Ethiopia: Deep Reform Well Underway in Defense Forces, Says General Seare Mekonen

Addis Ababa — The Ethiopian Defense Forces have embarked on deep institutional reform that will enable them to build a strong and professional army, Chief of General Staff Seare Mekonen said.

Speaking at a panel discussion held in Adama, General Seare said reforming the military in order to build a strong army came to the spotlight following the political reform in Ethiopia,

Even if Ethiopia is one of the countries that has a strong defense force, building a professional army by harmonizing the regional and global order is critical, he noted.

According to the chief of general staff, the reform has prioritized core issues such as building an independenta army loyal to the Constitution, and strengthening the army through capacity building and equipping it with modern and technologically advanced weapons.

The defense forces are now organized into naval, air, special operations, and infantry divisions, he added.

Emphasizing on the importance of reform on those major areas, General Seare mentioned the structural gaps in the military establishment, despite the proud accomplishments registered over the years.

"Our military has attained successes in all missions. Our peace mission in Africa, especially in Somalia and under United Nations, is commendable and has been lauded by the international community," he noted.

Oromia Region Chief Administrator and chair of the panel discussion, Lemma Megerssa said the Ethiopian military, unlike the other sectors in the country, has been making credible structural reforms at all levels.

"The reform in the military is observable and measurable. I think it has been under serious reform that has witnessed tangible results," he added.

Lemma underscored that Ethiopia needs trained and professional army at this juncture.

He blamed the current political narrative in the country for the crisis that has brought more burdens on the military.

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