By Daniel Tiruneh
Security forces are the most visible face of government power for most citizens; they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial. Law enforcement institutions are entrusted with a diverse set of tasks requiring a high degree of integrity within police agencies and their oversight.
While Ethiopia is undertaking various development activities internal and external interventions seem to hinder the nation’s dream to ensure socioeconomic development. The security forces in the country are bestowed upon great responsibility to safeguard the flagship project-the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
ABN approached Deputy Commissioner Melaku Fanta, Crime Prevention Department Head with the Federal Police Commission, to learn what the Commission has been doing in ensuring the safety and security in and around GERD construction site.
SO FAR THERE HAS NEVER BEEN SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE IN MAINTAINING PEACE AND ORDER AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS.
An important actor in the security sector is the police, whose functions, as a minimum include: Prevention and detection of crime, maintenance of public order, and provision of assistance to the public. In order to carry out these functions, the police have certain powers, namely the power to arrest and detain and the power to use force. It is precisely this monopoly on the use of force and the power to arrest and detain that place the police in a unique and sensitive position within the democratic State.
When it comes to the prevention, protection and ensuring the safety and security of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Ethiopian Security forces: The Ethiopian National Defense Force(ENDF),The Ethiopian Federal Police, National Intelligence Network Security Agency (INSA) and Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), have been playing pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability in and around the construction site.
Established in 1995, the Ethiopian Federal Police force aims to maintain law and order at the federal level (including riot control) and to investigate organized crime. Added to this, the institution has been dealing with a uniquely Ethiopian mission: maintaining peace and stability as well as preventing and investigating crimes related to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Melaku Fanta, Federal Police Deputy Commissioner and Crime Prevention Department Head disclosed that the Police Commission in collaboration with the National Defense Force has begun its special operation on the Renaissance Dam since selection and clearing of the construction site, adding that the Federal Police has been escorting trucks transporting heavy duty machineries to the construction site, preventing them from any disruptions and hurdles.
According to Deputy Commissioner Melaku Fanta, the Federal Police Commission has been organized into four interrelated units: Crime Prevention, Crime Investigation, Administration Development and Police University, out of which the first two departments have been closely working on the overall security and crime issues.
Melaku said the “GERD Cup” fundraising initiative has been successfully undertaken, passing it to the Crime Investigation Department from the Crime Prevention Department, adding that during the Cup’s rally it was possible to collect a total of 12.2 million birr for the construction of the Dam.
Deputy Commissioner Melaku stated that the Commission along with the National Defense Force is committed to reversing any unhealthy condition posed against the construction of the Dam, including the intervention of Egypt and Sudan through third-party anti-peace elements and traitors in the Benshangul Gumuz Regional State where GERD is being finalized.
“As a higher officer in the Federal Police, it is my honor and privilege to lead this great mission of safeguarding and protecting our flagship project-the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.” Melaku noted.