According to sources, Ethiopia’s AP reporter Les Nehaus has been sacked by Voice of America, following inflammatory comments recently made public on Ethiopian Review.
As one of two foreign correspondents permanently stationed in Ethiopa (following the expulsion of his predecessor Anthony Mitchell) he has been often criticized here for evading such great responsibility by failing to accurately report the current political landscape and escalating EPRDF brutality.
However, thanks to his charming opinions on the Somalian invasion and factions of the diaspora (as “the sons and daughters of the Derg officials who now live comfortably in Georgetown”) his critics now include his former employer and many abroad. Though the provocative statements were admittedly taken somewhat out of context, they were nonetheless entirely unacceptable for a profesisonal journalist—both suprisingly inaccurate and offensive—and I am glad to see that he is being held accountable, thanks to those (and I quote)“hell-bent and crazed Ethiopian Diaspora in Washington D.C.” who raised a fuss.
While I am not ready to roll out the welcome wagon for this guy anytime soon, I must admit that I have been slightly encouraged by his latest articles (regarding the recent Amnesty appeals and the current cholera epidemic). Perhaps he only needed a little reminder that, despite being stationd in the ‘forgotten’ Horn of Africa, as a journalist he remains accountable not to the national government but (*gasp!) THE PEOPLE first and foremost, both here and abroad…?
I suppose only time will tell. Here’s hoping, Les!