The Ethiopian Embassy in Uganda has recognized Ugandan Journalist, Kungu Al-mahadi Adam, for his outstanding contributions and solidarity with Ethiopia and its people at a critical time when Addis Ababa was faced with a disinformation campaign by the international media on Tigray conflict.
The event which took place at the Ethiopian Embassy in Uganda, was presided over by H.E Alemtsehay Meseret, the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Uganda and attended by some members of the Ethiopian community.
Kungu is the Managing Editor Plus News Uganda. He also works with BaBa TV and Radio 4 in Kampala as a political talk show host.
The Tigray conflict began when Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) nearly three-decade absolute dominance over the Ethiopian State ended at the start of a dramatic political opening in 2018.
Shortly after, hundreds of resentful veterans regrouped in Tigray, from where they carried out meticulously planned pre-emptive strikes on the national army on the 3rd of November 2020.
Their objective was defeating the army and marching back to the capital to resecure unfettered privileges. If things did not go to plan, they publicly vowed to destroy the nation they once ruled and build a new one to their taste.
Actually, they later extended the war to neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara, where they committed various devastating crimes on civilians.
Thanks to the swift response and effective law enforcement and primary support of the Ethiopian Public, that the danger posed by TPLF was neutralized, and all the leaderships of the Liberation Front either captured, destroyed or were made to hide in the caves.
However, the international media and some humanitarian organizations immediately painted a narrative as though the Ethiopian authorities orchestrated the ugly developments in Tigray.
Many international media in what seemed to be a syndicated move to undermine efforts of the Ethiopian authorities to restore normalcy in the Tigray region alleged arbitrary arrests, detention and what they referred to as “near genocide” by the federal government.
They consistently propagated this one-sided narrative for long as well as failing to highlight government’s efforts for peace and restoration of normalcy. At some point, they claimed TPLF was at the outskirts of Addis Ababa, which was all false.
Interest in reporting on the conflict
Speaking recently, Kungu said he initially did not follow developments in Tigray until when he witnessed a consistent one-sided reporting by the international media.
“Of course, as a journalist, I realized that there was something wrong. The news Channels did not give the side of the Ethiopian Government on the conflict,” Kungu said.
It was from here that he used his connections in Addis Ababa, Tigray and other countries to seek facts on the conflict. He used these facts to provide alternative information that demystified the reported lies.
At the peak of the conflict, he would use his Twitter handle and the authoritative Plus News, to run daily opinions debunking the misinformation campaign by the West and their media.
In January this year, he flew to Afar and Amhara regions in Ethiopia from where he reported that “the wounds of war inflicted on the locals by TPLF are still fresh, and could take decades to heal.”
“Their dreams, future and hopes are all gone,” he said.
He said he saw school buildings and health centres destroyed by the group, individuals made lame and animals killed by invading TPLF soldiers.
The locals told him depressing and heartbreaking stories of how the conflict left dozens of hundreds of children orphaned and homeless, thousands abused and killed by the invading forces.
“It is heartbreaking here. If TPLF has issues with the federal government, why are they burning books and classrooms of the learners? Why are they raping women? Why are they killed the old and using children as soldiers?” Kungu asked, in an interview with a local media in Ethiopia in January.
The visit to Afar and Amhara regions equiped him with first hand experience and interaction with the victims. He said, this amplified his resilience in telling the world about this war.
“I realized that all that the World was told by the international media about this war were lies, of course for a sinister motive against Ethiopia and Africa. During the interactions I had with Tigrayans who escaped to Amhara, they told me that TPLF was not representing views of the region but their personal selfish interests,” he said.
“So, if the international media were to be objective, all this should have surfaced in their reportage,” he said.
The international community did not condemn the TPLF for all the atrocities they committed on their own people in Tigray, he said.
Recognized and appreciated
On Saturday during the recognition, Ambassador Alemtesehey heaped praise on Kungu and other Ugandans who showed what she called “profound solidarity” to Ethiopia and its people at various times, as they acted as a voice for Ethiopians and resolutely opposed the extreme pressure and interference on the country in the spirit of African brotherhood.
The Ambassador referred to them as true friends of Ethiopia and extended an appreciation for their strong gesture of solidarity.
The Ambassador also briefed the attendants on the current peace Agreement signed in South Africa between the Ethiopian Government and TPLF and the consecutive Declaration of senior Commanders on Executive Plan signed in Kenya.
The Ambassador revealed the commitment of the Ethiopian government to the implementation of the peace deal per the terms agreed upon and the signs of progress made so far.
While appreciating the current peace deal, members of the community who participated in the program also appreciated and acknowledged the efforts made by the friends of Ethiopia in Uganda by traveling to the war-affected areas of Amhara and Afar regions, which were not given enough attention by the international community, and presenting a balanced coverage.
On his part, Kungu appealed to African journalists to always desist from “parroting” what is reported by the international media about their continent but instead seek facts and report them the way they are.
He also thanked the government of Ethiopia for rooting for peace in Tigray despite numerous frustrations by the TPLF.
He further credited Ethiopians for standing with the federal government to brave interfere, and the Ethiopian embassy in Uganda for being available for interviews on the conflict whenever needed.