On October 1, 2021, borkena published an OpEd piece by an anonymous writer who claimed to have insider information about how data generation in the UN agencies as it relates to Ethiopia were biased.
The article, which was published with the title “A UN insider provides evidence of bias of officials of the UN taking sides in Ethiopia’s ten-month old conflict,” highlighted several anecdotal evidences to demonstrate practices within UN agencies in Ethiopia as it relates to the conflict in northern part of the country, which were flagged as in violation of the UN’s neutrality principle.
The writer made references, among others, to FAO hosted Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) as part of his effort to demonstrate the bias towards Ethiopia. Particularly, he cited the Ethiopian born Deputy Director of the Emergencies Division of FAO ,Shukri, whom he described as “an outspoken supporter of the TPLF-led regime in Ethiopia before its removal from central power in 2018.”
This week, borkena is getting requests and remarks from left and right claiming that the “news coverage” tarnished an image of a “patriot Ethiopian.” No direct request yet from the official, which may be due to UN staff policy.
The latest message on his behalf came from “Yohannes Demissie Wondafrash” who unspecified as to what his relation is with Mr. Shukri, via e-mail. Part of his request reads :
“Dear Borkena, it is time for you to correct the wrong information disseminated against Dr. Shukri as other efforts are underway with other media and social media outlets to expose the wrong name calling. Just call, verify and mend the damage done against this great Ethiopian. I heard that your source was anomalous, that means you don’t know this person. Hiding his name but exposing innocent individual name is not the correct way in true journalism. Please do something!…”
borkena would like to make few things clear. It was not news coverage! It was, as indicated above, an OpEd piece , not a news article.
Second, those who expressed concern about the article, including an Ethiopian journalist whose name should remain confidential until he gives permission, are advised to submit an OpEd piece addressing their issue of concern. There is no other way to engage the anonymous writer and the editor at borkena can not manipulate the article as that would constitute unethical practice.
Needless to say, borkena did not carry out an investigation after receiving the article that was published on October 1. As indicated before in several occasions, including on social media platforms, borkena is short-staffed to undertake such investigations. It is a single handed effort driven by a passion and commitment to defend Ethiopia’s cause.
borkena believes that the article published on October 1 was and is relevant. UN bias as it relates to the conflict in Ethiopia is evident. As we are writing this editorial piece, we have heard the news that the UN fired Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia over an alleged remark in the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
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