Eritrea: Opposition Launches Satellite TV Against President

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Eleven Eritrean opposition activists in exile have launched a satellite TV channel to broadcast news against Eritrea's President Isayas Afewerki. The group's spokesman, Mengisteab Asmerom, told the Nation in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, that the new programme, broadcast in Arabic and Tigrigna, is part of a wider struggle against the the Afewerki regime. The programme is broadcast to Eritrea, East Africa and the Middle East.

"The aim of the programme is to expose the increasingly dictatorial Eritrean regime to Eritreans both at home and in exile," Mengisteab said. "We had no choice but to broadcast via satellite since we want to reach the greatest audience possible in the country through different technologies," he said. "We are broadcasting the programme from a neighbouring country I don't want to disclose which one," Mengisteab said.

Mengisteab said his group plans to hold an all inclusive conference in March to form an opposition government in exile and also intensify the fight against the Afewerki regime. He refused to comment on Ethiopia's support for the Eritrean opposition, but acknowledged that his group and the Ethiopian government have "mutual interests".

(The Nation (Nairobi), 29 February 2008)