News / Africa

US Criticizes Ethiopia for Jamming VOA Signals

The U.S. State Department has strongly criticized efforts by Ethiopia's prime minister to jam VOA broadcasts in Amharic, the country's main official language.

State Department Spokesman Gordon Duguid said in a release Friday that the decision by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi contradicts his country's commitments to a free press, even if he disagrees with the broadcasts.

The prime minister said Thursday he would authorize blocking the broadcasts, saying VOA's Amharic service practiced a disregard for the ethics of journalism.

Duguid condemned Mr. Meles' comparison of VOA material to the hate media that incited the 1994 Rwandan genocide, including Radio Mille Collines.

The State Department spokesman also called the accusation baseless and inflammatory, and asked the Ethiopian government to protect the fundamental right of freedom and expression.

VOA listeners of Amharic language programming have been hearing interference to the programs since February 22. Mr. Meles says listeners may have been experiencing the testing of jamming equipment.

Voice of America Director Danforth Austin issued a statement Thursday saying, "any comparison of VOA programming to the genocidal broadcasts of Rwanda's Radio Mille Collines is incorrect and unfortunate."

He added, "the VOA deplores jamming as a form of media censorship wherever it may occur."

His statement also said VOA's Amharic Service is required by law to provide accurate, objective and comprehensive news and abide by the highest journalistic standards.

Austin noted that "while VOA is always ready to address responsible complaints about programming, the government of Ethiopia has not initiated any official communication in more than two years."

VOA language service broadcasts to Ethiopia have been jammed in the past around election times. The next election for parliament is just over two months away. But in past cases, the government denied being responsible for the jamming.

Monitors say the recent jamming has only been aimed at Amharic broadcasts, and has not affected VOA's Afan Oromo and Tigrinya language service programs to Ethiopia.

The Voice of America is a multi-media international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government. VOA broadcasts more than 1,500 hours of news and other programming every week in 45 languages to an audience of more than 125 million people.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid