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Technology experts in Washington, DC say the recent blocking
of Voice of America radio and Internet broadcasts by the Ethiopian government
is likely to have a negative long term impact.
The Ethiopian government recently began jamming VOA radio and Internet
broadcasts in the lead up to the 23 May national elections."If the government wants to remain
accountable to its people, it has to lift its hand from suppressing independent
media outlets," said Getachew Gebretsadiq, a software engineer from Emerging
The prime minster of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, accuses VOA of
broadcasting destabilizing propaganda and he has said publicly he is seeking
ways to completely block it.
Voice of America recently invited a panel of technology
experts to discuss the jamming of VOA broadcasts. Tigrigna`s People to People program host
Tewelde Weldegebriel asked them to explain how Internet blocking and radio
"Nowadays, there are
expensive softwares that can prevent internet blockage, but big organizations
like VOA may not want to engage in such war games," said Semere Taezaz, a
former private newspaper editor in Eritrea, now a senior IT technician in Washington
The panelists agreed jamming radio broadcasts by Ethiopian
government is "a severe act of censorship" which can only serve to increase
the outrage of people in that country.
Listen to the discussion in Tigrigna: