July 4, 2011

Ethiopia Media Blackout: Walta, ENA ignore 3.2 million starving Ethiopians

Ethiopia Media Blackout: Walta, ENA ignore 3.2 million starving Ethiopians

3.2 million Ethiopians, mostly in the South and South Easter part of country, are facing severe food shortage, according to figures from the United Nations and aid agencies. The UK government has pledged £38 million, enough to feed 1.3 million people. The disaster affecting the Horn of Africa is described by aid agencies as one of the worst drought ever seen in the region in over 60 years. 10 million people in the region are facing severe hunger including Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia. Some warn that famine could follow soon unless aid arrives urgently.

The disaster was a lead story on BBC World Service on Sunday, several British media and others had extensive coverage of the looming crisis. But the state media in Ethiopia and Walta, the mouthpiece of the ruling party, are silent on the story. The TPLF government has been in power for over 20 years now in Ethiopia and like its predecessor, it has failed miserably to feed its own people. The state media in Ethiopia is notorious for media blackout of stories it deems will portray the government in a negative light.

The starvation and the secrecy surround it by the government exactly mirrors what the military dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemariaum used to do. After 20 years of rule under TPLF government, Ethiopia is still unable to feed itself.


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