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Ethiopia dismantles special forces

April 16, 2023

NAIROBI: Ethiopia´s army chief said on Saturday the country had completed the dismantling of “special forces” created by some regions, finalising a policy which sparked recent unrest. The government said on April 6 the forces would be integrated into the federal army or regional police. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed justified the policy as strengthening multi-ethnic Ethiopia´s “unity”.

The forces had been operational in several of Ethiopia´s 11 federal states and the move to dismantle them fomented several days of unrest in the Amhara region, where they were particularly active, earlier this month.

“Starting from today, the regional special forces structure is no longer there. Our work has been finished,” stated army head Birhanu Jula, saying the new units would receive training to aid with their integration.