Have a look at what Ethiopian opinion leaders (journalists, writers and dissidents) are saying on twitter?

Here the list of some of the top Ethiopian Twitterati, you will appreciate how twitter is helping us to get access to some Ethiopian dissidents

Abiye Teklemariam @abiyetk
I am an Ethiopian academic and dissidentjournalist. My main area of interest is democratic theory and practice. I passionately hate authoritarianism.

Abe Tokichaw @abebe_tolla

ሰላም ለተከታዮቼ እና ለምከተላችሁ…!

Argaw Ashine@argawnmg
Exiled #Journalist, interested on #AU, #environment ,#aid and #security in the #Horn of Africa region. Reporter for NMG, My views and mistakes are my own .East Africa/ Ethiopia

Al Mariam @pal4thedefense
Professor of Political Science & Defense Attorney
Los Angeles, CA • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam

Dawit Kebede@dawitawramba
Dawit Kebede is Managing Editor of Awramba Times from Ethiopia and recipient of the 2010 International Press Freedom Award from CPJ.

Derese Kassa @nestaneth
loves humanity, freedom, and dignity

Elias Kifle @EliasKifle
Editor-in-Chief, Ethiopian Review Addis Ababa, Ethiopia • http://EthiopianReview.com

Ermias Amare @ermam
West Europe

Fisseha Tegegn @fisseha505
Journalist, football and athletics junkie, and AFC Ajax fan.

Kiflu Hussain @HussainKiflu

Mesfin Negash @mesfinnegash
Managing Editor and Co-founder of ADDIS NEGER Newspaper
Addis Ababa

Masresha Mammo@masresham

Solomon Shumiye @solshumiye

Tamerat Negera @Tamefeyisa
An Ethiopian a constant rebel who likes to read and write

Tesfaye gebreab @Mastawesha
Writer Netherlands • http://tgindex.blogspot.com

Zerihun Tesfaye @zerecon
Ethiopian Exiled Writer Tweets about Ethiopian Economy and Politics

Yonas Hailemeskel@Khanua
Sport Journalist at Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency…
Addis Ababa, ERTA

Just as a conclusion,some of them do not tweet frequently but following them does not cost us much please follow them.

The alleged child “abuse” video: How Ethiopian citizen journalism is vulnerable for misuse?

A video allegedly showing an Ethiopian mother beating her own daughter began to circulate on March 28, 2012, online and it storms controversy amongst the Ethiopian online community.

The event did explode on Ethiopian mainstream media as the Reporter translated it into headline news and an alleged pro-EPRDF local radio talk show hosts Seifu Fantahun and Temesgen Afework picked the story while the noise is still loud and clear on facebook and blogs.

Though Ethiopians are a bit behind in catching up with citizens journalism, but as cell phone penetration grows by the million( by the way just last night ETV claimed that we reached 17 million cell phone users and 600 thousand internet users), social media specifically facebook users has started to make their presence felt. The alleged child “abuse” video could be one example. Let me save about citizen journalism’s increase statistics in Ethiopia and its impact for another post. Now let me focus on the video in question and how it could be taken as a case in point in illustrating the waste of social media.

There is no question about the seriousness of the acts of the woman who thumped repetitively on the face of the muted little girl and most of the response to a child “abuse” video I would say is appropriate. I would describe the heated responses as righteous anger. Righteous anger is the kind of momentary anger but a compelling rage and it is an experience which one suffers following a swift read-through of social media feeds like the one in the question. Righteous anger leads too much sharing, liking, tagging, tweeting and reposting, and insignificant -nevertheless creditable amount of activism. Like the ones stop child abuse in Ethiopia, stop abusing Ethiopian woman in Arab Countries etc.

Of course a short wave of online activism has its own virtues and each of all online acts against an injustice like this one has its place in a greater online discussion. But I strongly sense that the likes of Seifu picked up this particular story because they have seen the mass righteous anger on social media sphere as an opportunity to spread out their influence further. Here I just want to ask where these noisy guys have been when the story of Yenesew Gebre was smearing the Ethiopian social media sphere. Why on earth someone fails to pick the story from facebook? As hypocritical as things getting a certain individual even went on to appear on one local radio to award a 10,000 Ethiopian Birr (about US$600) for someone who direct police to the arrest of the woman who “abused” the little girl. The person who captured the video popped up and grabbed her 10,000 Ethiopian Birr prize and told the radio that she captured the video three years ago. Currently, the Federal Police Commission justice is looking into this case.

For those who blow the story of a poor typical Ethiopian mom and the little child out of all proportion, even though it is just on paper Art. 29 of the constitution in addition, to guaranteeing freedom of speech and expression, guarantee the right to receive information on matters concerning public interest. However, there are also articles that have concerns over balancing the right to information with the protection of minors and right to privacy.

For those who claim that they are too neutrals too pick up the story of Yenesew Gebre from facebook I would like to remind them if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. — Desmound Tutu

Victory of Adowa, Eskinder Nega, Lower Omo Valley and others: Ethiopia Blog Roundup

From highlighting the function of the symbolic victory of Adowa in redefining the ethos of being Ethiopian to equating all oppressive Ethiopian regimes from Emperor Menelik II to Meles Zenawi in suppressing freedom in general, this past week Ethiopians on facebook covered a wide-range of perspectives. Covering a wide range of opinions, including Ethiopia is young nation with antique civilization, Adowa as a source of Ethiopians subjugation opposed to freedom, Emperor Menelik as a black colonist versus redeemer of Ethiopia, Oromia Shall Be Free, and Ethiopians should still continue to fight for political freedom, and many others. But they all highlight how Ethiopians hold branched out perspectives on at least hypothetically common values such as the victory of Adowa and other cultural mores. They also discuss how the victory of Adowa is manipulated by various regimes of Ethiopia.

However I strongly believe that snuffing out the liberty of putting such divergent views on public media will lead us to more incongruity as a nation and eventually stifle public growth. Therefore, as one this past week’s zeitgeist on social media amongst Ethiopians is about victory of Adowa I have decided to round up some facebook posts together with some other blog posts that caught my attention during the week.

The discussion about the victory of Adowa was set with two beautifully written and profoundly moving articles on addisnegeronline by its founding journalists who are in exile: Mesfen Negash and Tamrat Negara. Tamrat’s article “የ አደዋ ልጅ አልነበርኩም፤ አይደለሁም፤ ምናልባት ምናልባት ወደፊት ልሆን እችላለሁኝ!” that can literally be translated as “I am not from Adowa but I might be one in the future” which actually comes as response to Mesfen’s article “የአድዋ ልጆች፤ምኒሊክ፤መለስ” እና እኔ” its English equivalence could be “Sons of Adowa, Menelik,Melese and Myself”

These two articles, which both are shared on Addis Neger’s facebook page are judicious equally in their analysis and presentation but signify at least two contrasting views of victory of Adowa, Emperor Menelik, freedom and of course the whole notion of Ethiopia.

Unlike these two luminous articles the reactions and comments to these articles are not as such incandescent. But it a splendor of social media and anonymity, yes a few of them are outrageous and transgress limits but the majority of the commentators were so decent. My hope is these kinds of discussions and debates will continue offline to traverse real harmony amongst ourselves. If you think you have missed a lot on this issue please look at this page created by Abel Wabella to carry on the debate amongst Ethiopian bloggers and e-public.

Another blog post that comes to my attention is that Ethiopia plans to take away its army from Somalia by the end of April. Elsewhere on YouTube, video which epitomizes Ethiopian maids’ crisis in the Middle East is currently debated over. Actually De Birahan have given a detailed perspective on the current issue of human right abuse of workers in general titled “Cultural Revolution in Ethiopia” taking the incident as an anecdote.

Meanwhile Africa Review wrote Ethiopian dissidents have formed National Transitional Council in a bid to depose the incumbent government. International Rivers reported that the national parks of the Lower Omo Valley in Southwest Ethiopia are under threat. Are you weary of depressing blog posts round up of mine? Please do not be there is few encouraging post- PEN International, the writers’ organization dedicated to promoting literature and freedom of expression, opened a new center in Ethiopia

Last but not least, I’m curious to hear my readers’ reactions about The Economists Baobab’s blog speculation that Ethiopia may pardon Eskinder Nega, and two Swedish journalists. Is it likely?