Ethiopia Forms Elite Force to Protect Leaders
December 24, 2018 (Ezega.com) - The Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has created an elite security force to protect leaders, officials and their families, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, according to Fana Radio report.
The elite force, known as Republican Guard, has been training for the last six months, according to the report.
No details have been given as to its structure or its command chain.
The decision to establish a new security system was reached after a bomb blast rocked the capital in May this year during a rally at Meskel Square in support of the Prime Minister.
Since 1991, when the EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front) seized power in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian leaders and officials have been protected by security details assigned by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). That will change soon.
Ethiopia had an Imperial Guard during the Emperor Haileselassie period, but the Derg government that followed disbanded it after it seized power in a military coup in September 1974.
Security concerns are becoming big issues in Ethiopia these days. Concern is growing among ordinary citizens and officials alike. The Prime Minister himself said he was the target of assassination attempts on a number of occassions, including after the Meskel Square grenade attack, during his visit to Oromia-Benishangul border area, and during soldiers' march to his office in Addis Ababa.
Whether these threats were real or imagined is currently unknown.