Addis Ababa December 23/2020 (ENA) The reform in Ethiopian security and intelligence institutions has changed the concept of national security of the country from regime-centered security to human-security which entirely focuses on the well-being of citizens, a former National Security Adviser Tesfahun Gobezay said.
Speaking at Policy Matters, a conversation platform organized by the Office of the Prime Minster, he explained the challenges and bottlenecks that existed in the security institutions and the measures taken to mitigate the problems.
Eve if the only right that is guaranteed 100 percent in the Ethiopian Constitution is human rights, Tesfahun said “our security organizations were violating these as there were tortures and mass surveillances, among others.”
According to him, the security institutions and the army were organized in such a manner as to undermine the constitution and operate to favor the regime instead of the public and the country.
“The organizations unfortunately protected the regime, not the people of Ethiopia. They took any measure that they deemed was a potential threat to the regime,” the former adviser said.
As enshrined in the constitution, every institution established in the country has to be accountable for the parliament, Tesfahun noted, adding that the security and the army however did whatever they liked since the institutions were never audited.
As a result, embezzlement and corruption prevailed in the institutions that also lacked professionalism.
To avoid the predicaments, various reform measures, including the enactment of a new regulation and a new strategy, have been undertaken over the past two and half years, according to Tesfahun.
The first reform measure taken was shifting of the orientation of the national security from regime-centered apparatus to human-centered security, he pointed out.
The reform gives the utmost attention to physical, mental, social and economic well-being of citizens, and the national interest of the country by abolishing the regime affiliated activities, the former adviser stated.
Furthermore, Tesfahun said that a strong system of checks and balances has also been established in the reform. In this regard, the parliament and other pertinent organs of the government were empowered to effectively oversee the activities of the institutions.
Various capacity building activities have also been undertaken to enhance the effective execution capacity of security and intelligence professionals per the laws of the country.