Ethiopia Press Secretary defends government as debunks media bias

The Press Secretary of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Billene Seyoum has defended the government against accusations of blocking aid to the Tigray region.

In an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson, Ms Billene debunked reports that the government had denied UN food trucks to the war-torn region, saying roadblocks that initially existed had been reduced to ease passage to Tigray region.

“It will be disingenuous of me to answer your question before saying that Ethiopians, including those abroad strongly feel that CNN has covered the conflict in a biased manner and devoid of context” She said.  

“ We have often stated that Ethiopia seems to be under a seemingly coordinated campaign to tarnish the image of the country, to tarnish the image of the Prime Minister and media outlets like CNN, New York Times, Washington Post and Reuters in particular have often chosen to carry a negative and skewed narrative devoid of nuances” She added.

Responding to a question regarding the accreditation of media to report on the ground, Billene said some of the media organisations had not followed the right procedure in getting the accreditation.

“There are so many media entities that have entered the country and have requested to enter the country. For admonishment that the Ethiopian government for not allowing media , you never hear about irt or those that have been granted access and their own media has told them not to enter the country”

“ Humanitarian needs are equally as important for the Ethiopian and that’s why we have invested nearly one billion birr ( $20M) in infrastructure “

In the 20 minutes interview on CNN, Ms Billene said the blame should squarely lie with the Tigray peoples Liberation Front, which attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defence Force and threatened to march to the capital to seize power.

ONTuesday, Amnesty International released a report detailing the raping, sexual violence and looting carried out by TPLF rebels and their allied militias.

There’s currently a campaign to refer the killings and massacres of civilians by TPLF to the International Criminal court.

LAst weeken, tens oif thousands of Ethiopians rallied in the capital ~Addis Ababa, to support Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his government’s war against TPLF which the country’s parliament has declared as a terrorist group.

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