The Minister of Defense (MoD), Siraj Fegessa, said the country’s military front on the border with Eritrea remains impenetrable to respond to any possible aggression.
The minister made the remark while presenting his ministry’s nine months’ performance report to the House of Peoples’ Representatives on Thursday.
“Our army is always psychologically and materially alert to promptly and adequately respond to potential aggressions at any time,” Siraj told parliamentarians.
The minister added that all the necessary steps to make the Ethio-Eritrea border front inviolable has been undertaken with maximum preparedness at every strategic operations level. The same level of preparedness in air defense is also in place with better quality and quantity of personnel as well as air defense armaments, Siraj added.
The minister’s report, however, made no mention of a reported clash between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces along the border in mid-march.
Some media reports indicated that a surprise attack by Eritrean military around Badme area left several Ethiopian National Defense Force personnel killed. In retaliation, the Ethiopian army reportedly crossed several kilometers inside Eritrea to carry out attacks on a military principal garage and a gold mining site. [NOTE: It was turned out to be a government-sponsored media hoax that never took place.]
The Ethiopian government neither denied nor admitted carrying out the attacks when asked about the reported clashes. “We will respond when there is an entity that officially claims to have been attacked,” Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had said during a press conference. The Eritrean government had also made no official statement regarding the [alleged] incident.
Defense Minister Siraj was also not inquired by parliamentarians.
Siraj’s report also failed to mention about the defection of an Ethiopian air force pilot. Captain Gidey commanded MI35 Russian-made combat helicopter with co-pilot Lieutenant Bilelegn Dessalegn and flight technician Tsegabirhan Gidey to Eritrea.
Two months later the US government donated a C-130E Hercules military transport aircraft to the Ethiopian Air Force.
VIDEO: The Arbegnoch-Ginbot7 Ethiopian opposition fighters penetrating the “impenetrable” Ethiopian border from Eritrea to attack military positions deep inside Ethiopia. Impenetrable my foot!