Saturday 20 November 2021
Johannesburg – (dpa):
On Friday, the Ethiopian Media Authority warned four media networks, the British Broadcasting Corporation “BBC”, CNN, the Reuters news agency and the Associated Press, of withdrawing their licenses in the East African country due to their coverage of the expanding civil war there.
In matching statements, the government said it was monitoring patterns of coverage of the “law enforcement operation” in the country’s Northern Territory and had identified agencies that had “consistently spread news that sowed hostilities” to the detriment of the country’s sovereignty.
The statement cited examples of media misconduct and “suspicious coverage” that included analyzes that helped the TPLF refer to the government’s actions as a “genocidal campaign” and produce news to discredit the country’s leader, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and put the country under “intense diplomatic pressure.”
On the same day, Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency asked embassies, diplomats and individuals to register their devices such as GPS systems, satellite phones, drones and walkie-talkies, to ensure that they are not used by terrorists.
The government has come under increasing pressure since the year-long conflict began in the northern Tigray region, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front made progress towards the capital, Addis Ababa.
The RUF dominated Ethiopia, a country of about 115 million people, for 25 years, until Abiy came to power in 2018 and ousted it.
Prominent members of the army left for the front, allowing the rebels to achieve major successes within a short period of time.