Lieutenant General Bacha Debele Buta

The massacre perpetrated against the Northern Command is horrific, Lieutenant-General Bacha Debele Buta who inspected the scene disclosed to ENA.

Briefing journalists after his visit, Lieutenant-General Bacha said the TPLF junta used horrific tactics to destroy the army.

On the day the fight began, it held a party for the army and abducted senior military officers.  

In his briefing, he added that the illegal group cut off radio communication to disrupt the chain of command.

 As the day was when the army receives rations and salaries, the illegal group looted and distributed all to its own fighters, Lieutenant-GeneralBacha elaborated.   

On that same night they launched attack at 10:00 PM and the army could not get food and water for three days. 

In the meantime they sent people that asked members of the army to surrender.

In the horrendous massacre carried out by the illegal TPLF group, soldiers of the Oromo Liberation Front had taken part, he revealed.

He, however, pointed out that no single member of the army had surrendered.

Lieutenant-General Bacha further elaborated that members of the brigade armed with modern weaponry fought to the last and few survived. Martyred members of the brigade were thrown naked and left to be eaten by wild animals.

The abducted senior military officers released naked by TPLF junta were given clothes by members of the Eritrean army who gave them their own uniforms.

The Northern Command, which is now in good position, has been taking effective measures against the illegal group.

Let. Gen. Bacha Debele Buta, was head of defense combat engineering of the Ethiopian National Defense Force and former commander of Eastern Corps, spoke with the USARCENT staff about lessons learned during Ethiopia’s recent military campaign to support the Transitional Federal Government, the recognized government of Somalia.

“It’s always good to hear from a military that has been as successful in the War on Terrorism as Ethiopia,” said Whitcomb.

Buta was invited to speak here by Whitcomb and is the latest speaker in the Third Army Command Professional Development program, an initiative which brings in speakers from across the USARCENT’s area of responsibility. The speakers usually hold seminars on subjects of interest to the Third Army command, said Col. Dave Huggins, Third Army director of Civil Military Affairs.

“It is important that the Ethiopian and U.S. governments continue to work together to combat the War on Terror,” Buta said before the seminar.

After the opening remarks by Buta, the USARCENT staff was given a detailed presentation of the campaign. Ethiopia supported the TFG after it was forced out of Mogadishu by warlords of the Islamic Courts Union, later known as the Conservative Council of Islamic Courts, between June and December 2006. The Ethiopian government sent in its military to help reclaim the capitol and, after a series of battles, succeeded in re-establishing the TFG’s control as government of Somalia last January. Buta was commander of ENDF operations in Somalia until early April, when he was chosen to become the Ethiopian National Defense Force chief of education and training. The Ethiopian government is still currently supporting the TFG.

The seminar was the second of Buta’s two-part visit with Third Army. Prior to the visit to the headquarters, Third Army sponsored his visit to the U.S. Engineering School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

In the past, USARCENT has provided the ENDF with personnel to share information on subjects such as the roles of the lawyer’s and inspector generals in the U.S. Army, said Maj. Kent W. Hall, Third Army Ethiopian desk officer.

Hall said Buta’s visit was extremely beneficial to Third Army, not just from the viewpoint of operational information, but to the two nations’ continued efforts in the War on Terrorism.

“The real importance of this visit is the formation of a basis of true partnership between Ethiopia and the United States. They can learn from us and we will learn from them,” he said.

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