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Ethiopia closes TV station ‘for fanning tensions’

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The authorities in Ethiopia have closed the main office of local TV station – the Oromo Media Network (OMN) – accusing it of fanning ethnic and religious tensions in the country.

Two others – Asrat, which broadcasts in Amharic, and Dimtsi Weyane, which mainly has programmes in Tigrinya – are being investigated over the same issues.

The three TV stations are linked to three of the country’s main ethnic groups: the Oromos, the Amharas and the Tigrayans.

The move comes after several days of violence triggered by the killing of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa on Monday in the capital, Addis Ababa.

His songs focused on the rights of the Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group, and became anthems in a wave of protests that led to the downfall of the previous prime minister in 2018.

At least 80 people have died in the wave of unrest caused by Hachalu’s killing and many more have been arrested.

In the city of Dire Dawa alone, which is 500km (310 miles) east of the capital, the police say they have arrested at least 200 people.

Some calm has returned to the country, and Addis Ababa is seemingly back to normal.

But tensions remain high in parts of the country and the internet is still being regularly cut off.

SourceBBC NEWS

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