Ethiopia Considers Withdrawing Licences of Foreign News Agencies

The Ethiopian media watch has threatened to revoke licences of four foreign media outlets for taking sides on their reporting in the ongoing violence in the country.

The Federal Republic of Ethiopia Media Authority has sent a warning letter to Associated Press (AP), Reuters, CNN and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for  disseminating news that sowed seeds of animosity among people and compromised the sovereignty of the country.

Director General of Ethiopia’s Media Authority Mohammed Edris Mohammed sent warning letters on Friday to the media houses claiming that the media houses have consistently reported in favour of the group propagating violence in the country.

Part of the notice issued to the media houses by Mohammed reads:
“Since the onset of the law enforcement operation in the Northern Region of Ethiopia by the Federal government, the Ethiopian Media Authority has been monitoring numerous foreign media outlets and conducting a trend analysis on their reporting patterns on the issue. Unfortunately, the Authority finds the media the above media houses have continued to manufacturing and disseminating of false news analyses on Ethiopia to assist the TPLF’s objectives”

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It further adds that:
“The Ethiopian Media Authority, in issuing licences for journalist operations expects reports not to endanger Ethiopia’s national interest, territorial integrity or the peaceful coexistence of the people of the Ethiopia.”

In the four notices to the media houses, Mohammed claimed that reporting the media outlets have been reporting that government is using famine and rape as weapon of war in the Tigray region and have continued to produce defamatory reports on the county’s leading institution.

The director general said the four media houses are seeking to discredit the country’s leader in the international arena and put the country under intense diplomatic pressure.
“The  authority would like to bring to your notice that wellbeing of the Ethiopian people from the dissemination of unsubstantiated ​ information, the authority hereby extends to your institution a written warning with an understanding that in the absence of ethical and professional journalistic operation, the authority would be compelled to revoke the licence granted to your institution to operate in Ethiopia,” said Mohammed.

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The Media Authority claimed that the four media houses in the East African Bureau have consistently reported law enforcement operations as a genocidal campaign hence undermining the government’s efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region.

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