U.S. Extends Military Support to Ethiopia

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The United States Department of Defense provided 2.9 million dollars’ worth of training and equipment to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) to support Ethiopia’s effort to disrupt the threats posed by al-Shabaab, a jihadist fundamentalist group in Somalia and other terrorist organizations.

The support that aims to strengthen the capacity ENDF includes land cruisers, troop transports, ambulances, cargo and fuel trucks, water trailers, operations center computers, and night vision devices.

The United States and Ethiopia have developed a long-standing partnership that includes military training exercises and various activities to support peacekeeping and counterterrorism objectives.

“This donation is just one way the U.S. government supports Ethiopian partner forces in their fight against terrorism,” wrote the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia in a press release.

U.S. government investments in Ethiopia have totaled more than $13 billion over the past 20 years, with nearly $4 billion in health alone.

A month ago, the U.S. halted foreign assistance to Ethiopia amounting to 130 million dollars over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

However, the halted support did not include support in security assistance, counterterrorism and military education and training, and broader development assistance funding.

During recent years, Ethiopia was ranked between the second and third as the most powerful military in Africa by Global Fire Power, a global defense-related information tracking website.

Recently, though, Ethiopia has dropped to the 7th rank sitting between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocco while Egypt is placed at the top. Globally, Ethiopia is ranked 60 out of the 138 countries that were surveyed in 2020

Some of the equipment used by ENDF, which has a budget of 16.5 billion birr in the current fiscal year, includes 24 fighter aircraft, 8 attack helicopters, 400 combat tanks, and 114 armored fighting vehicles, 183 rocket projectors, 67 self-propelled artillery, and 650 towed artillery.

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