Ethiopia downplayed al-Shabaab related security concern, contradicting United States’ warning of a “potential of an imminent terrorist attack in Addis Ababa”.Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia

There are no terror threats from Al-Shabaab that should concern the diplomatic community or the general public, Ethiopian officials claimed.

In an “emergency message” issued earlier this week, the U.S. Embassy claimed to have “received threat reports of al-Shabaab’s intent to target the Bole area of Addis Ababa”, adding that “restaurants, hotels, bars, places of worship, supermarkets, and shopping malls in the Bole Area should be avoided until further notice”.

The warning was contradicted by officials of the Foreign Ministry who convened resident diplomats today.

There is no terrorist security threat given the strong anti-terrorism network Ethiopia put in place, the officials stressed.

A government official who spoke off-the-record complained: “the Embassy has developed a habit of issuing warning statements. This may be the 10th in a less than a year.”

A diplomat present in the meeting sensed uneasiness between the government and the Embassy, without being certain whether the government was solely irked by the potential economic impact of the warning or indicative of a broader disagreement.

Western Embassies in Addis Ababa indicate the deficiency of information flow between their security attachés and Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).


Daniel Berhane

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