Tuesday July 16, 2019
Opening ceremony of the military training in Addis Ababa. Photo : courtesy of U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa
Ethiopian and US Defense Force kicked off today joint military training is officially opened at Peace Support Training Center, Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Monday, July 15, 2019, according to a press release sent to borkena.
Present during the opening ceremony were Ato Fisseha Woldesenbet (State Minister for Ethiopian Minister of Defense), Major General Yimer Ali (Ethiopian National Defense Forces Representative) and Brigadier General Habtamu Tilahun ( Commander of the Ethiopian National Defense Force Peacekeeping Center and exercise co-director)
From U.S. armed forces, Major General Roger Cloutier (U.S. Army Africa commanding general) and Brigadier General Lapthe Flora (U.S. Army Africa deputy commanding general and exercise co-director) were present.
U.S Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor, made a remark during the ceremony.
“we’re enormously grateful for Ethiopia’s steadfast commitment to hosting and participating in this exercise,” he said. He also extended his “sincere gratitude” to participating nations: Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Djibouti, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.
DW Amharic reported that the number of participants is about 1100.
Representatives of international organizations are also participating in the exercise.
With regard to the motive of the training, DW Amharic reported that it aims to foster military skill and preparedness in Eastern Africa – the part of Africa where Al-Shabab Militants are still a threat.
Ambassador Michael Raynor described Ethiopia as “the world’s largest contributor to global peacekeeping forces, and an essential partner in security cooperation efforts in the Horn of Africa, and beyond.”
The 16 days long military training has a field exercise component which will take place at the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s training center in Hurso which is close to Dire Dawa.
The training is expected to happen every year.