By Mahlet Mesganaw, Partner at DMLF
The FDRE Defense Force Proclamation No 1286/2023 ( the Proclamation), done as of September 19, 2023, repealed Defense Force Proclamation Nos. 1100/2019 and 1232/2021, for the purpose of consolidating laws on retirement age, rights, benefits and incentives for defense forces, national recall and medals and certification.
The Proclamation embodies seven parts and 87 articles.
The FDRE Defense Force is organized to fight in 5 domains namely on land, air, naval, cyber and space. The mission includes to defend the sovereignty of the nation, the constitution and constitutional system against any threats and attacks by foreign invaders as well as internal anti-peace elements. The defense forces have also the obligation to defend and protect the lives of the people, public and governmental institutions and developmental infrastructures from man made and natural disasters.
Depending on the rank from private to field marshal, the retirement age ranges from 45-60 years. There is a possibility of extension for further two years twice, with the possibility of unlimited extension for field marshals.
When the sovereignty and integrity of the nation is threatened, any member of the defense forces who has been discharged honorably may be recalled to return to active duty.
Any assignment to a military position or promotion to a higher military rank shall be on the basis of competitiveness and merit. Promotion shall ensure equitable representation of all the nations, nationalities and peoples and women.
The Proclamation has established military justice organs. These are the military police, the military investigators, the military prosecutors, military courts, military defense council and military prisons. On Article 42, the Federal Supreme Court is granted power of cassation over any final decision of the military court which contains basic errors of law.
There are medals and certificates awarded to those members of the defense forces for outstanding heroism. Amongst the medals, the Distinguished Medal of the Black Lion and the Medal of the Victory of Adwa are the highest awards given by the government.
Finally the Ethiopian Army Day shall be celebrated annually on October 25 as a National holiday.
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