14 February 2013

Ethiopia: Celebration of Army Week Concludes

The celebration of Army Week, which started on February 7th, concluded today in a colorful ceremony held at Addis Ababa Stadium.

The event was attended by the Prime Minister and Commander in Chief, Hailemariam Desalegn, General Samora Yenus, the Chief of Staff, Ato Siraj Fegesa, the Minister of Defence, other ministers, foreign dignitaries and thousands of residents of Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Hailemariam told the assembled crowd that "the main of mission of our defense forces is to safeguard our young democracy, our development, our constitutional order and our peace from enemies".

He added: "our defense forces have proven themselves to be the pride of Ethiopia by the success they have shown in accomplishing their mission." He thanked the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for his vision and leadership in the formation of the country's modern and professional army. He noted that the Defense forces were now contribution extensively in other areas including technology transfer, in implementation of the Growth and Transformation Plan through their involvement in key manufacturing sectors and by strengthening the nation's capacity in cyber security.

The Chief of Staff, General Samora Yenus attributed the creation of a strong army capable of defending the nation and participating in the country's development to the successful implementation of military's reform program over the last few years. He also spoke of the successes of the defence forces in continental peace keeping mission, noting that the "defense forces have proved themselves as a pride of Africa." The Army Week has been observed over the past seven days with an exhibition and other events in Addis Ababa and by regional army units in different regional states.

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