Addis Ababa, Countries of the Horn of Africa (HoF) should stand united in the fight against the terrorist Al Shabaab, which poses an imminent peace and security threat to the region and beyond, Defense War College (DWC) Dean, Colonel Tilahun Demssie, said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Colonel Tilahun said that terrorism is a global peace and security threat that should be dealt with concerted effort.
The prevalence of cross border organized crimes like drug trafficking, illegal human trafficking, and contraband activities coupled with poverty and security challenges are among the fertile ground for terrorists in the Horn of Africa, he said.
Lack of durable peace and security in the region draws terrorists to organize, create cells, and operate, the colonel stated, and added “terrorism is a common threat for everyone and we have to understand each other as a region; especially in the Horn of Africa."
He underscored “the issue of terrorism requires cooperation and all the countries in the region have to understand that the threat is not only for a single country rather it is a threat for everybody.”
Thus, the countries can develop common strategy against the terrorist threat, he pointed out.
“Al Shabaab is not the threat only for Somalia; it is a threat for Ethiopia and for all the countries in the region. Ethiopia has contributing a lot since 2006 to fight against Al Shabaab and we are still doing,” he elaborated.
Speaking of the importance of support by the international community, the colonel said that they need to provide support in terms of finance and technology to combat the global threat posed by Al Shabaab.
The Ethiopian Defense Force is highly experienced and has full capability to conduct operations against terrorism, he said.
“Al Shabaab knows very well Ethiopia because since 2006 we are fighting against Al Shabaab. They know what we can do, of course they have their own objective and dream but when they try to attack Ethiopia, they never succeed. We are always successful in the operations against Al Shabab. So they have to think three, four and five times before they try to attack Ethiopia,” Colonel Tilahun stressed.
Today one country might be safe from terrorism but there is no guarantee for tomorrow, the Dean said, and noted “So we have to work together against the common threat.”
Source: Ethiopian News Agency