November 10, 2005
The news is ... there is still no news
Anyone arriving in the centre of Addis Ababa today might assume that everything had returned to normal. The traffic is a little quieter than usual. But the taxis are back. The blue "line-cab" minibuses are back. Most of the shops are open. The tension levels have also decreased from red (armed special forces) at the height of the troubles to blue (armed federal police) earlier this week to mostly khaki (regular police) with shades of blue today.
The one glaring difference on the streets is the continued lack of newspapers. Fortune managed a good but thin edition on Sunday. The Reporter has come out at least twice (although when I passed a news stand, the seller only had one copy which he was lending out to passing customers for a few minutes at a time.)
But none of the usual Amharic tabloids. Could this announcement have anything to do with it? The state-owned Ethiopian Herald has been publishing mug-shots of people wanted by the authorities, including the following:
Fasil Yenealem (publisher/editor of Addis Zena)
Sisay Agena (publisher of Ethiop)
Eskinder Nega (owner of Menelik) and Zerkalem Fasil (publisher of Menelik)
Dereje Habtewold (editor of Netsannet) and Zakarias Tesfaye (publisher of Netsannet)
News, as I have said, is a little thin on the ground. So I will just have to pass on the uncorroborated rumour that all of the above voluntarily turned themselves in yesterday.
UPDATE: Voice of America's Amharic service here must also be getting a little nervous. The state-controlled Walta Information Centre has just reported that unnamed "Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia" have accused VOA of "inciting violence, encouraging civil strife, hatred and anarchy in Ethiopia".
Apparently these unnamed "Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia" will be holding a protest outside VOA's offices in Washington DC on November 14. it will be interesting to see who turns up. (VOA's last lot of Amharic correspondents had their press accreditation seized after reporting on the June unrest.)
Posted by aheavens at November 10, 2005 10:02 AM