By Staff Reporter
August 11, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian defense forces General Adem Mohammed dismissed rumors that the national army is divided along ethnic lines.
In a rare interview with the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) General Adem said had it not been with the intervention of the national defense force, the recent violence would have been out of control.
He said the national army has successfully controlled the recent unrests that were jointly perpetrated by internal and external forces.
In an interview with local media, survivors of the recent attacks appreciated the role of the army in rescuing their lives as opposed to the reluctance of security forces in violence-hit Oromia towns.
Information was circulating that “there was a loose chain of command” among members of the national army, threatening the security of the nation.
“The forces were sending information as if the national army was deeply divided along ethnic lines and it would fail to carry out its missions. However, the reality was different and the army is united more than ever,” Adem said.
The defense force is well equipped and armed. It always prepares for greater achievement. Hence, any force which wants to attack Ethiopia will be effectively met, he added.
There have been forces which tried to mislead and confuse members of the defense forces in an attempt to meet ethnic and silly political interest,” the Chief of staff said
The national army is in charge of safeguarding the sovereignty of the nation. Security problems occurring within the country are handled by federal and regional police, Adem recalled.
The chief of staff also expressed concern over the legitimacy of what is called the “special forces” of regional states.
“The Special Forces do not have constitutional ground yet they are becoming more and more powerful,” General Adem argued.
In another news, Public Relations of the Walayita National Movement (WNM) Andualem Tadesse said government security forces killed 21 civilians and wounded 105 others amid in the Walayita zone of southern Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said the police used excessive force to disperse the protestors who demanded the release of the zone’s officials.
The commission confirmed the death of five people and arrest of 178 people including 26 officials of the zone.
Security forces shot dead at least eight civilians including an eleven-year-old boy in Boditi town of the same zone, Temesgen Helina, head of a health center in the town told Reuters.
“As a duty health professional, I gave the victims first aid but they died after a while. They were shot at their heads, chests, and stomach by gun bullets,” Temesgen added.
The protests began late on Sunday after the federal police arrested at least 26 high-level officials, activists, and elders in the Welayita zone including Dagato Kumbe, Wolaita Zone administrators.
The officials were arrested while they were holding a meeting inside the city’s Gutera conference hall. Members of the council which are endeavoring to upgrade the Wolayita zone to statehood level were among the detainees.
The officials were reportedly preparing to declare the Walayita zone as the one of regional states of Ethiopia.
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