Somaliland: 12 military officers graduate from Ethiopia’s Defence College

ADDIS ABABA — Twelve cadets with special military engineering skills will join the Somaliland national armed forces this week after graduating from a defense college in neighbouring Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s top military brass including the defense minister Siraj Fegesa awarded a gold medal recognizing outstanding performance and the highest grade point average by a cadet to Saeed Adan Nur during a graduation held in Defence Engineering College (DEC). He was one of only dozen cadets honored as a Distinguished Graduate with Institute Honors.

Mr. Nur was part of a twelve students from Somaliland who received Bachelor of Engineering degrees in number of departments including electronics, armaments, civil and combat, electrical and aeronautical.

As a part of a defense relationship between the two countries, the Ethiopian government grants every year scholarships to students from Somaliland. The Ethiopian Ministry of Defense (MoD) oversees the program and admits them to the governmental institution, which the department established in 1997. The college trains locals and other African military cadets in military engineering skills and military ethics.

Ever since they have been coming Somaliland cadets have been graduating on top of their classes. Just last year the Ethiopian premiere Mr. Meles Zenawi presented gold medal to Somaliland student Ahmed Shadi Abdullahi after receiving the highest marks.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Defense said students from Somaliland were highly discipline and eager to learn as well as respectful for those around them.

These unit have been studying in Ethiopia for the last five and a half years; three years of diploma and two-and-a-half years of undergraduate training. They will contribute to the stability of the overall region and Somaliland’s growing security forces.

Somaliland field marshal Abdullahi Alas and the Somaliland military training director attended the graduation ceremony among high status delegations from the region. They congratulated all cadets and thanked the Ethiopian government and the college for their hospitality and support.

Since 2008, at least 50 cadets from Somaliland graduated from the military institute in the town of Debre Zeit.