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Meles admits jamming VOA radio broadcasts in Amharic

Listen to BBC World Services has admitted it is jamming the Voice of America’s (VOA) broadcasts in Amharic, accusing the radio station of engaging in “destabilising propaganda”.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Ethiopia had been testing jamming equipment, although there had been no formal decision to bloc the US station.

The Amharic Service has experienced interference since late February.

Mr Meles also compared the VOA’s transmissions to broadcasts in Rwanda in the mid-1990s that incited genocide.

‘Unfortunate’ comments

“We have for some time now been trying to beef up our capacity to deal with this, including… jamming,” Mr Meles said on Thursday.

In a statement, VOA director Danforth Austin said that any comparison of VOA programming to Rwandan broadcasts inciting genocide in the 1990s was “incorrect and unfortunate”.

“The VOA deplores jamming as a form of media censorship wherever it may occur,” he said, adding that the station’s Amharic Service was required by law to provide accurate and objective information.

The VOA and other foreign media organisations say broadcasts in Amharic – the country’s most widely spoken language – have been jammed around elections in the past.

The next polls in Ethiopia are in May and human rights groups say there has been a crackdown on the press.

The last elections saw opposition accusations of widespread rigging.

Thousands of opposition supporters were arrested after protests and some western countries reduced aid to Ethiopia.

Separately, Mr Meles again denied claims in a recent BBC report that he had ordered the diversion of food aid money to buy arms to fight the government in the 1980s.

“We did not need to [do it]. We were not short of ammunition or arms. That was never our problem. Our main problem was that we were operating in an environmentally very fragile area unable to feed itself,” he said.

Source: BBC

Comments (17)

  • Ayalew Admas Abesha

    Really Melese is shamefull this is one of the message of his dictatorship all Ethiopians are stayed on the black list except His supporter .This is the cause of Tonibelier and Georg Bush at the time of 2005Ethiopian Election they support him for killing of the nations .In general for Ethiopia Melse is not the only enemy in addition to meles Bilier and Bush
    God Bless Ethiopia !

  • desalegn amare

    unless otherwise the dictator had in mind the abuse of the public particulalry on those who are determined to cast their vote against the government, the dictator would have no other interest in jamming VOA. VOA to many of us is a dependable radio station for accuracy of its news delivery and information resources.

    On the other hand I do not blame the dictator because it is VOA that is able to expose the intended evil scheme of his government and accurately broadcast to the world the anticipated rigged result of the upcoming May election.

    I am not intelligent in the field of mass media and / or communications, but I am hoping that VOA will somehow work it out so the people of Ethiopia and the world are updated on the outcome of the May election. In my jedgdement,I believe the May election is an activity so critical that the future of Ethiopia relies upon.

    Thank you VOA and
    I wish you the best of luck.

  • Gigi

    Seelu semeta doro motech bechees gebta.

    Enen mawuared ayifekedem beel ayikelewum.

    His name should be Woyzerit BAFFENA.

  • Getinet

    I don’t understand why media sources – both Ethiopian and foreign – give any coverage to the worst liar and dictator Ethiopia has seen. Clearly the dictator is trying to use his shock tactic once again. It is also clear that his barbaric special forces and the dictator are capable of launching unimaginable attack on opponents and other peace abiding citizens. The strategy should be not to budge to such threats. At the end of the day, this is a struggle between one man and his close circles on the one hand and the rest of Ethiopia on the other.

  • Bamlaku kitaw

    We know, This killer person he ruled our country people terriraized to killing
    and sale the land, Zenawi is extermilly stupid man and crule the same to stalin
    or nazi or mosoleni, please stand all together !!!

  • MULU


  • tulu

    Are you sure Mr. Meles VOA is like the Rwanda radio? Where are you heading with this? You want to thow all opposition candidates, into jail by creating your own calculated chaos at all polling station and blame them for interhamawe and vote stealing and then go back and tell the world that your security/Agazi has secured the bags with the right ballots in it … then… Poof …you are the winner!!

  • Berihun Araya

    I Guess Finally Zenawi desided to unmask himself and show the World his true dictatorial face.

  • America did it

    Meles blocked VOA. What a theatre. It is also the Americans that want VOA to be blocked because it was starting to be useful for Oppositions. They are friends (Americans & Meles) and are trying to act like they manuveur by themselves as opposites. Next thing we know, they will start acting like enemiew. Ha Ha. They collaborately are trying to stop any media outlets the opposition groups such as AEUP and UDJ are using. A complete drama. Don’t you guys see this is how they have been playing the game thinking Ethiopians are fools?

  • akmerg

    Let this be considered as tangible testimony to the whole world from the horse mouth to what extent the ugliest dictator prepared himself to stay in power.His hidden agenda now start coming over the screen before election.

  • Truth

    Melse knows very well that is the weakest leader in Africa. Isolated from his own people for unimaginable crimes he committed on the country and people he rules. He is just sitting on the shoulder of foreign powers. How he dare accusing the same forces who are the back bone of his existence? His deeds and talks don’t much at all. I think, its his foreign advisers idea to make it look as if he is out of West influence. By ding so, he can buy friendship from potential enemies like Sudan while implementing the mission he stood for; disintegration of East Africa into pieces.

  • Daniel Solomon

    MELES NAZIAWI A born lier ruthless brutal dictator should be quarantine from a right minded humans and placed in a Cage where he belongs ,His evil wish to Ethiopian people and his personality is yet to be exposed the Sooner the better

  • Abere Damot

    Ato Meles(Legesse) Zenawi, is not the first dictator and probably will not be the last, that Ethiopia has been oppressed under. My advice for fellow country men and women, is to work on short term tactic, middle term plan and long term strategy. As the people of Tigray has organizations that have alternative programs to Woyane, I would like to see genuine intellectuals from Hagere-Abbay(the so called Amara Kilil) to stand for their people.

  • Anbese

    The Dictatoral Fascist Mlas Zenawi’s racial regime was not only jammed the Electronis Medias. Each individual Ethiopian are jammed not to speak in their own right, about Nineteen horrable Years.
    Ethiopian needs an Interantional pressure against the brutal regime based on Justice, Freedom and Democracy.

  • wondesen hailemarayam

    now one of in the world Famous dictator fascist meles zenawi

  • Anbese

    Jamming abroad Radio stations was the Stalinism regime of the former USSR(Russia) KGB spying agent system. Zenawi’s Fascism regime is based on Stalinism very experienced since TPLF was in the DEDEBIT brutality training center.

  • Daniel Solomon

    “Abere Damot-“–I Seriously Doubt you’re Even amara,As a matter of fact I’m So Sure you’re one of Zenawi’s Foot Soldier (TPLF CADRE)


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