Opinion

Ethiopia: One Full Dark Year without Access to News and Information by 40 Million Oromos

By David Merga*

One year has passed since the Tigre Liberation Front (TPLF) Ethnic Apartheid Regime of Meles Zenawi, which represents less than 6% (estimated 4 million of the 85 million) of Ethiopian populations, has shutdown Afan Oromo Television Programs, Afan Oromo Radio stations and all Afan Oromo news papers, Ethiopia’s single widely spoken language, to silence 40 million Oromo people of Ethiopia.

For one solid dark year, 40 million Oromo’s in Ethiopia are living and continued to live without any access to news and any form of information including the internet which is blocked by the Zenawi’s ethnic minority regime.

The great and virtuous Oromo people of Ethiopia, who contributed much to the world including the most democratic form of governance ever invented by humans – the Gadaa System, is suffering untold misery under the ethnic apartheid Nazi regime of Mr. Zenawi.

For over a year now, the only sources of news for 40 million Oromo’s in Ethiopia is the Afan Oromo service of the Voice of America (VOA) radio station based in Washington D.C that broadcasts half an hour daily program five days a week.

Currently, as estimated 13.5 million Oromo’s are dying of famine in Central, Eastern and Southern Oromia in Ethiopia, access to information and news is extremely critical to save lives of millions of Ethiopians by providing humanitarian aid.

Unfortunately, as well known to all Addis Ababa based Western embassies and journalists including reporters for the BBC, Associated Press, and Reuters, the TPLF Ethnic minority regime of Meles Zenawi is denying access to most of Central, Eastern, Southern Oromia where famine is killing thousands daily.

It is also important to note that over the last three months, the racist and ethnic apartheid regime run media outlet’s known as “Ethiopian” Television, “Ethiopian” Radio, “Ethiopian” News Agency, Walta Information Center, “Ethiopian” Herald and Addis Zemen News papers have never reported on the famine situation in Oromia, Somali region, also known as Ogaden, and most of the South.

Worse enough, even the BBC, Reuters and Associated Press reporters stationed in Ethiopia were taken to Tigray, the ethnic homeland of the ethnic Apartheid regime, to document the 25th anniversary of the 1984 Ethiopian famine caused by TPLF civil war under the leadership of none another than Africa’s Nazi— Mr. Meles Zenawi.

The world should note that none of the famine situation in Oromia region of Ethiopia is reported by any major international news agency to date. It seems that Western journalists based in Ethiopia have made strategic decision of keeping their license and work permits rather than reporting the sever famine situation in Oromia, Ogaden and other part of Ethiopia and lose their license given to them by the apartheid regime. These journalists’ acts are not simply unethical and immoral but it is also unjournalistic as much as it is an act of accomplice to the TPLF’s regime’s crime against humanity being committed against the Oromo and the rest of the Ethiopian people. These journalists should be ashamed of themselves when they compare themselves with other heroic western journalists reporting from war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan at the expense of losing their life.

We appeal to all donor countries, international organizations, and their media outlets particularly the government of the United States and the United Kingdom to put pressure on the minority ethnic apartheid regime of Mr. Zenawi to allow journalists to gain access to famine affected regions of central, Eastern and Southern Oromia, and other regions of Ethiopia other than the regime’s ethnic homeland — Tigray.

We further appeal to the United States government and the Voice of America Radio to increase the Afan Oromo program to at least one hour a day, and allow its fine journalists in the program cover the famine situation.

We also extend our plea to the government of the United Kingdom and to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to start Afan Oromo Radio and Television program to reach 40 million Oromo people in the Horn of Africa. It is to be noted that BBC is broadcasting in Somali language to reach estimated ten million Somalis in Somalia.

Read reports of the tragic history of the Oromo people at SudanTribune article: Ethiopia: Oromo TV shutdown raises fierce anger.

I could be reached at davidmerga@gmail.com.

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