Overview: Following al-Shabaab's failed October 2013 bombing attempt in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian security intensified counterterrorism efforts in 2014. Although Ethiopia suffered no terrorist attacks during the year, the persistent risks posed by al-Shabaab dominated the Ethiopian government's security posture. This threat contributed to the Ethiopia National Defense Force (ENDF) joining the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at the beginning of the year. The integration of Ethiopia's forces into AMISOM was a milestone in the multinational effort against international terrorists, since ENDF counterterrorism operations in Somalia have been instrumental in preventing al-Shabaab's dispersion into Ethiopia.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Government of Ethiopia continued to use the Antiterrorism Proclamation (ATP), implemented in 2009, to prosecute crimes associated with terrorist activity. The government also used the ATP to suppress criticism, and continued to prosecute and convict journalists and opposition political figures under the proclamation, including the high-profile "Zone 9" case against six bloggers and three journalists.

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) – with broad authority for intelligence, border security, and criminal investigation – is responsible for overall counterterrorism management in coordination with the ENDF and the Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP). In 2014, the ENDF, EFP, NISS, and regional special police successfully blocked al-Shabaab attacks on Addis Ababa and other major towns in Ethiopia. NISS has the mandate to facilitate interagency and international coordination, although rivalries and overlapping authorities between NISS and ENDF hinder information sharing and overall counterterrorism strategy, including coordination with the United States. In 2014, the Ethiopian government received training and equipment through the U.S.-funded Regional Strategic Initiative, the International Law Enforcement Academy, and the Antiterrorism Assistance program.

Border security is a persistent concern for the Government of Ethiopia, and the government worked to mitigate uneven border controls by expanding the presence and reach of military forces in border regions with Somalia and by joining AMISOM. Ethiopia adopted the Terrorist Interdiction Program's Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System in 2003 in an effort to secure borders and identify fraudulent travel documents. Ethiopia has the capability to conduct biographic screening at multiple land and air ports of entry. Ethiopia's vulnerable borders include the frequently transited southern and eastern borders with Kenya and Somalia, especially in Dolo Odo – a town located in southeast Ethiopia on the border with Somalia – and Moyale, located on the Kenyan border.

Regional police in the Somali region captured two accomplices of the al-Shabaab suicide bombers responsible for the May 24 attack in Djibouti.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Ethiopia is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. The FATF removed Ethiopia from its monitoring process due to the overall improvement in the legal and regulatory framework and addressing its action plan. In 2014, Ethiopia passed regulations for freezing terrorists' assets.

In 2014, the Ethiopia took part in the Cross Border Financial Investigation Training, but the lack of capacity and experience within law enforcement remained an impediment to effective responses. Additionally, Ethiopia's poor record-keeping system in general, and lack of centralized law enforcement records in particular, hindered the ability to identify and investigate trends in money laundering and terrorism financing.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: The Government of Ethiopia participated in AU-led counterterrorism efforts as part of the AMISOM forces in Somalia. Ethiopia is a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and participates in its counterterrorism programs and trainings. The Ethiopian government also supported counterterrorism efforts in Somalia with the Somali National Army and other regional security groups in Somaliland, Puntland, and southern Somalia.

Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: The Government of Ethiopia remained concerned about violent extremism and looks to engage in local mediation and conflict mitigation strategies to defuse ethnic or religious tensions, especially in the Oromia and Somali regions. The Government of Ethiopia's continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs imposed by the Charities and Societies Proclamation hinders the expansion of robust NGO activity, including countering violent extremism programming targeting at-risk youth and engaging communities and credible leaders.


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