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Ethiopia tells US to stop spreading ‘fake news’ after Washington warns of terrorist attacks in country

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ethiopians gather at the US embassy in Addis Ababa on November 25, 2021, displaying banners that read “Interference is Undemocratic” and “Truth Wins” to protest US interference in their country.

Ethiopia’s government has urged the US to stop disseminating falsehoods against the country, after Washington warned of the possibility of “terrorist attacks” there.

In remarks on Thursday, Ethiopian State Minister of Communication Kebede Dessisa said the US government should refrain from spreading “shameful fake news and defamation regarding Ethiopia,” Reuters reported, citing state broadcaster EBC.

Dessisa was making a reference to a US embassy statement on Tuesday that urged American citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance due to “the ongoing possibility of terrorist attacks in Ethiopia.” The embassy said terrorists may attack with little or no warning.

Since early November, the US State Department has been urging American citizens in Ethiopia to depart the country using commercially available options.

Thousands of Ethiopians rallied in the capital earlier this month to denounce the US for alleged interference in their country’s domestic affairs.

Ethiopians gathered at the US embassy on Thursday, displaying banners that read “Interference is Undemocratic” and “Truth Wins” to protest US interference in their country.

People also gathered during a protest called “No More” against fake news and foreign meddling at the British Embassy.

Ethiopia’s Tigray region has been the scene of conflict since November 2020, when the prime minister sent troops there to topple the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in response to attacks on army camps.

The war in Tigray has killed thousands of people and, according to the UN, pushed hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions due to a de facto humanitarian blockade on the northern region.

Addis Ababa and Washington, long-time allies, have turned against each other in recent months. In the most recent hostile action, US President Joe Biden decided to shut out Ethiopia from a trade program that gives sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the United States.

In a statement on Monday, Ethiopia’s prime minister said he will head to the war front to lead soldiers battling rebels in the northern Tigray region.

“Starting tomorrow, I will mobilize to the front to lead the defense forces,” Abiy Ahmed said. “Those who want to be among the Ethiopian children who will be hailed by history, rise up for your country today. Let’s meet at the battlefront.”

The Ethiopian government has criticized Western governments for inaccurate coverage of the war.

Ahmed also said on Monday the US-led Western countries were “meddling” in the country and were desperately trying to defeat Ethiopia.


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