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Cablegate: Addis Ababa Response - Security Environment Profile

VZCZCXYZ0012
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDS #2223/01 2251240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121240Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1671
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUCNFB/FBI DIR WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002223

DEPT FOR: DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/ITA, DS/TIA/ITA, AF/EX,

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PTER ET
SUBJECT: ADDIS ABABA RESPONSE - SECURITY ENVIRONMENT PROFILE
QUESTIONNAIRE (SEPQ) FALL 2008

REF: 08 STATE 84414

-------------------------------------
1. (SBU) POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND DEMONSTRATIONS
-------------------------------------

A. ARE THERE ANY ETHNIC OR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN COUNTRY CAPABLE
OF CARRYING OUT SIGNIFICANT ANTI-AMERICAN DEMONSTRATIONS?

-Yes, there is a sizable Muslim population throughout Ethiopia as
well as ethnic Somali's. Generally there is very little if any
anti-American sentiment among the majority of the population in
Ethiopia. Only small segments of the general population within
Ethiopia are prone to extremism. There have not been any
anti-American demonstrations in Ethiopia for the past several years.


B. HAVE THERE BEEN ANTI-AMERICAN DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE COUNTRY OVER
THE PAST 12 MONTHS?

-No

C. HAVE DEMONSTRATIONS TAKEN PLACE NEAR OR IN FRONT OF U.S.
DIPLOMATIC FACILITIES?

-No anti-American demonstrations. In July 2008 a group of
approximately 120 local nationals arrived at the front gate of the
chancery during business hours and held a peaceful rally regarding
the political situation in Eritrea. This group was accompanied by
local police, read statements and departed the area after
approximately 30 minutes. This group visited several other Addis
Ababa locations on the same day, to include; UN, AU, EU and other
diplomatic missions in an effort to draw international attention and
support to the situation in Eritrea.

D. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SIZE OF AN ANTI-AMERICAN DEMONSTRATION?

-N/A

E. ARE ANTI-AMERICAN DEMONSTRATIONS USUALLY TRIGGERED BY U.S.
FOREIGN POLICY INITIATIVES, MILITARY ACTIONS OR BY DOMESTIC ISSUES?

-N/A, there have not been any anti-American demonstrations in
Ethiopia during the past year.

F. ARE DEMONSTRATIONS GENERALLY PEACEFUL OR VIOLENT?

-In November 2005 there were demonstrations/riots throughout Addis
Ababa in response to dissatisfaction concerning local elections.
The Ethiopian police and security services responded with force to
quell the situation. Approximately 200 Ethiopian civilians were
reported to be killed in Addis Ababa. There have not been any
notable violent demonstrations in Ethiopia during the past year.


G. IF VIOLENT, HAVE ANY DEMONSTRATIONS RESULTED IN DAMAGE TO USG
PROPERTY OR INJURIES TO USG EMPLOYEES.

-No, the above demonstrations and riots primarily focused on GOE
facilities. Some passing USG vehicles were struck by projectiles
and sustained minor damage. There has not been any property damage
or injuries to USG interests during the past year as the result of
demonstrations.

H. IF VIOLENT, HAVE ANY DEMONSTRATIONS EVER PENETRATED OUR SECURITY
PERIMETER LINE?

-No

I. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE PAST
12 MONTHS?

-No

J. HAVE DEMONSTRATIONS TAKEN PLACE NEAR OR IN FRONT OF U.S.
DIPLOMATIC FACILITIES?

-No. The Embassy is located in close proximity (1/2 mile radius) to
several educational institutions and GOE facilities. The 2005
demonstrations/riots in response to dissatisfaction regarding local
elections occurred within this radius. In early 2007 student
demonstrations (not directed at the USG) at Addis Ababa University
(located on the same road as the Embassy) hindered Embassy personnel

coming/departing the compound. No Embassy locations or personnel
were directly involved or adversely impacted by this situation.

K. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SIZE OF AN ANTI-AMERICAN DEMONSTRATION?

-N/A. No anti-American demonstrations within the past year.


L. ARE DEMONSTRATIONS GENERALLY VIOLENT OR PEACEFUL?

-With the exception of the anti-GOE demonstrations in November 2005
and Addis Ababa University student demonstrations in early 2007,
demonstrations and large public gatherings in Addis Ababa tend to be
peaceful and well controlled.

M. IF VIOLENT, HAVE ANY DEMONSTRATIONS RESULTED IN DAMAGE TO USG
PROPERTY?

-No. See Item G above.

-------------------------
2. (SBU) MACRO CONFLICT CONDITIONS
-------------------------

A. IS THE HOST COUNTRY ENGAGED IN AN INTERSTATE OR INTRASTATE
CONFLICT?

-Yes. In response to threats to its security posed by extremists
elements, in December 2006 the GOE initiated on-going military
operations into Somalia. Ethiopia is also engaged in a border
dispute with Eritrea. In August of 2008 the United Nations Mission
for Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) ceased operations, primarily as a
result of inability to resolve this dispute in an effective manner.
While UNMEE's departure will most likely have little/no notable
impact on the general security situation within Ethiopia, the
absence of international observers at the Ethiopia-Eritrea border
eliminates a mitigating (albeit ineffective) party to reduce the
possibility of conflict in an area with significant tensions and
troop presence on both sides of the border. There have been
allegations by the Ethiopian Government the Eritrean Government has
planned or supported terrorist attacks within Ethiopia as well as
provided support to various anti-Ethiopian groups. The Ethiopian
government is also currently engaged in an active counter-insurgency
campaign throughout the Ogaden region, where they have encountered
difficulties with various ethnic and opposition groups. Ethiopia is
also experiencing difficulties with internal opposition groups; some
are armed and have conducted hostile attacks (bombings) within
Ethiopia during the past year, targeting Ethiopian interests.

B. IF AN INTRASTATE CONFLICT, IS IT LIMITED TO A SPECIFIC REGION OR
IS IT A COUNTRYWIDE CIVIL WAR?

-Conflict is primarily limited to the most south eastern
(Somali-Ogaden region) and northern regions (Ethiopia-Eritrea
border) of Ethiopia. During the past year there were several
(approximately 9 to 10) notable bombing incidents in Ethiopia, most
likely attributed to internal opposition groups. This was a
reoccurrence of a trend of 40 to 50 similar bombing incidents that
occurred in Addis Ababa during the period of April 2005 and November
2006. A notable change is the latest bombing was the targeting of
crowded venues during business hours carried out in a manner to
ensure greater causalities.

C. IF LIMITED TO A SPECIFIC REGION, ARE ANY U.S. DIPLOMATIC
FACILITIES LOCATED IN THIS REGION?

-There are no U.S. diplomatic facilities located outside of Addis
Ababa. Combined Joint Task Force for Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) does
maintain a presence (uniformed USDOD service personnel) and facility
in Dire Dawa (South/East Ethiopia). The Embassy maintains 4
official locations (Embassy, USAID, CDC and GSO/Warehouse) and
approximately 115 residential locations spread out over a 7-mile
radius within Addis Ababa. Some of these locations are located in
close proximity to the 2005 and 2006 demonstrations and bombings,
although none were directly targeted or involved. Mission personnel
travel on a daily basis the road where the May 20, 2008, bombing of
a local mini bus occurred, resulting in the death/injury of several
passengers (including one non-official American citizen). Mission
personnel also frequent the area of Addis Ababa where the two April
14, 2008 gas station bombings occurred.

D. HAVE ANY FACTIONS INVOLVED IN INTRASTATE CONFLICTS SIGNALED OR
DEMONSTRATED AN ANTI-AMERICAN ORIENTATION?

-No. Although some groups associated with the conflict involving
Somalia and Eritrea are not necessarily favorable towards Americans,
overt anti-American sentiment rarely manifests itself in Ethiopia.


-------------------------

3. (SBU) HOST COUNTRY CAPABILITIES
-------------------------

A. ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES PROFESSIONAL AND WELL TRAINED?

-Although Ethiopian law enforcement and security services fall short
of meeting western standards in regards to training, they are
reasonably competent and professional in comparison to other
countries in the region and will provide all available
resources/assistance within their capacity.

B. HAVE THEY BEEN TRAINED BY U.S. AGENCIES? IF SO, PLEASE ELABORATE
ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TRAINING.

-The GOE security services have received training from the USG, to
include:

- Leadership development,

- Major case management,

- Travel documents,

- Counterfeiting,

- Land border security,

- Protective security detail operations,

- Cyber-crimes,

- Post-blast investigation,

- Physical security of vital installations,

- Preventing attacks on soft targets,

- A variety of courses provided by the International Law Enforcement
Academy (ILEA) in Botswana,

During the past year an Ethiopian police officer graduated from the
FBI National Academy.

Ethiopians tend to be enthusiastic students and eager to learn. The
training provided was appreciated and well received by the host
country government and the individual students. Future training
opportunities provided to the GOE will be worthwhile, appreciated
and applied to good use.

C. ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES CONFRONTED WITH SERIOUS WIDESPREAD
CORRUPTION WITHIN THEIR AGENCIES?

-As most African nations, there is some corruption within the GOE's
law enforcement and security services. Unlike many African
countries, the level of corruption among GOE security and law
enforcement services does not stymie efforts to enforce the law,
ensure general security and public safety. Corruption within
Ethiopia can be characterized as petty and cronyism.

D. ARE INTELLIGENCE SERVICES PROFESSIONAL AND CAPABLE OF DETERRING
TERRORIST ACTIONS?

-Generally GOE intelligence services are reasonably professional and
capable of deterring terrorist actions. The GOE claimed to foil a
terrorist attack by Eritreans targeting the African Union Summit in
December 2006. During 2007 the GOE claimed to foil at least two
separate terrorist attacks within Addis Ababa by internal opposition
groups.

E. HAVE THE INTELLIGENCE SERVICES BEEN COOPERATIVE WITH U.S. EMBASSY
REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION AND SUPPORT?

-The GOE intelligence and law enforcement services tend to be
cooperative to the Embassy's request for information and support,
within the limitations of their resources and abilities.

F. ASSUMING THERE HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT TERRORIST THREATS IN RECENT
YEARS, HAVE HOST COUNTRY SECURITY SERVICES BEEN ABLE TO SCORE ANY
MAJOR ANTI-TERRORISM SUCCESSES?

-Yes. In response to threats to its internal security posed by
extremist elements based in Somalia, in late 2006 the GOE launched
military operations into Somalia and diminished the capabilities of
various individuals and organizations involved in terrorism. During
2007 the GOE claimed to uncover and foil at least two terrorist
operations targeting Addis Ababa by internal opposition and Eritrean
groups. The GOE also reports they have detained some of those


responsible for the 2008 bombings.

G. HAS HOST COUNTRY BEEN RESPONSIVE (RE: TIMELINESS AND ALLOCATION
OF RESOURCES) TO EMBASSY REQUEST FOR PROTECTIVE SECURITY?

-Yes, the Ethiopian government has always proven themselves to be
cooperative, professional and capable in accommodating any request
for protective security.

H. HOW DOES THE EMBASSY ASSESS THE OVERALL SECURITY AT MAJOR
AIRPORTS (EXCELLENT, VERY GOOD, GOOD/AVERAGE, POOR)?

-Relative to other countries on the continent, security at
Ethiopia's major airports is good. Access control and security
screening measures are vigorously enforced.

I. HOW EFFECTIVE ARE CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATIONS CONTROL AGENCIES?

-Customs and immigration controls at Ethiopia's major airports and
land border crossing are good.

-Ethiopia lacks the resources to adequately ensure the security of
its large land borders, especially in desolate/remote areas.

-In response to concerns to its security, the GOE has established
and operates security checkpoints on all major roads leading to
Addis Ababa. Most commercial and some private vehicles are stopped
and subject to inspection. While this effort is better then nothing
and has yielded some success, it is impossible to reasonably inspect
all vehicles, goods and individuals coming to Addis Ababa.

-The GOE has expressed concern to Embassy officials regarding the

integrity of border security on its border with Somalia. There are
reports of trading routes that circumvent major roads and
established checkpoints.

-The Embassy has encountered problems on a regular basis involving
the integrity of Ethiopian passports and identity documents. It is
not difficult for individuals inclined to do so to obtain fraudulent
passports and identity documents.

J. HOW EFFECTIVE ARE BORDER PATROL FORCES?

-Ethiopia has a vast border, neighboring five other African nations
(Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya). Border patrol forces
are reasonably effective at major/formal border crossing areas.
However, a significant portion of Ethiopia's land borders are
assessed as open and porous.

--------------------------------------------- -
4. (SBU) INDIGENOUS TERRORISM - ANTI-AMERICAN TERRORIST
GROUPS
--------------------------------------------- -

A. ARE THERE ANY INDIGENOUS ANTI-AMERICAN TERRORIST GROUPS IN
COUNTRY?

-No. After the December 2006 invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia
Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups publicly declared Ethiopia to be
a viable target.

B. IF YES, HOW MANY? PLEASE NAME GROUPS.

-N/A

C. HAVE GROUPS CARRIED OUT ANTI-AMERICAN ATTACKS WITHIN THE LAST 12
MONTHS?

-No

D. WHERE ANY OF THESE ATTACKS LETHAL?

-N/A

E. HAVE GROUPS ATTACKED U.S. DIPLOMATIC TARGETS?

-No

F. HAVE GROUPS ATTACKED U.S. BUSINESS, U.S. MILITARY OR RELATED U.S.
TARGETS?

-No

G. HAVE GROUPS LIMITED THEIR ATTACKS TO SPECIFIC REGIONS OR DO THEY
OPERATE COUNTRY-WIDE?

-N/A


H. IF ATTACKS ARE LIMITED TO REGIONS, ARE THERE ANY U.S. DIPLOMATIC
FACILITIES LOCATED IN THESE REGIONS?

-N/A
---------------------------------
5. (SBU) OTHER INDIGENOUS TERRORIST GROUPS
---------------------------------

A. ARE THERE ANY OTHER INDIGENOUS TERRORIST GROUPS (NOT
ANTI-AMERICAN) IN COUNTRY?

-No. There are several indigenous groups active in Ethiopia
considered by the GOE to be terrorist organizations (Ogaden National
Liberation Front, Oromo Liberation Front) that are not formally
recognized by the USG as terrorist organizations. These groups have
been reported to carry out attacks on Ethiopian interests and are of
concern to the GOE.

B. IF YES, HOW MANY? PLEASE NAME GROUPS.

-See above

C. HAVE GROUPS CARRIED OUT ANTI-AMERICAN ATTACKS WITHIN THE LAST 12
MONTHS?

-During the past 12 months there have not been any attacks in
Ethiopia targeting American interests;

-In 2007 the ONLF carried out an attack against a Chinese oil
drilling facility in the Ogaden region, resulting in the deaths of
approximately 75 civilians. This attack was carried out after the
ONLF issued warnings that foreigners who ventured into the
Ogaden/Somali region to exploit natural resources would be targeted.
During the past year at least two international U.S. oil companies
(including one that employs American citizens) have expressed
intentions of prospecting for oil in this region

D. WHERE ANY OF THESE LETHAL ATTACKS?

-See above

E. HAVE GROUPS ATTACKED U.S. DIPLOMATIC TARGETS?

-No

F. HAVE GROUPS ATTACKED U.S. BUSINESS, U.S. MILITARY OR U.S. RELATED
TARGETS?

-No

G. HAVE GROUPS LIMITED THEIR ATTACKS TO SPECIFIC REASON OR DO THEY
OPERATE COUNTRY-WIDE?

-The ONLF has primarily carried out attacks in the Ogaden region.

-There is speculation the ONLF or OLF is responsible for the
bombings that occurred in Addis Ababa.

H. IF ATTACKS ARE LIMITED TO REGIONS, ARE THERE ANY U.S. DIPLOMATIC
FACILITIES LOCATED IN THESE REGIONS?

-N/A
---------------------------------
6. (SBU) OTHER INDIGENOUS TERRORIST GROUPS
---------------------------------

A. ARE THERE OTHER INDIGENOUS TERRORIST GROUPS (NOT ANTI-AMERICAN)
IN COUNTRY?

-Yes

B. IF YES HOW MANY? PLEASE NAME GROUPS.

-Ali Ithad Al Islamia (AIAI)

-Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) - considered by the GOE to be a
terrorist group

-Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) - considered by the GOE to
be a terrorist group

C. HAVE GROUPS CARRIED OUT ATTACKS IN THE CAPITAL OR IN AREAS WHERE
U.S. DIPLOMATIC FACILITIES ARE LOCATED?

-Yes. In 2007 the GOE claimed to have foiled a terrorist attack by
Eritrean terrorist groups targeting the African Union summit in

Addis Ababa. During a period 2005 and 2006 and 2008 Addis Ababa
experienced a series of bombings attributed to the OLF. In 1996
AIAI placed and detonated bombs at two large hotels and attempted to
assassinate the GOE Minister of Transportation in Addis Ababa. In
1996 an Egyptian extremist group attempted to assassinate visiting
Egyptian president in Addis Ababa. These incidents took place near
U.S diplomatic facilities and on routes regularly traveled by
Mission personnel.

D. ARE THERE ANY SUSPECT NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS (NGOS) IN
COUNTRY THAT HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS?

-Unknown

E. ARE THERE ANY ETHNIC OR RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN COUNTRY THAT ARE
SYMPATHETIC TO THESE GROUPS?

-Ethiopia hosts a large ethnic Somali population, some of whom are
possibly inclined to support extremists groups affected by the
Ethiopia military operations into Somalia.

F. HOW DOES POST ASSESS THE LEVEL, INTENT AND SCOPE OF HOSTILE
INTELLIGENCE SERVICES (IRAN, IRAQ, SYRIA, SERBIA, SUDAN, ETC) IN
COUNTRY RELATIVE TO POTENTIAL ANTI-AMERICAN TERRORIST ACTS?

-There have not been any anti-American terrorist attacks in Ethiopia
in recent history. If the above hostile intelligence services are
present in country, they do not appear to be actively targeting us.


G. HOW DOES POST ASSESS THE AVAILABILITY OF WEAPONS AND EXPLOSIVES
IN COUNTRY OR FROM NEARBY COUNTRIES FOR HOSTILE TERRORIST ELEMENTS.

-Weapons and explosives are readily available in Somalia, and could
be easily smuggled into Ethiopia through the vast, open and porous
land border.

-There has been information Eritrea has provided weapons and
explosives to various groups that do not view Ethiopia favorably.

-Weapons and explosives are available within Ethiopia through
underground suppliers. On a recent trip to a local market Embassy
personnel reported observing live hand grenades for sale at a market
stall.

- Weapons and explosives are also available within Kenya Sudan and
Djibouti through underground sources and could be smuggled into
Ethiopia through the vast, open and porous land borders.

-The bombings that occurred during 2005 to 2008 reportedly
primarily involved C-4 type explosives.

MALAC

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