Ethiopia injects new blood into intelligence

As part of its reform program, Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) says it has trained new entry level intelligence officers.

The agency has graduated over a hundred intelligence officers at the Prime Minister Office as seen on state broadcaster-ETC. Abiy Prime Minister Aby Ahmed has urged the graduates to loyally serve the people without bias – but serve professionally.

Prime Minister Abiy also stressed the need for the institution to be independent and not to be loyal for a political party. “You are not members of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). You are friends and loyal to all Ethiopians,” PM said, telling the graduates to stay away from ethnic, religious and other biases.

“PM Abiy Ahmed addressed graduates of the Kinfe National Security Studies Institute. The intelligence officers have been undergoing training the past few months, following the security reforms of INSA, NISS and the Defense Forces,” twitted the Office of Prime Minister.

After the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who came to power last March admitted to the parliament that his government was engaged in violations of human rights, all state agencies have been going through reforms.

The new blood injected into the agency are expected to change the public attitude towards NISS, which was accused of violations of human rights as documents in several documentaries after PM Abiy came to power.

Currently several former heads of NISS are in trial accused of allowing human rights violations of prisoners and suspects.

Among the major institutions going through the reform includes NISS, the prison administration, the federal police, the military and the Information Network Security Agency (INSA).

After PM Abiy came to power most of the heads of these agencies are replaced with with new faces. Meanwhile the head of NISS, Getachew Assefa is reportedly hiding in Mekele, Tigray region of Ethiopia though the federal government has issued arrest warrant.