Addis Ababa, Dec 21, 2016 (Inter Press Service/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) — Smart phone users in the Ethiopian capital are rejoicing. After a two-month blackout the Ethiopian government has permitted the return of mobile data.
Most Ethiopians who access the Internet do so through their phones, and previously the government had singled out social media activity as a major influence in agitating unrest that has doggedly seethed across the country since breaking out a year ago.
“They’ve broken promise after promise, so people won’t believe them–that’s the problem.” –Merera Gudina, Chair of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress Party
But now, more than two months into the six-month state of emergency declared by the government on Oct. 9, protests previously rocking the country’s two most populous regions appear to have subsided, and gangs of young men are no longer prowling the country setting fire to buildings, blocking roads and clashing with security forces.