August 18, 2007

Elizabeth Blunt’s Lopsided BBC News from Addis Ababa

By Qeerranssoo Biyyaa

August 17, 2007 — I always read Elizabeth Blunt’s BBC news from Finfinne, which lacks professionalism and objectivity. But I was shocked when I read her headline, ‘Ethiopia New Year terror thwarted’, published on BBC website news on 15 August 2007. I was shocked because Elizabeth’s sources were only from the ruling tyrannical Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Party officials as usual. I was also shocked as I know that thousands of people are arbitrarily being jailed for being Oromo, which is enough reason to qualify them to be threats to the government. As always Elizabeth’s news was not different from what the government Television and Radio (ETV and Ethiopia Radio) tell us when they want to campaign to eliminate civilians who they consider threats in the name of the opposition Oromo Liberation Front or any opposition for that matter. They call this civilians and oppositions ‘terrorists’. Surprisingly, Elizabeth subscribed to the same propaganda of calling opposition groups and civilians ‘terrorists’ that the government uses as its currency with the West.

Elizabeth Blunt did not interview the Oromo Liberation Front leaders to hear their side of the story about the allegation from the Ethiopian government. She did not say anything about Ethiopian government military campaign in the Western, Eastern and Central Oromia. She does not appear to have read press releases from Human Rights Watch on the wide-scale civilian attack the government army is carrying out in the East. I want to draw to the BBC’s attention that journalists like Elizabeth Blunt who attends government functions and banquets will cloud their professionalism with lopsided news coverage such as the one I referred to. This will just reduce the dependability and readability of the BBC amongst the most oppressed Oromo people in the Ethiopian Empire and Southerners, suffering day and night under the oppressive regime.

Elizabeth Blunt also commits a great factual error and collaborates with government by saying that Adama is the Capital city of Oromia, but the capital city of Oromia is Addis Ababa known to the indigenous Oromo as Finfinne. Please, please Elizabeth Blunt try to diversify the sources of your news as much as possible for your own integrity and for the integrity of the BBC that you work for. Walk out side the city to where the government army is killing, torturing and imprisoning civilian Oromos in Oromia, especially in the East and the West. I am sure you do not want your news to be despised as much as stories from ETV and Ethiopia Radio because of its falsity and propaganda nature. True professionalism takes to walk out side of the comforts of the capital city.

* The author is based in Ethiopia. He can be reached at

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