ADDIS ABABA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government said on Friday it has unblocked 264 opposition websites and blogs in a move to open the political environment of the country.
In a press statement, Fitsum Arega, Chief of Staff at Office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said among the unblocked websites are those of foreign based opposition media outlets Oromo Media Network (OMN) and Ethiopian Satellite TV (ESAT).
Ethiopia had already announced in May it had dropped criminal charges against ESAT and OMN in a move to reconcile with exiled opposition groups.
"A free flow of information is essential for engaged and responsible citizenry, only a free market of ideas will lead to truth", said a statement from Arega justifying the move.
Since coming to power in April, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has moved fast to institute political reforms including freeing thousands of prisoners among whom are several prominent opposition figures.
The political reforms come after almost three years of unrest in Ethiopia's two most populous regional states Oromia and Amhara which together make up more than 60 percent of the country's estimated 100 million population.
Bloody protests over allegations of political and economic marginalization since late 2015, have cast doubts about the stability of one of Africa's star economies.