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Ethiopia imposes new restrictions on sharing war info

War-hit Ethiopia has announced new rules against sharing information on battlefield outcomes in the war against Tigrayan rebels, a move that could bring sanctions against journalists.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government declared a nationwide state of emergency earlier this month as fighters from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) advance towards the capital, the latest turn in a brutal year-long conflict.

International alarm is mounting about the escalating war in Africa's second most populous country, with anxious foreign governments urging their citizens to leave.

The new decree issued late Thursday said it was "forbidden to distribute in any communication systems any military movements, battlefield outcomes" that were not officially published by the government.

"Security forces will take necessary measures on those who have been found to violate" the order, it said in a possible warning to news outlets and social media accounts that have reported on rebel claims of territorial gains.

The government also barred residents from "using various types of media platforms to support directly or indirectly the terrorist group" -- a reference to the TPLF -- and warned of unspecified consequences for anyone who ignored the decree.

The state of emergency imposed on November 2 allows the authorities to conscript citizens who own weapons or suspend any media outlets believed to be "giving moral support directly or indirectly" to the TPLF.

The latest decree also bans anyone from calling "for a transitional government", days after a prominent opposition party, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), issued a statement urging an end to the fighting and the establishment of an interim administration to facilitate dialogue.

"During the mandate of the interim administration, all parties will begin negotiations on the formation of an all-inclusive transitional government that shall last for 18 months. No major stakeholder shall be excluded from these negotiations," the OFC said Wednesday.

Ethiopia's war erupted in November 2020 when Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, sent troops into the Tigray region to topple its ruling party, the TPLF.

He said the move was in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps and promised a swift victory, but by late June the rebels had retaken most of Tigray, including its capital Mekele.

Since then, the TPLF has pushed into neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, and this week it claimed to have seized a town just 220 kilometers (135 miles) from Addis Ababa.

On Wednesday state media reported that Abiy, a former lieutenant-colonel in the military, had arrived at the front line to lead a counter-offensive, handing over regular duties to his deputy.

The fighting has killed thousands of people and driven hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions, according to U.N. estimates.

Comments

0 #1 kabayekka 2021-11-29 16:36
"The fighting has killed thousands of people and driven hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions, according to U.N. estimates."

Unfortunately for the UN, making grave pronunciations seems to be the only well paid job this organization can do.

Everybody remembers well when the Home country the USA where the UN resides, complained about the Iraq vs Kuwait war or the Nuclear bomb of Iraq, international troops were hurriedly dispatched.

Here where African lives matter, no such force is available. The best the Western countries can give this miserable African country at war is a peace prize of 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. No wonder African military dictators are sitting comfortably on the continent of Africa!
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0 #2 kabayekka 2021-11-29 16:49
"The latest decree also bans anyone from calling "for a transitional government", days after a prominent opposition party, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), issued a statement urging an end to the fighting and the establishment of an interim administration to facilitate dialogue."

Exactly what is very wrong for one of your own to call for such a dialogue. After the war and you win how are you going to rule this country so divided.

Whom are kidding. You as one of these stubborn African dictators, you have told off the world not to interfere in the internal affairs of African countries.

That African countries should solve their own African problems! But you are killing thousands of your own people and causing famine in your own countries. Really have you any brains at all so that after such a brutal war and you win, will you be able to govern that country properly?
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0 #3 Lakwena 2021-11-30 08:08
Quoting kabayekka:
"The fighting has killed thousands of people and driven hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions, according to U.N. estimates."

Unfortunately for the UN, making grave pronunciations seems to be the only well paid job this organization can do. ...

... No wonder African military dictators are sitting comfortably on the continent of Africa!


Kabayekka, the UN is no longer the UN for which it was established after the two dehumanizing World Wars (WWI & WWII). Unfortunately it has become an Evil institution which feeds off armed conflicts and/or Diseases.

In other words, conflicts, refugees and related humanitarian calamities, have become functional. Otherwise, in a world of Peace, Harmony, Health and Prosperity; the UN and all its Sub-organizations, like: the World Food Programme (WFP); UNICEF, ILO, UNESCO, WHO, UNHCR; UNSC; etc. would have closed shops long time ago.
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