Saturday, February 24, 2018

Social media users in America are stoking Ethiopia's ethnic violence

(Feb 24, (PRI))--The Ethiopian diaspora in the US uses social media to great effect in shaping coverage of events back home, especially the protest movement that has pummeled Ethiopia for more than two years.

During that time, social media has proved itself a double-edged sword in Ethiopia: It’s capable of filling a need for more information due to limited press freedom and frequent blanket shutdowns of mobile internet, but also of pushing the country toward even greater calamity.

Internecine fighting that broke out last year between the country’s ethnic Oromo and Somali killed hundreds and displaced a million people throughout the neighboring Oromia and Somali regions, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Many of the displaced and those assisting them have alleged that the ethnic unrest has been leveraged for political ends.

The suspected perpetrators included the usual suspects at the regional and federal government levels, powerbrokers moving in the shadows to influence events on the ground to their advantage and those you might not so readily suspect, such as Ethiopian-diaspora cab drivers coming off shifts in Washington, DC, who tweeted ethnic-laced vitriol on their smartphones. Read more from  Radio International »  

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