U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 - Ethiopia

Ethiopia devoted high-level attention to the fight against terrorism and continued its counterterrorism cooperation with the United States. As evidence of its political will to fight terrorism, the Government of Ethiopia agreed to a number of new initiatives and continued to cooperate in efforts to collect and share intelligence on terrorist groups. As a developing nation with constrained resources in a volatile region, Ethiopia has limited, but increasing, capabilities to address terrorism threats. Draft counterterrorism legislation is currently before Parliament for approval.

Ethiopia did not provide sanctuary or offer political or financial support to any terrorist groups, and there were no significant terrorist incidents directed against U.S. citizens in Ethiopia. Ethiopia made a concerted effort to eliminate the ability of any terrorist groups to operate in the country. U.S. Army Special Forces and the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) continued to provide training to enhance Ethiopian border patrol and security skills. The Ethiopian Government enhanced physical security, conducted investigations, and provided protective surveillance in response to threat information directed at U.S. citizens.

Ethiopia accommodated requests for arrest warrants on terrorist suspects if local evidence of wrongdoing existed. The country has a good record of cooperation on extradition requests. Ethiopia is expanding the modern immigration security system installed with USG assistance at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

The highest levels of the Ethiopian Government displayed increased recognition of Ethiopia's vulnerability to financial crimes, including terrorist financing and counterfeiting. The penal code passed in 2005 criminalized money laundering and a number of other financial crimes for the first time. Officials from the Ethiopian Department of Justice attended a Department of Treasury and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) anti-money laundering (AML) seminar in Addis Ababa. The Central Bank (National Bank of Ethiopia) drafted specific AML legislation that included establishment of a Financial Intelligence Unit. Ethiopian PM Meles declared hawalas, an informal money-transfer system, illegal following the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, and Ethiopia continued to take action aimed at eliminating the ability of hawalas to function as terrorist financing centers.

Ethiopia's recently renamed National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS, formerly known as SIRA) combined the duties of counterparts to the CIA, FBI, DHS, BICE, State/Consular Affairs, and the Secret Service. NISS was responsible for overall counterterrorism management. Federal and local police counterterrorism capabilities were primarily focused on response to terrorist incidents.

Ethiopia actively participated in African Union (AU) counterterrorism efforts, nominated a focal point for the AU's Center for Study and Research on Terrorism, and participated in meetings of the new Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa. Ethiopia ratified AU counterterrorism conventions and protocols. In addition, Ethiopia was activein Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) counterterrorism efforts.


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