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10/28/2020 Ethiopia (International Christian Concern) – Demonstrators in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, are being prevented from protesting what they claim are scores of ethnically-motivated killings in recent months. Organizers had planned protests for Wednesday, October 28th but were blocked by police from accessing their headquarters and traveling to various protest locations on Tuesday, according to reports by Amnesty International, a human rights watchdog.

The organizers are members of the National Movement of Amhara, a political party at odds with the current administration. Founded in 2018 for the purpose of “protecting the rights and interests of the Amhara people,” party leadership announced on Tuesday that the protests were being cancelled after Ethiopian security forces cracked down on a gathering of party leadership in Addis Ababa.

Largely Orthodox Christians, the Amhara are the second-largest ethnic group in Ethiopia at about 27% of the total population. The largest group, the Oromo, make up about 34% and are widely split between the Muslim and Christian faiths.

This week’s protests are not the first to face opposition from the Ethiopian government in recent months. Thousands were arrested this summer, including prominent members of the media and the Oromo political opposition, when protests erupted following the murder of popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundesa. Many of those arrested were initially kept from contacting their lawyers and families, sparking international outcry and drawing attention to the rapidly declining state of human rights in Ethiopia under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.