Africa’s North Korea: reporting from Eritrea, the land of no Journalists

By Conor Gaffey (Newsweek)
On September 18, 2001, as the world reeled from the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York and international attention focused on the United States, the president of a tiny African country decided journalists were no longer needed in his country.

Isaias Afwerki, the president of Eritrea— which borders Ethiopia and lies 20 miles across a strategic shipping canal from Yemen—announced that all independent media organizations were to cease activity. Private presses were shuttered and broadcasters closed down; journalists were rounded up and put in prison.

Fathi Osman collects an award on behalf of Radio Erena at the One World Media Awards in London on June 7. Radio Erena, based in Paris, is one of the only independent sources of information for people living in Eritrea.

The deplorable state of press freedom in the Horn of Africa country—Eritrea has been ranked bottom of Reporters Sans Frontieres’ (RSF) Press Freedom Index in eight out of the last nine years—has led to the country being dubbed Africa’s North Korea, in comparison with the East Asian totalitarian dictatorship.

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Teddy Afro among international celebrities joining UNICEF campaign

The Ethiopian pop sensation Teddy Afro among international celebrities joining UNICEF’s Super Dad Campaign, it is learned.  As more than 90 countries prepare to mark Father’s Day later this month, prominent figures in sports and entertainment have joined ‘Super Dads,’ a campaign launched on June 6 by UNICEF that celebrates a father’s essential role in a child’s early cognitive development.

Mahershala Ali, David Beckham, the All Blacks, Daniel Cormier, Novak Djokovic, Lewis Hamilton, Hugh Jackman, Sachin Tendulkar, Thalía and Chris Weidman are among the celebrities who will be featured for their “super dad” moments on UNICEF’s Instagram and Twitter. These UNICEF ambassadors and supporters have also shared their thoughts on the importance of their own fathers in their childhoods.
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I used to herd goats in Ethiopia and now I finished a degree in the US

by Francesca Croce

As a child, Mubarik Mohamoud’s life dream was to own 100 camels. He is now graduating from MIT with a diploma in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. A student from Somaliland in East Africa, he is returning to MIT in the fall to complete a Master’s before returning to his home country.

As a winner of scholarship founded by an ex-hedge-fund analyst that prepares kids in Somaliland to study in the US, Mubarik shared his moving story with us.

Tell me about your childhood – how old were you when you first went to school?

I was born in Ethiopia in region called Ogaden which is close to Somalia. Growing up I was a nomad. My parents had goats, camels and also sheep, so my life-calling was herding. I started out herding baby goats and had a camel at the end. My personal goal as a kid was basically to have 100 camels. That was the culmination of success in my life. There were some conflicts in Somaliland so there were some refugee camps set up in Ethiopia around where I lived. When I visited the camp I saw this school and different life that I could pursue.
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​Feyisa Lelisa against Tewodros Adhanom’s WHO candidacy

My name is Feyisa Lilesa. I am an exiled marathon runner from Ethiopia.  
I have not been back to my country since winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games last August. In Rio, as I approached the finish line, I crossed my wrists above my head in solidarity with the men, women and children who have died fighting for their rights and those who are still suffering under the brutal regime in Ethiopia.

It was a sign of nonviolent resistance used by protesters in my native Oromia region, the largest of Ethiopia’s nine ethnic-based states.

Much has changed since my Olympic protest in Rio. I now live and train in exile in the United States. Last February, I was reunited with my wife and two children.
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የጄኔራል አማን አንዶም ግድያ በገዳዩ አንደበት

ሌተናል ኮሎኔል ዳንኤል አስፋውይባላል፡፡ የደርግ ዘመቻና ጥበቃ ሃላፊ ነው፡፡ “ጨካኝ፤ ምህረት የለሽ ፤ነፍሰ በላ” እንደነበር በርካቶች ይናገሩለታል፡፡ 
በንጉሰ ነገስቱም ሆነ ደርግ ተቀዳሚ ሊቀመንበር በነበሩት  ሌተናል ጄኔራል አማነ ሙካኤል አንዶም ግድያ በቀጥታ ተሳታፊም ነበር፡፡ ኮሎኔሉ ጄኔራል አማን በተገደሉ  ሁለተኛ ቀን ህዳር 16 ቀን 1976 ዓ.ም ለግዜያዊ  ወታደራዊ ደርግ 1ኛ ምክትል ሊቀመንበር ለሆኑት ኮሎኔል መንግስቱ ኃይለማሪያም የግድያውን ዝርዝር አተገባበር ውጤት ፊልም በሚመስል መልኩ “ ሌ/ጄ አማን ሚካኤል አንዶምን  ለመያዝ የተደረገ የውግያ ዘመቻ ሪፖርት” በሚል ርዕስ በእንዲህ ያለ መልክ በፅሁፍ ሪፖርት አደረገ፡፡

ቅድመ ታሪክ

ኮሎኔል መንግስቱ ኃይለማርያምና  ሶስተኛ ክፍለ ጦር ጓደኞቹ  ለወሳኞቹ ቀናት አድፍጠዋል፡፡ የደርጉ ሊቀመንበር ከደርጉ ውጭ ይመረጥ በማለት ሲያዘናጉ እና ግዜ ሲገዙ ቆይተዋል፡፡ የመጀመሪያው እጣም  ለሌተናል ጄኔራል አማን ሚካኤል አንዶም ደረሰ፡፡ ሌተናል ጄኔራሉ ከሰራዊቱ አገልግሎት ርቀው ለ13 ዓመታት ያህል በሲቪል ስራ ከቆዩ በሁዋላ መጨረሻ ከነበሩበት ከህግ መወሰኛ ምክር ቤት በደርጉ ተመርጠው የቀድሞው ንጉስ ፊት ቀርበው ሌተናል ጄኔራል ተብለው የጦር ሃይሎች ተቅላይ ኤታማዦር ሹም ሆኑ፡፡ ወታደራዊ ደርግ ንጉሱን ከስልጣን አውርዶ ወታደራዊ መንግስት ባወጀበት  ዕለት መስከረም 2 ቀን 1967 ዓ.ም የደርጉ ዋና ሊቀመንበር ተብለው  በደርጉ ውሳኔ ተሸሙ፡፡

General Aman Andom

ይሁን እንጂ ከደርግ ሰዎች ጋር መግባባት ባለመቻላቸው ጄኔራሉ በዚህ ቦታ ከ2 ወር የዘለለ ቆይታ አላደረጉም፡፡ ከህዳር  17 ቀን976 ዓ.ም ጀምሮ ከልዩ ልዩ መንግስታዊ ስራዎች እና ተግባራት እራሳቸውን አገለሉ፡፡ ይህም ደርግ በእኔ ላይ እያሳደሙ ነው፤ መፈንቅለ መንሰግስት ሊያደርጉብኝ አስበዋል የሚል  አቋም እንዲይዝ አደረገው፡፡

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