Ethiopia Deploys National Defense Forces in Violence-Hit Areas

By Staff Reporter

Major-General-Mohamed-TessemaOctober 25, 2019 ( -- The Ethiopian Ministry of Defense has announced it has deployed its forces in violence-hit cities and towns of Oromia regional state.

Defense Indoctrination and Public Relations Director Major General Mohamed Tessema, said members of the defense forces have been deployed since late Thursday  in Ambo, Bishoftu, Bale Robe, Adama, Modjo, Dire Dawa and Harar towns and cities.

According to the Major General, the protest turned into ethnic-based conflict and religious disputes and it has become out of the control for regional forces.

The Major General admitted delays in the deployment of its forces, which caused greater damage and loss of lives. He said, had it not been for the deployment of the defense forces, the protests would have been turned into even greater violence and the protesters could have gone on attacking religious and public institutions.  

Residents of the Adama, Dire Dawa and Bishoftu cities told peaceful activities have resumed, leading to the opening of roads and recommencement transport services after the deployment of members of the defense forces.

Businesses are partly open in Dire Dawa, Bishoftu and Adama cities, but government offices remain closed. The eyewitnesses confirmed that small members of the defense forces have been deployed since Wednesday and they could not prevent some of the surprise of attack from Qeerroo.

Major General Mohamed Tessema said the military forces were working in cooperation with local security officers, residents, youth and Aba Gadas to stabilize and restore peace in the cities.

Members of the defense forces, who are deployed upon the request of the regional state, are opening blocked roads and encouraging commercial centers to resume normal business activities.

The military forces will continue their efforts until durable peace is restored in the region, he said, and he also asked for cooperation from the general public towards that goal.

There is a restriction of business activities and public transport services in Addis Ababa. Gunshots were heard and the movement of people was limited in Dukem town where the Qeerroo were engaged in search of people to the dismay of residents.

The residents living in Oromia towns surrounding Addis Ababa expressed insecurity due to the absence of security forces in their areas.

Meanwhile, many residents of Addis Ababa have complained over the negligence of the security officers as ethnic Oromo youth, the Qeerroo, have continued challenging the residents of the capital. Many people believe that the Oromo-dominated central government has routinely showed preferential treatment to its own people when it comes to enforcing law and order in the country. As evidence, they cite the much-delayed involvement of the National Defense Forces in Oromia violence, and the general lack of accountability for those who were involved in instigating violence, death, and destruction in Addis Ababa and other places in more than a year.

Many also question whether the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his supporters in government have the foresight to shed their regional mentality and live up to the principles of MEDEMER and treat all Ethiopian with fairness and respect or succumb to the very ills that brought down previous rules.

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