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Cablegate: Addis Ababa Eac Meets to Discuss Continued Threat

R 121613Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2708

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 003083

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR DS/IP/AF, DS/SPC/MSG, DS/CC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC
SUBJECT: ADDIS ABABA EAC MEETS TO DISCUSS CONTINUED THREAT
OF TERRORIST ATTACKS

REF: A. ADDIS ABABA 003065
B. ADDIS ABABA 003050

1. (SBU) Summary: On November 12, 2008 the Addis Ababa EAC
convened to discuss the continued heightened security
posture of the Government of Ethiopia (GOE). Ambassador
remarked that the security arrangements are unprecedented.
Ambassador and staff will meet again with the police and
security, and will work with Washington on a public
announcement and warden message on the growing security
precautions being taken by the GOE. Members present include:
Ambassador, DCM, CLO, CDC, CON, MGMT, PAO, DAO, OBO,
POL/ECON, RSO, USAID, ORA and the United States
Mission to the African Union. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On November 12, 2008 the Addis Ababa EAC convened to
discuss the heightened security posture of the
Government of Ethiopia (GOE)in response to intelligence
reports of potential threats of terrorist attacks,
specifically in Addis Ababa. RSO briefed EAC that GOE
continued to maintain an increased security posture in
Addis Ababa. While there is no specific threat information,
the GOE is sufficiently concerned that it held a special
meeting yesterday of security offices to detail preparations
for disrupting a potential attack. Thus far, it remains
unclear the method, timing or possible targets of any
potential attack. Post continues to monitor the security
situation, review travel and implement restrictions as
required.

Actions to be Taken:

3. (SBU) Cancellation of events: COM, in agreement with the
DCM, RSO and other members of the team, decided to cancel the
venue for the Marine Ball at a hotel without sufficient
security. Due to the decision, the Ball was not moved to
another location and was cancelled entirely. The COM ordered
U.S. direct hires and dependents not to participate in the
Great Ethiopian Run (10 km road race) which will attract over
30,000 runners, primarily Ethiopians, diplomats and foreign
residents, scheduled for November 23, 2008. The COM and DCM
met with the FSN committee and urged the LES staff not to
participate. However, as Ethiopian citizens, some may
participate as individuals without Embassy connection.
Further, if Mission staff or their dependents participate
they may face
disciplinary action.

4. The Embassy conducted a town meeting over the weekend and
discussed with the American community the heightened security
precautions being taken by the GOE, and reminded the
community of our own issued warden messages and public
announcements on being mindful of the current security in
Ethiopia.

5. (SBU) EAC members agreed that the Mission's security
posture continues to be appropriate for current
environment. The EAC agreed to work with Washington on a
public announcement and/or warden message to the general
American community informing the public about the Embassy's
decision not to participate in the Great Ethiopian
Run and to remind the American community of prior warden
messages and public announcements about the heightened state
of security. RSO will issue a security notice informing all
Mission personnel, both American and LES, and family members
of the COM's decisions to order U.S. direct hires and
dependents not to participate in the Great Ethiopian Run and
security issues.

6. (SBU) COM and his team will be meeting again with police
and security personnel to inform them of actions being taken
by the Embassy in response to the security situation and to
reinforce our already very close and cooperative security
coordination efforts. Post will continue to monitor the
situation and
report immediately to the Department and Africa Bureau of any
change in situation.

7. (SBU) Final Comment: The security precautions being
taken by the GOE are unprecedented and are certainly in
response to GOE intelligence reports and views in Ethiopia
that it would be the next target for extremists in the
aftermath of the suicide bombings in Somaliland and Puntland.
The Embassy has taken great precaution not to raise undue
anxiety but to remain consistent in our messaging to be
careful and observant.
YAMAMOTO

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