Examining some of the raisons d 'etre for the Ethiopian anti-terrorism law
Kassa, Wondwossen Demissie
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There has been a proliferation of counter-terrorism legislation around the world following 9/11, a turning point in the history of counter-terrorism. Ethiopia passed its anti-terrorism law in July 2009. This law and its application have been controversial since its promulgation. A debate on several issues relating to the law and its (mis)application was held in August 2013. Whether the law is needed at all was one of the contentious issues deliberated on. Proponents argue that the clear and present danger of terrorism in Ethiopia coupled with inadequacy of ordinary laws to deal with this reality necessitated the law. They also contend that the United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) requires Ethiopia to pass the law. Challengers dismiss these justifications as pretexts and maintain that the real reason for passing the law is to discipline dissent and crack down on opposition. This article scrutinizes the aforementioned justifications for the law and concludes that they are invalid.