Article from: The Ethiopian Herald
The Federal Police said that the ever growing capabilities of its security apparatus in the fight against terrorism has helped Ethiopia curb the threat of terrorism with public involvement and collaboration.
In an interview with Ethiopian Press Agency journalists Thursday, Operation Directorate Deputy Director Commander Moges Chekol said: “Terrorism, whether in its religious, political or other dimension, is becoming a major concern globally and the region making Ethiopia vulnerable.”
The government has, thus, taken various steps to combat the threat including the setting up of a joint Federal Police and National Intelligence Service Anti-Terrorism Task Force that follows and investigates the movement of terrorists, studies the trend and act proactively to deter any act of terrorism, the Commander said.
“The fact that the public is hugely collaborative with our security forces gave us additional advantage in curbing the threat of terrorism,” he said. In connection with recent attacks committed in neighbouring countries, Moges said that if the terrorists have their way, Ethiopia is still their target as the country is in the forefront in the fight against terrorism, just like Kenya and other neighbouring countries.
“Basically, the capability of our security forces, which is strengthening, and public collaboration not only lessened the threat, but also made sure that attacks won’t go according to their original plan. As a case in point Moges cited the foiled attack on the Addis Ababa Stadium during a world cup qualifier between Ethiopia and Nigeria last year.
Mentioning that terrorism has no boundaries and its ever changing tactics, he said that there have been moves made to counter those aspects accordingly. “Activities have been carried out to enable our security forces adapt to the changing circumstances, and with regard to neutralizing the border-crossing dimension of terrorism, Ethiopia has signed regional, bilateral and trilateral agreements that would enable to wage a joint anti-terrorism campaign.” Besides this, at global level, Ethiopia is an active member of INTERPOL.
According to Commander Moges, the anti-terrorism law is contributing a lot in the fight against terrorism. It not only gives confidence to the security forces when accomplishing their mission but it also provides accountability and transparency on how they could go about their work.
Asked about challenges that may have been identified in the fight against terrorism, Moges said: “Notwithstanding, the participation and public contribution, there have been very few irresponsible individuals and administrators whose acts have supported the terrorists”.
The Commander said that multiple ID cards have been found on the perpetrators caught in the midst of previous foiled plans, while car and home renting in the city are done without proper identification of the persons seeking the service. Hence, he stressed the need for further raising awareness of the public on these issues.
The Commander also suggested strengthening activities being carried out to build the capacity of the security apparatus, while at the same time intensifying the already impressive inter-agency link between various agencies involved in the fight to put the security apparatus a step ahead of the threat.
Written BY ROBEL YOHANNES