The Associated Press’ (AP) Ethiopia reporter, Elias Meseret, has described rumors about his dismissal from his job as ‘utter lies’ and stressed that his agency has not apologized to the Eritrean government. He made the remarks following social media outlets owned by Eritreans and Ethiopian diaspora claimed about his dismissal and an AP apology following a news piece he broke about the defection of two Eritrean pilots to Ethiopia.
“The news came as surprise both to me and to my editors,” Elias said adding that the source of the fake report is a Facebook page called Eritrean Press. “Then the news was quickly picked by many others websites, mainly pro- Eritrean groups and Ethiopian diaspora websites. It’s amazing how false information could get this much attention in a short span of time!”
Eritrean Press said that the AP has apologized to the Eritrean government and their reporter, Elias, was dismissed from his job. But Elias confirmed that the AP has made no apology and he is still on duty.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopia’s Defense Minister, Siraj Fegessa, confirmed on Sunday evening about the defection of two Eritrean pilots to the northern city of Mekelle.