28 May 2019

Ethiopia: MoFA Launches Investigation Into Map Incident

opinion

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) apologized for the use of an inappropriate political map of the African continent on its website on Saturday, May 25, 2019, and said that the Ministry usually uses official maps drawn up by the Ethiopian Mapping Agency.

This was disclosed at a press conference held by Nebiat Getachew, spokesperson of the MoFA, today May 28, 2019 at the Ministry's HQ. The map used on MoFA's website displayed the merged Somalia and Ethiopia, the two Sudans as well as the Congos in central Africa. This had created a huge commotion over twitter especially from the side of Somalia. The Ministry had then removed the map from its website and apologized for the mishap. According to Nebiat, the Ministry is investigating how the map got its way into the website and how their IT team failed to immediately identify the mistake.

However, Nebiat failed to comment on the level of expertise at the Ministry as far as online content curation is concerned. And, whether assessments were made before the Ministry ventured into the online world. Nebiat, nevertheless, opted to stay on message and reiterate his remorse for the mishap that has offended Ethiopia's neighboring countries; in that, he kept repeating the statement the Ministry released days before. He, however, did not refrain from stating that as a government institution, the Ministry sourced any and all map-related information from the Mapping Agency. But it is not clear whether the particular map in question was sourced from this Agency or not.

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