Ethiopia has been building up its armed forces to cope with conflicts on two fronts -- one against Somali guerrillas, the other against Eritrean secessionists.
Ethiopia has been building up its armed forces to cope with conflicts on two fronts -- one against Somali guerrillas, the other against Eritrean secessionists. A boost to this programme was the graduation on Saturday (1 October) of 68 police officers. White the main task of the newly-commissioned officers will be to maintain law and order, they have been told they must also be prepared to serve alongside Ethiopia's regular and militia forces if the need arises.
SYNOPSIS: The country's leader, Chairman of the Provisional Military Administrative Council, Colonel Mengistu Haile-Mariam, presented diplomas to the graduates in a ceremony at the police college in Addis Ababa. Normally cadets would train for two and a half years at the college before graduating, but the process has been speeded up in view of what Colonel Mengistu called "the objective reality presently prevailing" in Ethiopia. These graduates had only a year's training, but the course was intensified and covered many military areas not included in previous courses in preparation for their possible involvement in Ethiopia's current wars.
In an address to the graduates, Colonel Mengistu spoke about the country's problems. He said that since the launching of his government's National Democratic Revolution, plots against the country had been intensified to the present stage when both internal and external forces were, as he put it, "stabbing Ethiopia in the back". He called these forces "anti-popular" and "anti-unity", and urged the gradates to join the fight against them.
Colonel Mengistu said any success the so called "anti-popular" forces had so far were not scored because of any tactical advantages or arms superiority, but were due to what he called "treachery of fifth-column operatives". He told diplomats and government officials gathered at the ceremony that Ethiopia would shortly reveres the situation, and "emerge victorious". Colonel Mengistu said he had confidence in the ability of the newly-commissioned police officers to fight alongside the masses for the revolutionary cause.