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Statement on Current Issues Part-2

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How the Ethiopian police was founded

In 1913, during the reign of Emperor Minilik II, the Ethiopian police was founded for the first time in our history. The police force was known as ‘’ YeketemaZebegna” or the City’s Guard.Just before the invasion  of our country by Italy in 1963, City (Arada) “Zebegna”(Guard) was founded to keep the security of the capital and this establishment was well organized and suitable for the needs of the time. After the end of the invasion, all government structures were abolished and new ones instituted by Emperor Haile Silassie by royal decree No. 6/1934. A modern police establishment was newly founded. The police force was governed by British citizens, according to the book by Brigadier General MogesBeyene entitled “PolicenaGize” (Police at Different Times) published in 1972.

After the downfall of the monarchic government in 1974, the military junta – the Dergu – that came to power enacted proclamation no. 10/1974 to provide for the nation’s security and protection; however, no provision was incorporated therein regarding organizational matters of the police. No separate proclamation of the police establishment was enacted until the downfall of Dergue in 1991.

After the downfall of Dergue, it was found necessary to re-establish the police institution for better organizational capabilities. In so doing, the police force has become in better shape to discharge its duties of enforcing the constitution of the federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and laws issued based upon that constitution; the police establishment is also better suited to contribute its share to the nationwide activities of development of a democratic system, to maintain peace and to expedite development. The current police establishment, the Federal Police Commission, was founded pursuant to proclamation no. 720/2004 based on the principles of non-partisanship, impartial service to the society, commitment to policing ethics, competence and quality of service.