Ethiopia benchmarks Kenya, France to form naval force

The Government of Ethiopia, one of the largest landlocked countries in the world, says it is bench-marking making the experiences of Kenya and France to establish a naval force after it has abandoned its navy force some 27 years ago.

This is indicated by the Minister of Defense of Ethiopia, Aisha Mohammed who presented her report to the parliament on Tuesday. She indicated that her ministry is using former regime skilled navy professionals who used to serve Ethiopia before the institution was made out of service in 1991.

After the decision was made to have a national navy a few months ago, Ethiopia has been reviewing navy structures ad experiences of Kenya and France, according to Minister Aisha. She told the members of the parliament that her ministry is working to make the under-formation navy of Ethiopia more efficient and competitive institution.

During Emperor Haile Selassie (1930 – 1974) and Derg Regime (1974-1991), Ethiopia lost its possession over the Red Sea in 1991 and Eritrea declared independence.

The decision to have a navy came recently as part of the reform Ethiopian military has been undertaking. In addition to the navy force, Ethiopia’s military will also have cyber and space forces.

Justifying why Ethiopia needs to have a navy being landlocked, Prime Minister Abiy indicated that as the country is in the Red Sea are where many countries are setting up their navy to advance their interests in the region, Ethiopia also needs to have one to protect its interest.

The Ethiopian Navy, known as the Imperial Ethiopian Navy until 1974, was a branch of the Ethiopian National Defense Force founded in 1955. It was disestablished in 1996 after the independence of Eritrea in 1991 left Ethiopia landlocked.