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Why are Western Media outlets against Ethiopia? (Tibebe Samuel)

Ethiopia’s law enforcement operation in the northern part of the country was distorted and at best misrepresented in reputable media outlets in the West. Tibebe Samuel, who is the son of one of the greatest journalists Ethiopia ever had, questions “Why are Western Media outlets against Ethiopia?”

Media _ Ethiopia _ Tibebe Article
Tibebe Samuel Ferenji

By Tibebe Samuel Ferenji
January 6, 2021

            I grew up trusting and believing the stories published in media outlets dubbed as “mainstream media”. For most of us, when we think of mainstream media what comes to mind are the likes of the BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, and so on. These are among the news outlets that have the largest readership in the world. I have begun to understand, like media outlets in most countries, the so-called mainstream media in the Western world are nothing more than a propaganda machine designed to spread the superiority of the western world and keep the rest down by fabricating false news and disseminating information that destabilizes African nations the west considers threats to its interest. In some cases, despot governments use western journalists and western media outlets to protect their interests by paying them huge amounts of money to publish rosy pictures of their leadership.

The Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) led government in Ethiopia was such a despot regime that paid western journalists to present TPLF’s “positive image” to the rest of the world. These journalists have used western media outlets to cover up TPLF’s crimes against humanity and promote its leaders as “democratic, smart, western allies, etc.). When the current Prime Minister of Ethiopia came to power, and the TPLF fled to Mekele, it continued to use these hired guns to undermine the efforts of the new Prime Minister and further the ethnic conflict the TPLF sowed in Ethiopia for years. Newspapers like the New York Times, the BBC, and The Guardian have done the TPLF’s bidding and made enormous efforts to undermine the reform in Ethiopia. From the beginning, the likes of the New York Times used its influential paper to promote, a man named Jawar Mohammed with the malicious intention of undermining Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Jawar Mohammed was lionized and promoted as someone who can “challenge Abiy Ahmed” when in fact, he was not even cable of leading a child center. It would have been unthinkable for the New York Times to promote such an immature and incapable demagogue to lead a neighborhood sports club let alone a country for any other non-African country. To mask his dysfunctional qualities, Jawar was dubbed as a media mogul, entrepreneur, and someone who could pose a serious threat to Abiy Ahmed. In reality, however,  Jawar Mohammed was neither a media mogul nor an entrepreneur. He took over a media network called Oromia Media Network (OMN) using his cliques.

 The OMN was established by a group of individuals as a nonprofit organization supported by the United States taxpayers. The New York Times and others could have learned that Mr. Mohammed controlled the OMN sabotaging the organization using his wife and a few of his followers. If they dug a little deeper, they could have learned Jawar Mohammed did not own the OMN and could not properly lead the OMN, an organization that had only seven employees. The notion that a man that was incapable of leading an organization that has seven employees could lead a nation like Ethiopia can be imagined by those who wish the destruction of Ethiopia. The fact that Mr. Mohammed is a US citizen and not eligible to hold political office in Ethiopia was not a secret to the likes of the New York Times. This was not something that required in-depth research. All this information was in plain sight. However, the Western media outlets’ motive was dubious; they knew that Mr. Mohammed will not be allowed to take part in the election and they wanted to use this as a pretext to undermine the Ethiopian election and promote violence in Ethiopia. Fortunately for Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Election Board postponed the election.

The western media knew Jawar Mohammed had the poison pills to further ethnic division and weaken Ethiopia and wanted to use him for their evil objectives. Strong Ethiopia or any strong African nation is considered a threat to the western countries’ interests; therefore, creating chaos in Ethiopia became a primary mission of the western media. The fact Abiy Ahmed became popular and an influential African leader did not sit well with some of the western journalists; he is feared because his vision to help establish a united and prosperous Africa has become a serious threat to the westerners’ interest. The West wants to continue to shackle Africa with its “aid programs” and loot its natural resources. We have seen time and again the efforts to destabilize Africa by lionizing and using demagogues and self-centered political actors.

The dubious motive of western media has become much clearer since the conflict in the Tigray region began. The TPLF leaders have continued to use the likes of the New York Times to promote false narratives about the conflict in Tigray. The Ethiopian government took the necessary action against the TPLF to enforce its laws. The fact must be clear here. The Ethiopian government made enormous efforts to make the TPLF part of the current government. The TPLF was given ample opportunities to reform itself and work within the constitutional framework. It refused. To make matters worse, the TPLF attacked the Ethiopian Defense Force Northern Command stationed at the Ethio-Eritrean border guarding the people of Tigray against harm. This military force served the people of Tigray beyond the call of duty. These soldiers helped Tigryan farmers with their farming and built schools in Tigray contributing money from their salaries. It is this military force that was attacked while it was sleeping. There was no indication whatsoever that the TPLF would take such bold action. This action was confirmed by the TPLF leadership on its own media outlet. One of the TPLF leaders, Sekuture Getachew, told the world stating the TPLF took preemptive action against the Ethiopian Defense Force Northern Command in “lightning speed”. He bragged claiming it took only 45 minutes to destroy the Northern Command. This is the fact that led the Ethiopian government to respond and take law enforcement actions in Tigray. What country in the world would tolerate such action? This is what the western media don’t want the world to know and covering it up by making noises with fabricated allegations.

The western media outlets publish reports as if the Ethiopian government is the aggressor because they have no interest in telling the truth. Why would the western media outlets write headlines that paint the Ethiopian defense force “as the invading force”?  It is not because these media outlets don’t know the truth, it is because they want a blood bath in Ethiopia by garnering support for the TPLF. With the intention of internationalizing the conflict, the western media is reporting fabricated news asserting Eritrean soldiers are not only in Tigray but that they are looting properties in Tigray and selling them in the street of Asmara. On its December 28, 2020, report the New York Times stated “A European official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential findings, said some of those stolen goods were being openly sold in the Eritrean capital, Asmara”. What is sad and easy to verify for the New York Times was that Asmara has been in a lockdown since the COVID-19 pandemic affected the world. In Asmara, no one is allowed to leave their house let alone engage in selling goods in the street.

This is the tip of the iceberg. The western media sensationalize what is happening in Tigray by using a headline like‘Slaughtered like chickens’: Eritrea heavily involved in Tigray conflict, say eyewitnesses”. Of course, anonymous eyewitnesses are saying this. “Anonymous source” is used to promote fake news and to attack targeted governments and officials. Any objective newspaper would ask a reasonable question before publishing baseless “eyewitness accounts”. Here, there is no interest to be objective and no interest, to tell the truth. It is worth noting that the TPLF has been subservient to the western interest for more than 40 years; thus, the effort by its western allies to save it is understandable. What is disgusting is the western media’s role in this unholy plot. 

            Let us be clear here if Ethiopia needed Eritrea’s help, Ethiopia has the right to seek that help. Moreover, Eritrea had the legal right to enter into this war when its capital city was attacked by the TPLF rockets. There is no need for any “covert operation”. There was no need for Eritrea to take part. Ethiopia did not even use its soldiers in full capacity. While the law enforcement action was taking place in Tigray, Ethiopia had soldiers in peace-keeping missions in Sudan and Somalia. So, why would the Western media publish false news knowing it’s false. Was it difficult for the New York Times to call the US embassy in Asmara and confirm whether goods are sold in the street of Asmara? Of course not. The New York Times and its likes don’t want the truth. They don’t want to tell us about the soldiers massacred by the TPLF while in their bed; they don’t want to tell us the innocent thousands of Amharas massacred by the TPLF in Maikadra and Humera. In fact, the New York Times and the Washington Post failed to clearly state Amnesty International report indicated the TPLF was responsible for the killing of thousands of civilians in Maikadra. Why would the western media want to coverup such atrocities committed by the TPLF?

            They have a bigger purpose; they don’t want to see a strong and prosperous Ethiopia. They have seen the TPLF serving their purpose for more than 40 years. After all, the TPLF was handed power in Ethiopia by the likes of Herman Cohen, the former US State Department official allegedly paid in millions by the TPLF. It was under the watchful eyes of the western media and governments the TPLF looted, murdered, raped, and exiled millions of Ethiopians. We did not read such sensationalized headlines. You don’t need to look any further today to see what the westerners are plotting against Ethiopia. In social media platforms the likes of William Davidson, Martin Plaut, and of course Herman Cohen are promoting the “Eritrean soldiers in Ethiopia” narratives. Why would these people care more than any other Ethiopians? What is in it for them? This is not just about Ethiopia; it is about entire Africa. A peaceful prosperous Ethiopia means a peaceful prosperous Africa. The westerners don’t want influential leaders like Abiy Ahmed in Africa. If the vision of such leaders succeeds, Africa will be truly free and a master of her own destiny. This is unthinkable for the western world. This is why, more than the ground war, the propaganda war is raging.

            Today, Tigray has a provisional government led by Tigryans; communication is restored in some parts of Tigray, the Ethiopian government and the International Red Cross are providing food and medical needs to the people of Tigray. Unfortunately, you will not read this in the likes of the New York Times.

The writer is the Executive Director of Tibebe and Associates, a US based consulting firm.

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  1. Why Ethiopians continue to blame foreigners? I can understand it for countries like the DRC which endured decades of brutal colonization. But Ethiopia only has itself to blame for its troubles. Take responsibility!

  2. Lies, big fat lies.
    When they report the good side of Abiy Ahmed they are reformists but when they show the truth, the real side of the story they are somehow hired guns of tplf.
    Eritrea is heavily involved in the war and it has been proven even by your own leaders, and let us not forget that maicadra and Humera were orchestrated by the Fano(who carry machetes) and there are multiple refugee sources that confirm that with proof they have been beaten/looted/left for dead by Eritrean and Amharans forces. But you don’t want too see that, you want too gloss over the fact that the “pre emtive strike” was just that. The Amhara police commissioner proved that
    There wasn’t many anonymous sources just shut up with your lies and misconceptions.

  3. Thank you, Tibebe! You wrote it very well. This is exactly what I wanted to show the rest of the world. For those with rational mind, PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed is a supper intelligent person that the country got at the most significant time! TALK IS CHEAP!!!

  4. TPLFites are spoiled, they are used to a life of luxury without contributing back to the society they live in. They want easy money , collecting rents. TPLF got so many rental properties in Virginia , USA where they rent their rental properties to people with influence making it easy for themselves to get all the support from the US policy makers.

    Right now when application opens up on January the 11th upto the 13th, the TPLFites are getting ready to apply from all over the USA to get on the section8 public housing & housing voucher assistance funded by Federal subsidy program for the city of Alexandria , Virginia USA-the city with the most percentage of Ethiopian population in the whole world outside Ethiopia, which TPLF deemed a decisive location in a vital base city crucial to advance future TPLF’s interest . TPLF is out from Mekele heading towards Alexandria.

  5. Dear Tibebe

    As usual, a timely and well written commentary. Thank you, and please come up with your commentaries more often.

    Steven … you sound part of the gangs that have conspired against our country (EU, the NY times, the BBC, AlJazeera, etc. International Crisis Promotion Group, the Vilian Devilsons of this world…) all unleashed by the neocolonialists. With all respect, you do not seem knowledgeable enough to make comments on such an important Ethiopian national issues.

    As to why the West is ganging up against Ethiopia, dig a bit of African history – you will find the answers. You don’t even seem to know the TPLF gang were installed on power by the US and Britain. No wonder there to see them gang up to save it from defeat.

    Henos… it is time for you to wake up (if you are Ethiopian, African). The machinations of the neocolonialists / Western powers particularly to continue to exploit African wealth comes with various forms – their ‘news’ empire at the forefront.

    You say Eritrean forces have participated in the conflict, …so what? Why are you fuming about it? Can’t you see the fact that the TPLF fired missiles at Asmara? Eritreans may just be defending themselves.

    The Maicadra story you seem to believe is the version reported by the known broadcasters and the eye-witnesses quoted are mostly the Samri escapees that committed the atrocities and fled to the Sudan. What great ‘eye-witnesses’!

    Sorry, Henos – ‘the game is over’! TPLF is crushed never to revive. The lies of the neocolonialists and their media empire, shameful and sad as they are, will not change the developments on the ground..

    • Awash Lemma, you are amazing. You hit all the nails on the head. Great Job! Some of the ignorants don’t really need an answer because they are part of the liars; but I am glad you did.
      This commentary by Tibebe is a well written message to those who really wanted to know the truth about Western Media bias or about independent African Leadership, including the Eritrean and Ethiopian current leaders. So thank you for keeping them straight.

  6. Tibebe Samuel,

    You have made several baseless claim but the one that is most appalling is what you said about Eritrea.

    I’d urge you to please modify/update your comment regarding Eritrea’s involvement in the war. It has been proven by a top Ethiopian National Defense Force official (Major General Belay Seyoum) that Eritrea is in fact in Tigray. An official for the transitional government set up by Abiy (Mayor Atakilty) has also confirmed on TV

  7. Dear Tibebe,

    Thanks a lot. Well done. As you wrote, Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) has been committing genocides against humanity for the last 40 years on the level comparable to that of a Nazi Germany’s massacre to Jews. TPLF divided the great nation Ethiopia with ethnic federalism and tortured and massacre the Amhara, Oromo, Somalis, Gambela, and other people including Tigrayans who oppose its divided rule. After Ethiopian – Eritrean war, TPLF built refugee camps for Eritreans at Tigray region and use this as an advantage to send thousands of TPLF members and their families to the US and other part of the world who are currently protesting against the Ethiopian government and support TPLF for its preemptive strike at the Ethiopian army. With the help of God, Ethiopia’s charismatic leader PM Dr. Abiy and heroic Ethiopian’s army, TPLF extirpated from Ethiopia for once and all.

  8. genocides against humanity for the last 40 years by TPLF, amharas hatching lies like a stinky fly.

    Are you killing innocents and creating this lies to defend yourself

    You will not civilize at all no matter how you study and go 2 Harvard…. donkey will not change its color and its animalistic instinct character.

  9. Thank you Tibebe. I too have been swindled by the western media – used to believe that Newsweek and Times were writing the truth. Now, we know what to believe. As to the continued effort to destabilize and make Ethiopia like another Iraq/Yemen – we have this to say to those bad wishers – your wishes will never come true. You can continue the shameless insulting and threats …but will it matter?


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