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Ethiopia's largest ethnic group holds scaled-back thanksgiving festival

Members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group gathered Saturday under heavy security in Addis Ababa for a scaled-back version of their annual thanksgiving festival against a backdrop of unrest and political division

Addis Ababa (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 3rd Oct, 2020 ) Members of Ethiopia‘s largest ethnic group gathered Saturday under heavy security in Addis Ababa for a scaled-back version of their annual thanksgiving festival against a backdrop of unrest and political division.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government said it was restricting attendance for the Oromo group’s Irreecha festival to around 5,000 people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, just as it did for an Orthodox Christian holiday last week.

But some Irreecha attendees said the regulations were designed to prevent anti-government protests at a time when Oromo opposition politicians are behind bars and security forces stand accused of using heavy-handed tactics against civilians in the Oromo region surrounding the capital.

“When people get together they may reflect on what is going wrong in the country. For fear of that they have restricted us,” said Jatani Bonaya, a 26-year-old student.

“What the government is doing is not right,” he added.



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