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Ethiopia’s Intelligence Department to rebrand as National Information Center

Ethiopia’s Intelligence Department, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), is rebranding itself as National Information Center (NIC) if the parliament approves it.

Ethiopia _ intelligence _ National Information Center
NISS Director, Demelash Gebremichael. Photo : FBC

December 23, 2019

Ethiopia’s Intelligence Department, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), announced on Monday that it is rebranding itself.

The department has been going through numerous reforms, structural and personnel, as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration reform measure.

State-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) cited the director, Demelash Gebremichael, as saying that draft legislation to guide fundamental institutional reform measures is prepared.

If the legislation is approved in the Ethiopian parliament, the department will be branded as National Information Center (NIC) eliminating keywords like “intelligence” and “security.”

The director did not highlight why rebranding his department was needed at this time.

But he described the proposed reform as “part of the work to create an information and security institution free from political, ethnic and religious affiliations.” The reform measure focused, as claimed by government from the get go, on making the institution a neutral one. But there has been allegation that the new director himself is from what is now Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), a party whose chairman is Prime Pinister Abiy Ahmed.

A strategic plan that charts goals to be achieved in ten years’ time is also prepared.

Preparations are also finalized, according to the director, to offer security and intelligence education at a B.A. Degree level. That’s part of the plan to strengthen the institution with technologically skilled manpower, as per the report.  

Tesfaye Daba, Chairperson of a parliamentary standing committee for peace and foreign relation, reportedly remarked that NISS is implementing reform measures to create a lasting institution.

Before embarking on reform measures, NISS had the image of being a tool for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). There was an allegation that it was dominantly controlled by a single ethnic group.

Under Getachew Assefa, one of the Key TPLF figures, the institution was a symbol of torture and repression. One of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s major reform measures soon after he took office in 2018 was to remove the security chief and replace him with the head of Ethiopian Air force, General Adem Mohammed who is currently serving in the role of Defense Chief of Staff following the assassination of former chief of staff, Seare Mekonnen.

In related news, NISS said that it has finalized an investigation of selected government organizations suspected with grand corruption. But details are yet to be made public.

Demelash Gebremichael says over half a billion Ethiopian birr is recovered from tax evasion and plundering of government resources.  He also claimed that successful work has been done in terms of acquiring information related to the circulation of illegal firearms and cash. 

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  1. Subject: “ Ethiopia’s Intelligence Department to rebrand as National Information Center, borkena, December 23, 2019”

    Humble Commentary, 23 Dec 2019

    Will fiddling with the name of the Department change the function of the organization? In all probability, it can safely be said, the population of the country are fully cognizant of the function of the department. And that is the ESSENTIAL part in the COMMUNICATION between the People and the Government. Consequently, if the obvious and aged name is tampered with, it opens the door to all sorts of suspicion — and that will be most unfortunate in all aspect of governance. Simplicity with clear language is the most attractive mechanism to gain the TRUST of the people. THE END

  2. Whoever presides this org it is always a symbol of torture and repression. Donot always be obsessed in defaming TPLF. I donot believe that at all wether I like or dislike TPLF.

    fuck you all

  3. Names can be useful in swaying the public. For example six months ago Eskinder Nega stole Nephtegnas money (Nephtegnas Senai) by telling Nephtegnas they bought share ownership of Senai multimedia television station in Ethiopia, he sold the shares three times to the public gathered at his three public gatherings “press co defences” with no such organization existing the money is buying him luxury.

    People didn’t learn from their mistakes now he is doing the same with Baladras with no such entity named Baldras known recognized by electoral board or peace ministry existing in Ethiopia. Eskinder & Co. are such a great swindlers of the Nephtegnas money. In the last two years Eskinder became a USD dollar multi millionaire with his “Senai multimedia and Baldras” scams .

    The Ethiopian PM recognizes OMN and Querro since OMN is real and Querro is real . The Ethiopian PM does not recognize Balderas or Senai multi media since both are not real, they are just fictional names Eskinder & Co. made up to swindle money .


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