- Ethiopian army ranks 60th out of 138 armies around the world
Ethiopian National Defence Force guarding the GERD
By Getachew Bekele Damtew,
The end of the year 2020 and the last six months of 2021 were one of the very crucial times for Ethiopians. The political, economic and social reforms,started in 2018, were at a very important stage; both the ruling and opposition parties were preparing for the June 21,2021 election; a number of urban based Government projects were at final stages and the impact of Covid-19 was starting to decline relatively to Summer 2020.
All these situations were suddenly shifted with the new political and military incidence in Tigray province of Ethiopia. On November 4/2020 Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) command quarters in Mekelle, Dansha, Adigrat, Aguila and Sero. On the same evening, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced, on a live transmission broadcast of TV and Radio, Ethiopian National Defence Force was ordered to take all necessary actions of law enforcement.
It was only three weeks that the Ethiopian National Defence Force needed to disarm the TPLF army which was estimated at over 250 thousands highly armed soldiers.On the coming weeks and months the diaspora wing of TPLF started to distribute disinformation and false news through social media mainly on Twitter. Even Though, some US, European Union and International Organizations officials have well know-what on the real situation in Tigray, they preferred to distribute the false information on Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) in their meetings,speeches and press releases.
Ethiopian National Defence Force is one of the top disciplined armies in Africa. This not only originated from its well cultured society but it is due to its training and leaders on different levels ability to shape the army on International Military Standards. The army has a long history of law enforcement. Its founders were UN Peacekeeping force members in Korean and Congo war in the 1940s and 1950s. In recent years the army provided exemplary International Peacekeeping service in Rwanda, Sudan Darfur and even currently serving in Somalia. In all these services there is not a single complaint raised from any communities and individuals of the host countries. Therefore, it is not possible to say an army with sound service abroad has a problem of human rights violation in its own community in Tigray province in Ethiopia.
Disinformation and spreading fake news was not only opened on Ethiopian National Defence Force. The Eritrean army was also under the target.The international media talked as if civilians were killed in a large number in different cities of Tigray. Here it is not possible to say that there are no casualties. This is not vacation.It is law enforcement with ten thousands fighting with another ten thousands. So it could not be free from any count of dead bodies, which is the ugly side of ‘war’.However, we need to note that In any measurement Ethiopian National Defence Force do not have any ethical and discipline problem.
To conclude, the Ethiopian army ranks 60th out of 138 armies around the world, according to the Jerusalem post June 15,2021 issue. And it is top among Saharan countries in having highly educated and well trained officers. The army is not a treat for all immediate neighbouring countries. Moreover, it is proud of their security guarantee. Therefore, it is not acceptable and justifiable to criticize the Ethiopian National Defence Force in its ethical standard and the level of responsibility for both its own community in Tigray and any other country's citizens.