Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2018, 08:18 GMT

2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Ethiopia

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Ethiopia, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 22 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Ethiopian government remained concerned about terrorist-related activities in neighboring Somalia. The Ethiopian military's January 2009 withdrawal from Somalia reduced the rationale long used by Somalia-based extremists as grounds for targeting Ethiopia. By bolstering defensive forces along the Ethio-Somali border, the Ethiopians further reinforced defensive mechanisms to stem potential infiltration of extremists into Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a member state and was in the rotating chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and also participated actively in IGAD's Capacity Building Program Against Terrorism (ICPAT) to bolster the counterterrorism capacity of IGAD member states.

Ethiopia's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), with broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation was responsible for overall counterterrorism management. The Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) worked in conjunction with NISS on counterterrorism. Key among Ethiopia's counterterrorism objectives is combating terrorist groups like al-Shabaab and the United Western Somali Liberation Front.

Ethiopia has requested U.S. assistance to craft legislation and provide other technical assistance to establish a regime to combat terrorist financing, and is more focused on seeking prosecution of counterterrorism suspects since the new Antiterrorism Law was passed in July. Ethiopia was an active participant in African Union (AU) counterterrorism efforts, participating in the AU's Center for Study and Research on Terrorism, and in meetings of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA).

The United States continued to support Ethiopia's counterterrorism capabilities. Antiterrorism Assistance Training participants included front line supervisors engaged in land border management at ports of entry and senior police leaders studying their role in combating terrorism on the strategic, regional, and national levels. Students were taught to analyze terrorist activities including financing, confidential source handling, development and information management sharing. This year's goal was to address the ability to disseminate information across agencies and countries, and to concentrate on the large issue of stabilizing the Horn of Africa by countering terrorism on a multilateral front.

Ethiopia's location within the Horn of Africa made it vulnerable to money laundering activities perpetrated by transnational criminal organizations, terrorists, and narcotics traffickers. On November 19, parliament passed anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation that had been supported through technical advice from the U.S. Department of Treasury. This legislation formally created Ethiopia's first financial intelligence unit called the Financial Information Center. This new Center is charged with implementing this new legislation.

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