Ethiopian track and field legend Haile Gebreselassie wants to sue social media giant Facebook for playing an essential role in inciting recent violence in the country, according to Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
He said that social networks, especially Facebook, have helped stir up incidents and violence in Ethiopia. “If the Ethiopian government does not sue Facebook, I could do it,” he said in an interview. Protests recently rocked the Oromia region after influential journalist, and activist Jawar Mohammed said attempts were made to put his life at risk by removing his bodyguards.
Officials say sixty-seven people were killed in the unrest while the number of detainees could rise as investigations into the violence continue. “As many died in a few days, it’s enough to sue Facebook,” said Gebreselassie, a legend in the country.
Facebook was the preferred social media platform of activists in protests against the government that brought Abiy Ahmed to power. But fake-news, defamation, and smear campaigns have long tainted discussions on the platform.
The athlete who becomes an investor is used to making controversial statements. He once said that “democracy is a luxury for Africa”.