Ethiopian long-distance running legend, two times Olympic gold medalist intends to sue Facebook

Ethiopian long distance legend Haile Gebreselassie sees Facebook role in the recent massacre in Oromo region of Ethiopia

Ethiopian long-distance running _ Haile Gebreselassie
Haile Gebreselassie. Photo source : FBC

November 3, 2019

The greatest long-distance runner in history Haile Gebre Selassie of Ethiopia disclosed this past week that he is intending to sue the “social media” platform, facebook, over recent massacre in his country which claimed at least 78 lives. 

If the Ethiopian government is not filing a lawsuit against the giant the American giant online social media and networking company, says Haile Gebrselassie, “it is likely that I will do it,” as reported by state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).

“People are dying,” he said, 

The two times Olympic long-distance Gold medalist believes that Facebook has contributed a lot to the security crisis in the country in recent years. 

The latest string of massacre in Oromo region of Ethiopia was triggered after radical Oromo nationalists activist and owner of Oromia media network. Jawar Mohammed, who has over 1.7 million followers on Facebook, wrote a message on facebook in the late night of October 22 accusing the government of endangering his life by removing security details.   

“Some may say that they are using Facebook as a tool for struggle and freedom. Yet, it should not lead to unnecessary sacrifice. There should be caution in that regard,” Haile Gebreselassie added. 

He wants Ethiopian activists in the country and abroad to weigh the impacts of their messages to their followers.  He warned that the use of photo-shopped materials to incite violence will, in the end, bring about a heavy price to whoever is doing it. 

He sees media outlets in the country as part of the problem too, and he says that they should exercise caution in their work. 

Political situation in Ethiopia seems to be fragile due to decades of ethnic-based politics which, in recent years, has been radicalizing.

Ethnic Oromo radical youth, known in the region as qeerroo, committed atrocities massacring at least 78 people, including children and seniors taking the facebook message from the radical activist, Jawar, as a pretext to do so.   

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