International shortwave radio monitors have confirmed that VOA broadcasts in the Amharic language are being jammed. Amharic is the main official language and the language of commerce in Ethiopia.
VOA representatives in Ethiopia have been received complaints from listeners about noise drowning out its Amharic Service broadcasts. People trying to tune in can hear occasional snippets of the VOA broadcast covered by a loud crackle.
The static began February 22 on all five VOA shortwave frequencies aimed at East Africa in the 25 and 31-meter shortwave bands.
The other foreign broadcast heard in Ethiopia, the German government's Deutsche Welle Amharic language program, also reports experiencing some interference, in the past few days.
Monitors say VOA transmissions in two other Ethiopian languages, Afan Oromo and Tigrinya, are being heard normally. They are broadcast on the same frequencies, before and after the hour-long Amharic program.