PROCLMATION NO. 27/1996 DEFENCE FORCES OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA


PROCLMATION NO. 27/1996
A PROCLAMATION ON THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA
WHEREAS, it is found necessary to organize, and to regulate the administration of, the Defence Forces of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; which Defence Forces safeguard the country's sovereignty, embody a fair representation of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples and carry out their functions in a manner free from political loyalties;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) and (7) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
PART ONE
General
1. Short Title This Proclamation may be cited as the "Defence Forces Proclamation No. 27/1996"
2. Definitions
In this Proclamation, unless the context otherwise requires:
1) "Commander" means a person authorized to direct and administer a military unit formed at any level of the National Defence Forces; 2) "Minister" or "Ministry" means the Minister or the Ministry of National Defence, respectively;
3) "Member of the Defence Forces" means a person who renders military services in the National Defence Forces on a permanent basis;
4) "Officer" includes those members of the Defence forces ranging in rank from Second-Lieutenant to General;
5) "General Officer" means a person with the rank of Brigadier-, Major-, Lieutenant-General and General;
6) "Military Court" means courts to be established under Article 25 of this Proclamation.
PART TWO
Military Service
3. Organization of the Defence Forces The National Defence Forces of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall consist of the Ground Force and the Air Force.
4. Recruitment
1) The Ministry may, in accordance with criteria periodically issued by it, recruit persons fit and willing for military services. 2) Recruitment made by the Ministry, under sub-Article (1) of this Article, shall embody a fair representation of Nation, Nationalities and Peoples.
3) Officers shall be recruited only from among the ranks of the Defence Forces.
 
5. Employment Any military recruit shall sign a contract of employment in accordance with directives to be issued by the Ministry.
 
6. Military training 1) Every member of the Defence Forces shall receive basic military training before going into service. 2) Members of the Defence Forcs on active duty shall be trained in diverse skills, as necessary, considering their individual disposition and competence.
3) Anyone from among the ranks of the Defence Forces satisfying the criteria to be issued by the Ministry shall receive training that qualifies him for officer service.
7. Military Oath Every member of the Defence Forces, upon completion of the basic military training and before going into service, shall take a military oath.
 
8. Duties of Members of the Defence Forces Every member of the Defence Forces shall have the duty to uphold the Constitution as well as to obey military laws, rules, directives and all standing orders.
 
9. Term of Service 1) Every member of the Defence Forces shall be employed for a seven-year term of service. Where the member is willing to serve for additional time and the Ministry so agrees, the period of service may be extended; without, however, going beyond the age of 45. 2) Any member of the Defence Forces shall serve for, at least, seven years subsequent to having attained the rank of lance-corporal, corporal and sergeant or the equivalent. However, such service may not extend beyond the age of 45.
3) Any member of the Defence Forces shall serve for, at least, ten years subsequent to having become an officer. Such service, however, may not extend beyond the following age-limits:
(a) Second-Lieutenant to Captain………....……..… 48 years
(b) Major to Colonel…….… 52 years
(c) General Officers………. 55 years
4) Where it finds it necessary, the Ministry may extend the term of service of officers for a period of not more than two years.
10. Entitlements Any member of the Defence Forces on active duty shall be entitled, in accordance with the relevant internal directives of the Ministry, to rations, housing, uniform, travel expenses and medical care, free of charge. 11. Termination of Service Subsequent to examination of the case by the leadership organs of the home-unit and where approved by the competent authority, the service of a member of the Defence Forces shall be terminated upon: 1) expiry of his contract of employment; 2) his death;
3) acceptance by the Ministry of his offer for resignation;
4) a medical board testifying his unfitness for further military service owing to serious illness or, mental or physical handicap suffered;
5) his being criminally convicted by a law court and where dicided that the offence disqualifies him from service;
6) it becoming impossible to retain him because of changes in the structure of the Ministry;
7) his service being confirmed undesirable due to incompetence in the performance of regular military duties, failure in leadership or misconduct; and
8) his retirement.
12. Deferment of Discharge from Duty Any member of the Defence Forces shall be obliged to remain in service, even beyond the respective term of service, where national security is endangered or during times of war. 13. Compensation for Service and Retirement 1) A member of the Defence forces shall, in accordance with directives to be issued by the Ministry, be entitled to compensation where discharged upon completion of the stipulated seven years' service; 2) Where the service of a member of the Defence Forces is terminated not voluntarily but for various other reasons, before completion of the stipulated term of seven years, he shall be entitled to fair compensation in accordance with directives to be issued by the Ministry;
3) The age-limits for termination of service, specified under sub-Articles (1), (2) and (3) of Article 9 herein above, shall also be deemed to be retirement age-limits for purposes of the application of Pension Laws.
14. Assignment and Transfer Any member of the Defence Forces shall have the obligation to accept assignments and render services both inside and outside the country, as necessary, in accordance with relevant regulations. 15. Medals, Orders and Prizes Any member of the Defence Forces shall be awarded with medals, orders or prizes for notable service, heroism as well as for new findings or creative work, in accordance with the relevant laws, internal regulations or directives. 16. Leave In accordance with directives to be issued by the Ministry, a member of the Defence Forces shall be entitled to annual leave and special leave for social activities. 17. Military Discipline In the event that a member of the Defence Forces is found to have transgressed military laws, rules, directives and standing orders and the offence is too minor to be brought before a military court, the case shall be disposed of under the Defence Forces' Disciplinary Directives. 18. Complaints Any member of the Defence Forces shall have the right to make a complaint and obtain a decision, in accordance with the Defence Forces' Disciplinary Directives, where he has suffered an administrative wrong or is aggrieved by a disciplinary measure taken against him. Every Commander shall have the duty to give timely decisions on such complaints.
PART THREE
Promotion, Service and Dismissal
19. Ranks The ranks in the Defence Forces are the following: 1) Ground Forces:
(a) Lance-Corporal, (b) Corporal,
(c) Sergeant,
(d) Second-Lieutenant,
(e) Lieutenant,
(f) Captain,
(g) Major,
(h) Lieutenant-Colonel,
(i) Colonel,
(j) Brigadier-General
(k) Major-General,
(l) Lieutenant-General,
(m) General.
2) The ranks in the Air Force ranging from Second-Lieutenant to General are similar to those in the Ground Force. 3) The ranks below that of Second-Lieutenant in the Air Force are the following:
(a) Junior Aircraftsman, (b) Senior Technician,
(c) Master Technician.
4) Ranks, other than those specified hereinabove, held by members of the former army shall remain in transitory use unless upgraded by way of promotion.
20. Procedure of Promotion 1) In accordance with directives on promotions to be issued by the Ministry, a member of the Defence Forces shall be promoted for excellence in the performance of military duties, the observance of discipline and in qualities of leadership. 2) Promotions shall be given by the following organs:
(a) a Corps-or Force-Commander shall give promotions of Lance-Corporal to Sergeant and Junior Aircraftsman to Master Technician, in accordance with the quota to be allocated by the Office of the General Chief of Staff; (b) Second-Lieutenant to Major, by the General Chief of Staff;
(c) Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel by the Council of Defence Commanders, which consists of Heads of Departments in the Headquarters of the Armed Forces as well as Corps-and Force-Commanders;
(d) General Officers by the Head of State, upon recommendation by the Prime Minister.
3) Promotions shall be given where: (a) there is a vacancy thereto; and (b) the person to be promoted satisfies the criteria set out in sub-Article (1) of this Article.
21. Obligatory Service An officer having received the benefit of specialized training or schooling shall, subsequent to its completion, have the obligation to serve for a period of not more than 12 years, as may be necessary.  
22. Dismissal 1) Decisions on dismissal shall be made by the leadership organs empowered to give promotions under sub-Article (2), (a), (b), (c) and (d) of Article 20 herein. 2) Cases of dismissal of General Officers shall be looked into by a Committee of not less than three persons appointed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The Commander-in-Chief shall submit the Committee's recommendation, together with his opinion thereon, to the Head of State for final decision.
3) Where it finds it necessary, the leadership organ or the Committee shall call upon and hear the would-be dismissed officer before a final decision is reached under sub-Articles (1) and (2) of this Article.
PART FOUR
Powers and Duties of the Minister and of the General Chief of Staff
23. Powers and Duties of the Minister The Minister shall have the following powers and duties: 1) to ascertain that the Defence Forces are loyal to, and stand firm in upholding, the Constitution; 2) to submit and secure decisions on matters of defence which need to be examined and decided by the Council of Ministers;
3) to initiate laws and rules governing the Defence Forces and ensure their implementation subsequent to approval;
4) to submit budgetary requirements to the concerned Government organ and supervise allocations thereof are put to work;
5) to supervise, as the superior authority, military plants and see to it that materials needed by the Defence Forces are available;
6) to establish working relationships in respect of defence matters with foreign governments, governmental and non-governmental offices and organizations;
7) to coordinate nation-wide mobilization campaigns subject to Government directives.
24. Powers and Duties of the General Chief of Staff The General Chief of Staff shall have the following powers and duties: 1) to direct, as the superior authority, the Headquarters of the Armed Forces, preside over the meeting of the Council of Defence Commanders, coordinate its activities as well as ascertain that its decisions are implemented; 2) to hold the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Nation inviolable and execute a state of emergency In the event of violations of peace and security beyond the power of Regions, to work out a plan for getting the situation under control and implement same upon approval;
3) to organize the National Defence Forces in line with decisions by the Government;
4) to ensure that the Armed Forces are, at all times, combat-ready;
5) subject to the directives and decisions of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to command the Armed Forces and direct military operations;
6) to advise the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Minister on military matters.
 
PART FIVE
Military Courts
25. Establishment There shall be the following Military Courts to hear cases brought pursuant to Article 26 of this Proclamation and to be established, as necessary, by officials referred to under Article 29 hereof: 1) the Primary Military Court; and 2) the Appellate Military Court. 26. Jurisdiction Military Courts Military Courts shall have jurisdiction over: 1) persons accused of military offences enumerated in the Penal Code (Article 296-331, inclusive); 2) without prejudice to sub-Articles (1) of this Article, any offence committed by a member of the Defence Forces on active service;
3) civilians deployed with members of the Defence Forces on combat duty abroad;
4) offences committed by prisoners-of-war.
27. Jurisdiction of Primary Military Court The Primary Military Court shall have jurisdiction over offences specified under Article 26 of this Proclamation.  
28. Cases Coming under Dual Jurisdiction Where one of the several offences an accused person is charged with comes under the jurisdiction of a military court, all the charges shall be brought before the military court. 29. Appointment of Military Courts 1) A Primary Military Court shall be appointed upon calling by the following officials or by an officer delegated by them: (a) the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; (b) the Minister;
(c) the General Chief of Staff;
(d) a Corps-or-Forces-Commander.
2) The Appellate Military Court shall be appointed upon calling by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
30. Proceedings of Military Courts 1) Any officer on active duty and having legal skills may sit in a Primary Military Court. However, unless the defendant agrees otherwise, no member of his home-unit may sit therein. 2) The case of an accused person whose offence is punishable by a prison-term of over two years shall be tried by not less than five officers in a Primary Military Court.
3) The case of an accused person whose offence is punishable by a prison-term of not more than two years shall be tried by not less than three officers in a Primary Military Court.
4) The number of officers specified in sub-Article (2) of this Article may, under circumstances of non-availability, be reduced to three.
5) In the Appellate Military Court there shall sit one civilian judge and two officers to be appointed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces upon recommendation by the Minister.
6) Officers sitting in a military court, pursuant to sub-Articles (1), (2) and (3) of this Article, shall be, at least, one notch higher in military rank than the accused person.
31. Appellate Military Court 1) The Appellate Military Court shall have jurisdiction to hear, on appeal, cases in which a sentence of imprisonment exceeding two years has been passed. 2) The Appellate Military Court shall have the power to confirm, vary or reverse the judgement of the Primary Military Court.
3) In case of appeal against a sentence exceeding two years imprisonment, made within thirty days of its pronouncement, a Primary Military Court shall have the file transferred.
32. Powers of the Federal Supreme Court The Federal Supreme Court shall have the power to hold a cassation hearing where a final judgement by a Primary and an Appellate Military Court contains fundamental error of law. 33. Investigation and suit 1) Intensive and impartial investigation shall be carried out prior to bringing a case before a military court. 2) The power to cause the carrying out of the investigation of the case of a person to appear before a military court, under this Proclamation, shall be vested in the person having to appoint the military court.
3) A case for investigation, pursuant to sub-Article (1) of this Article, may be referred to a soldier or a team of soldiers or to the police as necessary.
4) Where he finds it necessary to bring a charge, the person having to appoint the military court shall refer the case to the concerned bodies upon completion of the investigation.
34. Appointment of Counsel 1) The State shall provide a defence counsel to a person charged with an offence punishable with imprisonment of not less than five years and is unable to retain a counsel. 2) The defence counsel to be appointed, pursuant to sub-Article (1) of this Article, shall be from among members of the Defence Forces. 35. Execution of Sentence 1) Any prison-term may be served in military or civilian prisons. 2) A death sentence may not be executed unless confirmed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
3) Cases of death penalty confirmed in accordance with sub-Article (2) of this Article shall, prior to execution, be submitted to the Head of State in consideration of possible pardon.
36. Applicability of Other Laws The Criminal Procedure Code applied in regular courts shall, mutatis mutandis, be applicable in military courts.
PART SIX
Miscellaneous Provisions
37. Repealed and Inapplicable Laws 1) The following laws are hereby repealed: (a) the Imperial Army Proclamation No. 68/1944; (b) the Administration of Officers of the Armed Forces Order No. 81/1973;
(c) the Armed Forces Officers Promotion, Obligatory Service and Dismissal Regulations No. 492/1973;
(d) the Military Courts Establishment Proclamation No. 10/1987.
2) Any law inconsistent with this Proclamation shall not be applicable.
38. Powers to Issue Directives 1) Without prejudice to Articles 23 and 24 hereinabove, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces shall issue detailed directives on the respective powers and duties of the Minister and the General Chief of Staff. 2) Without prejudice to sub-Article (1) of this Article, the Ministry may issue directives necessary for the implementation of this Proclamation. 39. Effective Date This Proclamation shall enter into forces as of the 15th day of February, 1996.
Done at Addis Ababa, this 15th day of February, 1996.
NEGASO GIDADA(DR.)
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC
REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA

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