From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Apr 14 2010 - 08:15:11 EDT
Ethiopia Installing street surveillance cameras ahead of polls
Wednesday 14 April 2010
By Tesfa Alem Tekle
Apr 13, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) - As nation prepares to conduct national
election, Ethiopia federal police is planting security cameras in major
streets of the capital, Addis Ababa.
There are growing rumors that the surveillance cameras are purposely meant
to monitor and control a possible post-election violence and there by to
hunt down responsible ones.
However, repeated attempts by Sudan Tribune for police comments didn't
workout at the moment. Reached by phone, Federal police spokes person,
Commander Demsash Hailu declined to give any comments, instead said he is
off-duty for some time.
Over 29 million Ethiopians will go to polls to cast their vote in May23, the
first parliamentary elections in Ethiopia since 2005, when the post-election
period was marred by controversy and bloodshed. The violence then saw nearly
200 protesters killed in the streets of Africa's political capital.
Despite growing accusations of harassment by some opposition groups,
Ethiopian officials have repeatedly gave their words to conduct fair, free,
democratic, peaceful and credible elections and they say a mistake like one
in 2005 won't happen this time.
Installation of the surveilliance systems are being carried out by a
government agency, Information Network Security Agency (INSA) under contract
with the Federal Police Commission.
Since the agency began the installation in mid last month, it has planted
cameras in streets believed to have suspicious criminal acts, mainly in
streets that have heavy flow of people and traffic.
Cameras are already installed on both sides of the street along Africa
Avenue from the Bole Ring Road Roundabout to Olympia. The cameras are
designed to continuously operate with or without electric power supply.
The latest advances in security cameras and surveillance systems have
elevated levels of security monitoring, management and enforcement and
helped thwart the activities of even the most sophisticated criminal acts
and terrorist moves. The technology would also contribute to the efforts of
reducing traffic accidents.
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