Ethiopia has restructured its army, the Ethiopian National Defense Force, ENDF, state affiliated media FBC reported on Thursday.
According to the report, under the new measure, the ENDF’s regional command had been cut down to four from six. The new commands are Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Commands.
FBC also cited Lieutenant General Mola Hailemariam, chief of special operation at the defense force as confirming that military positions have also been realigned to the latest development.
The ENDF has also set up a committee tasked to reestablish a naval force and a special operation command. The issue of a naval force came up strongly in the wake of Ethio-Eritrea peace deal signed in July 2018.
With the two countries having agreed to reestablish all ties of diplomacy, trade and people-to-people relations, Ethiopia has secured access to the Ethiopia’s vast coast along the Red Sea.
The army had till early this year been routinely accused of leading government crackdown on anti-government protests in the Oromia region.
It is reputed as one of Africa’s most equipped armies. It has huge responsibilities given the volatility of the Horn of Africa region where till recently there was tense military standoffs and the issue of insurgents in Somalia, where Ethiopian forces are deployed.
Even though most regional states have their security setup; the army is usually called in when insecurity goes out of the hand of local security apparatus. Earlier this year, it took the army to depose leader of the eastern Somali Regional State, SRS.
The Defense Ministry is led by the country’s first female sector minister, Aisha Mohammed, with Gen. Seare Mekonnen as the head of the armed forces.