News / Africa

Western Governments Warn of Possible Bomb Attacks During African Summit

A handout file photo released by the African Union in Addis Ababa shows the AU flag
A handout file photo released by the African Union in Addis Ababa shows the AU flag

Several Western governments are warning their citizens in Ethiopia of credible threats of terrorist bomb attacks during the African Union summit this week in Addis Ababa. A long list of African leaders and foreign dignitaries will be attending the summit.

Australia’s foreign ministry issued a bluntly worded security alert for Ethiopia on its website.  Diplomats from the United States, Britain and other Western countries said their governments were preparing similar statements.

The warning comes days before at least 25 heads of state and host of other dignitaries are to arrive in Addis Ababa for an African Union summit.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to address the opening session Sunday.

Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa Counselor John Newman says the warning speaks of a high risk of terrorist attacks against Western interests

"According to credible information, extremists are planning to bomb unspecified locations within Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the A.U. summit that will be held 26 through 31, January," he said.

Newman declined to be more specific about the nature of the threat.  But other Western diplomats who asked not to be identified expressed concern about the possibility of attacks by Somali militants.  There is a large Somali refugee population in the Ethiopian capital.

The Somali extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for twin suicide bomb attacks in the Ugandan capital, Kampala last July, weeks before the city hosted the last A.U. summit.

More than 70 people were killed in the blasts, which struck two public viewing centers during the World Cup soccer finals. 

Al-Shabab has warned of further attacks against Uganda and Burundi, which supply most of the troops for the African Union peacekeeping mission in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.  Ethiopia sent troops to support Somalia’s fragile transitional government in 2006, but withdrew them two years later.

Ethiopia’s Communications Minister Bereket Simon said the government is aware of the heightened threat during the summit, and is monitoring possible terrorist activity closely.  But he told VOA Addis Ababa "has been able to hold safe summits in past years, and are taking all necessary precautions”"

Addis Ababa has been free of terrorist attacks since early 2009, when a series of fatal bomb blasts rocked the capital.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid