General Samora Yenus Ethiopian National Defense Forces chief of staff visits China
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General Samora Yenus Ethiopian National Defense Forces chief of staff visits China

Tigrai Online, August 19, 2017

General Samora Yenus Ethiopian National Defense Forces chief of staff visits China

Fan Changlong (R), vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, meets with Samora Yenus, chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 18, 2017. (Xinhua/Liu Fang)


According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, General Samora Yenus, chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, is in Beijing, capital city of China. The Ethiopian chief of staff of the Defense Forces is to discuss relations between the two militaries. Xinhua said the following on its news report today.

“Senior Chinese and Ethiopian military officials spoke highly of military ties between the two countries when they met in Beijing Friday. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, met with Samora Yenus, chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, to discuss relations between the two militaries.

China and Ethiopia have continually enhanced their political mutual trust and made fruitful exchanges and cooperation in recent years, Fan said. He added that Chinese military aims to work with its Ethiopian counterpart in deepening practical cooperation, contributing to China's comprehensive strategic partnership with Ethiopia. Samora said that Ethiopia is willing to push forward the continuous development of bilateral relation.” Source:


Ethiopia should develop advanced military cabablities

Ethiopia has a budding military industry now, but if it wants to effectively defend itself and maintain reasonable control in its sphere of influence, Ethiopia should invest a lot more money to its military and increase its military budget by about 10%.

Ethiopia should develop military capabilities that are suitable to the geopolitics of the region, the size of its population, and the speed of growth of its economy.

As seen from non military side of development, the Chinese seem more generous and willing to share their knowhow in technology better than the western world. The Ethiopian government could use its diplomatic capital to help the military get more advanced military technology from the Chinese, Russia, and the former Soviet Union.

There is no doubt the Ethiopian military is one of the strongest, most disciplined, and most efficient militaries in Africa. The Ethiopian defense forces have proven time and again they can fight multiple wars in many fronts and win. As witnessed in the Somalia invasion of 1977 when Ethiopia was in the middle of civil war in the north, the Ethiopian military managed to stop the invaders with some help .

Recently when Eritrea invaded northern Ethiopia in 1998 and occupied many towns in Tigrai state including Zalambesa, and Badme, the Ethiopian army was not ready to wage any war. Despite the invading army’s years of preparation and the Ethiopian army not suspecting any attack from Eritrea, the invaders were stopped on their tracks by the local militia. After the Ethiopian army and the entire Ethiopian population were ready, the Eritrea sawa boys and girls were chased all the way to Keren.  One quarter of Eritrea was under the Ethiopian defense forces.  Had the Ethiopian leaders continue the very successfully counter offensive by the military the result could have changed history in a fundamental way and we wouldn’t be where we are now in relation with Eritrea.


The Ethiopian army has learned a great lesson from the Ethio-Eritrea war of 1998. The readiness of the Ethiopian military in all aspects is at its best compare to what it was then and now, but there are more risky developments related to the geo politics of the Horn of Africa.

The overall Ethiopian development, the Arab military coming to Ethiopia’s door steps (Assab), and the dispute of the Nile River usage have raised the stakes higher than before.  On top of that the Super powers of the world are jostling for dominance in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea region and that adds complication to the growing tension in our neighborhood.

Without a powerful defense and security forces, any economic development could disappear in a matter of few months as we have seen the preview last year.

Having dominant and powerful defense capabilities is not only to win wars, it is also the main deterrent factor to prevent war in the first place.

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