Pubdate: Fri, 23 May 2003
Source: Addis Tribune (Ethiopia)
Copyright: 2003 Tambek International

CIA Categorizes Ethiopia As Illicit Drugs Transit Hub

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) country fact book described 
Ethiopia as a "transit hub" for heroin originating in Southeast Asia and 
destined for Europe and North America.

The latest country fact book updated last March stated that Ethiopia also 
served as a center for cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa, 
cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export "principally to 
Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries)."

The CIA fact book, which is produced by the CIA directorate of intelligence 
and is "a comprehensive resource of facts and statistics" on more than 250 
countries and entities, also said that lack of a well-developed financial 
system in Ethiopia limited the country's utility as a money-laundering center.

Describing Ethiopia's economy, the fact book stated that the two-year "war 
with Eritrea and recurrent drought have buffeted the economy, in particular 
coffee production."

"Under Ethiopia's land tenure system, the government owns all land and 
provides long-term leases to the tenants; the system continues to hamper 
growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as 
collateral for loans," it said.

Regarding international disputes the country is experiencing, the factbook 
revealed that as most of the southern half of the boundary with Somalia in 
the Ogaden region was a provisional administrative line, regional states 
had "established a variety of conflicting relationships with the Somali 
Transitional National Government in Mogadishu, feuding factions in Puntland 
region, and the economically stabile break-away Somaliland."

The CIA factbook has become an annual publication of the directorate of 
intelligence a few years back. According to the CIA, the intelligence cycle 
is the process by which information is acquired, converted into 
intelligence, and made available to policymakers.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens