After years of repression, Ethiopia’s media is free — and fanning the flames of ethnic tension

ADDIS ABABA, Ethi­o­pia —
From a collection of modest offices in a half-empty high rise, one of
Ethiopia’s most prominent journalists publishes his weekly paper with a
staff of just four.

The country has imprisoned
U.S.-educated Eskinder Nega multiple times, most recently for six years.
But under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government, he and some dozen
other jailed journalists have been released and are free to write.

His new weekly Ethiopis takes a strident tone, especially against the city administration and activists from Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group, newly empowered by their fellow Oromo, Abiy. He sees his paper and his activism as part of his long struggle for democracy.Others see it as a danger to Ethiopia’s delicate political state and as part of a wave of news outlets that are taking sides and worsening tensions in the country’s many conflicts.

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