More soldiers desert the army, join opposition groups

ESAT News (May 16, 2016)

The number of soldiers deserting the Ethiopian army that’s riddled with corruption and joining opposition forces is on the rise.

The Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM) said in a statement on Monday that several soldiers of the minority regime in Addis Ababa have joined the Movement. TPDM has released a list of the names and other information of those who recently deserted the regime’s army. Some of the deserters had higher ranks in the army.

The soldiers said they had enough of the regime that’s using the army to prolong its stay in power. They said they would rather join democratic forces and fight to save the country from disintegration.

Adem Mohammed and Beshir Yosef said nepotism and corruption were rampant in the army. They said the rank and file were marginalized by the higher officers and generals who hail from one ethnic group. As a result, there is no unity and cohesion in the army, they said, adding that no soldier wish to stay in the army on his will; everyone wants to abandon the army, according to these soldiers.

Unbridled plunder of resources by a handful of generals when the rank and file eke out a living has been one of the causes of the rise in defection; in addition to refusal by some members of the army not to serve as a hit squad for the regime against people who are deemed to be political opponents.