The Ethiopian government said jamming the Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT) help calm the protest in the Oromo region. The regime jammed ESAT at the peak of the protest few months ago, but ESAT was able to come back to air after few weeks of interruption.
One of the world’s leading jailers of journalists, the Ethiopian regime, spends millions of dollars in payments to companies to drop ESAT from their satellites. ESAT has been at the forefront of covering the protest in the Oromo region that is still continuing, albeit sporadically.
Bereket Simon, an advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister and one of the top leaders of the ruling EPRDF said had the government not exerted an all-out effort in jamming ESAT, the protest in the Oromo region would have spread to the entire country and could have wiped out the regime.
Presenting a report at an EPRDF council meeting presided by the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, Bereket said if the government did not muzzle ESAT, protesters would have killed loyal members of the party in the region and the protest could have potentially spread to the capital.
He also said the internal strife and division within the Blue Party, which was the work of his the government, as well as the inability of Patriotic Ginbot 7 forces to penetrate into the central regions of the country, had spared EPRDF from crumbling.
Bereket also said the strategy spearheaded by him in creating public forums to let the people vent their anger and frustrations help stop the people from engaging in an uprising against the government.