World Bulletin / News Desk
Ethiopia says it has reconnected the Internet for citizens to make the technology a free confluence of ideas.
“Freedom of expression is a foundational right that other rights depend on,” Fitsum Arega, the prime minister’s chief of staff wrote on Twitter.
Arega said Ethiopia has opened access to 264 blocked websites, blogs, Ethiopian Satellite Radio and Television (ESAT) and Oromo Media Network (OMN).
“A free flow of information is essential for engaged and responsible citizenry. Only a free market of ideas will lead to the truth,” he said.
As part of numerous reform measures he took after assuming office as prime minister April 2, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed dropped incitement and terrorism charges against ESAT and OMN, both operating from the U.S.
He also pardoned a renowned Ethiopian economist and academic, Dr. Berhanu Nega, who was sentenced to death in absentia following a 2005 election that had been wildly contested leading to post-election violence.
Nega moved to the U.S. from where he organized a rebel group, Patriotic Ginbot 7 (PG7), fighting from Eritrea.
In a statement released Friday, the group, said it has ceased "all forms of armed struggle in all places inside Ethiopia" effective immediately. And said it has stopped all armed operations that it was forced into.
After taking the helm, Abiy released political prisoners including those on death row, changed the tone of the ruling party, made the federal structure emphasize unity rather than division and promised many democratic reforms and a free and fair election in 2020.
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