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Ethiopia restores internet to western Oromia after 3-month blackout

Ethiopia restores internet to western Oromia after 3-month blackout


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the world and particularly in Africa, the need for information has never been more important but in the midst of all that too the battle against misinformation rages.

The World Health Organization, WHO, called the scourge of fake news, an infodemic, that is even a more potent threat that the virus that has affected hundreds of thousands and killed thousand others.

As part of our multi-pronged coverage of the pandemic, we have different news slots looking at the major news surrounding COVID-19 outbreak, the impact on sports, the business disruption and even effect on culture, religion and entertainment.

Internet access restored to western Oromia in Ethiopia

Internet connectivity has been restored to a part of Ethiopia’s Oromia region which has been without connection for about three months.

In January this year, is a partial internet cut was imposed across several towns in western Ethiopia. President of the region confirmed early Tuesday that due to improvement in the security situation in the region, connection was to be restored. State-run FBC confirmed that connectivity had returned.

Activists, press and human rights groups had actively campaigned for government to restore internet access in the affected areas. The campaign got a fresh impetus with the coronavirus pandemic as campaigners insisted that people in the region risked not getting enough information of the public health crisis.

At the time of the blackout, government defended the move as necessary to curb rising insecurity in the area where the army was engaged in exchanges with a former rebel group. Over a dozen officials of the region have been killed in the last few months by suspected rebels in the area.

The BBC confirmed back in January that “in some areas mobile call services were also not working.” The state monopoly EthioTelecom stayed away from commenting on the situation.

The outfit twice last year cut the internet; first over national level examinations and in the wake of a foiled coup in the Amhara regional state.

#Ethiopia: Internet has been restored in west #Oromia zones pic.twitter.com/GxSxLFkdX9

— FBC (Fana Broadcasting Corporate S.C.) (@fanatelevision) March 31, 2020

This LIVE blog zooms in on social media relative to how people are reacting to issues around the virus, we would also look at how African leaders and other influential people are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to reach out. We would also drop major international news on the virus once a while.