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CNN makes a sensational headlines out of the interview with Billene Seyoum

CNN inflated Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s statement about the motive of the struggle against the terrorist TPLF 

Photo : screenshot from CNN video


“Ethiopia’s leader said he would bury his enemy. His spokeswoman doesn’t think it was incitement to violence,” is the title of the latest CNN coverage on Ethiopia.

It was published  a day after the press secretary in the office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Billene Seyoum, had a little over 20 minutes of interview with a British Journalist who is working for CNN, Becky Anderson. 

The interview itself was unpleasant. Although Billene stood her ground, the CNN journalist attempted to sound intermediating. When that did not seem to work, the journalist had to use a different strategy. Aas Billene tried to address the questions she was asked, Becky was interrupting her repeatedly rather in what sounded like an aggressive tone. But the press secretary managed to maintain calm and made her points, including how biased the CNN reporting has been in connection with the Ethiopian conflict. 

Practices ranging from misinformation to distortion, from omission to exaggeration have been observed with reporting. 

The CNN attempted to politicize, and in a way the supports the cause of the TPLF terrorists, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s speech, which he made after the introduction of the latest state of emergency in Ethiopia, regarding his government’s resolve to bury TPLF.  

The remark “We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones and make the glory of Ethiopia high again” was made to appear as an incitement against a specific group of people. The speech was made within the context of extensive mobilization effort by the government and it is widely held. 

Billene pointed out that it does not constitute, rightly, incitement of Ethiopians. 

CNN itself, in its latest report, indicated that the TPLF group is outlawed as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian parliament in light of a series of terrorist acts targeting civilians and members of the Ethiopian Defense Forces. 

TPLF has ruled Ethiopia ruthless for more than 27 seven years so much so that it is rare not to find a family not impacted by TPLF rule. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s statement does in fact show the aspiration of the majority of Ethiopia. Many Ethiopians who do not espouse the political ideology of the current prime minister are evidently supporting the government effort to bury the TPLF.  The unprecedented massive demonstration in Addis Ababa, in support of the Ethiopian Defense Force and militia and the condemnation of TPLF,  earlier this week a manifestation of that aspiration. 

CNN has been rejected by most Ethiopians, and beyond actually, as a producer of fake news and a biased media outlet. The latest misinformation from CNN was a headline that made claims of TPLF forces advancing to the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa. 

Since the misinformation campaign seems to be underway in coordination with state actors, there have been calls for the evacuation of some members of the diplomatic community from the capital Addis Ababa. The truth is that TPLF fighters are hundreds of kilometers away from the capital and losing battles.  

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  1. The anchor, Ms. Becky is a very capable journalist even though she had shown her vulnerability to be taken over by raw emotion in her past sessions. But in this case she has met her tutor she should have had during her college years. Our daughter/sister Billene was composed and extremely disciplined. She has out matched Becky in that respect. When you go back and look at how past moderators/interviewers/newscasters on other giant media outlets like Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Max Robinson, Dianne Sawyer, Barbara Walters, David Brinkley conducted their conversation with and the due respect they showed to their gusting while hitting hard on the issues at hand, what you see now is no one but yellers. I think the profession is not the same since the coming of the Couric’s of all sorts. Cronkite or Brinkley would never ask questions and keep interrupting the guests like this. This is not grilling but utter rude interruption. I’m proud of our daughter/sister Billene for staying and not walking out. That is our legendary custom and value I have been talking about for years. This is not a yes or no session but a question and answer broadcast that involves the lives of more than 120 million people. Something is wrong with Becky. She might have been spoon fed with some bad batch of mood altering propaganda. My goodness! Even both Debre and Getachew are not such riled up during their interviews and briefings. I also noticed how Becky gets incensed whenever Billene makes a case how Debre and his group started the conflict and about their incursions into Amhara and Afar regions. O boy, that just set her off. Barbra Walters would never do that. Becky, Becky, Becky! You really messed it up! You blew your top!!! You seem not to know the details of the banning from AGOA. President Biden did not ban Ethiopia from exporting goods to the US but what he did was excluding Ethiopia from the duty free privileges that come with being included in AGOA. This is not interviewing but outright bullying. Billene was even so candid to admit by saying ‘we were not perfect’ in the eyes of others in the world media. That is courage with no peers.
    But, but this does not mean that either the government or the Debre’s group does not bear responsibilities for this senseless bloody conflict. One may bear more blame for it than the other but both and both are the only ones that should and can bring it to a peaceful end. But Becky’s blowing off steam on issues in the country she does not really know/have no clues about will not help further the accord for those who work day and night to end this madness that killed thousands and uprooted millions.

    Finally, hey Becky! What happened in Ethiopia in 1896? Folks, I’m 100% certain what Becky’s answer would be for this question. She does not even think a second about it. Her answer is ‘The First modern Olympics held in Greece’. I bet you the two red cents I have on my kitchen encounter!!!

  2. Listening to Becky Anderson ; Billene Seyoum going at it head to head on CNN, I had to pitch in with my thoughts.
    የአማረኛ ትርጉም

    It wasn’t much of a surprise that CNN would want to do some damage control after an extensive social media campaign #NoMore(amongst many others) launched by concerned Ethiopians & their supporters globally accusing CNN and many others of running politically motivated articles/news that has seen many Ethiopians at home and abroad accusing them of ‘fake news!’ The fact that CNN chose Becky – probably one of the most accomplished of CNNs anchors is an indication of how CNN has been effected by the campaigns.
    ( Incidentally you might want to check out this link that supports this claim by showing that CNNs ratings have plummeted as viewers are fed up with dishonest news!! ).

    Going back to the interview, both Billene and Becky had to do their jobs and the exchange was enthralling. Becky given the task of putting Billene in her place – which she wasn’t able to do, continually looked at her monitor for direction & kept on interrupting Billene. I understand that she had a mission to accomplish & if one was to compare this interview with another interview Becky made with TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda recently, you don’t have to be a genius to assess what her mission was?!!
    You can check it for yourself but personally I get upset by the obvious double standards that are apparent during these kind of interviews with CNN, BBC ,France24,Aljazeera etc…

    When journalists put what they deem the screw on their guests ( especially if they come from third world countries etc..,) they neglect,forget or just are to arrogant to recall that their countries have been through similar situations and that their policies,actions and words are recorded.
    – It’s totally unacceptable for their countries to negotiate with terrorists but they try and force countries like Ethiopia to negotiate with groups that have been designated as terrorists by their governments. In Ethiopia’s case TPLF have publicly acknowledged that they attacked Ethiopian defence forces;they openly ridiculed the Ethiopian governments unilateral peace initiative; they’ve openly stated ( recently) that they are prepared to go to hell to destroy Ethiopia!! And yet…
    – They indignantly quote the Ethiopian PM of inciting violence when the opposition forces openly brag that they’re on their way to tear down the capital to pieces and seem to forget that they’ve been proudly quoting their own leaders for decades faced with comparable destruction.

    “No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb. We know now that a nation can have peace with the Nazis only at the price of total surrender.” FDR

    “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.””You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.” Winston Churchill

    “May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.” George S Patton

    ‘What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.’ Or is it??

    One may say that’s the Second World War & nazis and there is no comparison but I say back to you,war and destruction are the same anywhere because you don’t die twice! It’s all the same for the suffering…

    All of this sadly reminds me of another famous quote from a book I was once taught was a summary of communism – Animal Farm’s “ all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.”

  3. Billene did an excellent job of countering repeated attempt by the CNN ‘journalist’ to deflect from the truth and stay in the talking points she prepared before the interview. To me it was obvious the CNN representative was trying every opportunity to zero in on their mis-information campaign of the last one year and to create wedge with the US government; she failed.

    Let me diverge a bit from the topic and share my view about what is driving the hatred of Tigrians towards Ethiopia, particularly the Amhara. I believe the drivers of that hatred are not a core group of “leaders” but rather the entire fighters and their relatives in the background. And the source of all that is the hate propaganda planted on the population by TPLF, perhaps over the last forty or so years. That may explain the vicious destructive behavior of the fighters in all places they entered, including decapitation of their own leaders who fell. They are all blinded by hatred, and did not need any ‘leaders’ from behind to tell them what to do. What that all means for the rest of Ethiopia, particularly the Amhara, is to counter the thugs with determination and defeat them so they would not cause more damage and to the entire country, particularly the Amhara. Fight to destroy, and forget about the Tigrai region as being populated by ‘our own people’. The future of Amharas is in greater danger than ever, and so survival requires sacrifices. Let the blood of all Amharas boil to deal fatal blow to all things TPLF!

  4. I think Becky might have taken too much khamr that day. She was animated from start even before our daughter/sister Billene began answering the first question. Once again CNN has totally disgraced itself with this bullying of a government spokesperson. It shows the contempt this so-called ‘journalist’ has for people like H.E. Billene. It was a qualified disgrace to this noble profession of journalism, total ignominy!!!

    Hey Becky! What happened in Ethiopia in 1936? Becky goes ‘The 1936 Summer Olympics kicks off in Berlin, Germany’.

  5. Great job, honorable Billene!!!! Ethiopian government should use its golden opportunity to easily fight against fake news and false foreign and TPLF propaganda. TPLF does not have people with such caliber, education and political skills. In addition to Ms, Billiane, the Ethiopia’s Ambassador to France, Mr. Henok Teferra is a very intelligent and rich in different languages and he should be given a higher position to represent and speak for Ethiopia.
    By definition tribalism and ethnic based system represents ignorance and backwardness. TPLF and its stooges OLA are buried in tribal and ethic based system that go in the opposite direction from civilization, growth and developments.


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