Ethiopia’s most respected voice of truth, Tsedale Lemma resigns under Abiy Ahmed pressure

Tsedale Lemma in her testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on December 03/2020, told Representative Karen Bass of the US House of Representatives why it was necessary to establish a UN mandated & politically insulated team to investigate atrocities in Ethiopia (even going beyond Nov 03) & why she believed that was necessary. This greatly angered Abiy Ahmed who wanted to cover-up these actions of Eritrean and Ethiopian forces in Tigray.

One of the most independent voices in Ethiopian journalism, Tsedale Lemma, appears to have resigned as Editor in Chief of Addis Standard naming her replacement in a tweet today. This occurs as international watchers of press freedom and repression have downgraded Ethiopia to the lowest level equal to ally, Eritrea. Tsedale Lemma had been an objective, honest, and consistent voice for truth in Ethiopian affairs who garnered more respect internationally then any other Ethiopian voice. Her absence from the news will be sorely missed and marks another sad milestone in the censorship and repression of Ethiopia’s government.

Earlier this year Addis Standard was closed down for not reporting news approved by the Ethiopian government and now again is under fire from supporters of Abiy Ahmed as being a mouthpiece for American interests following a report of a financial gift by an American foundation.

She founded the Addis Standard in 2011 which eventually became the most respected news source in Ethiopia. During the leadership of Meles Zenawi’s EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front) she was an outspoken critic of the lack of press freedom. When Meles Zenawi died she felt his contribution to Ethiopian progress was overstated. 

When Abiy Ahmed came to power she initially expressed hope for him as a reformer but by November 2020 she wrote in a New York Times opinion piece that Abiy Ahmed was moving to “militarism and repression”.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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