Friday, November 30, 2012

Ali Abdu arrives in Eritrea, ending Assenna rumor | Eritrea

Ali Abdu arrives in Eritrea, ending Assenna rumor

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November 27, 2012 — Eritrean Minister of Information Ali Abdu arrived in Asmara from an undisclosed trip abroad, ending a week-long rumor made by Assenna.com that the former guerrilla fighter had defected to Canada.

Ali Abdu arrived at Asmara International Airport around 3:30 PM local time today. He was later seen walking in the capital and discussing with citizens without any security detail, several witnesses reported by phone. 

Over the years, Assenna has made a number of claims that were later found to be completely fabricated, which has earned it an unflattering nickname of 'Hassenna' (we lied) among Eritrean youths.

Even with its credibility being called into question, the London-based website was able to receive western media attention in late April, after it falsely reported Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki had passed away from a liver ailment.

Assenna, which broadcasts to Eritrea three times a week through its radio frequency found on 9610kHz, is likely distributing false information to destabilize the Red Sea State, an observer familiar with the situation noted.

Ali Abdu, Eritrea's Minister of Information
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