing ex-combatants

TPLF Combatants _ Commission
TPLF Combatant demonstrates passion for battle as many youngsters are watching (Photo : Getty image via BBC)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The first round of demobilization of 75,000 ex-combatants will begin in September 2023, the National Rehabilitation Commission said. Ethiopia Standard reported quoting the Commission that ex-combatants that were planned to go through the rehabilitation program have their number increased by about 122 thousand.

The National Rehabilitation Commission was established to “enable the disarmed forces to lead a peaceful life”. The Commission planned to rehabilitate 250,000 ex-combatants and support them to reunite with the community through skill training and entrepreneurship. The Commission, which was established eight months back has conducted discussions with the regions where ex-combatants are located and other bodies that support the rehabilitation program financially.

Among the eight regions in which the rehabilitation of the ex-combatants is to be carried out are Tigray, Amara and Afar where the recent bloody war was conducted. The regions of Oromia, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, South and Southwest Ethiopia, where “former fighters are present”, are also reportedly part of this program.

The National Rehabilitation Commission said at a discussion it had with media professionals in Addis Ababa last Wednesday, 19 July 2023 that the deactivated soldiers expected to go through the rehab program numbered about 371,971. The former speaker of the House of Representatives, Teshome Toga, who is now heading the Commission said that a joint work was done by concerned regions, Defence Force and the commission to compile the data. That is the reason why the number of ex-combatants has increased from the previous plan, according to him.

Commissioner Teshome said that the increasing number of ex-combatants planned to go through a rehabilitation program has necessitated the augmentation of the amount of money required for this work. Although the Commission estimated earlier that the amount needed for the rehab was “about USD 555 million”, the actual amount needed now has not yet been mentioned by the Commissioner.  

Ethiopia Insider said in its report that the Commission planned to dissolve 75,000 ex-combatants in the first round. Out of the first dysfunctional ex-combatants, 50 thousand are in Tigray Region, according to the Commission. Head of the commission’s secretary office Shanko Delelegn told Ethiopia Insider that the money required for the first round work is estimated at around 150 million dollars.

Director of the Commission’s Rehabilitation Section, Gemeda Alemi, said that disbanded soldiers who are made to join the “concentration centres” through the National Rehabilitation Commission will be registered and their detailed economic and social information will be compiled. This includes detailed information about where they had been earlier, what they were working, what kind of work they like to engage themselves in ahead, in which Zone and Woreda they want to get rehabilitated, Gemeda said.

After the ex-combatants join the centre, brainstorming will be conducted on how to lead life with the community, the director said. Then after, the ex-fighters will be given IDs and made to reunite with the community, Gemeda said, adding that upon leaving the rehab centres, the disbanded soldiers will also be provided with initial support so that they can cope with their lives. 

The Rehabilitation Commission plans to complete the first round of dispersion of ex-combatants and reintegrate them into the community in mid-December next year. Commissioner Teshome Toga announced that the National Reform Commission is currently making the necessary preparations to achieve this goal. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Steps like this rehab program on national and regional basis is one of the ways to woo away the gullible youth that was lied to by bigots to roam aimlessly in the wilderness. This could be a big blow to these smart aleck goons there and those here among us who have been fanning the flames of war from their comfy homes. With average age of that country hovering around 20 yrs old there always be a fodder for rabble rousers of all sorts and hateful individuals and groups. The commies in the 1960’s and 70’s used the easily agitated emotion of the youth to push their satanic verses and in the process over 2 million of them were lost if you include those who were forced to abandon and flee their beloved country. Let me sorted it all out for you and explain why I have had beef with those who were deafened those like me with cacophony of ‘liberation’ this and ‘liberation’ that. They tell me the resources of the region I am from have never been allowed to benefit people like me and they are here to put a stop to that. When they tell me I am like ‘Who does this idiot think I am? Does he think I’m that stupid? I may look stupid to his numb brain but I am not dumb’. What he really means is once he and his entourage carve away a region with the blood of the gullible youth and call it a ‘liberated’ republic, all the natural resources of the ‘liberated’ republic will belong to him and his inner circle cabals. Then if you complain about it you wouldn’t know what has just hit you. Poof, you’re gone. Don’t start with me about these connivers. Please don’t!!! Nuff said for now.

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