Ethiopia threatens to ban international media due to war reporting

Ethiopia threatens to ban international media due to war reporting

The Ethiopian Media Authority on Friday warned four media networks – the BBC, CNN, Reuters and AP – that their licences could be revoked in the beleaguered East African country because of their reporting on the spreading civil war.

In identical statements, the government said that it has been monitoring reporting patterns on the “law enforcement operation” in the northern region of the country and that the named agencies had “consistently disseminated news that sowed seeds of animosity” which compromised the sovereignty of the country.

The statement mentioned examples of media misconduct and “shady reporting” which included analyses that assisted the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF); referring to the government’s actions as a “genocide campaign;” and generating 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 ordered embassies, diplomats and individuals to register gadgets, such as GPS, walkie-talkies, satellite phones and drones to ensure they could not be used by terrorists.

The government is coming under increasing pressure since the year-long conflict, which started in the northern region of Tigray, has spread and the TPLF has made advances towards the capital of Addis Ababa.

The TPLF dominated Ethiopia, with its around 115 million inhabitants, for a good 25 years until Abiy came to power in 2018 and ousted it.

Leading members of the military departed to the TPLF, which allowed the rebels to achieve great successes within a short amount of time.

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