11 August 2012 [ESAT]
With the government still largely hushed about the fate of the Prime Minister and while there are growing reports of internal power struggle within the TPLF led coalition, the Ethiopian Ministry of Defence has instructed the Army, and the Air Force to be on high alert since three days ago.
The immediate reason given by the defence ministry officials to the unusually timed declaration of state-of-alert is the hitherto unresolved tension with the Ethiopian Muslim community. However military analysts and sources within the ministry doubt the Ethiopian Muslims’ by and large peaceful movement would be a reason to alert and in some instances mobilize the Army and Air Force. These insider sources say the alert could be a lot more related to the uncertainty and the power vacuum created with the now eighth week absence of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Our sources say the writ was passed to chiefs and subsequently to division heads of the Army and Air Force at the beginning of the week. All army Barracks and the main Air Force base at Debre Zeit are now operating 24 hours a day.
Especially there is a heightened activity at the Department of Army Command and Deployment; and Department of Logistics. Security has also since been increased near and around military depots.
Division heads working in the Department of Army Command and Deployment are at the highest alert and operating round the clock.
ESAT’s resident political analyst believes the government is preparing itself to disclose the final fate of PM Meles Zenawi and he suspects this whole preparation is for a possible backlash that comes with the disclosure. One other hypothesis for the unusual state-of-alert is a preparation to thwart a possible cross boarder attack by Eritrea to take advantage of the lurking political crises.