The Fog Over the Red Sea

From Welcome to Asmarino Independent. Sat Dec 22 2012, 12:21:01

Tesfay remembers Abdu -- the man responsible for maintaining the thick fog of secrecy surrounding the country -- as a secretive and arbitrary individual who would promote, demote or fire his subordinates with little explanation. His mandate to enforce an absolute control of information seemed to inform his managerial style: "He was very much engaged or concerned with office politics," says Tesfay. "He ran the ministry as if it was his backyard...he controlled the office through everybody informing on one another." Tesfay said Abdu would reassign career journalists to clerical jobs for no apparent reason, including one of the country's most accomplished news photographers. His subordinates lived in fear of him. "He was an extremely cruel person. Sometimes you would think he would have some sadist tendencies or something like that."

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