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Addis Ababa, 20 March 2014 – IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP) held a one day national workshop on Promoting International Instruments to Counter Terrorism for Ethiopia’s Senior Counter Terrorism Officials.  The meeting was chaired by Ato Tesfaye Yitayih, the Head of IGAD Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was co-presided by Commander Abebe Muluneh, the Head of ISSP and Dr. Simon Nyambura, the Head of Counter Terrorism Pillar at ISSP.

The objective of the workshop was to promote legal instruments and upholding a rule of law based approach to counter terrorism in Ethiopia. The workshop focused on encouraging the Government of Ethiopia to ratify (where it has not) and to domesticate international, regional and national legal instruments to counter terrorism, particularly exploring whether domestic counter terrorism law(s) in the country comprehensively criminalize offences outlined in various international and regional conventions against terrorism, and multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

A total of 38 participants were drawn from the House of People’s representative, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from Law Enforcement Agencies of Ethiopia.  Experts from the AU/ASCRT, the UNODC, the Government of Ethiopia, and Sahan Research made presentations on the various national, regional and international legal instruments to counter terrorism as well as shared their experiences with the participants to enrich the overall objective of the workshop.

Discussions at the workshop included the various terrorism threats in the IGAD Region, the IGAD Conventions on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition, regional instruments (African Union Counter Terrorism Legal Framework and the AU Model Law), the International Legal Instruments/Regimes, and the domestic counter terrorism laws in Ethiopia.  Very active and fruitful discussions were held on the various instruments at all levels critically examining the pros and cons as well as the implications of these legal instruments nationally.  Participants gained knowledge and exchanged ideas on the issues of counter terrorism related instruments.  In addition, they were able to create a network and paved the way for interdepartmental coordination nationally as well as regionally and internationally.

The workshop was adjourned with a closing remark from the Chairperson, Ato Tesfaye and the Head of ISSP, Commander Abebe by expressing their thanks to the participants, the experts, the staff and the Government of Ethiopia. (END)

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