Security as a basis for development and cooperation
By : Hassan Molla
One of the central objectives of Ethiopia's Foreign and National Security Policy is to resist external threats. Inevitably, foreign and security policies should be formulated to ensure national security, to strengthen national efforts to overcome the dangers of conflict or disturbance arising within and around the country's territories. A prime internal focus must, in fact, be on economic strategies to realize rapid and sustainable growth to positively affect the lives of all segments of society, fully utilizing all available opportunities. In this sense, analyzing and minimizing threats is one major factor in ensuring the process of rapid economic and social development.
Ethiopia's security priorities are therefore devised from this perspective, as a core element in helping to build national and regional security in the widest sense. On the regional level, Ethiopia pursues policies with its neighbors based on core principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit, reciprocal trust and common interest. These are manifested in cooperation with countries on security issues of mutual interest, and these include anti terrorism and sub-regional conflict management, among them the problems between Sudan and South Sudan, and the situation in Somalia. Ethiopia is involved in efforts to solve these problems bilaterally as well as multilaterally through IGAD and the AU. The aim is to ensure peace throughout the region.
Equally, Ethiopia has responded positively to the situation between South Sudan and Sudan in sending peacekeeping forces to Abyei where it has been able to largely stabilize the area to the extent, indeed, that it is unlikely to continue as a potential source of conflict. During its just-ending term as chair of IGAD, Ethiopia has also been successful in encouraging and coordinating the activities of IGAD member states in support of the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia and now the new Federal government of Somalia, in collaboration with other interested parties, particularly the United Nations. Ethiopia has made, and continues to make, every effort to encourage IGAD member states, the African Union and the United Nations to take a strong unified position to ensure peace in Somalia. It has encouraged, and continues to encourage, the struggle against Al-Shabaab terrorism and make significant diplomatic efforts to strengthen the human and material resource base of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
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