In an exclusive interview, Minister Redwan Husien told Horn Affairs that the government intends to take an active role to strengthen the print press industry. Redwan indicated the issues under consideration include the printing cost, the paper supply, the access to start-up capital and the circulation system.
He claimed that the state media’s coverage of opposition parties is fair even by western standards. He further argued that the level of media coverage cannot be cited as a cause for the weakness of opposition parties, as a political grouping’s strength depends on the relevance of its agenda and grass-root work.
Redwan emphatically rejected claims that the leadership is divided after frm. PM Meles Zenawi’s passing, citing the organizational culture of the ruling party and how smoothly the system functioned in the past year.
Asked to comment on EU MP Ana Gomez recent remarks to local media, the Minister snubbed it as a wishful thinking. Adding that:
“This is a lady who was celebrating the passing of Meles Zenawi while Ethiopians were grieving. Considering that it wouldn’t be surprising she claims EPRDF is divided. Her remarks on the local media were befitting for a dangerous vagrant from a Portuguese ghetto rather than for someone from an institution like EU. We don’t think she made any statement worth quoting.”
The Minister dismissed rumors regarding the Ethio-Sudan border as a politically motivated one intended to arouse emotions. He explained the Ethio-Sudan border commission was established during the reign of Emperor Haileselasie and has been in works since then. The government has not given away any parcel of land, nor did it sign any agreement to that effect.
In the interview with Horn Affair’s Daniel Berhane; Redwan responded to a wide-range of questions, such as: On when Ethiopia will cede Badme to Eritrea and if there is a plan to swap it with Assab; On Ana Gomez’s recent remark that there is power struggle; On whether the number of Prime Ministerial advisers indicates a weak Prime Minister and fragmented leadership; On whether the federalism can survive a post-EPRDF era; On criticisms that the government didn’t commemorate Emperor Menilik’s centennial; On the possibility of pardon for those convicted and in trial on terror charges(in light of the government’s refusal to petitions of two prisoners); On what the purpose of his office is and its relevance in a democratic system.
You may watch below the four videos of the interview.
[For readers with slower connection, we will publish small size versions and/or the text excerpts as soon as possible].
Interview with Redwan: Part 1 – On the Prime Minister’s advisors, On leadership unity & Ana Gomez’s remark.
Interview with Redwan: Part 2 – On post-EPRDF Ethiopia, On Ethio-Sudan border, On Badme and Assab
Interview with Redwan: Part 3 – On opposition parties’ access to media; On the state of the private press and the government’s role
Interview with Redwan: Part 4 – On Emperor Menilik; On pardon for journalists and Awollia movement leaders; On opposition parties’ right to demonstration.