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Ethiopia will continue to be vigilant towards groups or individuals that want to see destruction in the country; it was stated at a meeting held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday October 17.
“The government has the duty to protect its citizens and members of the international community at all times. Any threat, whether perceived or credible, will help us to review our operations, insights and perspectives in dealing with the evil and wicked agendas of groups and individuals who are eager to see the mayhem and horror of human kind,” said Ambassador Taye Atskeselassie, Director General for American Affairs.
At the meeting that was attended by several Ambassadors of different countries, Ambassador Taye stated that the Ethiopian Government highly appreciated the confidence and trust the diplomatic community has given to it.
“One thing that has to be cleared is that, the direction we continuously follow in combating terrorism is that no occasional alert system can deliver perfect security. What is essential is that with terrorism we need to be vigilant at all times and that is what we have been doing in the past and we will continue to do it in the future,” he further said.
Friday’s meeting was held in response to a warning alert that was sent by the US Embassy informing its citizens of a possible terrorist attack in Addis Ababa.
The warning that was issued by the Embassy earlier this week tells US citizens to avoid large crowds and places where both Ethiopians and westerners frequent. It further states that the Embassy has had received credible threat reports of al-Shabaab’s intent to target the Bole area.
It advises US citizens to avoid Restaurants, hotels, bars, places of worship, supermarkets, and shopping malls in the Bole Area until further notice because they are possible targets for a potential imminent terrorist attack.
“While the exact location of this planned terrorist attack is not known, U.S. citizens should continue to maintain heightened personal security awareness” the warning reads.
Ambassador Taye stated that the Ethiopian government is doing its level best to diminish even the slightest threat coming not only from al-Shabaab but also others.
“The Ethiopian security service is not just simply a bureaucratic apparatus. It is very vigilant and community based and has grass root operations at all times,” he said. He also said that whoever wants to challenge the security mechanisms will only sharpen it.
Some participants felt that the way the US Embassy issued the warning alert of the potential terrorist attack created panic.
“This is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing not the US government’s briefing so I am not really at liberty to go into discussion on what prompted us to put out a warning. I can tell you that I have a responsibility to all US citizens who reside and travel to put out any kind of information; if we have access to information we need to share with the American public. That is the law and that is what I operate under. I can also assure you that we work extremely close with the Ethiopian government and they were notified ahead of time about our intentions,” US Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia M. Haslach responded.