ADDIS ABABA, (AP):
Two weekly newspapers that have been critical of Ethiopia's ruling party have stopped publication because of government obstruction, the papers' publishers said yesterday.
The publishers are appealing to the country's newly appointed Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to intervene. A government spokesman said the Ethiopian government is not telling printers not to print the papers.
Both Feteh, the country's largest weekly at 27,500 copies, and Finote Netsanet, which is published by the largest opposition group, Unity for Democracy and Justice, have been unable to reach their readers for several weeks after the state-owned Berhanena Selam printing company refused to continue printing them.
"We tried other printers, private ones as well. Some say they don't have the capacity while others first agree to print our paper only later to refuse us without any reasons," said Negasso Gidada, a former president of Ethiopia who now leads an opposition political party with the lone opposition member in the 547-seat parliament.
"They simply tell us 'Please don't come back ... we only want sports and medical issue papers ... not politics."