News / Africa

    Press Advocates: Obama Should Talk Freedom at G8

    Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012
    x
    Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012
    Demonstrators outside White House before G8 summit in Washington, May 17, 2012
    Ricci Shryock
    Press freedom advocates are calling for President Barack Obama to address limitations on journalists who report on food insecurity when he meets with four African leaders at the G8 Summit on Saturday.

    The group is set to discuss solutions to food crises on the continent. But Mohamed Keita, the Africa Advocacy Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said government censorship is part of the problem. 

    “We believe that such practices harm the domestic and international response to such crises and ultimately undermine the ability of everyone to assist millions starving,” Keita said.

    Mr. Obama will hold a working lunch with the presidents of Ghana, Tanzania, and Benin, as well as the prime minister of Ethiopia, during the summit at the Camp David presidential retreat in the U.S.

    Keita said Tanzania, Ghana and Benin “are countries where the press is relatively free to operate. They are not working under intense censorship. They are not denied access to sensitive areas.”

    But he said the situation in Ethiopia is different. He said the government there has been guilty of hindering reporting on past and present food crises. 

    “Ethiopia is continually affected by drought and food crises and unfortunately the government prevents journalists access to sensitive areas,” Keita said. “They are prevented from using the word famine when they report about these crises. They are
    Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)
    x
    Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)
    Okule Buli helps her five-year old daughter Jamila sit up in her bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a medical center run by Medecins Sans Frontiers in Kuyera, Ethiopia, 02 Sep 2008 (File photo AFP)
    prevented from taking photographs of obviously malnourished children.”

    “This has an impact on the ability of aid groups to scramble to raise funds to assist” in a timely manner, he added.

    Keita acknowledged Ethiopia has made economic strides in reducing poverty and improving infrastructure, but he said hunger remains a chronic problem. And he said government statistics about food insecurity and hunger cannot be relied upon.

    Since 2011, the Ethiopian government has used its sweeping anti-terrorism laws to bring charges against 11 journalists.

    Committee to Protect Journalists' Mohamed Keita talks to Ricci Shryock about Press Freedom
    Committee to Protect Journalists' Mohamed Keita talks to Ricci Shryock about Press Freedomi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Wife of IS Leader Charged in Death of US Hostage

    Suspect allegedly admitted to being responsible for American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who officials say was sexually abused and ‘owned’ by one IS member

    Year of the Monkey Could Prove Economic Balancing Act for China

    China is up against a tricky situation on the financial front, facing the need to fight capital flight while also stopping a further slide of foreign currency reserves

    Runners Attempt 26-mile South Pole Marathon in Sub-Zero Temperatures

    How alluring is running 26.2 miles at 10,000 feet when it’s minus 31 Celsius out?

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Alem from: USA
    May 18, 2012 11:48 AM
    Just in case Mr. Obama runs out of issues to raise [informally] with Ethiopia's dictator Meles at Camp David, here are few to consider. Mr. President,
    1. Do not let your knowledge of what you know about Kenya be the yardstick for dealing with Meles. Meles is strange even by Ethiopian standards. Africans are as different from each other as your mom and dad are.
    2. Inquire the whereabouts of the $12 billion Meles, his wife and relatives illicitly transferred to foreign banks [refer him to the UN Financial Accountability Report 2011]. And also the unaccounted for hundreds of millions collected in the early 1980s in the name of famine-stricken populations.
    3. Meles’ mixing up journalists and terrorists. Why is Eskinder and others in jail?
    4. Isn’t 25 years long enough to make Ethiopia food-secure, to establish press freedom and increase Internet access [instead of using it to spy on citizens] and to make space for Ethiopians who are barred from participating in their own nation’s development?
    5. What was the resolution for the murder on the streets of Addis of 197 unarmed protestors in 2005; the murder of 435 in Gambela, and the thousands of Ethiopian women suffering abuses in the Middle East. Meles has promised to set up a Commission of Inquiry.
    Read complete post at this link
    http://etrecycler.blogspot.com/2012/05/g-8.html

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.