Country Listing

Ethiopia Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In mid-1991, combined strength of Ethiopian armed forces about 438,000. Ground forces estimated at 430,000 (including about 200,000 members of People's Militia). Air force estimated at 4,500. Navy estimated at 3,500. After downfall of Mengistu regime, armed forces collapsed and were dismantled by EPRDF. In mid-1993, EPRDF had 100,000 to 120,000 guerrillas under arms; EPLF had between 85,000 and 100,000. Both planned to transform their forces into conventional armies and also to reconstitute air forces and navies.

Combat Units and Major Equipment: Before mid-1991, ground forces organized into five revolutionary armies comprising thirty-one infantry divisions supported by thirty-two tank battalions, forty artillery battalions, twelve air defense battalions, and eight commando brigades. Major weapons systems included T-54/55 and T-62 tanks, various caliber howitzers and guns, antiaircraft guns, and surface-to-air missiles. Air force organized into seven fighter-ground attack squadrons, one transport squadron, and one training squadron. Equipment included 150 combat aircraft. Navy equipment included two frigates and twenty-four patrol and coastal combatants.

After downfall of Mengistu government, several insurgent groups, including EPRDF, EPLF, and Oromo Liberation Front, captured a considerable amount of ground equipment; former soldiers sold an unknown quantity of small arms and light equipment throughout Horn of Africa. Naval crews with their vessels and an unknown number of pilots with their aircraft scattered to neighboring countries. Information on military organization, personnel strength, and equipment types and numbers in both Ethiopia and Eritrea unavailable as of mid1993 .

Defense Budget: Estimated at US$472 million in 1987-88. No figures available for defense expenditures for Ethiopia or Eritrea as of mid-1993.

Police Agencies and Paramilitary Forces: National police included paramilitary Mobile Emergency Police Force, estimated at 9,000. Paramilitary frontier guards. Local law enforcement delegated to civilian paramilitary People's Protection Brigades. By mid-1993, national police force functioning throughout Ethiopia in place of EPRDF soldiers. EPLF personnel performed police duties throughout Eritrea.

Data as of 1991