Difference between revisions of "Ethiopian National Imperial Guard (Italian Empire)"

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The '''Ethiopian National Imperial Guard''' (Ethiopian: ''የአገር ደጀን, የ.ደ.'', ''Yäagär Däjän'', Y.D.) is the autonomous branch of the National Royal Guard operating in the Ethiopian Empire. Outside the Ethiopian Defence Force, it also is the main indigenous military force in Italian East Africa outside the Army and the second African G.N.R. to be established in 1960. The Y.D. descends from the Ethiopian units of the Colonial militia, as well as from the Askari bands; however, in recent years the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard has claimed the legacy of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard.  
 
The '''Ethiopian National Imperial Guard''' (Ethiopian: ''የአገር ደጀን, የ.ደ.'', ''Yäagär Däjän'', Y.D.) is the autonomous branch of the National Royal Guard operating in the Ethiopian Empire. Outside the Ethiopian Defence Force, it also is the main indigenous military force in Italian East Africa outside the Army and the second African G.N.R. to be established in 1960. The Y.D. descends from the Ethiopian units of the Colonial militia, as well as from the Askari bands; however, in recent years the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard has claimed the legacy of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard.  
  
The Ethiopian National Imperial Guard, or "''The Guard''", as it is commonly referred to, performs the function of central reserve force, able to guarantee the Ethiopian political order and to provide unified support to the Imperial Ethiopian National Defence Force.
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The Ethiopian National Imperial Guard, or ''Kebur Zebagna'' (Amharic: ''ክቡር ዘበኛ'', lit. ''Honourable Guard''), as it is commonly referred to, performs the function of central reserve force, able to guarantee the Ethiopian political order and to provide unified support to the Imperial Ethiopian National Defence Force.
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
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File:GNR Etiopia Generali.png|Ethiopian National Imperial Guard Ordinary Uniform (General officers).
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File:Uniforme GNR - Etiopia -Generali - Ordinaria.png|Ethiopian National Imperial Guard Ordinary Uniform (General officers).
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File:Uniforme GNR - Etiopia -Generali - Cerimonia.png|Ethiopian National Imperial Guard Dress Uniform (General officers).
 
File:Uniforme GNR Etiopia.png|Ethiopian National Imperial Guard Operational Uniform (All ranks).
 
File:Uniforme GNR Etiopia.png|Ethiopian National Imperial Guard Operational Uniform (All ranks).
 
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Latest revision as of 10:37, 25 March 2020

Ethiopian National Imperial Guard
የአገር ደጀን, የ.ደ.
Yäagär Däjän
GNR - Insignia - ISR - 3145m3d.jpg
The M.V.S.N. emblem
Active 1960 - present
Country Ethiopian Empire
Branch Italian National Royal Guard
Role Defence force
Size 29,000
Part of National Royal Guard
Headquarters Addis Abeba
Nickname Kebur Zebagna
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt. Gen. Molla Hailemariam

The Ethiopian National Imperial Guard (Ethiopian: የአገር ደጀን, የ.ደ., Yäagär Däjän, Y.D.) is the autonomous branch of the National Royal Guard operating in the Ethiopian Empire. Outside the Ethiopian Defence Force, it also is the main indigenous military force in Italian East Africa outside the Army and the second African G.N.R. to be established in 1960. The Y.D. descends from the Ethiopian units of the Colonial militia, as well as from the Askari bands; however, in recent years the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard has claimed the legacy of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard.

The Ethiopian National Imperial Guard, or Kebur Zebagna (Amharic: ክቡር ዘበኛ, lit. Honourable Guard), as it is commonly referred to, performs the function of central reserve force, able to guarantee the Ethiopian political order and to provide unified support to the Imperial Ethiopian National Defence Force.

History

The Ethiopian National Republican Guard was the second African branch of the G.N.R. to be established in 1960, starting from collaborators, individual tribal militias and the standing forces of the Italian Colonial Militia. The first commander of Ethiopian descent was Major General Aman Mikael Andom, who served from 1984 to 1987, while the current commander is Lieutenant General Molla Hailemariam (in office since 2011). Until early 1980s, the Yäagär Däjän was a force grouping several separate security units, but without a cohesive organization. Starting in 1984, a reform and consolidation of these security units brought to the formation of modern-day six Brigades and support units. The Yäagär Däjän was recently engaged in heavy skirmishes against the Al-Shabaab militias on the southern borders.

Composition

The Ethiopian National Imperial Guard recruits its own cadres and leaders almost exclusively natives of the districts around Addis Ababa, directly dependent on the domain of the Crown. As a result, the officers corps is made up mostly by Christian Ethiopians, but both Italians and Muslim Ethiopians are present, although the latter ones contribute for only a relatively small percentage (13%).

Organization

While both the Ethiopian Gendarmerie and the Imperial Ethiopian National Defence Force are decentralized organizations, the National Imperial Guard is based in few key cities at the centre of the country, in order to ensure a standing reaction force, should the need arise. On a general basis, the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard is organized as an Army Corps, with some additional structures in order to guarantee the independence from the larger Imperial Ethiopian National Defence Force.

The operational forces of the Yäagär Däjän consist of 6 Combined Brigades, deployed in order to garrison all major communication routes and the capital city. The six Brigades are grouped into the Operational Forces Command (Divisional level). Alongside the six Brigades there is a number of other units, plus the General Command (Army Corps level), the Training Command (Divisional level), the Logistics Command (Brigade level, traditionally operated by the Ethiopian Female Auxiliary Service), the Communications Command (Brigade level), the Engineering Command (Brigade level) and the General Staff (Divisional level).

Logistic Command

The Logistic Command conducts operational activities and develops the command, coordination and control over all logistics formations. In particular, the Command exercises logistical support of Commands and Brigades, being responsible for the care of the staff and logistics for materials and means used and the use of financial resources.

Operational Forces Command

The Operational Forces Command is the heart of activity of the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard. The Command manages and frames the six Combined Brigade which constitute the line and operational forces. It is responsible for operational deployment, tactical training and simulation, handles operational support to the Imperial Ethiopian National Defence Force and to the Ethiopian Gendarmerie. The Command directly manages the Joint Task Force Headquarters amd the Land Divisional Command. The Operational Forces Command carries the title of "Mehal Sefari" (Amharic: መሃል ሠፋሪ); the title translates to "centre campers" and alludes to the location the unit encamped in expeditionary encampments.
As of 2016, there are 6 Combined Brigades and 1 Autonomous Battalion:

  • 1st Brigade "የብረት የቡጢ Yebireti Yebut’ī" (Ahmaric for "Iron Fist"; headquartered in Addis Abeba), charged with protection of the Capital;
  • 2nd Brigade "እሳት ድራጎን Isati Diragoni" (Ahmaric for "Fire Dragon"; headquartered in Bati), charged with protection of northern route and the northern access to the Great Rift Valley;
  • 3rd Brigade "የእግዚአብሔር አንበሳ Ye’igizī’ābiḥēri Anibesa" (Ahmaric for "Lion of God"; headquartered in Dire Dawa), charged with protection of eastern access to the Great Rift Valley;
  • 4th Brigade "ታማኝ ጓደኞች Tamanyi Gwadenyochi" (Ahmaric for "Faithful Companions"; headquartered in Dila), charged with protection of south-western access to the Great Rift Valley;
  • 5th Brigade "ኢምፔሪያል ባለአደራዎች Imipērīyali Bale’āderawochi" (Ahmaric for "Imperial Custodians"; headquartered in Gimma), charged with protection of south-western access to the Capital;
  • 6th Brigade "የብረት ጦረኛ Yebireti T’orenya" (Ahmaric for "Iron Warriors"; headquartered in Debre Markos), charged with protection of western access to the Capital;

1st Brigade "Yebireti Yebut’ī"

Coat of arms of the Iron Fist Brigade.

The 1st Brigade "የብረት የቡጢ Yebireti Yebut’ī" (Ahmaric for "Iron Fist") is the main formation of the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard. It is based in Addis Abeba, and it is assigned to the physical protection of the Ethiopian capital and of the Imperial government institutions. The 1st Brigade was formed in 1985, during the transformation of the Yäagär Däjän into a cohesive fighting force. However, first operational engagements occurred only in 2000s against al-Shabab insurgency.
Nowadays, the 1st Brigade consists of 8 Battalion-level units:

  • 1st Infantry Ç̌äwa "Menelik I" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 2nd Infantry Ç̌äwa "Kaleb" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 1st Cavalry Squadrons Group "Nazret" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Cavalry Squadrons);
  • 2nd Tank Squadrons Group "T’orineti Medosha" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Tank Squadrons);
  • 1st Field Artillery Group "Abul Kasim" (Command; 1 Support Battery; 3 Artillery Batteries);
  • 1st Sappers Battalion "Giuba" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Sappers Companies);
  • 1st Logistics Regiment "Yebireti Yebut’ī" (Command; 1 Command and Services Company; 1 Health Unit; 1 Maintenance Battalion; 1 Supplies Battalion);
  • Command and Supports Unit "Yebireti Yebut’ī" (1 Command Company; 1 Sappers Company; 1 Communications Company).

2nd Brigade "Isati Diragoni"

Coat of arms of the Fire Dragon Brigade.

The 2nd Brigade "እሳት ድራጎን Isati Diragoni" (Ahmaric for "Fire Dragon") is the Yäagär Däjän formation headquartered in Bati, charged with protection of northern route and the northern access to the Great Rift Valley. As such, its area of responsibility include the border with the Principality of Eritrea. The 2nd Brigade was formed in 1987, as result of the consolidation of preceeding security units.
Nowadays, the 2nd Brigade consists of 8 Battalion-level units:

  • 3rd Infantry Ç̌äwa "Amda Seyon I" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 4th Infantry Ç̌äwa "Kwestantinos I" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 3rd Cavalry Squadrons Group "Gondar" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Cavalry Squadrons);
  • 4th Tank Squadrons Group "T’ori" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Tank Squadrons);
  • 2nd Field Artillery Group "Abuye Meda" (Command; 1 Support Battery; 3 Artillery Batteries);
  • 2nd Sappers Battalion "Uebi Scebeli" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Sappers Companies);
  • 2nd Logistics Regiment "Isati Diragoni" (Command; 1 Command and Services Company; 1 Health Unit; 1 Maintenance Battalion; 1 Supplies Battalion);
  • Command and Supports Unit "Isati Diragoni" (1 Command Company; 1 Sappers Company; 1 Communications Company).

3rd Brigade "Ye’igizī’ābiḥēri Anibesa"

Coat of arms of the Lion of God Brigade.

The 3rd Brigade "የእግዚአብሔር አንበሳ Ye’igizī’ābiḥēri Anibesa" (Ahmaric for "Lion of God") is the Y.D. forormation which is headquartered in Dire Dawa, charged with protection of eastern access to the Great Rift Valley and to surveillance of the northern Ogaden region. Being a true mechanized infantry formation, the 3rd Brigade is properly equipped in order to conduct sustained armoured warfare operations (mostly in the Ogaden but, should the need arise, also to protect the access to the Rift Valley).
Nowadays the 3rd Brigade consists of:

  • 5th Tank Squadrons Group "Seyifi" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Tank Squadrons);
  • 6th Tank Squadrons Group "Lemedebidebi Begi" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Tank Squadrons);
  • 7th Cavalry Squadrons Group "Macallè" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Cavalry Squadrons);
  • 5th Infantry Ç̌äwa "Dawit I" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 3rd Field Artillery Group "Amba Aradam" (Command; 1 Support Battery; 3 Artillery Batteries);
  • 3rd Sappers Battalion "Awash" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Sappers Companies);
  • 3rd Logistics Regiment "Ye’igizī’ābiḥēri Anibesa" (Command; 1 Command and Services Company; 1 Health Unit; 1 Maintenance Battalion; 1 Supplies Battalion);
  • Command and Supports Unit "Ye’igizī’ābiḥēri Anibesa" (1 Command Company; 1 Sappers Company; 1 Communications Company).

4th Brigade "Tamanyi Gwadenyochi"

The 4th Brigade "ታማኝ ጓደኞች Tamanyi Gwadenyochi" (Ahmaric for "Faithful Companions") is the Y.D. formation headquartered in Dila, charged with protection of south-western access to the Great Rift Valley. Being its jurisdiction exclusively mountainous, it is an Alpine formation with its units training extensively with Alpine Italian National Royal Army units. The 4th Brigade was established in 1992, when the dissolution of the Soviet bloc prompted renewed threats to the Italian Empire.
Nowadays, the 4th Brigade consists of:

  • 6th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Iyasu I" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 7th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Ezana" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 8th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Tewodros II" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 8th Cavalry Squadrons Group "Auasa" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Cavalry Squadrons);
  • 4th Mountain Artillery Group "Amba Geshen" (Command; 1 Support Battery; 3 Artillery Batteries);
  • 4th Sappers Battalion "Dechatu" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Sappers Companies);
  • 4th Logistics Regiment "Tamanyi Gwadenyochi" (Command; 1 Command and Services Company; 1 Health Unit; 1 Maintenance Battalion; 1 Supplies Battalion);
  • Command and Supports Unit "Tamanyi Gwadenyochi" (1 Command Company; 1 Sappers Company; 1 Communications Company).

5th Brigade "Imipērīyali Bale’āderawochi"

Coat of arms of the Imperial Custodians Brigade.

The 5th Brigade "ኢምፔሪያል ባለአደራዎች Imipērīyali Bale’āderawochi" (Ahmaric for "Imperial Custodians") is the Y.D. formation headquartered in Jimma (or Gimma), charged with protection of south-western access to the Capital. Being its jurisdiction exclusively mountainous, it is an Alpine formation with its units training extensively with Alpine Italian National Roya Army units. The 5th Brigade was established in 1994, when the dissolution of the Soviet bloc prompted renewed eastern threats to the Italian Empire.
Nowadays, the 5th Brigade consists of:

  • 9th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Bakaffa" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 10th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Yeshaq I" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 11th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Yohannes I" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 9th Cavalry Squadrons Group "Bahar Dar" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Cavalry Squadrons);
  • 5th Mountain Artillery Group "Abuna Yosef" (Command; 1 Support Battery; 3 Artillery Batteries);
  • 5th Sappers Battalion "Kibish" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Sappers Companies);
  • 5th Logistics Regiment "Imipērīyali Bale’āderawochi" (Command; 1 Command and Services Company; 1 Health Unit; 1 Maintenance Battalion; 1 Supplies Battalion);
  • Command and Supports Unit "Imipērīyali Bale’āderawochi" (1 Command Company; 1 Sappers Company; 1 Communications Company).

6th Brigade "Yebireti T’orenya"

The 6th Brigade "የብረት ጦረኛ Yebireti T’orenya" (Ahmaric for "Iron Warriors") is the Y.D. formation headquartered in Debre Markos, charged with protection of south-western access to the Capital. Being its jurisdiction exclusively mountainous, it is an Alpine formation with its units training extensively with Alpine Italian National Royal Army units. The 6th Brigade was established in 1999, in response to instability in Sudan and in other areas.
Nowadays, the 5th Brigade consists of:

  • 12th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Yohannes IV" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 13th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Zewditu" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 14th Mountain Infantry Ç̌äwa "Tsehay Sagad" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Infantry Companies);
  • 10th Cavalry Squadrons Group "Dessiè" (Command; 1 Support Squadron; 3 Cavalry Squadrons);
  • 6th Mountain Artillery Group "Ale Bagu" (Command; 1 Support Battery; 3 Artillery Batteries);
  • 6th Sappers Battalion "Omo" (Command; 1 Support Company; 3 Sappers Companies);
  • 6th Logistics Regiment "Yebireti T’orenya" (Command; 1 Command and Services Company; 1 Health Unit; 1 Maintenance Battalion; 1 Supplies Battalion);
  • Command and Supports Unit "Yebireti T’orenya" (1 Command Company; 1 Sappers Company; 1 Communications Company).

1st Airborne Regiment "Berari Neber"

The 1st Airborne Regiment "የበረራ ንብሮች Berari Neber" (Ahmaric for "Flying Tigers") is an elite Ranger-type fighting force, and they are considered the elite of Ethiopia's G.N.R. security forces. They are thought to receive their orders directly from the Lieutenant General of the Ethiopian Empire. The Regiment is considered to be capable of executing selected military and internal security missions.
The Regiment consists of two battalions (Ç̌äwa) made up of an estimated 1,500 highly trained and politically reliable personnel. Headed by a G.N.R. Kolonel, the Special Troops are organized along the lines of an infantry battalion minus some service and support-related elements. Personnel in the Regiment are highly motivated, well educated and thoroughly indoctrinated. The Regiment's mission is to serve as a highly mobile shock force that can provide protection for high-ranking officials, conduct special military operations, and help support other special security requirements that the leadership might have. The Regiment soldiers are trained to operate as commando-style units.
Members of the force are both parachute-qualified and trained in the martial arts for hand-to-hand combat, and all are trained in hand-to-hand combat at least at the local level (i.e. quite high level of prowess). The Regiment is equipped with small arms such as rifles, pistols and machineguns, as well as 82-mm mortars and light artillery pieces.

Escort Units

In Ethiopia, honour guard service is performed by the National Imperial Guard both for the Imperial Vicar-Lieutenant General of the Realm (ኢምፔሪያል ቪካር-የመንግሥቱ ወራሽ Imipērīyali Vīkari-Yemenigišitu Werashi) and for the 11 Provincial Governors.
The Imperial Vicar is escorted by the Vicarial Squadron, consisting of a junior officer and an hundred of Legionnaires. Each of the 11 Provincial Governors is escorted by an Honour Platoon under the command of a junior officer, a Staff Sergeant (Andena Yashalaqa Basha), two Sergeants (Yashambal Gemja bet Alaqa), and 30 Legionnaires, including junior NCOs.

Anti-Insurgency Brigade "Agazi"

The Anti-Insurgency Brigade "Agazi" deals with border security and conducts counterterrorist operations. The Anti-Insurgency Brigade is a shadowy formation accountable only to a select few senior echelon members of Tigray Fascist Party and to the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard; the formation is named after one of the founding members of Tigray Fascist Party called Zeru Gessesse nicknamed Agazi. The Brigade is directly under the order of the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard Command and has a strength of about 4,000.
While established in late 1980s, and unlike the bulk of the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard, the Brigade tracks its origins to the Carabinieri and their repression operations in the days of consolidation of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia; this causes a difficult legitimation within the Ethiopian society, and therefore the Brigade is usually kept at margins of official discourse.

Mission and operations

Officially, the Anti-Insurgency Brigade "Agazi" is a specialized anti-terrorist task unit that would deploy on a short notice in response to terrorist attacks. The mission is to rapidly deploy specially trained and sustainable forces to detect, deter, defend, and conduct initial incident response to combat terrorism. Actually, the Brigade's main purpose is to ensure the regimes hold on power remains unchallenged. Wherever there is serious discontent or open revolt against the regime in any part of the country, the Anti-Insurgency Brigade is deployed with heavy-handed tactics and methods.

Organization

The Anti-Insurgency Brigade "Agazi" is organized on five Battalions:

  • 1st Command and Support Battalion;
  • Special Operations Forces Ç̌äwa (estimated personnel force of 400);
  • Anti-Terrorism Ç̌äwa;
  • 205th Commando Ç̌äwa;
  • 206th Commando Ç̌äwa.

Rank titles

The Ethiopian Empire was invaded and conquered by the Kingdom of Italy in 1936, but it was not formally annexed; rather than a formal annexation, King Victor Emmanuel III assumed the Imperial Crown of Ethiopia and established a (nominal) personal union. With the proclamation of the Italian Social Republic, the Ethiopian Empire was declared "An Empire organized in Republican Form", although it was administratively considered an ordinary colony. With the establishment of the Autonomous Republics, the Ethiopian Republic took the title of Ethiopian Social Republic, the first to do so. In order to honour the high status of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Yäagär Däjän has its own rank titles harmonized to the Ethiopian tradition. These rank titles are for Legionnaires from Legionnaire to Major:

  • Wätadär: Legionnaire
  • Makete Yaser: Legionnaire 1st Class
  • Yaser Alaqa: Deputy Team Chief
  • Yahamsa Alaqa: Team Chief
  • Yashambal Gemja bet Alaqa: First Team Chief
  • Andena Yashalaqa Basha: First Team Chief 1st Class
  • Amsa Alaqa 1: Adjutant
  • Amsa Alaqa 2: Chief Adjutant
  • Amsa Alaqa 3: Prime Adjutant
  • Meeel Yamato Alaqa: Under-Lieutenant
  • Yamato Alaqa: Lieutenant
  • Yashambal: Captain
  • Yashalaqa: Major

From Lieutenant Colonel to Major General, ranks are the conventional ranks translated in Amharic language:

  • Leftenant-Kol: Lieutenant Colonel (Seleca if battalion commander)
  • Kolonel: Colonel (Degiac if regimental commander)
  • Brigedar Janaral: Brigadier General
  • Mejor Janaral: Major General

Ethiopian G.N.R. General Officers in charge of a particular branch, as well as those tasked to act as Military Governors, also have the title of "Balambaras" alongside their proper rank, while Ethiopian M.V.S.N. leaders style themselves with "Ras".

Unit designations

The Ethiopian National Imperial Guard retains traditional unit designations: Infantry units at the battalion level are styled "Ç̌äwa" (Ge’ez: ṣewa, ጼዋ; Amharic: Ç̌äwa, ጨዋ) after the XVI Century Emperors' regiments.

Uniforms and insignia

Ethiopian G.N.R. Legionnaires wear their own uniform: khaki jacket and trousers and a green and khaki cap. The blackshirt and the Fascist Eagle are common among all M.V.S.N. branches. Aside of uniform colours, both the cloths' cuts and rank insignia are the same across the Italian Empire. Officers of the Ethiopian National Imperial Guard wear a hard hat surrounded by a lion's mane hair, mane procure killing the lion with only his dagger during hunting mission undertaking after the end of the Military Academy.

See also