Over 140 million birr earmarked for Republican Guard

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For the next budget year, the federal government proposed over 140 million birr for the newly formed Republican Guard who is responsible for safeguarding top government officials and their families.
The Republican Guard was established in the summer of 2018, following the explosion of a hand grenade in the middle of a crowd attending a speech of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa at Meskel square on 23 June 2018.
Alongside the June 2018 attack, the Office of the Prime Minister linked the establishment of the Republican Guard to other disturbances occurring in Ethiopia even if the security arrangement did not, however, form a force specifically dedicated to this task.
The council of Ministers approved the establishment of the new force unit some months ago.
The Republican Guards have taken six month special training both in the country and abroad to be highly equipped.
“To anyone who, might be thinking of launching an attack against this country’s leaders, the Republican Guard is capable enough to safe guard any form of aggression and ill-intentioned forces,” said Brigadier General Birhanu Bekele, who is in charge of the Republican Guard, while the members of the guard showcased the skills they acquired during the course of their training. They are skilled in parachute jumping from a flying helicopter, unexpected maneuvering of the direction of a speeding vehicle, Taekwondo defense and attack.
Previously, Ethiopian leaders and officials have been protected by security details assigned by the Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).
Ethiopia had an Imperial Guard during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, but that military unit was disbanded after the emperor was ousted in an army coup in September 1974.
The government also proposed 15 billion birr for the defense ministry in the next fiscal year.
According to a report by Trading Economics, Military Expenditure in Ethiopia remained unchanged at 503 USD Million in 2018 from 503 USD Million in 2017.