An African map posted on the official website of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs generated a lot of backlash over the weekend after it was pointed out that it had left out some countries including Lesotho and Eswatini.
The map had also co-opted Somalia as part of Ethiopian territory.
One of the first persons to note the anomaly was Somali journalist with Voice of America, VOA; Harun Maruf whose post of the photo on Twitter attracted widespread condemnation from Somalis.
It wasn’t long before the said map was pulled down with an official apology which described it as “wrong and unacceptable image” that “crept in on the web site.”
“Upon becoming aware of the matter, we have immediately removed it from our Website. Please, be assured that Our ICT Team is working to ensure the security of the Website.
“We sincerely regret for any confusion and misunderstanding this incident might have caused,” the statement added.
Even though it is the Somali omission that seemed to irk most Twitter users due to a what some people describe as a historic political and diplomatic mistrust, there were more anomalies with the map.
- The two Congos were also merged. There was only the Republic of Congo omitting the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, in the process.
- South Sudan had been wiped off with the pre-2011 map of Sudan used.
- Eswatini (former Swaziland) and Lesotho had also failed to make the list.
- Despite wiping off Somalia, the map made room for Somaliland – the semi-autonomous region of the country.
- Equatorial Guinea also failed to get a representation despite other mainland and island nations making it.