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Ethiopia: Disappearing blogs

Ethiopia's blogosphere was awash with speculation and accusations today after all websites hosted by the popular Blogger platform disappeared from the country's computer screens.

Twenty-three of the 32 Ethiopian blogs tracked by Global Voices could not be accessed by Ethiopian internet users – who all rely on the state monopoly Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp for their connections.

Internet users outside Ethiopia (and in the capital's United Nations compound which has its own internet connection) had no problem clicking on the links.

Widely-read political blogs like Weichegud! ET Politics, and ethiopundit were caught up alongside purely cultural titles like I was just thinking….

At the time of writing, there was no official announcement from Ethiopian Telecoms to explain the disappearances. But the bloggers themselves were not slow to point the finger.

Seminawork, claimed the scoop by reporting that it had been blocked alongside all other websites with ‘blogspot’ in their URL. The Ethiopia-based blogger known as Ethio-Zagol reported:

Over the last two days, all blogspots blogs including http://www.seminawork.blogspot.com/ have been blocked in Ethiopia. Those who seek political quips fron weichegud or intelligent analysis form other bloggers can't access the sites via the telecom servers. In addition, the government has blocked Ethiopian Review, cyber ethiopia, quatero and Free our leaders websites. My sources told me this is done by tel. with the advise and help of the chinese.

All of the websites mentioned in his post are well known for their anti-government commentary.

Ethiopian Politics, another Blogger blog invisible inside Ethiopia's borders, passed on the message in the post Breaking News – Government Blocks Blogs!:

According to Ethio Zagol all “blogspot” blogs have been blocked in Ethiopia including “the Ethiopian Review” and “Free our leaders” websites. Ethio Zagol further states that this was done by the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation with the advise and help of the Chinese government.

Meskel Square, which uses the MovableType platform on its own rented server, stopped short of accusations, but confirmed the mysterious disappearances in Blog gone:

Where have all of Ethiopia's Blogspot bloggers gone? … Is there a big conspiracy? Or is it just another day of dodgy ETC dial-up connections? How will we ever know?

22 comments

  • Ama

    we are suffered a lot but none of them heard our tear especially those from west and usa , they are considering them as a light of democracey.

  • Elias

    I think the government is right to block some websites and blogs in Ethiopia. There are so many who engage in destructive politicking and false reporting about events in Ethiopia. However , not all deserve the sort of blanket ban the government are said to have imposed. Some are respectable websites and bloggers who are conscious of their responsibility to their readers. I think those ones we need to allow and encourage to provide platforms for discussion debates.

  • robel

    it is not anew thing at all,hijaking the private press and the independent writers. we all know, what happened in ethiopia, political leders has detained illegally, NGO officers are catagorized as criminals, journalists are in ajail and charged by treson and genocide, fabricated chardges………………………. under this circumstances i am sure every body will not surprised or fell some thing different what ethiopian tel has done.

    “ehuuuuu. ahunes tekatelku, ere min yshallal”.

    translation to globel voice for the above “oh m god !what can we do”
    this is the approximate translation of the above.

    free our leaders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    regards,
    robel

  • Tess

    trying to block information access of people is the main manifestation of dictatorship. The act of the illegal government of Ethiopia is such act. Peace ,democracy loving people of the world must stand by the side of Ethiopians.
    we ethiopian don’t let democracy die in our country
    may God bless Ethiopia

  • Ethiolady

    Countries like ethiopia who have not yet started the computerisation programme should not worry about the blocking of bloggers too much. Those who have the will and committment can build information websites for ethiopians by adding current affairs section in ethiopic languages to be printed and diseminated in ethiopia. A newspaper on a website will reach to Ethiopians very easily.

  • isaiah

    in my opinion eprdf did good on ogaden because they are claiming those territory to be separate from part of ethiopia they are so fool coz they dont even have food to eat how come they wanna strugle for freedom and to liberate who from who.they must be devil messanger so .we gonna fight them until we drive them to indian ocean coz ethiopia is strong with this time with divine power. no one is able to touch our country whoever consider will be eliminate to hell so every body get life thats supernatural.long live eprdf ….look the bible eventually ethiopia will be superpower to fight those evil.so drop it from your mind every dimonized person.

  • Please add MediaEThiopia to the list of blocked sites.

    http://www.ethiopians.com

  • isaiah

    hello diaspora lets stop talking about this issue thats not priority if you really love your country lets estabilish non govermental organization and collect the money atleast 5.dollars every month and lets change that country rather than bullshit stop politics if you wanna feel hero go to the jungle and start fighting dont trigger fire to my people over their while you are eating in mcadonald humberger wanna distablize my country .so use your brain

  • Dankif Wodajo

    Killers , please shutdown your brain , too.

  • yosef m

    The ruling party pays what ever it can to stay in power.
    It is good to use circumvention services like anonymizer.com and there are a lot. If you get any comments or question, you can reach me at ymamush@yahoo.com

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