- Ethiopia - International
Ethiopia: African Union summit not in danger, says official
A top Ethiopia official has debunked a serious security alert issued by the Australian Foreign ministry as unfounded.
Several African dignitaries as well as French President Nicolas Sarkoz and United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon are expected in Addis Ababa for an African Union summit this week after several warnings were issued over credible terrorist threats.
According to Daily Nation, an online News Website, "Australia’s Foreign ministry issued a serious security alert for Ethiopia on its website. Other western embassies in Addis Ababa including United States and Britain have also sent out a warning" ahead of the summit.
But in spite of warnings of "credible threats" that seek to target the pending African Union summit, issued by western countries, the official asserts that although the Ethiopian government respects Australia’s report they do not have an embassy in Ethiopia to issue such an alert.
The official who spoke to Ethiopianfirst, an Ethiopian news site, on condition of anonymity said that the possible terror threat report released by Australian government on its foreign ministry’s website is groundless.
According to the official, such terror threats are not new to Ethiopian security and intelligence forces and that all terror attempts by foreign trained insurgents have failed.
"Ethiopia has blamed its arch-foe Eritrea for a move to discredit Ethiopia’s ability to host the summit" Daily Nation writes whilst revealing that seven individuals, including men, "allegedly trained in Eritrea and a member of Ethiopian rebels in Ogaden (Somali) region of Eastern Ethiopia" were last week arrested by Ethiopian security forces.
Ambassador Dina Muftui, Ethiopia’s Foreign ministry’s spokesperson, is also quoted as saying that "It is not such imminent and Ethiopian security have contained possible threats and its security forces are working to ensure safety. There is a threat and we are aware of it but it’s a bit exaggerated by western countries"
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a possible terror attack alert ahead of the 16th AU Summit scheduled to take place in Ethiopia on January 30.
The report, which was issued yesterday, advised Australian citizens to reconsider their traveling schedule to Ethiopia or to exercise extreme caution during their stay in the country.
Australia’s Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd who arrived in Ethiopia on Monday, January 24, is expected to attend the AU heads of state summit.