During the state of emergency listening to VOA and Deutsche Welle, ESAT, OMN, and accessing social media are crimes in the country

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (eNCA)―The Ethiopian government has announced that opening and posting the current situation in the country on Facebook, listening to Voice of America (VOA) and German Radio (Deutsche Welle), Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT), Oromo Media Network (OMN), and accessing social media are crimes in the country.

“The military command will take action on those watching and posting on these social media outlets,” Siraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s minister of defense said.

ESAT and OMN, based in the US, are the two major media outlets that diaspora opposition and various protesters get their information from. However, the two are considered dangerous and a tool to incite violence in the country known for its security and peaceful co-existence.

ALSO READEthiopian Government Unveils Rules of Implementation for State of Emergency

As broadcast late on Saturday on state TV, these regulations would be effective immediately for six months during the state of emergency Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared last week.

The state of emergency was declared to curb the violent protests in parts of the country against the marginalization and unfair political treatment of the Oromia and Amhara, the two largest ethnic groups in the country. The protests started last November and over 700 people have been killed by Ethiopian security forces, according to Human Rights Watch.

The announcement included restricting the movement of diplomats to 40km out of Addis Ababa without official permission.

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