‘We Are Everywhere’: How Ethiopia Became a Land of Prying Eyes

Under Ethiopia's authoritarian regime informants and enforcers play a significant role in maintaining the regime's control over its citizens and putting down dissent. Learn more about censorship in Ethiopia in an article by Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura featured in the New York Times.

(The New York Times) - When he is away from his fields, Takele Alene, a farmer in northern Ethiopia, spends a lot of his time prying into the personal and political affairs of his neighbors.

He knows who pays taxes on time, who has debts and who is embroiled in a land dispute. He also keeps a sharp lookout for thieves, delinquents and indolent workers.

But he isn’t the village busybody, snooping of his own accord. Mr. Alene is a government official, whose job includes elements of both informant and enforcer. He is responsible for keeping the authorities briefed on potential rabble-rousers and cracking down on rule breakers.

Even in a far-flung hamlet like Fendika, few of whose 400 or so residents venture to the nearest city, let alone ever travel hundreds of miles away to the capital, Addis Ababa, the government is omnipresent.

Read the full article here.

false